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November 28, 1909



Great Future of Farm for Boys De-
scribed by Speakers -- Large
Crowd Witnesses Ceremonies
and Visits the Home.

"There's de judge, fellers!"

"Hello Judge!" shouted more than eighty happy boys as they rushed to open the gates that admitted William Scarritt's automobile which bore Judge E. E. Porterfield to the McCune Farm for Boys to see him that they grabbed hold of his arms and legs and climbed all over him in enthusiasm.

Judge Porterfield's visit to the farm was for the purpose of conducting the ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone of the fine new schoolhouse which is now under construction. The occasion was eventful because of the fact that there were more visitors at the farm yesterday afternoon than ever before at any one time.

The ceremonies started at 3 p. m. with a song by the youngsters, who sang it with earnestness. After the invocation by J. M. Taylor, superintendent of the farm, the boys sang another gospel hymn and Judge Porterfield made the opening address.


"April 16, 1908," the judge began, "marked an epoch in the civic life of Jackson county. It was the date of the opening of the McCune Farm for Boys.

"To start with the officials had 100 acres of land and one small farmhouse and it was, and still is, the intention to follow the plan of the Cleveland authorities on their handling of their youngsters who have not adequate chances to build their lives upon a good home training. The Cleveland farm contains 285 acres of land, has seven cottages, a laundry, barns, gymnasium, carpenter shop, water, sewer and electric light systems. The feature of the home is that each cottage comprises facilities for fifteen to twenty boys and has a faculty consisting of a head master and head matron who have absolute charge of the boys.

"In comparison, we have eighty-two boys and three cottages, while Cleveland has 115 boys and seven cottages. The latter home is more complete, of course, but at the same time it is much older and without doubt Jackson county will have an institution just as good in a couple of years. Our condition is such now that I have often been compelled to send boys back to undesirable homes because of lack of room at the farm. Some have been paroled when they should not have been, but their places had to be given up to others who needed the training even worse than they.


"Since the home has been opened 183 boys have been sent here. eighty-two are now in attendance; eighty have been paroled, and not in a single instance, by the way, has any one of them been sent back; fourteen were sent to the reform school because they ran away from the farm, and only three out of this whole 183 have been guilty of other offenses bad enough in their nature to necessitate their being sent to the reformatory.

"Paroled boys are found good homes by Mrs. O'Dell, and she always has a good home ready for every boy who deserves it. These boys have the advantage of a splendid school, are taught useful work and enjoy baseball and other sports of which all boys are fond. In short, it is a character building institution.

"Prior to the advent of the court in 1902 all boys who had committed small offenses were compelled to go to the county jail where they were thrown in with the vilest of criminals and were really hardened by their confinement instead of being benefited as the officials intended they should be. Those boys possessing small criminal tendencies easily learned the worst, and I am glad that we have passed that stage now.


"It is not a misstatement of facts to say that the state was engaged in making criminals. The McCune farm makes citizens. The jail enforced idleness and ignorance, thereby making charges for the state. The McCune farm teaches industry and prepares for good citizenship.

"The only relief I know is to issue $100,000 or $200,000 worth of bonds and diminish the issue on public improvements, for it is easier to make a citizen than build cities. It is a matter of economy to improve this institution. The governor of Colorado said in a speech in 1904 that in eighteen months the juvenile court had saved the state $88,000. Seven hundred and seventeen boys were dealt with and only ten were sent to the reform school. Prior methods sent 75 per cent and in two years the state saved $200,000 in criminal court expenditures.

"As a financial proposition the farm will pay for itself in two years' time, and what is priceless and cannot be measured in money value is the good citizenship that the influences will stimulate.


Judge McCune addressed the audience next and confined most of his remarks to the boys.

"How do you like the this place, boys?"

"Fine! Best ever!" they answered.

"Why were you sen here?" he asked.

"To have a good home," they replied.

"Like your teachers?"

"You bet. Every one of them."

