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January 31, 1910
POPULAR FIREMAN DIES.
"Bob" Hamilton of Kansas City,
Kas., Was "Children's Friend."
LIEUTENANT "BOB" HAMILTON.
" 'Bob' Hamilton is dead." This report yesterday in Kansas City, Kas., brought grief to young and old alike in hundreds of homes in that city, for big, good natured "Bob" Hamilton was the most popular member of the Kansas City, Kas., fire department. His death was due to typhoid fever. Officially he was known as Lieutenant Robert Hamilton of No. 1 hose company, but to the "boys" and to his hundreds of friends he was "Bob." Tributes to his personal bravery and efficiency as a fireman were paid yesterday by his superior officers and the men who worked with him.
Robert Hamilton was 31 years old and had been connected with the city fire department since June, 1906. His record as a fireman is unsurpassed, and his engaging manners and Irish wit won for him hundreds of friends. Little children or women calling at the fire station to inspect the apparatus invariably asked to be conducted about by "Bob" Hamilton. He will long be remembered as the children's friend.
Mr. Hamilton died yesterday at Bethany hospital in Kansas City, Kas. His father, John Hamilton, his mother and immediate relatives were present.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed, although it is probable that the burial will take place in Kansas City, Kas.
Labels: children, death, Fire, hospitals, Kansas City Kas, typhoid
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 15, 1910
INDEPENDENCE "HOUSE OF
DEATH" CLOSED TO VISITORS.
Swope Home in Independence
Guarded Day and Night by
The Swope Home in Independence.
The Swope home, a magnificent three-story brick structure on South Pleasant avenue in Independence, is regarded as the abode of death by nearly every resident of that rural city.
The sudden death of J. Moss Hunton, closely followed by that of Thomas H. Swope, the millionaire benefactor and that of his nephew, Chrisman Swope, awoke suspicion that all was not well and that the Swopes were a marked family among even the most easy-going of the inhabitants. Men and women passing to or from their homes during church hours of a Sunday evening gazed fearfully up at the now tomb-like building with its darkened windows and barred doors. If they ahd been asked ubruptly why they did this they would have stammered out the answer that they did not know. It was all so mysterious that one after another of the same family should be stricken with a fatal illness of different kinds, but uniformly ending in convulsions.
Where there are suspicions there are those to invent tales of various sorts or to uncover significant incidents from the charmed house of the past. Some of the stories were undoubtedly founded on fact. Many were as wild and incredible as any ever bandied about the boar's-head dinners of King Arthur's court or the tales taken as evidence in the days of Salem witchcraft.
Some of the followers of Joseph Smith, the Independence seer and prophet, it is said, believed that sometime in the life of the philanthropist he had offended his God and that a curse was now being visited on his household. There would be no end, they said, until the last vestige of the family was swept away.
Another rumor that always had credence was that someone skilled in the use of subtle poisons was profiting by his knowledge.
WATER FREE OF GERMS?
Soon after the death of Chrisman Swope, it was announced by physicians of the family, that a city chemist of Kansas City had been summoned and that he had declared the presence of typhoid germs in the water used by the Swopes. In the same statement was added that the well formerly used by the family had "played out" and that another long out of commission was furnishing the supply. The water, it was said last night, was analyzed and said to be free from typhiod bacilli, notwithstanding the report.
"There is evidence that Mrs. Logan O. Swope believed the house unsanitary. About the time the well story was given out, she sent word to John Welch, a plumber, to come to the place and overhaul everything. This was done. Not a pipe but was inspected, not a hydrant or sewer outlet but was dested and disinfected. They were, according to the plumber, in ship-shape. No trace of disease laden decomposed matter was found.
All this time solicious neighbors were making inquiries of Mrs. Swope and others closely conneted with the family, touching the cause of the unusual spread of typhoid in the home. They seemed at their wits end to account for the disease.
Thus it was given out that the milk used in the kitchen was tainted; that the water was stagnant; that there was a quantity of decaying sewage in the pipes and that a servant girl, recently hired, who had had typhoid, had thrown her infected clothing in the milk house adjacent to the kitchen. No one knew what to believe.
Just when Mrs. Swope or her lawyers awoke to the real peril is not known definitely It is supposed to have been less than a month ago, when the doors of the palatial home were shut finally upon all visitors and a private detective employed to watch that no one should step within.
This detective is William C. Rice, former chief of police at Fairmount Park. A reporter who knockked at the big outer folding doors last night was met by him and warned off the place.
"I am here to see that no one shall see Mrs. Swope," said he. "There is no hope of getting an interview. She is indisposed and would not talk for publication. It is impossible."
