October 22, 1908
MARY GREATHOUSE AND PERRY GREATHOUSE.
Talk of lynching in Armourdale yesterday afternoon caused Sergeant Patrick Lyons of No. 3 police station to order the removal of Perry Greathouse, an ex-police officer who shot his daughter earlier in the day, to the county jail in Kansas City, Kas. There he will be held awaiting the death or recovery of his innocent victim.
Physicians attending Mary Greathouse at Bethany hospital say her youth is in her favor and that the bullet which entered her left side below the heart took a course least likely to produce fatal results.
The story of Greathouse's deed produced a sensation in Armourdale.
According to the statement of Mrs. Emma Greatouse, his wife, her husband had not been home in two days when the shooting occurred at 11:30 o'clock yesterday forenoon. He had been seen hanging around the state line saloons drunk, had bullied one man and officers had gone to the home of Mrs. George Coleman, 67 Central avenue, to arrest him, but were persuaded away by Mrs. Coleman, a distant relative of the Greathouses.
Monday he drew his pay as merchant policeman, but when he appeared at his home, 816 South Pyle street, he was very much intoxicated and with only a few dollars with him.
In the sitting room of the home, Mrs. Greathouse asked her husband to share the remnant of his salary with his family and upbraided him for his debauch. After fumbling in an uncertain manner through his clothes he produced $4 and laid it down on the center table. The sum did not satisfy Mrs. Greathose but she took a dollar from the pile of change and went down town to make a few purchases.
On the street corner she was met by Greathouse, who followed her home again, she says, misusing her and in the sitting room the words merged into a quarrel and Greathouse buckled on his revolver and started to mount the stairs to his room.
Well, I have stood all of your abuse I am going to, and I'm going to put you behind bars," called out Mrs. Greathouse, opening the outside door as if to go in search of an officer. Then she glanced backwards and saw the barrel of her husband's revolver leveled at her.
"Don't shoot --" she started to say, but 17-year-old Mary saw the movement, realized the danger and thrust herself in the way in a heroic attempt to save her mother. After the report of the revolver was heard she was seen by neighbors to stagger out of the door and sit down in a faint on the front steps.
According to the mother's story, Greathouse, when told that he had shot and probably fatally wounded his child, calmly replaced the weapon in its holster, with the remark:
"She ain't hurt. You know it was you that did the shooting, anyway, and you needn't try to lay it all on me." He then picked the child up in his arms and carried her into the house. By this time she was bleeding.
"Well, I have shot her and here goes for me," he suddenly exclaimed, seeing the blood. He then tried to place the muzzle of the revolver to his head, but Willie, his oldest son, wrested it away from him and gave it to his mother, who ran with it, depositing it within the open window of a neighboring house.
Greathouse was taken by officers to the No. 3 police station, where he was kept until 4:30 o'clock. Mary was placed in an emergency ambulance and transferred to Bethany hospital. As she was lifted into the stretcher she said:
"I am awfully glad it was me instead of mamma. She mustn't live with father again or he'll kill her, too."
In a cell at the police station Greathouse walked back and forth, babbling. Policemen kept him informed as to the condition of his daughter.
"It was all a mistake, an awful mistake," he kept saying. "Mary was my favorite. I'd kill anyone who would say a word against her. She must get well. She must get well.
Perry Greathouse was a member of the Kansas City, Kas., force nearly nine years. He has lately be employed by the merchants of Armourdale to protect stores along Osage avenue at night. He was deputy street commissioner under Mayor T. B. Gilbert's administration and was a capable officer.
Mary works for the Loose-Wiles Cracker Company in the West Bottoms. Yesterday she was excused from her duties at the factory to attend the funeral of a relative.