"Of course you do," said Judge McCune. "Why, I even knew some of you fellows after you had run away to come back of your own accord and fall on your teachers' necks and say you were glad to get back home, and you kissed them, too, didn't you?"

Here the boys laughed heartily and ascented to the speaker's last remarks.

"It pleases me very much to see the interest shown at these ceremonies this afternoon by the large representation of public citizens, and I know that with their support this home for boys will be the best that money and effort can make."

Judge J. M. Patterson followed with a few remarks and declared that if the taxpayers would look into this matter and investigate, as their duties as citizens demanded they should do and aid the courts to the best of their ability, this McCune farm for boys would become a very great institution which other large cities would wisely pattern after, for the start now made is so well planned that only the money is all that is needed to perfect the young enterprise.


The ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the new school house was then completed. In the box in the stone were deposited the annual report of the juvenile court, copies of the Kansas City daily papers and a report of the progression of the institution compiled by Judge Porterfield.

The new building is to be a six-room structure sufficiently large to accommodate 225 boys and is to cost $15,200. It is located 600 yards southwest of the main dormitory on a hill overlooking the old Lexington road and is surrounded by many beautiful shade trees.

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January 5, 1909


Court Gives St. Anthony's Home a
Clean Bill of Health.

A clean bill of health will be given St. Anthony's Home for Babies today by H. L. McCune, until yesterday judge of the juvenile court. Last week Judge McCune heard complaints against the hospital and took the matter under advisement. Certain changes were prescribed and these have been made at the hospital.

For one thing, a chief nurse has been hired. Then there have been added to the directorate D. B. Holmes, L. M. Johns and other well known men who have taken it upon themselves to see that things at the institution are kept in good sh ape.

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January 1, 1909


Mt. Washington's Bad Boy
Dug Them From Cemetery.

Claude Statzer was the original bad boy of the Mount Washington neighborhood if half of what the neighbors said about him is true. What they said was plenty twice over to send him to Boonville, where the state of Missouri has a reformatory. Judge H. L. McCune made the order in the juvenile court yesterday.

Many of the neighbors said that Claude was 19 and that he had been accepted for enlistment in the army, subject to a physical examination. But the young man said he was 15, and so it was the reform school.

The neighbors began to go into Claude's past. There was the story of many "dime novels," only the matter-of-fact courts refer to them as "5-cent novels," for that's what they cost in these days. There was another tale of how the lad had picked out a box car for his very own, making a home and a fortress out of it. And there was a narrative about how the boy was often seen with a gun.

"Why," said A. P. Fonda, justice of the peace in Sugar Creek, "this boy dug skeletons from an old burying ground near Mount Washington. He took the rings off the fingers. The skulls he set up for targets for his rifle. Sometimes he put a cigar or cigarette in a hole in a skull and then tried to shoot away the tobacco. I have had him in court on complaint of the neighbors."

A storekeeper of the neighborhood related how he was going home one night when the boy halted him at the muzzle of a rifle. As soon as he saw the merchant plainly enough to recognize him, he apologized for a case of mistaken identity.

In sentencing Claude, Judge H. L. Mccune again showed his enmity to the "gun toting" practice. Said the judge:

"It ought to be a crime to point a gun at any one. I'm going to put a stop to this carrying of guns by boys."

"Amen," said somebody in the court room, and the word did not seem to come from the bevy of Scarritt Bible and Training school girls in the jury box, but rather from Mrs. Parks, whose son, John Parks, was shot and killed by Statzer in a presumed accident.

"It does seem," continued the judge, "that there is no well equipped home without a revolver and on a shelf where the children can get it. Of course, it is not believed to be loaded until somebody is killed. I've been here eighteen years and have never found it necessary to carry a weapon."

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December 31, 1908


New Presiding Officer for Juvenile
Court Must Be Chosen.

