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February 8, 1910
CORONER'S INQUEST BEGINS
DEATH AND POST-MORTEM OF
COL. THOMAS SWOPE
HYDE'S NAME MENTIONED.
Doctors and Nurses Testify
The coroner's inquest into the death of Colonel Thomas C. Swope got underway in Independence yesterday, and it was brought out that Colonel Swope, tried a number of tonics and remedies, and that he worried over his will in the weeks before his death, and wanted the poor of the city to benefit by the income from his residuary estate, valued at $1,000,000.
Harry S. Cook, superintendent of the Forest Hill cemetery, told the story of the removal of the body of Colonel Swope at dead of night from the catacombs where it was at rest. He said that secrecy was observed and that a blanket was hung on the grillwork of the tomb, so that no one could look in, had anyone had an inkling of what was going on.
The casket, he said, had not been touched and the body was frozen and in a good state of preservation.
The autopsy was conducted at Ott's undertaking rooms at Independence. Coroner Zwart, Drs. Hektoen, Twyman, Stewart, Hall, and a younger docter were among those who attended the post-mortem, it was testified. The body was still frozen, and coal oil lamps and stoves were lighted to thaw it. Bottles were filled with hot water and laid on the body, and then all was covered with blankets.
The post mortem began at 2 p. m. After the doctors finished the autopsy, in which they removed all of Colonel Swope's internal organs and his brain, the body was sewed up, dressed and put back in the casket and removed to the third floor of the undertaking establishment, where it was hidden. It was taken back to the vault the following day. This was done in the day time, as the story of the autopsy had leaked out and there was no further reason for secrecy.
Dr. E. L. Stewart, who graduated seven years ago, and specializes in microscopy, took notes for the doctors who conducted the post mortem. Dr. Steward did not remember all of the details of the autopsy. He declaired that he was too busy taking the dictation by Drs. Hall and Hektoen to observe their operations as closely as he would have liked to. He said that so far as he could see, there was nothing about the appearance of any of the organs removed by the doctors which would indicate that they were other than in a normal condition.
Dr. Stewart turned his findings over to Dr. Hektoen, he said. Dr. Hektoen also took charge of Colonel Swope's viscera. Dr. Stewart remarked about the frozen condition of the body, which he said was rather frail. The brain, he said, after removal, was cut into thin slices so that the doctors could ascertain if there had been a hemorrhage. No blood clot was found either in the brain or in the lining.
NO CLOTHING ON BODY.
The clothing had been removed from the body when he first saw it and he noticed an undertaker's mark on the arm. He also noticed a small dark mark on the left wrist and the undertake's mark on the abdomen. He told of pulling off the scalp, sawing the cranium and removing the skull cap and then taking out the brain. This he said was sliced, but he did not remember into how many sections nor their thickness. The brain was then placed in one of the big half gallon fruit jars and was sealed.
Dr. Stewart said that the brain was taken out whole, as he remembered it. There was no hemorrhage, at least none that was visible to the naked eye, he said. Dr. Stewart did not know whether Dr. Hektoen took the kidneys. He said that to the best of his recollection several of the blood vessels near the heart were hardened. He said that neither he, nor any of the doctors who performed the autopsy, could attribute Colonel Swope's death to any unusual condition found in his vital organs.
He said that one kidney seemed to be slightly enlarged, but this fact, he added, might have been natural. The liver, he said, was of the ordinary gray color and was in good condition. Dr. Stewart said that had there been a hemorrhage of the brain that the embalming fluid wich is used would not have reduced it.
Dr. G. T. Twyman, the Swope family physician, was present at the autopsy, which he said was conducted by Drs. Hektoen and Hall. The body was very well preserved, but was frozen hard. the fluids in the body had all turned to ice. Efforts to thaw it were without avail. There was but one abnormal condition of any consequence, he said, and that was a thickening of the walls of the stomach.
KNEW NOTHING OF DEATH.
Dr. Twyman said that Colonel Swope was not anxious to take medicines or tonics. He last saw him professionaly on April 28, 1909. He had seen him at various times since then and there was nothing in his condition to lead him to the belief that he would die suddenly, he said. Dr. Twyman said that he knew nothing about Colonel Swope's last illness or death. He did not know what caused Colonel Swope's death and he declared that there was nothing in the post mortem which could lead him to form an opinion as to the cause of death.
Sylvester W. Spangler, who since 1903 has had charge of Colonel Swope's real estate, told of Colonel Swope's penchant for taking medicines of various sorts which might be recommended to him by friends, including a tonic which contained strychnine, quinine and iron. He also told of the oft-repeated wich of Colonel Swope just prior to his death that he could arrange in some way to so place his residuary estate that the revenue could be used for the benefit of the poor.
"The last time I saw Colonel Swope alive was the Saturday preceding his death," said Mr. Spangler. "I came down on account of the death of the night previous of his cousin and also to attend to any business matters which he might indicate he wanted closed. I was with him for about an hour and he was in bed all of this time. About the close of our converstaion Colonel Swope addressed me: 'So far as pain is concerned,' he said, 'I have none and never felt better in my life, but I realize that I am a weak man and can't live long.' I cheered him up as best I could.
KEPT TONIC IN OFFICE.
"Colonel Swope kept a tonic in his office, which, according to the label, contained strychnine, quinine and iron and was put up in Independence. He took the contents of two of these bottles, to my knowledge. He would take the medicine for a couple of days and then would not take any for several days, or a week. He took a teaspoonful at a dose. The medicine was orange colored. He also took tablets, some of a white sort and some bromo-quinine tablets. He took Pape's Diapepsin for his stomach trouble. In fact, he took a great many medicnes which were recommended to him by friends as good for his particular case. Two years ago he took some acid phosphates.
"He often told me about some new remedy he had purchased and which he said he would give a trial, as it was harmless, and if it did no good it would do no harm. He had a vest pocket memorandum book in which he kept a record of the medicines recommended to him and which he tried. He would invariably return to me and tell me that the medicines were fakes. The elixir, he said, was prescribed by an Independence, Mo., doctor and was to give him strength.
"Colonel Swope rewrote his will while I was in his employ. He did not discuss the bequests with me and I knew nothing of the amounts until after his death and the publication of the instrument.
"The reason he gave me for rewriting the will was that some of his property had greatly increased in value and that some had decreased. He wanted the proportions of his bequests to be as he first intended. After providing for all of his heirs he still had a good deal of property that he wanted to dispose of in a charitable way. This residuary estate was worth, he told me, about $1,000,000. He wanted the revenue from the estate to be applied to the benefit of the poor, regardless of their former conditions in life.
WORRIED OVER WILL.
"He was endeavoring to find a way to dispose of this property so that the revenue would be used for the purpose intended. He could transfer it, he said, so that it would not be necessary for him to make a new will and the old would could not be broken. He was worried over the disposition of the residuary estate. He told me that if he deeded it to the city that the revenue, and possible the principle, might be wasted, while if he deeded it to loyal citizen friends, that he feared they were too busy hustling after the almighty dollar to give the property and the revenue the proper attention.
"About six weeks before he died he went to the vault and got his will. After keeping it in his office for a week he told me one Saturday that he would take it home and spend Saturday and Sunday on it. Monday morning he brought it back and said that he had looked it over carefully and that it was as nearly perfect as he could make it. He said that he could not betteer it if he wrote it 100 times.
"Colonel Swope's effects, such as clothing which he kept in the office, were given to the Salvation army after his death. I never heard of an enemy of Colonel Swope and knew of no one that he ever entertained any malice against.
"Colonel Swope claimed Wooford county, Ky., as his home until he gave Kansas City Swope park in 1903. He lived in Independence except for a few months, about 1904 or 1905, when he roomed at the Orient hotel.
"Colonel Swope voted but once in his life, he told me, and that was when McKinley made the first race for the presidency. Colonel Swope made a special trip to Wooford county, Kentucky, to cast his vote for McKinley."
Miss Pearl Virginia Kellar, 36 years old, a trained nurse of five years' experinece, was the witness of the day. Miss Kellar attended Colonel Swope during his last illness and was employed by Dr. B. Clark Hyde, three weeks prior to that event. For several weeks Miss Kellar has been virtually one of the members of the Swope household in Independence. She said that she had only a passing acquaintance with Dr. Hyde, prior to the time that he employed her to go to the Swope home.
