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May 15, 1908


Convict Writes Concerning a Poor
Teamster's Daughter.

The Journal of April 28 contained a story the heading of which read, "Here's an Unfortunate Man." It told of a teamster who had to support eleven persons on $10 a week. His wife had just become hopelessly insane and he was compelled to borrow $30 from his employer.

The story said that a daughter, 20 years old, and her two children were living at home because her husband had deserted her some time before. Yesterday Colonel J. C. Greenman who handled the case got a letter from Elmer Albertin, now known as "No. 9738" in the penitentiary at Jefferson City. In inclosed the clipping from The Journal.

"I cut this story out of an old Kansas City Journal," he wrote. "While the story contains no names, I feel sure that the deserted woman with the two children is my wife. I did not desert her, but have been a victim of circumstances.

"At the time I left home I went out into Kansas and worked in the harvest fields. When, by hard work, I had saved $17 I started for home. While sitting on the platform of a depot in a small town two men came up behind me and one of them knocked me senseless. Then they robbed me. A big gash was cut in my head and was sewed up there."

The man goes on with some unimportant data and winds up with "Then I came into Missouri and now I am here for two years." He did not say what he had done or where he was sent up from.

Colonel Greenman enclosed the letter with a brief note to the man about whom the story was written and told him to give it to his daughter. If she proves to be Albertin's wife an effort may be made to get him pardoned as his family here is greatly in need of his support.

The same story was returned to The Journal by a prosperous farmer to Effingham, Kas, who offers to put the unfortunate teamster and his whole family on a well stocked farm. That letter as sent to the man yesterday by Colonel Greenman with instructions to reply direct to the kind hearted Kansas man.

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May 13, 1908


"She Was the Best Woman in the
Whole World," Says Fletcher.

E. C. Fletcher, the teamster who stabbed his wife to death Monday night on the front porch of her father's house, 530 West Eighth street, is still being held by the police pending action by the coroner's jury. The coroner said last night, however, that he ha not yet set the date for the inquest so it may be necessary for the prosecutor to file a charge against Fletcher without waiting for such action. That possibly will be done today.

When Fletcher was placed under arrest his first words were:

"I hope she ain't hurt much."

Later Bert S. Kimbrell, an assistant prosecutor, took his statement. he talked freely because he did not know his wife was dead. "Yes, I hit her," he said. "I guess I had a knife in my hand at the time. Yes, it was a knife. I love her and hit her because she would not come back to me and go to Oklahoma away from her relatives and this d--- town. I just hit her once but I lost my temper."

The bloody knife with a blade three inches long was found on Fletcher. He admitted that it was the one with which the murder was done. When told that his wife was dead he said simply, without the sign of a tear or the least emotion, "Well now I am awfully sorry for that, for I certainly loved that woman. She was the best woman in the whole world."

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May 12, 1908





E. C. Fletcher, a teamster 37 years old, after being separated from his wife for one week, called at the home of her father, John Harlow, 630 West Eighth street, last night about 8:30 o'clock, ostensibly to talk over going to Oklahoma. In the house was a man named Edward Lewis, another teamster, who had gone to the house to see Harlow about putting him to work. Fletcher asked his wife to come down stairs to talk. When they reached the porch she was heard to scream for help. He had stabbed her just above the heart. She died an hour later.

Fletcher ran south to Ninth street, chased by a negro who had witnessed the act. He was seen at Ninth and Holmes streets a few minutes later, running east. The aged father ran to the porch and held his daughter in his arms until the police ambulance arrived. She sank so fast that Drs. J. P. Neal and R. A. Shiras deemed it necessary to give her a transfusion of salt solution at the emergency hospital to take the place of the blood she had lost. She did not regain consciousness and died without making a statement or even telling her name. The knife blade entered the left side just above the heart and is believed to have severed the aorta.


Detectives Keshlear and McGraw were on the scene soon after the murder and went to work on the case at once.