For the last time, Judge H. L. McCune will hold juvenile court today. He has been at the head of this work for two years, and the history of the Kansas City child's court is the history of his tribunal, for there has been no other regular judge since the juvenile law went into effect. Judge McCune goes out of office the first of the year. His successor will be chosen by the circuit judges from among their number. Judges John G. Park, Republican, and E. E. Porterfield, Democrat, are most frequently spoken of for that place.

Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday completed his annual report, which will be handed to Judge McCune for approval today. The report shows that 1,155 cases were handled during the year in court and 851 settled out of court, making a total of 2,006. The report shows the disposition of those handled through the court. The register of the Detention home shows that 977 children have been booked there during the year.

As a general thing the report shows that children who have a father but no mother living are less in evidence in the juvenile court. Ninety living with the father were brought to the attention of the probation officers, while 131 who lived with the mother, the father being dead, were in court.

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December 26, 1908


Received Many Gifts and Had a Big
Dinner Yesterday.

Gifts were distributed at the McCune home, seven miles northeast of Independence, yesterday. Candy and boxes from kansas City and Independence went to the farm, the gifts including a graphophone, a present from the county court and Judge McCune. The matron served turkey to the boys.

There was a dinner at the county farm, under the direction of Superintendent Jackson.

In Independence wagons were sent over the city conveying substantial Christmas gifts to those who did not expect it and were worthy of it.

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December 23, 1908


To Help Make Christmas Bright for
the McCune Home Boys.

An unusual donation to the Christmas fund for the boys at the McCune farm came to Judge H. L. McCune yesterday. It was a letter from Wilbur McLaughlin, 8 years old, 3351 Tracy avenue. In the letter the boy said that he had read of the forty boys under the judge' care who might not have a merry Christmas if someone did not help.

"I sold two of my white rabbits and got $1 for them," writes the lad in conclusion, sending the money.

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December 21, 1908



Wants Standas Closed at 7 p. m., Night
School Established for the
Boys, and a Holiday
for Each.

Seven propositions were put up to the Greek proprietors of shoe shining stands yesterday afternoon at a conference between them and a committee, appointed by Judge McCune, consisting of F. E. McCrary, Dr. E. L. Matthias and James C. Chaffin. Twelve of the sixteen stands in the city were represented. Owing to the inability of the Greeks to fully understand what was wanted of them, and also because they could not agree on the proprietors and then meet with this committee of the juvenile court.. The committee of Greeks is: Joseph Snyder of California, an educated Greek who is a leader among his countrymen; James Katzoulos, 818 Walnut, Demetrius Nikopolis, 1130 Grand, and Peter Maniatos, 14 West Ninth.

The articles of agreement which they were asked to sign were as follows:

1. Employ no boy, except with the consent of the juvenile court, under 14 years of age.

2. Open the shops at 7 a. m. and close them at 7 p. m.; between those hours the boys to be allowed sufficient time in which to get three meals a day.

3. Lend aid to establish a night school for Greek boys to open January 2, 1909, and remain open each year for the same time that the public schools are open.

4. Pay the boys their wages only on the last day of each month.

5. Encourage the boys to save their money and welcome any case where anyone designated by the juvenile court or its committee may talk with the boys and explain to them the subject of saving their money.

6. In cases where employers have agreed to pay the earnings of any boy to his relatives or legal guardian, pay the money through City Comptroller Gus Pearson, such payments to be made on the first day of the month, beginning January 2, 1909.

7. Arrange all day work of the boys so that each one can have at least one half holiday each week.

With most of these propositions there was no fault found. The proprietors all expressed themselves as being willing to settle the matter amicably and to the satisfaction of the court. The only one of the articles which caused any considerable discussion was that of closing the shops at 7 p. m. But as they were made to understand the liability of the invocation of the eight-hour law, it is quite probably that they will arrange working hours so that the boys can have a chance to go to school, besides getting a little recreation. The committee of Greeks and the juvenile court committee will get together at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, when an agreement will be made.