MENTIONS HYDE'S NAME.
"Dr. Hyde called me over the telephone Sunday night, September 12. He asked me to meet him Monday at 7:30 a. m. and go to Independence. On the way he told me that Colonel Swope was not really ill; that he had fallen and slightly injured his left shoulder, but to make him feel that I was doing something for him and to massage the injured shoulder. Mrs. Swope and the four daughters met us at the threshold and after donning my uniform I was escorted to Colonel Swope's room where we shook hands and he said he was glad to seee me. The injury I found to be very slight. I was with him three weeks, except one day when I went to the dentist.
" 'Here are some "Pinkle's Pink Pills and some tonic,' said Dr. Hyde to me. 'Let him have the pills and also the tonic as he has been in the habit of taking them.' I found the tonic to contain strychnine, iron and quinine and peptomangan. It was put up by Pendleton & Gentry of Independence. Colonel Swope told me that Obe Gentry had given Mr. Hunton the prescription and that it was very good.
" I kept a nurse's record of Colonel Swope for two weeks, or a week longer than he thought I kept it. He objected to the keeping of the record and when I told Dr. Hyde that I had kept it a week longer than Colonel Swope was aware, and that there was no good reason for keeping it longer, Dr. Hyde suggested that I discontinue it. Colonel Swope objected to me taking his temperature. I made up his bed and straghtened him around, then gave him a bath, an alcohol rub and massage and later another alcohol rub and massage."
NURSE'S NOTES READ.
Miss Kellar here produced her notes and read off her daily notations as to the treatment the patient received and his condition. She said that he ate very full dinners, including cabbage at one meal which she said Dr. Hyde told her he could have as he had been accustomed to it. She gave him occasional drinks containing wine or brandy. She said that Colonel Swope and Dr. Hyde were on perfectly friendly terms.
Her records showed that he took several doses of the pink pills, varying the number from time to time. Monday, September 20, she said that he sat up for an hour in an adjoining room where he looked over the grounds. Wednesday she said that he began taking the tonic, which heretofore he had not touched. She said that Mr. Hunton suggested taht now as he was better that he could take the tonic and get well sooner. Miss Keller also testified to the frequency that Colonel Swope vomited and said that these attacks were without the slightest warning and usually at meal times.
"On Wednesday, September 29 Colonel Swope and I went out riding. We drove out the Lexinton road past the Swope farm which he had not seen in nine years. We were out for two hours and he stood the trip splendidly. Thrusday we drove almost to Kansas City. Friday we started to Blue Springs, but failed to take the right road and had a rough ride.
"After putting Mr. Swope to bed, I came down stairs and Mr. Hunton called me. He was eating dinner and suggested that I eat with him. We had almost finished when Mrs. Swope and Miss Margaret came in. Mr. Hunton looked at me and said that he felt queer. Mildred and a girl friend entered the room at this time and Mr. Hunton tried to pick up a glass of water. He half raised it and then it fell from his hands. I ran to his side and discovered that his left leg was helpless. A negro boy helped me carry him to the library and we summoned doctors.
HUNTON BECAME SICK.
"By the time Dr. Twyman came Mr. Hunton had lapsed into unconsciousness. He had vomited profusely. The boys got an ironing board and we laid Mr. Hunton on this and carried him upstairs. Colonel Swope meanwhile had called, and one of the servants failing to pacify him, I told him that Mr. Hunton was seriously ill. After Dr. Hyde came they decided to bleed Mr. Hunton.
"I did not tell Colonel Swope about the death of Mr. Hunton until Saturday morning. When I told him that Mr. Hunton ws dead, he grasped the bed clothes, and hiding his head, cried, 'Poor Moss.' For a moment he sort of sobbed, and then he asked me to tell him all about it. He th en told me he wanted to be very quiet. He wanted to see no one but Mr. Spangler. He first said taht he did not want to see Dr. Hyde for fear that the doctor might think that he needed him professionally. Colonel Swope did not go across the hall to see Mr. Hunton, and I read to him. The news of Mr. Fleming's wife's death came at noon. Mr. Spangler ws the only visitor. He came about noon."
As Miss Kellar reached this part of her narrative, Deputy Coroner Trogdon conferred with Coroner Zwart and Attorney Reed and announcement was made of adjournment until 10 o'clock this morning.
MRS. SWOPE SHIELDED.
Miss Kellar, the trained nurse who was with Colonel Swope the last three weeks of his life, arrive at the court house shortly before 4 p. m. with Mrs. L. O. Swope and a woman companion. They were driven to the court house in an automobile and were escorted by Attorney John Mastin. They were taken in the witness room, which was kept locked. Miss Kellar, her companion and Mr. Atwood shielded Mrs. Swope from the gaze of the curious. Mrs. Swope was attired was attired in black and wore a heavy veil.
The array of legal talent in the case yesterday was probably the largest in the history of the court house. The Swope heirs and Mr. Paxton, the executor of the estate, were represented by Messrs. Reed, Atwood and Mastin. Virgil Conkling, the prosecuting attorney, represented the state, while Dr. Hyde was represented by Attorneys Walsh, Cleary and Johnson. Coroner Zwart wsa represented by Deputy Coroner Trugdon.
"Can we come in and listen to the case?" inquired Mesdames William Young and Cliff Morrow, neighbors of the Swopes, of J. A. Brown, superintendent of the court house building. "Certainly," he replied and secured them a seat immedately behind the attorneys. There were a score of women at the inquest in the afternoon.
Labels: cemetery, Coroner Zwart, courtroom, doctors, Independence, James A. Reed, probate, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, Swope park, Thomas Swope
January 30, 1910
GIVES HIS HALF TO
JUDGE MICHAEL ROSS, SILENT
PARTNER, DISCLAMES SHARE
"John Was My Friend and
He Would Have Done That
for Me," He Says.
Judge Michael Ross, John Mahoney's silent partner, yesterday startled the court of Van B. Prather, probate judge of Wyandotte county, by announcing he wished to disclaim a $50,000 share in the Mahoney estate so that it would go to his friend's orphans.
John Manoney was the Kansas City, Kas. contractor who, with his wife and foreman, Thomas F. McGuire, met death in an automobile accident on the Cliff drive Monday afternoon Judge Ross has been justice of the peace in the North End for many years.
One feature about Judge Ross's gift is that he wanted no one except the firm's lawyer to know about it. At the opening of the hearing Judge Prather said he understood that a silent partnership existed in the contracting business between Mr. Mahoney and some one else, and that if such was the case it would be necessary to take different action in the appointment of the administrators than if such a partnership did not exist.
"HE WAS MY FRIEND."
At this announcement Judge Ross arose. He said he had been a full partner of Mr. Mahoney in the contracting business, but that he desired to "wipe the slate clean" and give the children his half of the estate. Judge Prather asked Judge Ross to explain more fully.
"John Mahoney was a good friend of mine," the judge began. "He loved his four children dearly, and I am comfortably situated, and I want those little children to have my interest in the estate. And further, if any of the contracts which Mr. Mahoney left unfinished show a loss when they are fulfilled by the administrators I will give my personal check to make up for it. John was my friend and I know he would have done the same for my family."
When Judge Ross had finished speaking there were tears in the eyes of many in the court room. Judge Prather said nothing for a moment then rising, he reached over and grasped Judge Ross's hand.
"I am 60 years old," Judge Prather said. "I have read of such men, and heard of them, but you are the first of this type whose hand I ever have had the privilege to grasp."
1,000 ATTENDED FUNERAL.
The funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney was held on Friday in Kansas City, Kas. The services were held at the home, 616 North Seventh street and conducted by the Rev. Father James Keegan of St. Mary's Catholic church. It was estimated that more than 1,000 persons gathered about the house during the services. The children at Central school, where the younger Mahoney children attended, stood with bowed heads while the funeral cortege passed.
Nellie Mahoney and her sister, Lillian, age 6, were still in St. Mary's hospital and were unable to attend the services. They were, however, told for the first time of the deaths of their parents. The girls were taken from the hospital to their home in a closed carriage last night. Lillian is now able to walk about, and the attending surgeons say she is recovering rapidly. The girls are being attended at their home by a trained nurse. Mr. Mahoney's sister is in charge of the house.