Patrolmen Holly Jarboe and J. P. Withrow, headquarters men, learned that Fletcher roomed at 211 West Fifth street and went there to watch for him. At 12:15 o'clock they were joined by Detectives Brice, Murphy, Boyle and Walsh. As they stood talking, Walsh exclaimed:

"Here he comes now," and ran toward a man who had just turned the corner. It was proved to be Fletcher. He surrendered without resistance.

Fletcher was taken to police headquarters and Bert Kimbrell, assistant prosecuting attorney, was sent for to take his statement. The murderer had been drinking and was not told that his wife was dead until he had finished his statement. He expressed hope that he had not hurt her.

"I don't know why I struck her. I love he so. I don't know what I was doing," was the sum of his declaration to Kimbrell.

The knife with which he killed his wife was found in his pocket. It was a common clasp knife, with a three-inch blade.


Mrs. Emma Fletcher was 33 years old and a pretty woman. She had been married to Fletcher for seventeen years, but had no children. He was a drinking man, the father says, and often beat his wife and as often left her. Her mother died about the time of her marriage and she and Fletcher had always lived with Harlow.

"He left Emma the last time a week ago while we were living at Thirteenth and Summit streets," said Harlow. "We have often had to move on account of his treatment of her. Tuesday we moved to 630 West Eighth street. Ed Lewis came to see me tonight about getting me a job and we were all in the room on the second floor when Fletcher knocked at the door.

" 'What do you want?' Emma asked him.

" 'I just come to talk to you about going with me to Oklahoma,' Fletcher said. 'I've got the money to take you if you want to go.'

"Then he saw Lewis sitting there and his eyes flashed fire. He told Emma to get her shoes and come outside and talk the matter over. As she left I heard him say, 'I'd rather see you dead than with another man.' I heard them walk quietly down the stairs to the porch and then my daughter screamed. I just thought he had beaten her again as he had so often and ran to her side I could see he had been drinking."


While the father, grey and feeble, was telling his story to Captain Whitsett he did not know that his daughter was dead. HE would up his sad narrative with: "When I put her white face on my arm I thought she was dead, but I guess he's just cut her. Can any one tell me how she is?" he asked, looking from one to another.

"She is dead," Captain Whitsett informed him in a low tone.

"God be merciful," cried the old man, tottering backwards into a chair. "If she is dead, I want to die, too."

He found that her body had been taken to Freeman & Marshall's morgue and left for there, saying he wanted to be with her during the night.


Fletcher has been working for James Stanley, a contractor, who is building a church at 752 Sandusky avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Surrounding towns had also been telephoned to be on the lookout for him in case he should catch a train out. He was believed to be making for the Belt line tracks when last seen.

P. W. Widener, from whom Harlow rents at 630 West Eighth street, told the police that he had just entered his home about 8:30 p. m., when he heard a knock and saw Fletcher at his wife's door talking to her.

"I heard them go down stairs together," he said, "and almost immediately heard her scream. She was lying on the porch, stabbed, when I reached her. Fletcher was chased to Ninth street and lost sight of."

Widener related that when Harlow rented the rooms he said his son-in-law often raised "a little rumpus when drinking," but did not pay any attention to it. He said it had often caused him to move.

Fletcher has a brother, Arthur Fletcher, living somewhere in the city. Harlow has one more daughter, Mrs. Clara Coleman, who lives in the West bottoms in Kansas City, Kas., but he did not know where.

Coroner George B. Thompson said that an autopsy would be held today and an inquest later.

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May 9, 1908


Negro Stole Load of Whisky, but Left
Part of It.

Jordan Coleman, a one-legged negro teamster for the Empire Transfer Company, stumped hurriedly into police headquarters about 4 p. m. yesterday and excitedly informed Captain Whitsett that somebody had stolen a wagon load of whisky from him.

"I left my wagon load with seventy cases and three barrels of whisky in the alley between Main and Delaware, Third and Fourth streets," he said. "I wasn't gone but a few minutes when I came back and the team, whisky and all had disappeared. A man said he saw another negro driving the load east on Third street."

