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July 27, 1909


Central Station Holdover to Be Re-
modeled Along Modern Lines.

If the plans of Walter C. Root, a member of the tenement commission, are carried out, the holdover and "chute" will not be so uninhabitable in the future. Accompanied by Commissioner Thomas R. Marks, Mr. Root visited the holdover yesterday. He will superintend its remodeling.

The plans call for a separate chute for female prisoners while police court is in session and they are awaiting trial.

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May 28, 1909


Tenement Commission's Advice Con-
cerning "Red Light" Districts.

In a letter to the board of police commissioners yesterday the tenement commission advised the board that conditions on Twelfth street in the neighborhood of Central high school were not ideal, and that many hotels and rooming houses in that neighborhood were frequented by an undesirable class of inmates.

The commission also advised that the "red light" district be segregated to definite boundaries, south of Twelfth street. The letter advised that the boundaries of the district be fixed at Main street on the west, McGee street on the east, Eighteenth street on the south and Fourteenth street on the north. The district in the North End should be bounded on the north by Second street, on the east by Wyandotte street, on the south by Fifth street and on the west by Broadway.

Commissioner Marks was delegated to make an investigation of the matter, and report at the next meeting.

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May 7, 1909


Board of Pardons and Paroles Has
Helped Clean It Up.

"The board of pardons and paroles is doing great work out at the city farm, near Leeds, with prisoners from the workhouse," said Mayor Crittenden last night. During the afternoon, in company with Jacob Billikopf and Frank Walsh of the board of pardons and paroles, C. A. Sumner, of the City Club and W. C. Root of the tenement commission, the mayor made and inspection of the farm.

"A year ago portions of the farm were veritable jungles," said the mayor, "but things are different now. With the board of pardons and paroles acting in a supervising capacity, prisoners from the workhouse have cleaned out all the underbrush, erected buildings for their sh elter and laid out gardens which have been planted with all kinds of produce.

"The site for the proposed tuberculosis hospital has been put in fine shape and just as soon as bonds are voted the erection of the building will be under way."

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May 5, 1909


Evidence Introduced to Refute
Charges Against Management
of General Hospital.

Six witnesses were heard for the defense in the general hospital investigation yesterday. The hearing was then adjourned until Saturday at 2:30 p. m., wh en the committee will meet at the city hall. The last two sessions, for convenience of nurses and doctors, were held at the new general hospital.

Miss Catherine May, a former nurse in the hospital, was the first witness. John A. Johnson, Mrs. Violet Hutchins, Miss Josie Pomfret and "Sig Frisco" were patients there, and she attended each of them. As to Johnson, whom she nursed at the old hospital, she said he was not allowed to lie on a damp, cold bed, never did lie on the floor all night and was never strapped to a chair while nude and left in the cold as is charged.

Miss May then told of having received Mrs. Hutchins into the hospital and of the patient having assaulted her while refusing to take a bath. She also told of the patient's threats toward her baby and of having heard her say: "I'll get this hospital in trouble. I'm a good talker in court all right." As to the Miss Pomfret charges Miss May said the young woman demanded a private room and refused to give up her personal property as required.

Regarding Frisco, who swore that he lay all night and a day with no attention from a doctor or nurse, Miss May told of giving him an alcohol rub, placing hot water bottles about him and giving medicine to ease him, after which Frisco said he was "very comfortable."

Mrs. Kate E. Pierson, connected with the Associated Charities and a member of the tenement and pardons and paroles boards, told of sending many patients to the hospital, and of visiting them afterwards. She never heard but one complaint, that of a father regarding food given his daughter.

"I happened in the hospital at meal time a few days later," the witness said, "and the food the girl got was well cooked and good enough for anyone."

In the matter of a charge alleged to have been made by Dr. C. B. Irwin, investigator for the tenement commission, against the treatment of tuberculosis patients at the hospital, Mrs. Pierson said the report was a verbal one made to the board, and that Dr. Irwin had no authority to make such investigation, as the commission has no jurisdiction over the hospital.

Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, was placed on the stand to tell of an autopsy which he held on the body of Harry Roberts to determine the cause of death. After the post-mortem it was discovered that Roberts had died of Banta's disease, a rare ailment.

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February 24, 1909


Pardon and Parole Board Takes Offi-
cial Cognizance of Conditions
at City Hall.

Unsanitary, filled with vermin and a disgrace to the city, are a few of the things said about the holdover at police headquarters in the report of the secretary of the board of pardons and paroles, which report was made on motion of Jacob Billikopf. Frank E. McCrary, the secretary, investigated the condition of the holdover.

The jail for men is situated in the cellar and is a breeding place for disease, the report says. The room in which prisoners are held while waiting for their cases to be called in the municipal court, the report continues, is too small and not well ventilated, the foul air making it very offensive in the court room.

Captain Whitsett is quoted as saying that all prisoners arrested by the uniformed police are only held until the following morning, while those arrested by the detectives, or secret branch, are held longer. One case brought to the attention of the board was that of witnesses against Dr. Harrison Webber, accused of selling cocaine and having $8,000 in fines against him. Dr. Webber is detained in the matron's room, while two witnesses who bought the drug from him are being held in the holdover. They have been there now over twenty days. The three are being held as witnesses against members of a medical company.

While the board admitted its inability to remedy the unsanitary condition of the holdover, they suggested that even public buildings came within the jurisdiction of the tenement commission. The Humane Society will be asked to investigate the sanitary conditions, and, if possible, have them improved.

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February 19, 1909



More Than 2,000 Persons Attend
on Opening Day -- Kansas Univer-
sity Medical Department
Well Represented.

The exhibit of the National Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis opened in the Scarritt building, Ninth street and Grand avenue, yesterday and will continue for two weeks under the auspices of the Jackson county society. W. L. Cosper, who has charge of the exhibit, said last night that in the matter of first day's attendance, Kansas City had broken all records, over 2,000 people visiting it yesterday afternoon and evening.

While the rooms were opened to the public during the afternoon, the exhibit was opened formally last night by Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., who made a short address.

The mayor said that before many weeks model play grounds for children would be completed here. That, he said, is a step toward health and happiness. He told the audience that the city had voted $20,000 of bonds for the erection of a tuberculosis sanitarium on the hills east of the city, and the building of bungalows there for the convalescent. He also told of the work of the tenement board, and said said that its members, all busy citizens, should be thanked for giving their time and labor to the city for nothing. The mayor also stated that his hospital and health board was now strictly enforcing the spitting ordinance, which had long been neglected.


"If a policeman yanks you down to the station for spitting on a street car," he said, "don't lose your temper. He is only doing his duty, and you must agree that it is right."

Frank P. Walsh, president of the Jackson county society, presided. In the absence of Dr. W. S. Wheeler, health commissioner, he introduced E. W. Schauffler, who told what tuberculosis is, and how it may be cured if taken in time.

"It is contracted," he said, "generally in inhaling the germ which is blown into your face with the dust of the street, in the workshop or at the room. It is often introduced through food and sometimes by contact. It always produces death of tissue or bone. Three things are essential for its cure -- pure air, sunshine and good food."

The doctor said that "the American people are the greatest spitters in the globe, possibly made so from the tobacco chewing habit."

On account of the breaking of a lense Mr. Cosper was unable last night to give the steropticon lecture. Tonight, however, and every night for the next two weeks, views will be shown and prominent physicians will speak.

The meeting today will be in charge of the tenement commission. Walter C. Root, chairman, will speak on housing conditions in Kansas City, and the inception and spread of tuberculosis. Dr. Oh. H. Duck will speak in the evening. It is expected that Dr. McGee of Topeka, Kas., may be here with his stereopticon lecture on tuberculosis.


That the exhibit alone, without the lectures, has begun to bear fruit, was shown by a little incident yesterday afternoon. Two men emerged from the room talking. One of them cleared his throat and was just in the act of expectorating on the sidewalk when he stopped.

"I guess I'll spit in the gutter after this," he said to his friend, "I've just learned something."