The bland officer said this with a degree of finality. Without another word he stepped backward into the lobby. the heavy doors swung to. A bolt dropped in place. While the disappointed interrogator was yet on the porch a distant click like that made by an electric switch, was heard. The great house was as dark as a tomb.
The story of several deaths in the Swope family, as told by some of their intimate friends last night, points to many susicious circumstances.
The family from the oldest member to the youngest was described as about of one disposition, kind, generous and impulsive. Thomas H. Swope would travel many a mile to help a friend.
Logan O. Swope, brother of Thomas H., died about ten years ago leaving a large inheritance in property around Independence. Naturally the burden of hte care of htis estate would devolve on the shoulders of Thomas, who already was loaded with business cares of his own. the year following Logan's death, Thomas sent for a cousin, J. Moss Hunton, then in Kentucky.
Hunton was a good manager anda man of high social standing in St. Louis, where his father, Judge James Hunton, is conisdered an authority on corporation law. Hunton came to Independence nine years ago and assumed the management of Mrs. Logan O. Swope's estate. He was acting as her major domo at the time of his death.
The Swopes, with the exception of Thomas Swope, a son of Logan, who owns a farm three miles northeast of the city, resided in the home on South Pleasant avenue. Hunton also lived there and as time went on Thomas H. Swope and he became inseparable companions and confidantes. Not a charity did the philanhopist indulge in but was previously laid before Hunton and met with his approval. The people of Independence came to love one as the other and Hunton acquired the unique reputation of being the only man in the city who would give a cigar or a box of candy to collectors presenting him with his month's end bills.
"I am Colonel Swope's bodyguard," Hunton told a friend on one occasion. "there is no danger of his ocming to grief when I am about. I guess things would go different if I shou ld die."
On the evening of Friday, October 1, the night of Hunton's death, he came home from a trip to the business district in good humor.
Suddenly, a few minutes after supper, he complained of feeling mortally sick and threw himself on a lounge in the sitting room, calling Mrs. Swope to his side. they had always been the greatest of friends.
"Maggie," said Hunton, "I believe this is the end." He then closed his eyes and the fatal convulsions came. Two hours later he was dead.
The death of Homas H. Swope came quite as suddenly two days from that of his confidant and friend, at about 8 o'clock the following Sunday morning. The abrupt taking away of all that was dear to Mrs. Logan O. Swope, except her children, was a great strain on her nerves and for several weeks she was on the point of a break down. She was advised to go to Chicago to recuperate. She followed the instructions and went in company with two of her personal friends, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Thomas.
HURRIES TO DEATH BED.
While she was in Chicago word was sent to her that her eldest son, Chrisma, 31 years old, and a daughter, Margaret, were very sick of typhoid fever. She hurried back and arrived at the home four days before the death of Chrisman.
The home to which Mrs. Swope returned wsa one of hte blackest sorrow and apprehension. Margaret and Chrisman were both at death's door. One of hte servants was sick and MIss Cora Dickson, Margaret's governess who had thrown over her position as teacher of the third and fourth grades in the Columbian ward school to attend to her mistress, was down with the fatal malady.
In mortal dread of impending trouble as deep and poignant as any that had occurred heretofre, the widow cabled at once another daughter, Stella Swope, taking music lessons in Paris, to come home as quickly as steamship and train could carry her. Before she arrived in America, however, Chrisman was dead from a convulsion which turned the trend of his sickness to the worse at the climax.
Perhaps Mrs. Swope at this time believed as did some of her neighbors, that there was something supernatural in the calamities which had come to her in such close succession. anyway she sent a distant relative by marriage to meet Stella at New York and escort her home. Stella contracted typhoid fever on the train or home, it is alleged, and when she arrived was ready for the sick bed.
ADDED TO MYSTERY.
When the body of Thomas H. Swope was taken from its resting place in the vault in Forest Hill cemetery to the morgue of the H. J. Ott undertaking establishment in Independence it was about as much of a mystery as the more important details of this remarkable case. The physicians who examined the body, the lawyers at whose insistance the body was exhumed and the undertaker and coroner would not talk yesterday.
It is known that the body was at the Independence morgue, however, at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, for it was at this time that a special coroner's jury was called to the Ott undertaking rooms to formally identify the body.
After they had been filed through the rooms and gazed at the face of the dead benefactor they were dismissed on call. The jurors were T. J. Walker, A. J. Bundschu, S. T. Pendleton, S. H. Woodson, Bernard Zick, Jr., and William Martin.
"We were asked merely to identify the body and our opinion as to how Colonel Swope came by his death was not asked," said T. J. Walker, one of the jurors, afterwrds. "We probably will not be called again until the contents of the stomach have been examined by the Chicago specialists.