Judge Prather said yesterday that he would visit the Mahoney home tomorrow morning in order that Nellie might sign a bond and qualify as an administrator.
Mr. Mahoney did not leave a will, at least none has been found.
Labels: children, churches, Cliff drive, Funeral, Judge Prather, Judges, Justice Ross, Kansas City Kas, ministers, North end, probate
January 16, 1910
TRACE OF POISON
FOUND, IT IS SAID.
MYSTERIOUS WHITE POWDER
DISCOVERED IN CHRISMAN
Representatives to Confer
With Chemists Before
According to attorneys representing the Swope estate poison has been found in the stomach of the late Chrisman Swope. It is said this fact was known before the body of Colonel Thomas H. Swope was taken from the vault at Forest Hill cemetery last Tuesday to Independence, where the stomach was removed for the purpose of a chemical evaluation by Chicago specialists. The white powder found has been declared to be either strychnine or some other poison.
"Chrisman Swope's stomach was sent to Dr. Haynes in Chicago nearly two weeks ago," said John H. Atwood, attorney for the Swopes, last night. "An analysis was immediately made. The result was the finding of white powder in a large quantity. This powder was either strychnine or some other deadly poison. The name of the second poison I am unable to tell you. there is no doubt in the minds of the attorneys or of the Chicago specialists that the white powder is poison."
COUNSEL GOING TO CHICAGO.
John G. Paxton and Mr. Atwood, counsel for the Swope heirs, will leave this evening for Chicago. Mr. Paxton will return Tuesday night. Mr. Atwood may remain longer. When Mr. Paxton returns he will probably bring with him the official report of the doctors' investigation.
At a conference yesterday at the Swope home in Independence, participated in by Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling and counsel for the Swopes, the nurses who attended Thomas Swope told their stories.
A dispatch to The Journal from Chicago last night stated that Dr. Walter S. Haynes, the toxicologist, worked all day on the analysis and examination of the stomach of Thomas Swope with a view of tracing the typhoid bacilli which are said to still exist in the stomach and other organs. The work was carried on behind closed doors in the laboratory of the Rush Medical college.
Professor Ludvig Hektoen of the University of Chicago medical faculty has left Chicago for a few days, but when he returns he will work in conjunction with Dr. Haynes.
NO PUBLIC REPORT YET.
"I have not progressed sufficiently to make any statement as to my findings," said Dr. Haynes. "The examination will occupy several days at least. Professor Hektoen will carry on the work of making the exact microscopic tests."
The case is one of the most extraordinary presented for criminal investigation for some years.
Dr. J. V. Bacon in discussing the investigation in Chicago yesterday said that the placing of life in jeopardy by administering the bacilli of typhoid, tuberculosis or another diseases was simple, the only thing necessary being to administer the germs in milk, soup or other foods, wherein it would be impossible to detect by taste.
"The result in administering typhoid germs would simply be to create a case of typhoid," said Dr. Bacon. "The patient might recover or might die, just as in the case contracted in the ordinary way, and the percentage of recoveries is high enough to render such a method of attempted murder very uncertain. Of course in the case of an old man, enfeebled already by years, the risk of death in typhoid is heavy."
INTENDED CHANGING WILL.
It was not until a week ago, when an unofficial report was received from the Chicago specialists that poison had been found in the stomach of Chrisman Swope, that the family realized the extent of this alleged plot. Colonel Swope's body was removed from the vault in Forest Hill cemetery. The autopsy was held Tuesday and the following day the stomach and other vital organs sent to Chicago to be examined.
The investigation branched from this to the presence of typhoid fever among the Swope heirs. Eight members of the family had been taken down with typhoid fever, between December 1 and 18. Physicians were called in. then it was believed that the members of the family had not contracted the disease by natural means.
It is known that the millionaire benefactor was planning several days before his death to give $1,000,000 or more to Kansas City.
"This fund, held as a residue and bequeathed to no one," said John Paxton, attorney for the Swope estate, "contained about $1,000,000. He realized that he had provided for all his relatives handsomely, and this reside he had, I think, made up his mind to give to the public of Kansas City or for some charity. He died before he could change his will, and this residue of over $1,000,000 consequently was divided among the heirs."
Labels: attorney, Chicago, Independence, poison, probate, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, typhoid
January 14, 1910
COL. "TOM" SWOPE
VICTIM OF PLOT
Scheme to Gain Control of
Millions by Wholesale
Murder of the Relatives of
the Great Public Benefac-
tor Believed to Have Been
BODY OF CAPITALIST
TAKEN FROM CEMETERY.
Stomach Will Be Sent to Chi-
cago for Analysis -- Chris-
man Swope, Who Also
Died Suddenly, May Have
Been a Poison Victim --
Suspect Under Close
COL. THOMAS H. SWOPE.
Was the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope, whose benefactions to Kansas City, including Swope park, amounted to more than a million and a half dollars, the victim of a scientific plot which had for its aim the elimination of the entire Swope family, by inoculation with the typhoid fever germs, looking to ultimate control of the $3,000,000 estate?
Acting on the theory that a poisoning conspiracy rivaling in fiendish ingenuity the most diabolical deeds of the Borgias was responsible for the death of Colonel Swope, October 3, last, and later of his nephew, Chrisman Swope, the body of Colonel Swope was removed Wednesday from the vault where it rested in Forest Hill cemetery and taken to Independence, where an autopsy was held.
The stomach was removed and will be taken to Chicago for analysis by chemists and toxicologists of national repute, in the hope of finding traces of poison, which members of the Swope family, their counsel and friends believe to have caused death.
RESULT OF AUTOPSY.
The autopsy of Colonel Swope's body Wednesday, attorneys for the Swopes say, resulted in the finding that death was not due to apoplexy, as was given out at the time. All the organs, including the brain, were found to be in normal condition. This could not have been the case had he died of apoplexy. The same was found in the Chrisman Swope autopsy. His brain was found to be normal, as were the other organs of his body. A slight trace of typhoid bacilli was found, but not enough, it is claimed, to have caused his death.e
But with this the plot does not end. After Colonel Swope and his nephews were out of the way, a plot was hatched, it is alleged, to kill off the entire family.
NEPHEW'S BODY EXHUMED.
Suspicion of foul play was aroused at the sudden death of Chrisman Swope last month. An autopsy was held, the stomach was removed and a thorough examination made. The stomach is now in Chicago, where it is being analyzed by a commission of eminent chemists and toxicologists.
"It will be several days before an arrest is made," said John H. Atwood of the law firm of Reed, Atwood, Yates, Mastin & Harvey. "We have the evidence well in hand. There is not a particle of doubt in my mind but that both Thomas Swope and Chrisman Swope were poisoned, and that they did not die of the diseases which they were said to have in the newspaper accounts."
TO KILL THE HEIRS.
This plot, said to have been planned with more deliberation, and even more heinous intent than the now famous Gunness affair, had for its supposed end the extermination of all the Swope heirs. Shortly before Chrisman Swope's death, it is charged, a man visited the office of a well known bacteriologist of Kansas City and secured some typhoid germs. With these deadly bacilli, those pushing the matter believe he hoped to innoculate the members of the Swope family.
Colonel Thomas H. Swope and Chrisman Swope are said to have both died after the same manner. The former died October 3. He arose the fateful morning, and was given a bath. An hour afterwards he died in convulsions.
Chrisman Swope was a man of about 30, young and vigorous. Shortly before this it was given out that he was suffering from typhoid fever. He was taken down December 2 and died four days after. He is said to have been administered a capsule an hour before his death. the nurses say that he died in convulsions.
EIGHT OTHERS STRICKEN.
The man suspected secured his typhoid bacteria November 10. His first visit to the Swope home in Independence was made Thanksgiving day. It was only a week after this that Chrisman Swope was taken down with the contagion. The plot is thought to have been to kill off the heirs by typhoid fever.
The sudden death of Chrisman Swope, following so close after the fatal illness of Colonel Swope, immediately aroused the suspicions of the family. An autopsy was held with the result that it was claimed that the last member of the family had not died of typhoid, as was said. The stomach was soon after sent to Chicago.
During this time, it is claimed, there was more evidence of a plot to kill off the entire family. Mrs. Logan Swope was taken down with typhoid fever early in December.