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December 1, 1908



Judge H. L. M'Cune Will Vacate That
Bench in January, and a Suc-
cessor Is to Be Chosen.
Duties of the Place.

On the first Thursday after the first Monday in January the judges of the circuit court will meet and select a presiding officer of the juvenile court form among their number. For the past two years Judge H. L. McCune has held this place, but he goes out of office in January.

So far, no judge has declared himself a candidate for the lace, although several have said they would prefer not to have the place. Judge James E. Goodrich and E. E. Porterfield seem at present to supply the list of candidates from which a judge will be selected. Neither of them is a candidate for the place, in the meaning that he greatly desires to fill it.

There are many arduous duties connected with the office of judge of the juvenile court. Conversant with the work as was Judge McCune when he took the place, it was some months before even he had things systemized. When he steps down next month the task of learning the ropes will not be an easy one for his successor, at least for a time.

What was at first a small matter, has expanded into a large department. Besides the regular trial of cases in court, there is general oversight over the probation officer and the Detention home, not to mention the McCune farm, on which there is now being constructed a home for boys. It is easy to let abuses creep into the juvenile court system. A knowledge of these, and the way to combat them, is the necessary equipment of a good judge.

There are people in Kansas City, and good people, too -- you wouldn't believe it if you saw their names in the paper -- who have tried to look upon the Detention home as a free employment bureau. It seems so easy to take a boy capable of earning $6 a week out of the home, which he wants to leave anyhow, and pay him $3 a week. 'Sides which, as the old proverb remarks, it saves money.

It has taken the greatest care of the probation force to keep these abuses out of the system in the past, and the same vigilance no doubt will be as necessary in the future. The case spoken of is mild and only one sample of the sort of matters which are brought up to juvenile judge and probation officer in almost constant succession.

The judge of the juvenile court appointed in January probably will serve until January, 1911. No specific tenure of office is fixed, but the intent of the law is that there shall be a change ever odd-numbered year. Of course, changes may be made more frequently, should conditions require it.

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November 24, 1908


Will Fill the Unexpired Term of
Joseph L. Norman, Who
Becomes Secretary.

At a special meeting of the board of education, held yesterday here in the office of General Milton Moore, Judge Henry L. McCune was elected to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of Joseph L. Norman, who succeeded W. E. Benson as secretary. Judge McCune has accepted but he will have no voice in the meetings until his term as judge expires, January 11. He has expressed his willingness to be present at every meeting in an advisory capacity. Judge McCune will hold his position as member of the board until April, 1910, when the next regular city election takes place. He will fill the unexpired term of Mr. Norman.

"Kansas City has many men who would make good members of the board of education," Mr. Norman said yesterday, "and the board considered many names, but there was not a man who would work more untiringly than we know Judge McCune will work. In twenty-one years' experience on the board of education I have learned how much there is to do on our board and how vitally interested a man must be to perform all of the duties required of him. Judge McCune is just such an interested man."

"Do you approve of Zueblinism and the teaching of such propaganda in the public schools of Kansas City?" was asked of Judge McCune in his chambers in the court house yesterday afternoon.

"The board already has settled that question, and, as I presume I do not take office until after January 1 it is not proper for me to say anything at this time," said the judge with a smile. Judge McCune indicated by his manner that his stand upon the question, should it be put up to a board of which he is a member, would be guided by the same common sense which has characterized his work as judge.

The addition of Judge McCune to the board adds a member who has children in the public schools of Kansas City. He has a son in Westport high and a daughter in the Hyde Park grammar school.

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October 24, 1908


Aileen D'Armond-Clemm Will Not
Vaudeville on Its Broadway.

If the D'Armond sisters, vaudevillians, attempt to sing in Argentine tonight, they will do so at their peril. At least this will be true in the case of Aileen D'Armond, or Aileen Clemm, 1515 East Twelfth, who is half of the vaudeville team. The first families of Argentine are doomed to disappointment.