Henry Ott of the undertaking firm would not give out a statement last night. He said he has been instructed to tell nothing and he intended to do as he was told.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, county coroner, said that Dr. Frank Hall asked his permission of the autopsy on the body of Colonel Swope, which was granted. the autopsy, he said, was performed by Dr. Heptoek of Chicago and Dr. Hall. A jury ws provisionally impaneled and viewed the body. This jury will be reimpaneled, according to Dr. Zward, providing an inquest is held.
"If there is a request for an inquest, I will order one," he said. "If after a reasonable time nothing further is done in the matter, I will then have to investigate and find why no request is being made for an inquest. It will be my duty to learn why the autopsy was made."
Labels: Chicago, Coroner Zwart, detectives, Independence, St Louis, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope, typhoid, undertakers
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 4, 1910
SWOPE CISTERN IS BLAMED.
Brother-in-Law of Recent Victim
Makes Seventh Case in Family.
The typhoid fever epidemic has struck the seventh member of the Swope family, Dr. B. Clark Hyde, 3516 Forest avenue, a brother-in-law of the late William C. Swope, being the latest. Dr. Hyde has been ill for a week, but his physician, Dr. J. W. Perkins, says his condition is not serious. The fever is thought to have been caused by drinking water from a cistern at the Swope family home in Independence.
Labels: doctors, Forest avenue, health, illness, Independence, Swope Mystery, typhoid
December 15, 1909
TYPHOID IN SWOPE FAMILY.
Attacks Still Another Member, Miss
Miss Stella Swope, another member of the Swope family, has contracted typhoid fever. Sarah Swope, her sister, was taken ill with the malady a few days ago. None of the invalids are in a dangerous condition. Miss Dixon, formerly governess, who came to the home with Margaret Swope, is seriously ill, but in no immediate danger.
Miss Lucy Swope is expected home today from New York, having left Paris upon hearing of the illness of the family, and the death of her brother, Chrisman Swope.
Labels: illness, Swope Mystery, typhoid
December 6, 1909
TYPHOID IN SWOPE HOME.
Niece and Nephew of Philanthropist
Are Ill in Independence.
Typhoid fever has broken out in several places in Independence and the health board expects trouble there. In the household of the late Thomas H. Swope, Margaret and Chrisman Swope, niece and nephew of the philanthropist, are seriously ill, and Dixon, governess of the Swope children, and a housemaid, also are reported affected with the malady.
The presence of the contagion in Independence caused another analysis of the city water. It was found to be in a satisfactory condition and physicians ascribe the cause to unsanitary plumbing or garbage.
Labels: illness, Independence, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope, typhoid
December 3, 1909
WELLS AND CISTERNS
MENACE TO HEALTH.
WATER FROM MISSOURI RIVER
SAFER TO DRINK.
City Chemist Says River Water
Causes But Few Cases of
"Eighty per cent of typhoid fever cases are caused by the use of drinking water taken from springs, wells and cisterns over the city," said Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, yesterday.
"The best water is that taken from the Missouri river. When a cistern becomes cracked it furnishes an avenue for the seeping in of sewage and other poisons from the earth.
"Some years ago I made an inspection of wells, springs and cisterns about town. I found that 80 per cent of typhoid fever was among persons who drank water from these sources, especially cisterns that had cracks in them.
"I quickly found that my recommendation that most of these wells, springs and cisterns be abandoned and sealed was not in line with political sentiment. There was too much politics involved in the crusade, so I gave it up."
"Have you ever called the attention of the Crittenden administration to this matter?" the chemist was asked.
"No, I never have," he replied, "but I am going to. The wells and springs and cracked cisterns are a menace to the health of the city and I want to report t hat they produce more typhoid than does the Missouri river. water."
DRINKS MISSOURI WATER.
"Do you drink and use Missouri river water?"
"I drink it as it comes from the faucet. I am not afraid of it, nor should any other healthy person be. Possible it would be well enough for people with weak constitutions to boil it.
"There is no greater amount of typhoid fever in Kansas City now than at this time in previous years. And what there is I am not going to charge up to Missouri river water, so long as I am aware that the city abounds with contaminated springs, wells and cracked cisterns.
"The newspapers contain accounts of a plague of typhoid at Parkville, but it does not follow that because Parkville is located on the banks of the Missouri river and close to Kansas City that our citizens are likely to take the malady from drinking Missouri river water.