The University of Kansas, Rosedale, has several interesting specimens on view, such as tuberculosis glands, kidneys, hearts, etc. One jar shows a healthy lung, another the organ after being attacked by tuberculosis, and a third jar of a lung which had been affected and later cured of the disease.

A physician from the school explained the exhibit last night. In his pocket he carried a small tube in which he said "are as many tubercle bacilli, the germ which causes tuberculosis, as there are sands in the sea."

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December 14, 1908



"When the Horse Moved Out," Said
One, "Me and My Old Woman
Moved In" -- Children Are Not
Allowed to Attend School.

If you are "broke" in conscience, as well as in purse, go out to unwashed Garfield court the first of the month and try to collect the rent. Some of the tenants might be gullible enough to succumb to your bluff, for as far as they know they are landlordless now, but are looking for the owner to turn up almost any time.

Approximately, Garfield court is near the corner of Twenty-ninth street and Southwest boulevard., but that is just a ruse to misdirect the feet of the unwary stranger. You get off the Rosedale car at Twenty-ninth street and ramble off in a general northwesterly direction, which y our pocket compass, if its needle is a well-trained one, will indicate. About this time you will run into a clothesline in complete apparel. Then off your port quarter across the Frisco tracks you will make out a champagne colored cow, tethered near a pile of garbage. You must next bear off in a course laying due sou'-by-sou'west, until an imposing looking woodshed is sighted. Be not deceived, for that is not your destination, but if you will only keep a few more feet you will have at last attained Garfield court-on-Turkey creek.


In name it sounds like a group of detatched apartments inhabited by the bon ton, and in fact Garfield court doesn't look so impossible when looking down between the row of eighteen houses which face each other. They are all two-storied, the lower half of stone and the upper of frame construction. But when you get around at the rear and look into some of the unoccupied houses your leniency fades.

The court is under the taboo of the board of education and all of the children, there are seventeen of them, hailing from the unsanitary row, have been barred from the Lowell school for bacteriological and kindred reasons. The tenement commissioners have been after the city health officers to adopt remedial measures in regard to this particular tenement for the past year, but the festive germs still hold high carnival there without molestation.


"What you goin' to do when the rent comes 'roun'?" is a question that doesn't bother the tenants in the least, and they live in blissful gratuity, rentally speaking. Thus ownerless, it should give rise to little wonder that the court is a good deal run down at the heels, from both physical and sanitary standpoints.

"What rent do you pay?" was asked o one of the more loquacious tenants.

He said, "I don't mind tellin' you, stranger, that we don't pay none, and we don't intend to pay any until the last gun's fired.

"Some time ago somebody came down the row, sayin' we'd have to get out, but that didn't amount to shucks. We just stayed here an' 're here yet.. Yes the other side of the row is fillin' up right fast and I guess they won't be any empty ones left, before long.


" 'Bout a year ago somebody had a horse in here, then they led him out on the railroad track and let a train run over him. I guess the fellow got damages all right. When the horse moved out, me and my woman moved in."

Most of the tenants said they had been there since the Armourdale flood. All of the houses are in wretched condition and it is hard to understand how they could have been allowed to run down, for with expenditure of a reasonable amount of money they could be put in habitable shape again. The cellars are filled with silt deposited by the overflow of Turkey creek and in every room of the unoccupied houses is indescribable filth.

The city water has been cut off on account of non-payment of bills, and the sanitation of the tenements consequently impaired. Dr. Charles B. Irwin, inspector under the tenement commission, is thoroughly aroused over the conditions and his report to the commission recommends immediate remedial measures.

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December 13, 1908


Mayor Crittenden Favors a Munici-
pally Conducted Affair.

While Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., was county clerk he made it a point to see that the inmates of the county home and the poor of the county had a joyous Christmas through his own personal efforts and assistance from liberal citizens. He now proposes a municipal Christmas tree at Convention hall, or some similar large place, where the poor of the city can assemble and receive gifts and supplies of produce. His plan is to consolidate into one all of the charitable organizations, public and private clubs and other civic and social institutions that every Christmas contribute to the enjoyment of the poor and needy.