The Argentine impresario who desired the services of the girls called up the Detention home again yesterday. He was told that Judge H. L. McCune had said, "nothing doing" in the case of Aileen. Grace Stafford, the other half of the team, being over age, may appear in Argentine, or Sugar Creek, if she pleases.

Incidentally, Judge McCune ordered Aileen brought into court again, to find out why her mother did not keep her agreement to move to Braymer, Mo., where the electric lights do not twinkle.

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October 10. 1908



It Was to a Married Man, and the
Forest Park Beauties, in Colors
Which Made a Noise,
Get Into Court.

Notice is hereby given that the partnership mentioned below, heretofore at Forest park, has been dissolved by order of court:

Dorothy -- Aileen
Song and Dance Soubrettes

A letter caused it all. This missive, couched in tender terms, was from Aileen D'Armond, otherwise Aileen Clemm of 1515 East Twelfth street, to F. K. Weston, or John King, manager of the flicker-flicker theater at Forest park, where the "sisters" gave afternoon and nightly exhibitions of terpsichorean and musical skill (See billboards for further adjectives.).

Dorothy, or, more properly, Grace Stafford, had nothing to do with the mailing of missives. It was companionship that brought her into the juvenile court yesterday afternoon with Aileen and Mrs. Henry C. Clemm, mother of one of the"sisters."

There might have been no trouble at all if Weston or King -- his wife called him King -- had not been married. But wives will see their husband's letters, and things began to happen shortly after Mrs. King got her eyes focused on the written page.


To the probation officer for her with a complaint against Aileen, who confesses to being 14 and who, until last year, was a pupil at the Humboldt school. Result, the D'Armonds and the mother of half of them before Judge H. L. McCune. The case was heard in chambers.

Such an insight into theatrical life as was given by the two girls. For her part, Grace Stafford, or Dorothy D'Armond, had a word or two to say from the depths of a deep blue poke-bonnet-scoop combination, trimmed with blue and white feathers.

"How much do you make a week?" asked the judge.

"I have been offered $30, but would not take it because I would have to appear alone," she said with the wisdom of 19 years. "I make $15."

And then Grace, who is a comely girl, told the judge of how, as her parents wanted her no longer after she was 15, she had struck out for herself. She had done housework, and was making a success of it on the stage. In the end, as she expressed a desire to go home, but said in the same breath that she would not be welcome there, Mrs. Agness Odell of the Detention home was detailed to care for her and find her a home. Her parents live in Oklahoma.

With Aileen it was different. It developed that she was an impressionable girl. As her "sister" said:

""Mr. King was so influensive. He seemed to have Aileen hypnotized."

However, this could not serve as an excuse, Judge McCune being a non-believer in the occult.

It turned out that Mr. Clemm is at Braymer, Mo., where he has the management of a store. Mrs. Clemm expressed her disinclination to move to Braymer, preferring the city. In the end, choosing between rejoining her husband and having her daughter sent to Chillicothe, she voted for Braymer.


The mother and foster mother got a scolding from the judge for dressing the girls, one in vivid blue and her own child in bright red.

"Red always was so becoming to her," she pleaded. The judge was obdurate in favor of quiet tones for dress.

Up to this point the hearing had progressed quietly enough. But when it was announced that Mrs. King was about to appear, the sisters and Mrs. Clemm plainly were flustrated.

"I am afraid she will kill my child," said the mother in genuine alarm. "She has threatened to take her life."

So Mrs. King, a frail little woman, testified with an officer of the court at each side, ready to stop any offensive maneuvers. She said her husband was now tractable and providing for her, paying no more attention to the girl.

"I did say to the girl that 'when I get through with you you won't be such a pretty soubrette behind the footlights," she admitted, "but nothing more, Aileen dear."

When it was all over, Mrs. King thanked the court, thanked George M. Holt, deputy probation officer, thanked everybody, and went her way. As for King, who had sat all afternoon in the courtroom, he was not called nor did he linger after adjournment.