"Missouri river water is in pretty good condition now. The bacteria counts are about normal. I feel confident that when sulphate of iron is used to purify it instead of lime and alum there will be a lessening of the bacteria and the purification will be more complete. A carload of sulphate of iron is ow on the way to the city, and just as soon as it gets here we will try some of it on the water."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, Missouri river, Parkville, typhoid
November 27, 1909
NO TYPHOID GERMS THERE.
Epidemic in Kansas City, Kas., Not
Due to City Water.
The epidemic of typhoid cases in Parkville, Mo., is not the direct cause of the spread of typhoid cases in Kansas City, Kas., according to Dr. C. C. Nesselrode of that city. the theory was advanced that because the outlet of the Parkville sewer is just above the intake of the Kansas City, Kas., waterworks the water being furnished the people of Kansas City, Kas., was impregnated with typhoid germs. Dr. Nesselrode, who is an eminent bacteriologist, has made exhaustive analysis of the city water and he said last night that he found nothing to substantiate such a theory.
"The water is not pure or anything like it," said Dr. Nesselrode, "but that is the fault of the waterworks plant, which is not equipped with settling basins of sufficient capacity. The water should receive chemical treatment and should stand at least forty-eight hours in the basins before being pumped to the consumer."
The board of health of Kansas City, Kas., waterworks commission have promised that new equipment and new apparatus will be installed as rapidly as possible. New settling basins are to be constructed and everything in connection with the plant put in first-class shape.
Labels: doctors, Kansas City Kas, Parkville, typhoid
November 26, 1909
SOURCE OF TYHPOID CASES.
Analysis Being Made of Kansas City,
Kas., Water by Expert.
The contention of the board of health of Kansas City, Kas., that the typhoid fever cases, which are becoming general in that city, are due to impure water furnished by the city water department is being investigated by Dr. C. C. Nesselrode, who is making an analysis of the water.
It has been suggested that the epidemic of typhoid fever at Parkville, Mo., is responsible for the spread of the disease in Kansas City, Kas., inasmuch as the intake of the Kansas City, Kas., water works is just below the outlet of the Parkville sewers.
Labels: doctors, Kansas City Kas, Parkville, typhoid
October 10, 1909
TYPHOID WRECKS A FAMILY.
Two of Frank Young's Children
Dead, Four Others Ill.
Two children dead within three days of typhoid-pneumonia, and four others seriously ill with the same disease, that is the plight of Frank Young of Linden, Mo., whose second child died yesterday at Wesley hospital.
Edith Young, 12 years of age, died Thursday at Linden. Clelland Young, 11 years old, died here yesterday at Wesley hospital.
Edith was buried in Linden, mo., Friday, and Clelland will be buried today by his sister's side.
One of the other children, a boy, is said to be critically ill.
Labels: children, death, hospitals, illness, typhoid
September 25, 1909
HIS MOTHER TO A HOSPITAL.
So 10-Year-Old Son Starts to Walk
to Clinton, Mo.
Ernest Wolf, 10 years old, weak from typhoid fever and just out of a hospital, started out last evening to walk from his home in the rear of Holmes and Twelfth streets, from which place his mother is to be taken to a hospital today to his father's at Clinton, Mo.
The little fellow expected to follow the railroad tracks. When he got to the Union depot he saw so many tracks that he became frightened and began asking questions.
According to Ernest's story which Mrs. Everingham verified through the authorities, his mother, Alice, has been so ill that she has not been able to work for almost a month and arrangements were made yesterday to take her to a hospital.
Mrs. Everingham arranged last evening with the Associated Charities to take care of the boy until his mother is able to support him again.
Labels: Associated Charities, children, depot matron, Holmes street, illness, Twelfth street, typhoid, Union depot
September 2, 1909
TO WED BROTHER'S WIDOW.
License Issued to J. M. Vanderveer
and Mrs. W. P. Vanderveer.
John McMath Van Derveer of Clanton, Ala., yesterday secured a license at the county clerk's office in Kansas City, Mo., to marry the widow of his brother, William P. Van Derveer, who died April 26, 1907, in Kansas City. Mrs. Van Derveer, who lives with her father, Joseph McGrath, a policeman, at 810 Colorado avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was not at home yesterday. Her sister, Miss Anna McGrath, stated that she knew Mrs. Van Derveer intended to marry her dead husband's brother but did not know where they were to be married.
"My sister, Leona, married William P. Van Derveer April 14, 1906," Miss McGrath said. "He was a soap salesman for the Swift Packing company. They lived at 1000 Glenwood avenue in Mt. Washington. He died a year and twelve days after their marriage, of typhoid fever. His wife took the body to Clanton, Ala., where his father owns a large plantation. At the funeral of her husband, she met John McMath Van Deveer, his brother. She remained a few months with her husband's parents, and then came back home to live. Later Mr. Van Deveer came up here to visit, and the engagement followed. They will live in Alabama."