In rapid succession other members of the family were taken down with typhoid fever. They follow in chronological order:
Dec. 2 -- Margaret Swope.
Dec. 4 -- Miss Dixon, the governess. A negro servant by the name of Coppidge, Miss Compton, seamstress.
Dec. 5 -- Stuart Flelming.
Dec. 9. -- Sarah Swope, 14 years of age.
Dec. 11 -- Stella Swope.
Dec. 22 -- Lucy Lee.
None of the victims were in a critical condition.
NURSES FIRST SUSPICIOUS.
Lucy Lee was on her return trip from Europe. It is thought that she was inoculated with the typhoid germs in route to Kansas City. It is known that it takes from six to seven days after inoculation, for the first symptoms of the disease to show. In the case of Miss Lee, she was taken down four days after her arrival in Kansas City.
The investigation which resulted in these startling disclosures was largely at the insistence of the nurses employed in the Swope home during the illness of Chrisman Swope. At their suggestion Dr. G. T. Twyman of Independence was called in to make an investigation. He found the house to be in a sanitary condition and no place from whence the disease germs could possibly originate. Dr. Frank Hall also made an investigation with the same results.
FIVE DETECTIVES ON GUARD.
Mrs. Logan Swope and other members of the family told their suspicions to John G. Paxton, attorney for the Swope estate. At first Mr. Paxton would not believe that there could be anything in these charges. But after an investigation he, too, became convinced that there was truth in them. Mr. Paxton yesterday employed the law firm of Reed, Atwood, Yates, Mastin & Harvey, to push the investigation.
One man suspected is now under the espionage day and night of five private detectives employed by the Swopes.
Dr. Hekpeen of Rush Medical College, Chicago, is in Kansas City making investigations. He will take the stomach of Colonel Swope back with him for a thorough examination. Dr. Haynes of Chicago, a chemist of national reputation, will assist in the chemical tests to be made in the effort to find a trace of poison.
"The Swope millions will be used to run this mystery to the ground," said Mr. Atwood.
Labels: attorney, cemetery, Chicago, doctors, Independence, murder, poison, probate, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope, typhoid
January 9, 1910
SEE RAINBOW AND
THE BAG OF GOLD.
Reputed Hiers to Vast Ger-
man Estate Retain Law-
yer to Fight Claims.
Sixty reputed heirs to the estates of Baron Ludwig von Fischer gathered at the Metropolitan hotel in Independence yesterday for the purpose of taking aggressive measures to recover form the German government $80,000,000 said to be awaiting them.
For the past thirty-eight years strenuous endeavors have been made by a number of heirs to obtain title to the property, but it has been hard to establish identity or form a plan which will prove acceptable to the whole. The gathering yesterday filled the hotel dining room, and heirs and their representatives from various states were present.
The story of the estates of Baron Fischer resembles many other similar stories and has bee handed down from generation to generation.
ONE SON FLEES.
Baron Fischer lived in Baden, Germany, in the latter part of the sixteenth century. He had two sons. One of them was a great nimrod and one day entered the forests and by accident got upon the game preserves of the king. He shot a deer there, and the game warden notified him that he had better flee to America. The boy feared the king's wrath and sailed for America, locating in Madison county, Va. The other son remained in the old country and the estates went to him.
Time passed and a search was made for the missing brother, who was found in America. the German estates, he was informed, later, had been left by a will to him as was also a large amount of property in this country. Fearing to return to the old country, the baron allowed the estate to go to the German government for the building of a canal. He died in this country, but he left his estate to his three sons. One of them was educated for the purpose of returning to the fatherland to establish his lineage. After reaching maturity he set sail and en route died of smallpox. The papers and identification documents were buried with him at sea.
EMPLOY A LAWYER.
The heirs in this country took up the fight and all manner of schemes have been formulated. Much money has been expended without result. Some years ago a lawyer was employed to go over to Germany. He went, so the story goes, but came back with nothing to say and plenty of spending money for the balance of his days.
The heirs are now renewing their effort. Yesterday the gathering was for the purpose of entering into a contract with Attorney Emory Smith, of Fort Worth, Tex., for one-third of the amount secured. It took some time to agree upon the carefully worded document which was finally signed.
Fifteen similar gatherings have been held in Independence by the Fischer heirs and when these reunions take place the rainbow with the bag of gold at the end is painted in all of its colors. Some say the estate will amount to $150,000,000. In the United States there are 450 heirs, as far as known.
Labels: hotels, Independence, probate, Texas
January 7, 1910
CURED OF ILLS
OVER THE PHONE?
ABSENT TREATMENT PUT MRS.
MOSTOW UNDER SPELL,
Spiritualist Seeks to Prevent
Heirs From Depriving
Him of Bequests.
That by giving her absent treatment over the telephone for rheumatism and in other ways, John H. Lee, said to be a spiritualist, won the confidence of wealthy Mrs. Victoria Mostow, 71 years old, and thus influenced her to bequeath him property worth $35,000, was the substance of testimony given yesterday in Judge J. G. Park's division of the circuit court.
The occasion was the trial of a suit by which Lee seeks to have set aside deeds transferring to James P. Richardson, principal of the Prosso school, and nephew of Mrs. Mostow, the property left to Lee by will. The heirs have a suit pending to set aside the will.
The story told by witnesses in substance follows:
Mrs. Mostow was the wife of the late Randolph Mostow, and a sister of the late Dr. De Estaing Dickerson. From the latter she inherited a large amount of property. Mr. Mostow died in the summer of 1908. During his last illness, he summoned Lee and was given treatment. In this way Mrs. Mostow became acquainted with the spiritualist.
TREATED BY PHONE.
After her husband's death, Mrs. Mostow became a believer in spiritualism. Through the medium of spirits and mesmeric powers Lee claimed that he could cure every known ill. Mrs. Mostow put in a telephone at her home, at Thirty-fourth and Wyandotte streets, and when she became troubled with rheumatism, Lee would give her absent treatment over the phone. At this time he lived near 4800 East Eighth street, several miles across the city from his patient.
In January, 1908, Mrs. Mostow made deeds to property at 817 Main street, and her home on Wyandotte, to her only surviving heir in Kansas City, James P. Richardson, owner of the Prosso Preparatory school. This was done to escape the payment of the collateral inheritance tax, and to prevent the heirs in Chicago from securing any of her property. The deeds were not to be recorded until after her death.
LIVED WITH HER.
In the summer of 1908, it is charged, Lee secured so great an influence over Mrs. Mostow that he secured permission to move himself and family into her home. Here they have lived since. The taxes are said to have been paid by the Mostow estate, and during her lifetime all the household expenses were met by Mrs. Mostow.
After Lee had been living in the Mostow home a few months, it is charged, it was seen that he gained an influence over the aged woman, and she began deeding small pieces of property to him.
Mr. Richardson, seeing the trend of affairs and fearing that he might lose the property that was to be his at the death of his aunt, immediately recorded the two deeds. When Mrs. Mostow died, it was found that she had bequeathed the same two pieces of property to Lee.
Suit was brought in the circuit court by Lee to set aside the deeds, charging undue influence. A similar suit was also brought by Richardson and the Chicago heirs to set aside the will.
The evidence was all submitted yesterday in Judge Park's court. The final arguments will be heard some time next week.
Labels: Chicago, con artist, Eighth street, illness, probate, real estate, schools, telephone, Thirty-fourth street, women, Wyandotte street
December 28, 1909
HEIRS WAIT ON CONGRESS.
Civil War Claim, Allowed by Court,
Must Be Paid This Session.
For three years the heirs of Solomon Young, who died in 1892, have been waiting for congress to appropriate $3,800, allowed by the court of claims at Washington . It is thought that congress during its present session will take some action.
Solomon Young owned a farm in Grandview during the Civil war. A detachment of the Union army confiscated a herd of cattle and some horses which belonged to him. At the close of the war Young put in a claim for damages.
For years this claim laid in the files of the war department and was forgotten. When he died, in 1892, the estate was divided among the six heirs.
Soon after this an attorney in Washington unearthed the Young claim from the files. Suit was brought and in 1906 the court allowed $3,800 for the cattle and horses. The Young estate was immediately opened up, on the expectation that congress would pay the claim. Mrs. Henrietta L. Young, the widow, was appointed administratrix. Three years they have waited and congress has neglected to act.