About 6 p. m. Coleman's wagon was found standing at Independence avenue and Charlotte street. Two barrels of whisky were missing from the load. The police are looking for the "booze" and also the thief.

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July 1, 1907



Alleged That Trouble Over Labor
Matters Caused Ill-Feeling Which
Resulted in Fatal Meeting
at Fairmount -- Victim's
Neck Broken.

In a fight near the dancing pavilion at Fairmount park about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon with Allen Poindexter, 23 years old, and Rudolph Poindexter, about 19 years old, James Wilson, business agent for the Teamsters' union, was killed by a blow to the chin.

The Poindexters live at 4100 East Ninth street, their father, J. M. Poindexter, being a conductor in the employ of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company. Wilson, who was about 23 years old, lived with his widowed mother and a sister near Twelfth and Holmes.

The fight that caused Wilson's death was the culmination of an altercation between young Poindexter and Wilson near Twelfth street and Grand avenue Saturday night. This fight is said to have arisen over union troubles. A friend of young Poindexter had been dismissed from the Teamsters' union, and he accused Wilson of being instrumental in his dismissal. However, Poindexter, though reluctant to talk of the affair, said yesterday that the trouble was the outcome of a quarrel over a girl.


Wilson went to the park yesterday afternoon. It is said that the Poindexters learned of his being there and immediately set out for the place. They had been in the park no more than fifteen minutes when they came upon Wilson, it is said.

No one seems to know who struck the blow that started the fight, though there were hundreds within sight of the trouble. W. C. Rice, chief of the park police, was standing within a hundred feet of the fight when it first started. He said that he saw young Poindexter and Wilson fighting, and he started toward them to interfere, when the elder brother, who saw that Wilson was getting the best of the altercation, ran up and struck Wilson. Wilson then turned upon his assailant, and as he did so Poindexter landed a blow on the point of his chin that felled him, it is said.

Just as this blow was struck the marshal had almost reached the two, but Poindexter had turned and started through the crowd. The marshall followed, and compelled him to stop at the point of his revolver. The brothers were arrested by park police officers.

Wilson was taken to the park hotel, where he was treated by Dr. Z. J. Jones, 709 Washington street, who happened to be at the park. The man died within a few minutes. His neck was broken.

The two Poindexters were taken to the county jail at Independence by Marshal Rice, where they are held without bail.
Dr. H. O. Parker, deputy coroner, was summoned immediately, and after viewing the body ordered its removal to Newcomer's undertaking establishment.

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January 8, 1907


Grant Stainbrook Beat a Mule With a Wagon Spoke

Grant Stainbrook, a teamster, was fined $10 in police court yesterday for beating a mule over the head with a wagon spoke. Patrolman Robert Coffey saw the man abusing the animal at Twelfth and Walnut streets and took him directly to police court.

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January 3, 1907


Teamster's Wife Ends Her Life --
Two Other Women Try Self-Destruction

The first day of the new year was marked on the surgeons' "blood book" at police headquarters with the record of one suicide and two attempted suicides, all women. All used carbolic acid.

In a tiny room above an Italian grocery store at 507 Grand avenue, Mrs. Mabel Goin, 25 years old, after kissing her 3-year old baby boy goodbye and writing a note requesting that he be cared for by friends, swallowed a quantity of carbolic acid about 9 o'clock last night and died a few moments later. The cause for her act is said to have been a quarrel that she and her husband had earlier in the evening. Her husband, Tod Goin, is a teamster, employed by the Clinton Transfer Company.

Mary Maxwell, 22 years old, 407 Independence avenue, swallowed carbolic acid an hour later, because of despondency, she said. She, also, had quarreled with her husband, she said. Assistant Police Surgeon D. E. Wilhelm received her.

Mrs. Helen Wright, wife of a saloonkeeper, also swallowed carbolic acid in her room at a boarding house at 1112 Locust street, about 2:30 o'clock yesterday morning. She was taken to the general hospital, where, last night, she was reported as having good chances for recovery.

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