Labels: Kansas City Kas, Mt. Washington, romance, typhoid, wedding
August 25, 1909
THE ONLY SOLUTION.
Safe and Sanitary Way to
Dispose of Garbage.
"The time is at hand for this city to face the garbage problem and to face it in a safe and sanitary sort of way. In my opinion the proper solution lies not only in the collection of all refuse, but also in its final destruction. the city should be provided with an incinerating plant; indeed, it is now so large since the borders have been increased that we should have two such plants."
Dr. W. S. Wheeler, health commissioner, made this suggestion in the first annual report, which he read before the hospital and health board yesterday afternoon.
In discussing this subject Dr. Wheeler tells the board that J. I. Boyer contracted last December to remove garbage three times a day during the months between May and October and twice a day during the other months. The garbage was to be removed away from the city.
"Up to this date," the report states, "Mr. Boyer has not in any particular fulfilled his contract with the city, and, with his present equipment, he will not be able to do so. further, Mr. Boyer has had implicit instructions from your health commissioner that the government officials had warned our department that no more garbage should be dumped into the Missouri river, but Mr. Boyer has, purposely or otherwise, not heeded our protestations in this respect."
"PEST HOUSE FOR DISEASES."
Dr. Wheeler speaks of the workhouse as a "veritable pest house for all kinds of diseases." He blames the construction of the place for the unsanitary condition, and says "unfortunates are packed in cells like rats in holes." He suggests that the place be enlarged so that more cell room may be had, that sewer connections be made with each cell and that two wards be built where the attending physician may see that sick prisoners get humane treatment.
The commissioner next takes up the spit nuisance, tells of the ordinance passed concerning spitting in street cars, and says that education has done much to abate the nuisance.
In a long dissertation on "the house fly," he speaks of the diseases that are carried into homes by this insect. It is his opinion that typhoid fever and many intestinal troubles are spread by the fly.
He recommends the destruction of open vaults and that sewage should not be allowed to empty into adjacent streams, but should be destroyed completely. To keep the city in better condition he recommends more inspectors and a system by which tab may be kept on them to see that they work.
Labels: board of health, doctors, health, Missouri river, public works, typhoid, workhouse
August 23, 1909
TWO MORE TYPHOID VICTIMS.
Father and Son Succumb to Fever in
Two more victims of typhoid fever have been reported from the neighborhood of Eighth street and Brighton avenue, where there has been a small epidemic of that disease for the past two weeks, the last two cases being father and son, John Sheffner, 5016 East Eighth street, a carpenter 64 years old, died yesterday morning. His son, G. Blaine Sheffner, died last Thursday.
Funeral services will be in the Armour memorial chapel and burial will be in Elmwood cemetery.
Labels: Brighton avenue, cemetery, death, Eighth street, Funeral, illness, typhoid
May 19, 1909
DYING MAN IS BAPTIZED.
Waldo Fox Submerged in Bath Tub
Just Before Death Came.
Before slipping away into endless sleep, Waldo Fox, a street car motorman, was baptized in a bath tub full of water at the Post Graduate hospital Monday night.
Mr. Fox had bee ill several weeks with typhoid fever, and knew he was to die in a short time. The baptismal ceremony was performed by the Rev. James Small, pastor pro tem of the Independence Boulevard Methodist Episcopal church, in the presence of the elder Mr. Fox, who came here from Granby, Mo, and hospital attendants.
Funeral services ere held at Wagner's undertaking rooms yesterday afternoon. The body was taken to Granby, Mo., for burial last night. Mr. Fox was unmarried and lived at 1311 East Forty-sixth street.
Labels: churches, death, Forty-sixth street, Funeral, hospitals, ministers, typhoid, undertakers
February 23, 1909
FIGHT MADE BY JEWS
RABBI MAYER TELLS WHAT
RACE HAS ACCOMPLISHED.
Two Separate Institutions at Denver
for Sufferers of All Races and
Creeds -- First Patient
Interest in the exhibit of the National Society for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, now going on in the Scarritt building, Ninth street and Grand avenue, under the auspices of the Jackson county society, increases. Yesterday and last night over 3,000 persons attended.
On account of the large attendance at the stereopticon lecture and the discussions by prominent local physicians in the evening, it has become necessary to double the capacity of the lecture hall.
Last night the meeting was under the auspices of the United Jewish Charities, with Rabbi H. H. Mayer in the chair. Rabbi Mayer told his audience what the Jewish people are doing in the fight against the great white plague. He spoke of its ravages among his people, especially in the sweat shops and the poor tenements of New York, where those from foreign lands live and work.