Last Week Mrs. Young died. A new administrator is to be appointed for the Young estate. It will not be settled finally until the claim is paid by congress.
Labels: Civil War, Grandview, probate
December 23, 1909
FOR 27 YEARS A HOTEL MAID.
Death Ends Margaret Sullivan's
Long Service at Coates House.
Margaret Sullivan, 65 years old, maid in charge of the parlor floor of the Coates house for twenty-seven years, died at St. Joseph's hospital yesterday morning of pneumonia.
Among her effects in the room at the Coates house which she occupied almost continuously while employed there, were found some papers indicating that she left a considerable estate. It is known about the hotel that she lost a large sum of money in a bank failure ten or twelve years ago. At that time sh e told the housekeeper that she would not deposit another cent in a bank, but this resolve was forgotten, for it developed yesterday that she had a certificate of deposit in the National Bank of Commerce for several hundred dollars. Just what her estate amounts to will not be known until the arrival of her two sisters, Mrs. C. R. Helbing of Grand Crossing, near Chicago, and Miss M. Sullivan of Ogdensburg, N. Y. Mrs. Helbing wired the hotel people yesterday afternoon that she would arrive this morning.
Quiet and unassuming, Miss Sullivan worked steadily day after day, never allowing herself a vacation and making herself a veritable fixture in the first big hotel of Kansas City. She would not allow an y of the other maids to assist her and was on duty regularly.
"It is supposed that Miss Sullivan had some money when she came here," said Manager Firey of the Coates house yesterday afternoon. "She received $25 a month and her board, room and laundry. She was of simple tastes and I suppose saved much fore than her salary, for the parlor floor is supposed to be worth something in the shape of gratuities to the maids, as well as to the bellboys. Her death is regretted by everyone attached to the hotel who knew her."
Labels: banking, Coates house, death, hospitals, probate
November 13, 1909
MONEY WAITING FOR HIM.
Police Look for John E. McCullough,
Heir to $50,000 Estate.
John E. McCullough, formerly of Eastport, Me., who is the beneficiary by his brother's will of an estate valued at $50,000, is thought to be in Kansas City, Kas., working under an assumed name. W. W. Cook, chief of police of Kansas City, Kas., yesterday received a letter from Mrs. George L. Ferguson, a sister of McCollough, in which she asks the assistance of the police in locating her brother, who left his home eleven years ago.
The missing man is described as being 46 years old, 5 feet 9 inches in height, dark complexion and weighing about 160 pounds. He is said to be apt at several trades, among them that of machinist, and probably will be found about some packing plant or railroad shops. In his efforts yesterday Chief Cook found a woman who believes that she knew the missing man three years ago in Ottawa, Kas.
Information from Ottawa last night stated that the man wanted had left there several months ago and was now in Kansas City, Kas.
Labels: Kansas City Kas, missing, probate
November 11, 1909
NEW CLAIMANT FOR
ANNA GESINE HEUER SAYS SHE
IS FIRST COUSIN.
Follows Over Two Hundred Claim-
ants for Eccentric Recluse's For-
tune -- Will Come From
Germany to Fight.
Another heir to the Adolph Huntemann estate, claiming to be the first cousin of the eccentric old bachelor who died nearly three years ago, leaving an estate valued at $250,000, appeared yesterday when Anna Gesine Heuer of Bremen, Germany, filed suit in the circuit court to have herself declared the sole heir.
If the German woman can establish her relationship with the late Adolph Huntemann, she will inherit the entire estate. Over two hundred claimants have applied for shares. Of these all have been cut out except eight distant cousins.
The suit is brought against R. S. Crohn, former public administrator, and the only one who now has charge of the estate. The petition says that all the debts against the estate have been paid and that it is now ready for distribution. The personal property is estimated to be worth $76,000, and the real estate, $175,000.
Anna Heuer is 44 years of age and married. She has never been to America. If the court refuses to accept her deposition at the trial of this case, she will come here to fight for the estate.
For years Anna Heuer has been writing to German friends who have settled in Kansas City. In the exchange of letters one of her former friends mentioned the Huntemann matter and told of the fight now being made among the heirs to secure possession of the estate. Anna Heuer investigated her family tree and decided that she was a first cousin.
Among the recent claimants to the Huntemann estate was Mrs. Minnie A. Shepard of Burlington, Ia., who secured affidavits from confederates in Chicago, St. Louis and other cities showing her to be an illegitimate child of the deceased.
Fraud was suspected, and Grant I. Rosenzweig, attorney for the estate, went to Burlington to investigate. Few discrepancies were found. The "tip" came from a woman who had been jilted by one of Mrs. Shepard's confederates. Affidavits were received from relatives to prove that Mrs. Shepard's mother was married, and that the Iowa woman's claims were fraud. When confronted by this evidence October 19, Mrs. Shepard admitted that her affidavits and claims were false.
Huntemann, who was a bachelor, died March 8, 1907, at his home, 4025 McGee street. He had been a recluse, and the amount of his wealth was not known until after he died. He came to this country from Germany in 1860, and settled in Kansas City two years later, without a dollar, and amassed a fortune by investments in Kansas City real estate.
Labels: Huntemann estate, immigrants, probate, Public administrator Crohn, real estate
October 21, 1909
WOMAN FOILS A PLOT
TO LOOT BIG ESTATE.
TIPS OFF IOWA WOMAN'S $300,-
Jealousy Reveals and Thwarts Far
Reaching Intrigue to Get Pos-
session of Late Adolph Hunte-
"Hell hath no terror like a woman scorned." But for a jilted Chicago woman, the plot to obtain possession of the $300,000 estate of Adolph Huntemann, who died here in March, 1907, supposedly without heirs, might not have been uncovered.
Through a tip obtained from this woman, Grant I. Rosenzweig, attorney for the estate, worked up evidence which, when presented Tuesday to Mrs. Minnie A. Shepherd and her attorneys in Burlington, Ia., caused the woman to confess that she had concocted one of the cleverest frauds of the age.
Mr. Rosenzweig returned yesterday with the woman's affidavit, in which she admitted the fraud, and relinquished all claims to the estate. This he filed with the probate court.
IOWA WOMAN'S CLAIM.
Last March the court was ready to distribute the estate to the nieces and nephews of Huntemann in Germany, their identity having been established by birth, marriage and death records there.
Just one day before Judge J. G. Guinotte was to make the order Mrs. Minnie A Shepherd appeared and filed suits against the seven different pieces of property constituting the estate.
This stopped the distribution, and Mr. Rosenzweig was ordered by the court to take Mrs. Shepherd's deposition. The story of the attempted fraud, how it was planned, and how thwarted can better be told in Mr. Rosenzweig's own words.
"In her first deposition," he said, "Mrs. Shepherd claimed to be the daughter of Pauline Lipps, who was the daughter of Mary and Adolph Huntemann. While she alleged that Pauline was illegitimate, she claimed that a common law marriage later was contracted, making Pauline a legitimate child under the laws of Missouri. If this had been true Mrs. Shepherd would have been the sole heir, to the exclusion of all the German family.
"She claimed that on account of having been an abandoned child she could furnish few facts, but said she had certain letters written by Adolph Huntemann in which he recognized her as his grandchild, a fragment of a will in his handwriting in which she was so recognized, an old Bible inscribed in his hand to her as his grandchild and a number of similar documents.
HOODWINKED HER LAWYERS.
At this point in the deposition Mrs. Shepherd named women in St. Louis, Chicago and elsewhere who, she said, had known Huntemann intimately and had been eye witnesses to certain events showing relationship of father and daughter between Huntemann and her mother.
"Judge Guinotte always is watchful of anything that looks out of place concerning estates in his court," said the narrator, "and with his approval I began a quiet investigation. I made investigations in Chicago, Des Moines, Burlington, Davenport and St. Louis and discovered a plot that had a branch in each one of these places involving women of lower classes and men of desperate character, a woman teacher and a man now in an Illinois penitentiary."
It appears that Mrs. Shepherd had employed attorneys of good standing, Holsteen & Hill in Burlington, and Boyle and Howell here. Her first step was to deceive them by pretending to advertise in the papers for the missing witnesses.
Her plot was so well arranged that each of the confederates answered the advertisements, wrote to the attorneys, giving her family history, and giving her the best of character. Each gave her a straight line of descent from Huntemann.