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September 26, 1908


Probation Officer Saw Father Give
Beer to the Child.

Judge, probation officers and spectators were shocked at the evidence produced in the juvenile court yesterday in the case of Floyd Hardman. Floyd is a yellow haired youngster of four summers whom Probation Officer William Emmett found at Fourteenth street and Grand avenue in a drunken stupor. Emmett informed the court that the Humane Society had been told about the boy and one day he sat in an office window and watched the father and two other men buy beer in a bucket and give it to the baby to drink from first. He said the boy spent his time on the corner cursing people who passed. The father was fined $5 in police court for giving the boy beer to drink.

Mrs. Hardman said she was married in 1902 and did not know her husband drank or allowed the boy to drink. She said she allowed the boy to go on the moving van with his father becasue she believed it to be healthful for the child. She was ordered to keep him at home. Judge McCune informed her that small children were like sponges and absorbed everything around tehm and that her child evidently absorbed too much beer.

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August 9, 1908


Ada Bentley, 9 Years Old, Was Ac-
cused of Warbling at Man.

"A whistling woman and a crowing hen
Will never come to a good end."

"A whistling girl and a bleating sheep
The very best property man can keep."

Take your choice. Both proverbs may occasionally come true.

Ada Bentley whistles. Neighbors who testified against her in the juvenile court yesterday said she whistled at men. But Ada, looking at Judge McCune with her clear eyes, said she was only whistling for practice, although, like every other feminine, she seemed pleased because others were jealous of he attractions.

Ada lives at 2216 Holmes street. With Albert, her brother, she was in court on complaints of neighbors. Her mother was a good lawyer, but she made a mistake when she told that her oldest daughter, 17, was a piano player in a mutoscope show. Judge McCune said he would look further into the case, especially as concerns the girl who plays. Ada, with the whistle, stands to get an early discharge. She is said to be 9 years of age, but looks older.

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August 7, 1908


Dr. Mathias and Dr. McGurk Among
Indians at Indian Creek.

When Dr. E. L. Matthias, probation officer, and the Rev. Dan McGurk of the Grand Avenue M. E. church went out to the boys' camp on Indian creek Wednesday, they expected to have a pleasant time. They did until they went in swimming.

As soon as the two men had joined the fifty-five boys in the swimming pool there was a concerted rush and both Dr. Mathias and Dr. McGurk reeived the ducking of their lives. Both fought, but the odds were too great. Yesterday Dr. Mathias was exhibiting a few scars of the battle.

Judge H. L. McCune of the juvenile court also went to the camp. He had an intimation of what was coming and refused to don a bathing suit, to the great disappointment of the boys.

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August 1, 1908


And Five Small Children Followed
Him Into Court.

"Where do you work?" asked Judge H. L. McCune in the juvenile court when Ed Hermann of 2122 Madison avenue, followed by his wife and five small children, appeared yesterday to answer to a complaint made by his wife.

"At the Cyphers incubator factory," responded Hermann, at which everybody, even the defendant, laughed.

The case was not tried, but was sent to police court.

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July 3, 1908


Mrs. Benjamin Was Unhappy, but
Court Refused to Interfere.

Mrs. Rebecca Benjamin, who says she is divorced from her first husband according to the law of Moses, was refused a divorce from her present husband yesterday by Judge McCune, who said he would not separate where love did not enter into the courtship of the contracting parties Mrs. Benjamin's present domestic life was arranged by a Chicago junk dealer who collected fees from both she and Benjamin before he introduced them, and then only by mail.

After Mrs. Benjamin recited the manner in which she sought and found her husband, Judge McCune assured her that nothing but misery could result from such a union and stated that he did not propose to help her find a way out. Judge McCune added that his court did not recognize the law of Moses, which gives divorce simply by the written consent of one person to another.