"The National hospital at Denver," he said, "is now managed and maintained wholly by the Jews, yet it is open to the unfortunate of all religions. Only two questions are asked of the applicant -- 'Is the disease in its first stages?' and 'Are you unable to pay for treatment?' It might be interesting to know that the first patient admitted was a Catholic. We have another institution in that city, a hospital for those in the advanced stages of the disease."
Rabbi Mayer then told his hearers that if they knew any person who needed treatment in these institutions to send them to Jacob Billikopf, local superintendent of the Jewish Charities, where they would be examined, classified and placed upon the waiting list for admission.
SYMPTOM OF CIVILIZATION.
"Consumption," he said in closing, "is only a symptom of modern civilization. It is a result of modern crowded and herded conditions in the great cities. That was its beginning, and it has spread like a pestilence."
Dr. Jacob Block, who followed Rabbi Mayer and spoke on "The Economic Value of Prevention," agreed that tuberculosis, or consumption,, is a disease of civilization. He then told of the advancement of bacteriology and what it had accomplished in the battle against this and other germ diseases.
W. L. Cosper, in his stereopticon talk last night, informed his audience that the tubercle bacillus, the germ of tuberculosis, is a vegetable germ. It is not a wiggling thing, but has no vitality, is inert and must be raised by dust or other method to get into the system, where it multiplies by dividing. In an hour one germ will become thousands, each doing its amount of damage to the person with the run down system or the unhealthy mucous membrane. A person in good health, he said, will get rid of all kinds of disease germs by his natural resisting powers.
USED THEM FOR SAUSAGE.
In speaking of tuberculosis in cattle and hogs, Mr. Cosper said that it had been found that about 1 per cent of cattle and 2 per cent of hogs were infected. At the great packing houses, through government inspection, such carcasses are destroyed, but in smaller communities where a butcher kills his own animals there is no inspection. A Nebraska butcher told Mr. Cosper that he had frequently found animals with diseased organs like those he saw at the exhibit. "But I never sold that meat," he said. "I always laid it aside and made sausage from it."
The germ of tuberculosis shown under the microscope is attracting much attention at the exhibit. Germs which cause green and yellow pus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, anthrax and tuberculosis are being cultivated in tubes on what is known as "culture media." Many of them have become so thick that they can be seen with the naked eye -- where there are millions of them. They are safely bottled.
Labels: Denver, doctors, Grand avenue, health, Jacob Billikopf, Jews, ministers, Ninth street, organizations, Scarritt building, stereopticons, typhoid
February 20, 1909
NO TYPHOID IN WATER.
First Chemical Test Shows Satisfac-
It takes three days for Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, to make a complete and satisfactory analysis of the city's supply of water from the Missouri river. At a meeting of the fire and water board Thursday the chemist was directed to submit a daily analysis of the water to the water department, and this morning he will furnish data of an analysis of the water taken from the river and settling basins three days ago.
"The analysis is very satisfactory," said Dr. Cross yesterday. "There are no typhoid germs visible, and the water is in very good shape for this time of the year. Owing to the many complaints made of the hardness of the water, which his due to the clarifying of it with alum, I may recommend the discontinuance of alum and the substitution of iron and lime. The later softens the water, and iron is splendid as a coagulant."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, Missouri river, typhoid
March 29, 1908
TYPHOID GERMS IN SPRINGS.
Dr. Cross Says Al Such Sources of
Water Should Be Filled.
"They City's Drinking Water" was the subject of Dr. Walter M. Cross's talk before the City Club at its luncheon at the Sexton hotel yesterday at noon. "The danger is in springs and wells," Dr. Cross said. "Every well in the city that receives its water from the surface should be filled up. They are dangerous as breeders of typhoid germs. These springs and wells are responsible for most of the typhoid fever that exists in our city. Only two wells in the city have water that is absolutely safe and they are artesian. All others should be condemned."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, hotels, organizations, typhoid
January 14, 1907
CISTERNS CAUSE OF TYPHOID.
River Water Not Responsible for
Epidemic Across the Line.
"I doubt very much if the supply of water from the Missouri river used in Kansas City, Kas., is responsible for the number of typhoid fever cases reported from there," said Dr. W. P. Cutler, city pure food inspector yesterday.
"It is my belief that if the health authorities will investigate thoroughly they will find the cause in the use of cisterns and wells for water supply. Leaky cisterns are productive of typhoid, and they should be closed up. This is the only way to stamp out typhoid.
"In Kansas City, Mo., it has been definitely determined that the majority of typhoid fever cases reported were directly traceable to the use of water from wells and cisterns. Missouri river water is not productive of typhoid."