JILTED WOMAN'S TIP.
Everything was going well when Mrs. Shepherd made a secret trip to Chicago about the time a brother-in-law whom she and her husband had refused aid, was incarcerated in the Illinois penitentiary.
Just following this a woman in Chicago who had been jilted by one of the men in the case, gave the tip that certain information might be obtained in Davenport, Ia.
Following that up, affidavits were secured showing that Mrs. Shepherd was not an only child, but had five brothers and sisters living; that her mother has a twin sister and a brother living. It was found that her story was false, and that her grandmother, Mary, had been honorably married and was buried in Wilton, Ill.
"In addition," said Mr. Rosenzweig, "thirty or forty letters were secured which had been written by Mrs. Shepherd to her confederates giving dates, names and places which confederates were to confirm. Also letters which confederates were to copy in English and German and a fragment of the alleged will where the handwriting was to be identified.
"Confederates had obeyed her instructions, and identified all these fraudulent papers as genuine. An old Bible had been secured from a secondhand store and all names inserted in dim ink. All documents were yellow with age. I also had proof that Mrs. Shepherd's mother had died in 1903 and not in the early 80's."
After getting all of this together, Mr. Rosenzweig decided that the time had come to present it to Mrs. Shepherd and her attorneys in Burlington. He arrived there Tuesday and first laid the evidence before the lawyers who were reluctant to admit that their client could have hatched up such a clever plot.
"I went out and brought her to their office," continued Mr. Rosenzweig, "and there ensued a meeting which lasted six hours before the woman gave in. A woman of more brazen boldness and falsehood, backed by clever cunning I never expect to see. She denied authorship of the letters notwithstanding her attorneys had some of hers with which they were compared and she said that relatives who had made affidavits were unknown to her.
TRIES TO BRAZEN IT OUT.
"She looked us straight in the eye, and almost convinced her attorneys that a mistake had been made. She asked for a day in which to think the matter over, but I asked her if her story would be believed against the contrary evidence of five brothers and sisters, two uncles and aunts, her stepfather, some of her confederates and all of her letters and documents plotting the fraud which I possessed.
"At this point she asked for a private conference with her attorneys and shortly they returned saying she admitted it all. Her statement in writing was taken before a notary in which she admitted that she was not descended from and bore no kinship or relationship in now way whatever to Huntemann.
"After seeing articles in the newspapers that Huntemann had left a $300,000 estate and no known heirs the plot was hatched with assistance of others. She thought she might as well be an heir as anyone else. What inspired her most was the fact that she had been successful six years before in a similar undertaking, she said. An Australian had died leaving an estate of $1,000. By means of affidavits and other documents she said she established the fact that she was an only child of the Australian."
Labels: attorney, Chicago, con artist, Des Moines, Huntemann estate, probate, St Louis
October 12, 1909
WIDOW AFTER MINING STOCK.
Court Order Necessary for Her to
Get $7,260,500 Shares.
The county coroner has $7,260,500 in mining stock locked up in his vault. There are 72,605 shares in a Mexican mine with a par value of $100. They were found in the suit case of Thomas Stables, who was found dead September 24 in a bathroom at the Sexton hotel.
Mrs. Stables was in the city yesterday. She came all the way from Stables, La., her home, to get this stock. The coroner was powerless to act. A court order must be obtained by Mrs. Stables's attorneys before these securities can be given up. Meanwhile the county keeps millions in mining stock locked in the vaults at the court house.
Labels: courthouse, hotels, Mexico, probate, visitors
October 10, 1909
COLONEL SWOPE LEFT AN
ESTATE OF $3,000,000.
ENTIRE INSTRUMENT WRITTEN
IN HIS OWN HAND JUNE 15, '05.
Full Text of the Paper as Filed in
Independence Shows the Wide
Extent of Kansas City's
An estate of $3,000,000, by the provisions of the will filed yesterday in the Independence division of the probate court was left by Colonel Thomas H. Swope to his near relatives, friends and to charity. The greater part of his property is bequeathed direct to his blood relations. City lots left to the Humane Society is the largest gift to charity.
The will was filed for probate by J. G. Paxton, an attorney of Independence, Mo., who framed it June 17, 1905. Mr. Paxton since has been its custodian. In filing the will, Mr. Paxton was accompanied by Stuart S. Fleming, Mr. Swope's nephew, who lives in Maury county, Tenn.
Colonel Swope named Mr. Paxton, Mr. Fleming and James M. Hunton of Independence his executors, and requested that they be allowed to serve without bond. George B. Harrison, Arthur F. Day and F. T. Childs, all of whom live here, signed as witnesses. The three men were present yesterday morning in court to attest their signatures.
A "HOLOGRAPHIC WILL."
The instrument states that "this is my holographic will." This is to indicate that it was written by Col. Swope. There were no changes in the instrument as written by him.
The bequests to charity are as follows: To Humane Society, two lots in Turner Company's addition; to Park College, two lots in West Kansas addition; to the Women's Christian Association, $10,000 cash; to Young Women's Christian Association, $10,000 cash; to Young Men's Christian Association, $10,000 cash; to the Provident Association, $25,000 cash.
After providing for charity and making specific bequests to his near relatives and friends, the balance is left to his nephews and nieces, to be divided share alike.
S. W. Spangler, attorney for Mr. Swope, has prepared a conservative estimate of the values of some of the real estate bequests made in the will. The values are as follows:
One-half of the two story building at 1017-1019 Main street, left to Ella J. Plunket, $75,000; the other half of the same property, left to Gertrude Plunket, $75,000; the undivided half of lots Nos. 10 and 12 on East Fourth street, left to Felix Swope, $13,250; the northeast corner of Hickory and Joy streets, now occupied by the John Deere Plow Company's warehouse, left to James Hunton, $40,000; the northeast corner of Twelfth and Walnut streets, 85-115 feet, left to Margaret Swope's five unmarried children, $400,000; 1112-1114 Walnut street, left to the same children, $190,000; 916-918 1/2 Main street, to the same children, $120,000; the northwest corner of Mulberry and Eleventh streets, to the same five children, $50,000; the southeast corner of Twelfth and Campbell streets, left to the five children, $60,000; 915 Walnut street, left to Frances Swope, $87,500; 120 acres, to the south half of the ground occupied by the Evanston Golf Club, to Thomas H. Swope, Jr., $240,000; the eight-story building at the southeast corner of Eleventh street and Grand avenue, to his nine nephews and nieces, $400,000.
Labels: charity, circuit court, Evanston Golf Club, Humane Society, Independence, probate, real estate, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope, YMCA, YWCA
October 7, 1909
SWOPE PROVIDED FOR
AGED, POOR AND NEEDY.
ORPHAN'S HOME AND CHILD-
REN'S OUTINGS REMEMBERED.
Will Gives $25,000 to Provident As-
sociation and Contains Other
PUBLIC BEQUESTS BY COLONEL SWOPE:
To the Humane Society of Kansas City, Mo., I give, grant, devise and bequeath in trust forever lots 1 and 2 in clock 43 of Turner & Co.'s addition to Kansas City, Mo., the proceeds of the rental thereof to be used by said Humane Society in the entertainment of children in Swope park, near Kansas City, annually, forever.
To Park College, situated in Platte county, Missouri, I give lots 15 and 16 in block 3, West Kansas addition No 2 to Kansas city, Mo.
To the Women's Christian association I give the sum of $10,000.
To the Young Women's Christian Association of Kansas City, Mo., I give the sum of $10,000.
To the Young Men's Christian Association of Kansas City, Mo., I give $10,000.
To the Provident Association of Kansas City, Mo., I give the sum of $25,000 to be known as the "Swope Fund," and to be used for the benefit of the poor and needy of Kansas City, Mo.
Before the body of Colonel Thomas H. Swope was removed from the family home in Independence, Mo., yesterday afternoon to be brought to this city to lie in state in the rotunda of the public library building, J. G. Paxton, an attorney who had possession of the philanthropist's will, gave out the public bequests mentioned therein. They are enumerated above.
"It was thought befitting," he said, "that bequests made to public institutions and to charity should be published before the funeral. The complete will, enumerating private as well as public bequests, will be filed for probate Saturday."