"Centralize the Christmas offerings into a municipality affair and see that not a poor or deserving person goes without a Christmas remembrance," is the way the mayor puts it.

The plan was heartily indorsed yesterday by the tenement commission, and Mrs. Lee Lyon and Mrs. Kate Pierson were appointed to represent the commission at a meeting of all organizations that wish to participate at the city hall some day this week.

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November 29, 1908



Proposed to "Clean Up" the Residence
Districts of This Form of
Evil -- J. V. C. Karnes
Is Opposed.

What shall the city do with its social evil -- permit it to spread throughout the corporate limits, with occasional spasmodic efforts to drive it from the best residence districts, or restrict it to a definitely defined locality, where it will be under intelligent and close police surveillance?

This is a question as old as life itself. It has never been answered satisfactorily to everybody. There is no "crimes district" in Kansas City, and the result is far from satisfying even to those persons who are responsible for present conditions. The blight of the social evil has encroached upon many good residential neighborhoods, and even the business district has been affected. A movement is under way to segregate these women, and the plan was discussed by the tenement commission yesterday.

Rev. Dr. Daniel McGurk, pastor of the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, expressed himself as being heartily in sympathy with the proposed plan.

"I consider the plan to segregate these persons as being both practical and wholesome," said the doctor. "I know it is contended by some that such a plan would be equivalent to putting the approval of the new law upon this form of vice. I do not so consider it. To me it appeals as the surest way of putting the ban of the law on this traffic, and as means of protection to our children who must pass daily through districts infested by these women. I would go farther than that, and venture to say that such a plan, if put into operation, would be the means of saving one-third of those who would otherwise be condemned to a life of misery and shame."

J. V. C. Karnes, chairman of the board, opposed the proposition not only from a moral standpoint but he also took the position that the question was not properly before the commission. He contended that the board had no right to make suggestions as to any plan for regulating or abating this vice; that the question was purely one of morality, and being so that the board was exceeding its authority and the purpose for which it was created in attempting to assume to take any action in the matter.

Dr. J. L. Harrington took issue with Mr. Karnes on the question as to the right of the board to consider the question of segregation.

"This question is not one of morality alone," he said. "This board has the power and the right to consider whatever affects the health of the community. This form of vice is constantly spreading over our city and invading the so-called hotels and rooming houses. You will find these people in the same tenement house or same flat with perhaps twenty-five or fifty children who are brought in daily contact with them. The contaminating influences of this moral smallpox cannot be overestimated. More than that, if you choose to look at it from a strictly medical standpoint, the statistics are appalling. These conditions would be greatly alleviated if these persons were confined to some particular locality, where they could be regulated."

During the discussion it was stated that conditions along East Twelfth street and other districts where some effort was made to drive this traffic out is now practically as bad as ever. No action in the matter was taken by the board, but the members signified their deep interest in the matter and it will be brought up again at the next meeting.

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November 25, 1908


Purpose of a Parole Board Council
Will Be Asked to Create.

An ordinance is to go to the council next Monday night providing for the appointment of a pardon and parole board, of three members, by the mayor. It was drawn by Frank P. Walsh of the tenement commission, along lines of a measure that was to have been drafted into the new city charter, but which was overlooked. Judge J. V. C. Karnes and W. P. Borland, who served on the board of freeholders, have approved the Walsh plan. It applies to prisoners sent to the work house.

The three members of the board are to determine their terms of office by lot, their terms to be one, two and three years. They are to appoint a secretary, who shall attend daily the sessions of the municipal court and keep the board advised as to the character of cases disposed of. The board is to serve witohout compensation., as shall an attorney if it is thought necessary to appoint one. The pay of the secretary is to be regulated by ordinance.

Authority is given the board to specify conditions under which any prisoner may be paroled or pardoned. Paroled prisoners will at all times be under the control of the board. The secretary is held responsible to safeguard and defend prisoners when they are arraigned in court. The measure is principally for the benefit of boys and women who get into police court and are unable to properly present their defense.

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