Labels: Dr. W. P. Cutler, Missouri river, pure food commission, typhoid
December 13, 1907
DOCTOR COMES ON SPECIAL.
Summoned to Treat Monroe Lee, Ill
of Typhoid Fever.
Dr. Webb, a specialist from Colorado Springs, arrived in Kansas City yesterday afternoon in a special train on the Rock Island to take charge of the case of Monroe Lee, son of S. N. Lee, who is seriously ill at the Baltimore hotel, of typhoid fever. For several days Monroe Lee ahs been at the point of death. Dr. Webb is family physician to Thomas Walsh, a millionaire mine owner, of Littleton, Col. Mrs. Walsh, and aunt of Monroe Lee, is at his bedside. Mr. Walsh is en route from California and will arrive here today.
Labels: California, children, doctors, Hotel Baltimore, hotels, illness, typhoid
October 30, 1907
HE HAD "WALKING TYPHOID."
Young Man, Delirious From Fever, Is
Found on the Streets.
A young man in a delirious condition and unable to give his name was found wanering about the strets yesterday by the police. After being made comfortable at the emergency hospital, where it was found that he had a temperature of 103 degrees, he was finaly enabled to give his name, Willard Pipes. He is 19 years old and his home is in Danville, Ill.
Pipes said that up to two weeks ago he had been working for a pipe line contractor at Tulsa, O. T. Then he was taken ill but did not go to a hospital. He has been on his feet wandering about most of the time since suffering from what physicians call "walking typhoid." Pipes will be sent to the general hospital, as his condition is critical.
Labels: emergency hospital, general hospital, illness, typhoid, visitors
August 9, 1907
WARNING AGAINST WELLS.
Health Department and City Chemist
Tell of the Danger.
A warning has been issued by the city health department against drinking well water.
"It would save a life every week in the year if the city would close up all wells and springs in the residence and business part of the city with the exception of three artesian wells," said Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist. "There are fifty or sixty lives lost every year by reason of typhoid germs in wells. Healthy people can drink impregnated water without harm, but let those same people get a little under the weather and typhoid will get them. There is no reason for a well or a spring in a modern city. If there is doubt about the city water there are good filters, and always there is the tea kettle to boil the water in. The city should pass an ordinance to fill up the wells and to bar all springs."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, typhoid
July 3, 1907
LIMBERGER IN COURT ROOM.
Hurry Call Is Sent for Plumbers to
A hurry-up call was sent in for a plumber yesterday in Independence from the sheriff's office. Deputy Sheriff Marqua and Clem Powell surmised that there was defective plumbing, especially in the court room near the sheriff's desk. Visions of typhoid fever and long weeks of illness floated before them, until the janitor arrived to move the desk, and the cause of all the trouble was discovered.
A piece of Limberger cheese, which had attained the thirty-second degree, and which had been hidden by someone who had eaten lunch during the absence of the court, caused the trouble. The cheese was folded in a piece of paper by the janitor and buried deep in the court house yard.
Labels: food, Independence, typhoid
February 2, 1907
DEATH OF LOUIS SHUKERT.
Only Son of Furrier Succumbs
Louis Shukert, the 19-year-old son of E. Shukert, died yesterday of typhoid pneumonia. He had been ill one month. Young Mr. Shukert was graduated from the Blees Military academy last June, and had since been connected with his father's fur business at 1113 Grand avenue. Louis was the only son. The parents and one sister, Mrs. Hal Brent, survive him. The deceased was a member of the Elm Ridge Club and of the Phi Lambda Epsilon fraternity.
Gustav Shukert, an uncle from Omaha, and George Brokle, of Los Angeles, and Otto Brokle, or Rock Island, Ill., brothers of Mrs. Shukert, are on their way to Kansas City to attend the funeral. Rev. E. B. Woodruff will officiate.
Labels: death, Elm Ridge, fraternal organizations, Grand avenue, illness, Omaha, typhoid
January 29, 1907
BEAT HER MOTHER.
INSANE DAUGHTER VICOUSLY
ATTACKS MRS. MURLEY
INJURIES MAY CAUSE DEATH.
FOR YEARS AGED WOMAN LIVED
ALONE WITH DAUGHTER
Always Protested Against Sending
Her to Asylum -- Miss Murley's Hallucination
of Marriage ith Man Whose Name She Conceals
The muffled scrams of a woman attracted some attention in the vicinity of Forty-sixth and Bell streets late Sunday night, but, as they finally died down, little attention was paid to the incident. Early yesterday Mrs. Nancy Murley, 72 years old, both eyes blackened, her head cut and her body beaten black and blue, left her home at 4604 Bell street and made her way to a neighbor's house. Having been a cripple for many years, Mrs. Murley walked with a cane.