The lots left to the Humane society are situated at the southeast corner of Union avenue and Mulberry street in the West Bottoms. The corner lot is occupied by the Union Avenue Bank of Commerce. Good rentals are secured from the two buildings of the property.
"The bequest of Colonel Swope to the Humane Society is not a surprise to me," said E. R. Weeks, president of the society last night. "Colonel Swope had a life membership in the society and for several years has been its first vice president. He has been identified with the work for more than twenty-five years and was our closest friend.
WROTE PORTION OF WILL.
"Several years ago Colonel Swope sent for me to come to his office. When I arrived he told me that he intended to remember the society in his will which he intended writing himself. At his suggestion I wrote that portion of his will which he later copied. That is why it is no surprise. There is a provision regarding this bequest to the effect that the society may sell this property at any time it deem necessary or advisable."
The property left to Park college, Parkville, Mo., also is situated in the West Bottoms and is said to pay a good annual rental.
The Women's Christian Association, to which Colonel Swope left $10,000, has charge of hte management and maintenance of the Gillis Orphan's Home and the Armour Memorial Home for Aged Couples, Twenty-third street and Tracy avenue. Colonel Swope gave the land on which the orphanage is built. It is a large tract and later Mrs. F. B. Armour built the home for aged couples which bears her name. Sometimes it is known as the Margaret Klock home, named for Mrs. Armour's sister.
"We had hoped that we might be remembered in a small way," said Mrs. P. D. Ridenhour, acting president of the Women's Christian Association, when informed of the $10,000 bequest. "But this comes to us as a most pleasant surprise, and I might say that it comes at a time when we need it most. We had not expected anything so handsome as our benefactor has given us and to express our thanks would be the smallest way in which we can show our gratitude. In honor of his memory we will endeavor to do the greatest good with what he has left us.
Y. W. C. A. GIRLS REJOICE.
"Have you heard of the $10,000 left the Y. W. C. A. by Colonel Swope?" a young woman at the association rooms was asked over the telephone last night.
"Humph," she replied quickly, "he gave us $50,000."
"But this is over and above the $50,000," she was informed. "This is a bequest in his will."
"Oh, goody, gracious, goodness, isn't that just scrumptiously grand," she cried, dropping the telephone to fairly scream the glad news to other young women present. "Won't we have a dandy home, now, God bless him."
At that moment someone began a song of praise in honor of the welcome news. The telephone was forgotten.
"This certainly comes to us as a glad surprise," said Miss Nettie E. Trimble, secretary for the Y. W. C. A.
"Colonel Swope was so good to us when we were struggling for our new building that we had no idea of getting a bequest from his will. Years ago when the building of a home for the Y. W. C. A. was mentioned, he said he wanted to have a part in it. While committees were out working he sent us $25,000 unsolicited. Toward the close, when it looked as if we would not reach the $300,000 mark by the time set, he sent for me and asked how much we lacked. When told that we needed $22,000 to complete the figure he promptly gave us $25,000, making a total of $50,000 which he gave toward our new home.
AN ENDOWMENT FUND.
"As we have plenty of money to complete our home it is possible that Colonel Swope's bequest of $10,000 will be made a nucleus for an endowment fund to carry on industrial and Bible work. The industrial department never has been self sustaining and teachers for both have to be hired and paid. That the name of Colonel Swope will forever remain dear to the members of the Y. W. C. A. goes without saying."
Henry M. Beardsley, president of the Y. M. C. A. was out of the city and James. B. Welsh, a member of the board of directors, was notified of the bequest of $10,000 to that association.
"Good, good," he cried, "that comes to us at a time when we need it most. We have been in pretty hard straits to complete our new building and this most gracious gift will put us on our feet under full sail. The association, no doubt, will take appropriate action when notified officially of the bequest. I will sleep better tonight and so will many others."
Labels: attorney, charity, Humane Society, orphans, Parkville, probate, real estate, Thomas Swope, West bottoms, YMCA, YWCA
October 4, 1909
MADE THREE WILLS.
Changes Were Made When Interests
Outgrew Previous Will.
In a will made three years ago he provided for the disposal of his estate after his death. Several years ago he made his first will, but the interests evidently outgrew the scope of this instrument for later he made a new one and still later a third one.
Each was destroyed without the contents being known to anyone except the testators and his legal adviser. For several weeks before his death, he carried the will about with him, pinning the document in one of his coat pockets.
W. S. Spangler, 3604 East Tenth street, since 1903 Mr. Swope's business manager, stated last night that he did not know the exact terms of the capitalist's will. He believes, however, that the entire fortune is to be divided among the legal heirs.
Mr. Swope said recently that he had intended to leave each heir sufficient property to net the owner an annual income of $12,000, and that he hoped to arrange to give the remainder of the fortune, which is estimated to be about $1,000,000, to Kansas City charitable organizations.
A few days before his death, he is quoted as saying:
"If I am allowed to live just long enough to make this provision in my will, so that I may benefit the poor people of Kansas City in some way , I will be ready and willing to die."
He did not live to accomplish this purpose, however, and it is very improbable that any part of the fortune will be set aside for charity as its owner had planned that it should be.
Labels: charity, probate, Tenth street, Thomas Swope
September 22, 1909
BODIES OF VICTIMS
TO REST IN ATCHISON.
FUNERALS OF MRS. STOLL AND
WILLIAM JACOBIA TODAY.
Interment of Principals in Monday
Night's Murder and Suicide
to be Made at Former
With the burial in Atchison, Kas., today of the victims of the tragedy enacted Monday night at the home of S. F. Stoll, 3617 Tracy avenue, in which Mrs. Sadie Stoll was murdered by William Jacobia, who later committed suicide at his wife's home, the last chapter of their story will have been concluded.
Mrs. Stoll's body was taken to Atchison at 6:30 o'clock last night. It will be buried beside that of her father, who died several weeks ago.
Mrs. William Jacobia, 3235 Forest avenue, will this morning take the body of her husband to Atchison where he will be buried. The wife and child will be the beneficiaries of life insurance carried by Jacobia. The life insurance was partly placed in fraternal organizations. Jacobia carried about $5,000 insurance upon his life. The fact that he left no will gives his wife and son all of his personal property. The insurance is all he left.
That Jacobia formed the Linwood Investment company for the sole purpose of placing his property beyond the possibility of being taken from him in a suit for the alienation of the affections of Mr. Stoll's wife was denied yesterday by his attorney, W. F. Guthrie. Mr. Guthrie for a time acted as trustee of the property owned by Jacobia for the latter and his wife, and later assisted in the financial separation between them.
While Mrs. Stoll refused to give up Jacobia, and give all of her love to her husband, she is said to never have countenanced any idea of leaving her husband and children. While she informed a friend that she loved Jacobia, she said she w ould stay at home on account of her two boys. For a year she drifted along in this fashion, meeting Jacobia daily, and when suspected by her husband pacifying him.
Those persons intimate with the family relations of the Stolls said yesterday that Mr. Stoll never knew of the friendship that existed between his wife and Jacobia, though he became suspicious on many occasions. At such times he is said to have spoken to his wife regarding the rumors he heard, but she always talked him out of his suspicious mood, and it ended by Mr. Stoll apologizing for his mistake. The night of the murder and suicide Mr. Stoll told one of h is intimate friends that he had seen his wife with Jacobia on but two occasions.
The report that Mrs. Stoll's father, J. P. Brown, had assisted in meeting the expenses of the Stoll household was denied yesterday. It was admitted that he often made presents of various sums of money, but that he gave the money to his daughter because she was a favorite.
Albert Stoll, the 14-year-old son who was in the house at the time his mother was murdered, yesterday asserted that he did not know what subject was being discussed by his mother and Jacobia during the quarrel.
Albert did not inform his fatherr of the clandestine meetings because of the love for his mother. The older son, Sam, also failed to tell his father for fear he would kill either Mrs. Stoll or Jacobia and thus create a scandal that might otherwise be dept from the public.
Attorney W. F. Guthrie last night made a written statement in which he denied that Stoll had ever employed him to bring an alienation suit. Speaking for Mr. Stoll, the attorney said that the druggist had never hired detectives to shadow his wife or Jacobia. the attorney said that Mr. Stoll had accused a man of being too intimate with his wife while living in Atchison, and that it became public. The affair caused people to lose confidence in Mr. Stoll, and he was forced to seek another location.