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May 23, 1908



Girl Who Played Piano for a Ghost
Show Is Also in the Juvenile
Court Because She's
So Nervous.

It would take Dr. E. L Mathias several hours to figure how many miniature John Does and Mary Roes he is the guardian of. And he won't figure the total, but merely tells reports to "cut it out."

Every time a woman brings a foundling into the children's court Judge H. L. McCune, after making some disposition of the child, either leaving it with the foster mother or sending it to the county nursery, appoints Dr Mathias guardian. He got another one yesterday.

An attendant at the McKenzie nursery at 1607 East Ninth street brought the baby into court. It slept serenely, while Judge McCune looked it over and remarked judicially:

"Very pretty baby. Where did you get it?"

"She was left at the nursery along with this letter," replied the attendant, handing the judge a note.

"Andrew, eh? A miss, did you say it was? All right" -- turning to the clerk -- "change the young lady's name from Doe to Andrews. Make her a ward of the court. Dr. Mathias is appointed the guardian. The nursery may keep the -- Miss Andrews as long as the attendants are kind to her."

Then Dr. Mathias did a gallant thing. He gave the baby Christian names in honor of the women of the court: "Helen Agnes Andrews" -- Helen for Mrs. Helen Smith, and Agnes for Mrs. Agnes O'Dell.

"I wonder if that means that Mrs. O'Dell and I will have to buy the Doe baby its clothes," Mrs. Smith whispered.

Mrs. O'Dell followed the nurse and child to the door and gave the baby a farewell pat.

"What color are its eyes?" she asked. "I ought to know, now that she's named after me."

"They're blue yet," replied the nurse.


It looked like a story when a girl's mother said she ran away from home rather than take music lessons, and once had climbed on the roof of the house to hide from the music teacher. The reporters had the name and address written down, when "Mother" O'Dell, probation officer, sent this note:

"Ina is a good girl. You must not print her name or address."

There is a touch of sadness in the girl's story, too. Her father left home recently, and as there were five littler ones for her mother to support, Ina remembered her music lessons and went to work as a piano player at the ghost show at Fairmount park. She didn't come home one night, and her mother had her brought into court. She is 16 years old.

"She's a good girl, only she gets nervous," said the mother.

"I'd get nervous myself if I played a piano in a ghost show. Stay away from the park, my girl, and we'll get you a better place to work."

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May 21, 1908


Specialist Wins Against State
Medical Board.

Trial of the first of many cases brought in the circuit court by the state medical board against Kansas City physicians, who advertise as specialists, resulted in Judge H. L. McCune's court Tuesday in a victory of Dr. O. A. Johnson. Although Dr. Johnson has been established in the city for years as a specialist, the state board brought action to have him enjoined from practicing. Their contention was that he was not a registered physician. They introduced many witnesses.

Dr. Johnson's defense was composed of two score or more, men and women from Kansas City, and from Kansas and Missouri towns, who testified that he had cured them Judge McCune decided that the state board had failed to make a case against him.

There are similar suits pending in other divisions of the court against other specialists.

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May 2, 1908


Now Wilton's Wife Is Gone, and
He'll Have to Be a Father.

The departure of Anna Wilton, fortune teller, for Omaha, leaves Thomas W. Wilton to care for himself and five small children. Thomas visited the children's court yesterday to find out how to make two ends meet. His is not very well versed in the ways of business, as he explained to the court, for the reason that for the past few years his wife has made the living for the family while he has remained at home, cooked, swept and dressed the children for school.

"You've been a better mother to the children," Judge McCune told Thomas yesterday, "than your wife has been a father. We will help you to the best of our ability. The court will care for the children in daytime and let you go out and find work. Some day, if your wife don't return, you can get a divorce from her and, perhaps, alimony."

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April 29, 1908


Husband, Who Is Being Sued for Di-
vorce, Comforted Her in Court.