"I have done my best to protect my daughter for the last nineteen years," the aged woman told the neighbor, "but now she has beaten me nearly to death and threatens to kill me. She is locked in the house there and I had a hard time getting out without being seen."
Police station No. 5 in Westport was at once notified and Mrs. Murley was cared for. Sergeant Dillingham, accompanied by H. D. Greenman, a son of Humane agent Greenman, went to the house, which they found closed, all doors being tightly bolted or locked. Miss Fannie Murley, the woman hwo had so cruelly beaten her mother, was finally prevailed upon to admit them. She was sent to police headquarters and later in the day transferred to the general hospital, where she will remain until the county court passes on her case. She probably will be sent ot an asylum.
Beaten With a Board.
Miss Murley never missed going to both Sunday school and church. When she returned home Sunday night and her mother admitted her she said:
"I am going to put a stop to you and Bessie (a cousin) talking about me. I am going to beat you to death, or burn your limbs off so you can't go out and then I shall go and kill her."
Mrs. Murley had seen her daughter in a tantrum often before and thought by letting her alone she would become quited. Instead, however, the woman, who is 32 years old, fiercely attacked her aged mother with her fists, beating her severly about the face and head. Then she got a piece of board or bed slat and beat her mother over the back and shoulders. Mrs. Murley is now in a dangerous condition, on account of her age, and may die from the injuries. Dr. T. H. Smith, Forty-third and Bell streets, is attending Mrs. Murley.
J. W. Davis, 405 Freeman avenue, Rosedale, a motorman, is a cousin by marriage of the woman. It was his wife, Bessie, whom Miss Murley had also threatened to kill. From him it was learned that Miss Murley had had typhoid fever when 13 years old and from that time had been slightly demented.
Devotion of the Mother.
"Only two weeks ago," said Davis, "the girl beat her mother so that she was compelled to leave home and come to my house for a few days. The girl has always been dangerous, but her mother, hoping against hope, lived there alone with her. We probably never willknow what the aged woman has endured in all these nineteen years. Now, however, she sees the utter futility of trying to keep her at home adn will endeavor to send her to an asylum. She was not able to leave her bed today, though, and may never be again."
Davis said that Miss Murley has often disappeared from the home. She would put on a hat and leave when her mother was not watching her and, in a week or ten days, return in the same mysterious manner. She was never able, however, to tell where she had been or what she did. On one occasion when she had been gone for two weeks, and the police had searched for her all over town, she returned late one evening. She was wet and cold., for it was in the fall of the year, and her shoes were worn through to her blistered feet. When asked where she had been all she would say was, "I rode on a hand carl>"
Another time Miss Murley was found wandering in the woods near here. Believeing that she would like a trip to the country she was sent to relatives on a farm, but all to no avail. The police at the Westport station have record of many times where Miss Murley disappeared, but she always returned home, when she became more reational, without their ever having had a single trace of her.
Doctor Calls Her Dangerous
Dr. St. Elmo Sanders, city physician, examined Miss Murley in a cell at police headquarters yesterday afternoon. She told him that she never struck her mother in her life, but suspected that neighbors were "annoying her." She said that she got up early to make a fire and her mother began to scream, "a habit she has had for a long time," she added. The woman is believed to have attacked her mother with an iron stove poker just before Mrs. Murley succeeded in making her escape from the house.
Miss Murley also said that she was married two months ago to a gospel singer. "He was here two weeks ago," she said, "but had to go away again. We were married in an East side Christian Church." Further than that she refused to state. Davis, her cousin, said Miss Murley had never been married, but had often written love letters to men with whom she had been acquainted or had only seen. She took her pencil to jail with her.
Thomas Bell, a farmer of Shelby county, Mo., brother of Mrs. Murley, was notified by Davis of her condition. He will probably arrive here today. Mrs. Murley wil be removed to a hospital where she can be more properly cared for. The neighbors have been caring for her since she was attacked so brutally. Since the death of Daniel Murley, an old soldier and husband of Mrs. Murley, she and her daughter have lived at 4604 Bell street. She bought a little home there five months ago.
"Miss Murley, though a small woman," said Dr. Sanders, after the examination, "is one of the most dangerous patients I have seen in years. She is suffering from chronic melancholia, and would kill another perosn or herself just as soon as the notion struck her. She must be closely guarded. I am not surprised at what she had done, or that she denies it. She should have been incarcerated years ago."
Labels: abuse, Bell street, Col. J. C. Greenman, general hospital, mental health, police headquarters, Rosedale, Seniors, typhoid, Westport
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