A denial was made by the attorney, who was also attorney for Mrs. Stoll's father, that Mr. Stoll ever received or expected any sum of money from his father-in-law as the price of his continuing to live with his wife.
Labels: children, druggists, Forest avenue, murder, probate, romance, Tracy avenue
September 24, 1909
CAPT. A. P. ASHBROOK DEAD.
Served in Volunteer Regiment
Throughout Civil War.
Captain Aaron P. Ashbrook, senior member of the Ashbrook Investment Company, with offices in the Sheidley building, died as the result of a paralytic stroke yesterday morning at his home, 1400 College avenue. He had been ill nearly a month.
Captain Ashbrook was born 76 years ago on a farm in Fairfield county, O. When the civil war began he raised a company of light infantry for the Seventeenth Ohio volunteers, and served until the close as captain. Following the military example of his father one son, Lieutenant Roy M. Ashbrook, is in the army, and is now stationed at Fort McPherson, Ga.
After a short period spent in the dry goods business in Fairfield, Captain Ashbrook married Miss Margaret Faine and moved with her to Kansas City, where he engaged in the real estate business. That was twenty-five years ago. Fifteen years ago, feeling his health failing, he retired from active business, and since then he has traveled in search of health. His wife has been dead many years.
Funeral arrangements have not been made, but it is thought the funeral will be in Harrisonville, Mo.
The following children survive:
Lieut. R. M. Ashbrook, U. S. A., Fort McPherson, Ga.; T. P. Ashbrook, Kent, Ill.' Mrs. Caroline Oldham, Kansas City; Mrs. Addie Sexton, Mrs. Blanche Hutchens, Mrs. Minette Galt and Miss Faye Ashbrook, all of Alhambra, Cal.
The will of Captain Ashbrook was filed yesterday for probate, and Mrs. Oldham was appointed administratix by the court. The will leaves $500 to Margaret Faye Ashbrook and the balance in equal shares to his other children and two grandchildren. No value is placed on the estate.
Labels: Civil War, College avenue, death, probate, real estate, veterans
August 15, 1909
ESTATE VALUED AT $250,000.
All of the Property of the Late P.
D. Ridenour Goes to Family.
By the will of the late P. D. Ridenour, pioneer merchant, the entire estate of $250,000 is left to his family. The will was filed yesterday for probate.
To Mrs. Sarah L. Ridenour, the widow, who is named as executrix, is given the home at Eighth street and the Paseo, all of the personal property and one-third of the realty. The remainder of the estate is to be divided equally between the children, who are as follows: Mrs. Kate R. Lester, Edward M. Ridenour, Mrs. Alice R. Raymond and Ethel B. Ridenour. Mr. Ridenour was president of the wholesale grocery firm bearing his name.
Labels: Eighth street, grocers, Paseo, probate
July 30, 1909
SEEKS HEIRS TO AN ESTATE.
Fulkerson, Formerly of Kansas City,
Dies in Arkansas.
Heirs for an estate estimated at $10,000 to $90,000 are sought in a letter to Chief of Police Frank Snow from Little Rock, Ark., in which is told the death of Z. K. Fulkerson on June 10, who left an estate.
Fulkerson was proprietor of the "K. C. Restaurant" in Little Rock, and is believed to have gone there from Kansas City. He often mentioned having a brother in Kansas City, and as he left no will, the administrator of the estate, J. L. Eastin, 1719 State street, Little Rock, would like to obtain news of the heirs.
Labels: Arkansas, Police Chief Snow, probate
July 26, 1909
THOUGHT SHE HAD A MILLION.
Miss Jessie Pomfret, Writer and
Pomfret Estate Claimant, Dies.
Miss Jessie Pomfret died yesterday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock in Independence from consumption. She had been ill for the last two years.
No arrangements have been made for the funeral, but the body will be taken to her home in Daviess county. Miss Pomfret, while a resident of Independence, was engaged in newspaper work. She went to Rock Island, Ill., and then to Chicago, afterwards to Cincinnati, where she became interested as one of the heirs of an English estate of $17,000,000. She spent considerable money in investigating the Pomfret millions of which she expected to get a share of $1,000,000.
The Pomfret estate consists of an establishment in Red Lion street, London, and cash in the Bank of England. With it goes either a coloneley in the British army or a seat in the house of commons.
Lemuel Pomfret, brother of William Pomfret's father, induced the family to change the spelling of the name from Pomfrey to Pomfret. William Pomfret was the lineal descendant of Colonel Pomfrey, w ho held a commission from King George. He deserted the British army and joined Washington's forces.
The estate reverted to the crown, but was afterward restored to the family.
Labels: Chicago, death, England, Independence, probate, women
July 1, 1909
NEEDS PROOF OF HER GRAND-
Claimant to Estate of Adolph Hunte-
mann, Supposed Bachelor, Says
She Is Granddaughter.
If Minnie A. Shepherd of Burlington, Ind., is unable to give proofs of her parentage, the recognized heirs of the late Adolph Huntemann will get the $200,000 estate which was to have been divided among them on May 15, last, but which was tied up the day before by six suits brought in the Nevada, Mo., courts by Mrs. Shepherd, the wife of a farmer.
Yesterday a bundle of papers arrived here from Burlington, being a transcript of a deposition Mrs. Shepherd made last week in her case against the Huntemann heirs. According to her, she is the only direct heir of Kansas City's supposed old bachelor, as she claims to be his granddaughter.
In her deposition, Mrs. Shepherd says that she is the daughter of Mrs. Mary Stubans, who in turn was the daughter of Adolph Huntemann and a woman whose name Mrs. Shepherd does not remember. "Aunt Kate" King, who once lived in St. Louis, would know, she says, but Mrs. Shepherd does not know where "Aunt Kate" lives. She is advertising for her now in St. Louis and Chicago newspapers, in the hope of learning the name of the grandmother, and something about the wedding.
Answering questions put by Grant Rosenzweig, attorney for the public administrator, the woman claiming to be the granddaughter of Huntemann says she does not know where her grandmother was married to Huntemann. Mrs. Shepherd admits her mother was born out of wedlock, but says that after the arrival of the baby there was a marriage, and in that way the baby, Mrs. Shepherd's mother, Mary Stubans, became the legal child of Huntemann.
When asked by Attorney Rosenzweig, if when she read in the newspapers that Huntemann had died leaving an estate of $400,000 she had not been prompted to file a claim against the estate. Mrs. Shepherd answered that her first report was the estate was only $4,000, and she did not believe it. When later she learned it was $400,000, it has shrunk to $200,000 now according to the attorney for the administrator, she at once set about finding the records regarding herself.
She found that her mother had been Mary Stubaus nursed by a Mrs. Alexander and "Aunt Kate" King at her birth.
Adolph Huntemann died in March, 1907, supposedly a single man, leaving much valuable business property and some farm property. Attorneys employed in the case could find no heirs closer than cousins in Germany until the very day before the dividing of the estate, when the Indiana woman appeared of record in the substantial way of six civil suits to stop the distribution.
Labels: attorney, Huntemann estate, probate, St Louis
June 18, 1909
ESTATE TO SISTER-IN-LAW.
Mrs. Lena Ditsch Bequeathed Prop-
erty Valued at $12,000.
To Mrs. Lena Ditsch, widow of his brother, Charles L. Ditsch, is left all the property of Henry Ditsch, who died June 14 at 2645 Chestnut street. The estate is valued at about $12,000. Says the will:
"The reason I have remembered her (Mrs. Ditsch) in my will is that she has nursed and cared for me through my almost continuous affliction for many years. Besides all this, she nursed and cared for my father through all his long sickness with a tenderness and devotion which merits a greater reward than she can ever hope to receive."
Labels: Chestnut street, probate, women
June 8, 1909
CHANCE FOR YOUNG MINISTER.
John H. Hardin, Christian Divine,
Arranges for Disposal of Library.
By the will of John H. Hardin, who was a Christian minister, formerly of Liberty, Mo., some young Christian minister will be given a valuable library. The testator provides that three ministers shall select a promising young divine to whom the books shall be given. The balance of the estate, with the exception of small bequests to children and friends, goes to Mrs. Willie A. Hardin, the widow, who is also named as administratrix.
Labels: books, Liberty, ministers, probate
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