During the progress of the trial of Mrs. Nellie Muschietty's suit for divorce from Louis Muschietty in Judge H. L. McCune's court yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Muschietty fell to weeping and her husband, after watching for a while, walked over to her chair and comforted her. Then, while witnesses went on telling what cruel things each had done to the other, husband and wife went outside the court room and had a quiet talk. There was a rumor last evening that when the case is called in court this morning, announcement will be made that the suit has been settled out of court.

Muschietty is president of the Woodlawn Granite Company at 4509 East Fifteenth street.

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April 26, 1908


Desires to Return to His Legal Prac-
tice When Term Ends.

Judge H. L. McCune of the fourth division of the circuit court and judge of the children's court announced yesterday that he would not be a candidate for re-election. His term expires this year. The only other circuit judges who have had any experience handling naughty children are J. E. Goodrich, who holds over, and E. E. Porterfield, whose term expires this fall.

Judge McCune gives as his reason for wishing to leave the bench:

"I owe it to myself and family to return to my legal practice. The cash returns are much greater."

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April 17, 1908


Mrs. Lydia Erlewine Is Twice Di-
vorced From the Same Man.

Mrs. Lydia Erelewine's fourth suit for divorce was tried before Judge H. L. McCune in the circuit court yesterday. Her last two suits have been against the same husband. When she had rested her case, Judge McCune recalled her to the stand and asked:

"Are you sure, Mrs. Erlewine, that if I give you another decree from this husband, that you will not make up your quarrel, remarry, and be coming in again next year for another separation?"

"I'm sure I will never marry Willard Erlewine again," she said. "He said before I left him the last time that he wouldn't work to support any woman. What's the use of having a man if he won't work?

"Decree granted," commented the court.

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April 16, 1908


Alfred Smith Asked Court to Grant
Him Permission.

"If the court will let me, I will take him out now and clean him up, right now. I am sorry for the day the ship landed that Dutchman in America," delcared Alfred Smith, father-in-law of Alfonso Weis, on the witness stand in Judge McCune's division of the circuit court yesterday, in the trial of Weis for divorce from Emma Weis. This was the second day of the trial, and it will continue today.

Smith is about 60 years of age, has gray hair and clearly shows his age. As he sat on the witness stand he related the trouble between his daughter and Weis, and showed positive hatred for his son-in-law. Mrs. Smith also testified on the stand, the principal part of her testimony being that Weis told her not to spend money for beer because that beverage would make her become fat. Although she looked as though she weighed about ninety-five pounds, she stated that she preferred to remain slim.

Many witnesses were called for both sides of the case, and when court closed, Judge McCune had apparently made little progress in deciding in his mind whether the divorce should be granted. Most of the testimony was about the character of Mrs. Weis, and all of the witnesses disputed each other. Mrs. Weis stated that when she was away from home she was at a spiritualist meeting, which was corroborated by other witnesses.

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April 5, 1908



First Two Boys to Go to Parental
Home Are Delos Johnson and
Dan Clark, One a Shirker
and One a Truant.

Bent upon the study of sociology, the senior class of the Manual Training high school, under the guidance of Miss Annie Gilday, visited the children's court yesterday, presided over by Judge H. L. McCune in the second floor of the court house. There were nearly a hundred students, and they completely filled the court room. Among the gems of practical justice which the overheard were these:

Carl Warden, 3 years old, was brought before the court because he habitually runs away from his mother's home at 1212 Oak street and goes to visit Mrs. Joan Moran, police matron. Mrs. Elizabeth Warden, the mother, said that she took in washing for a living because her husband left her four months ago. She has a 3-months-old baby and Carl to provide for. The court has tried to help her before and gives her the laundry work from the Boys' hotel. She said that every time she turns her back on Carl "he scoots out of the house and goes down the alley like a rabbit." She wanted the court to find a place where she could keep him.

"Can you hold him until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning?" inquired Judge McCune.

"I doubt it," she said.

"Tie a clothes line around one leg and lariat him to a bed post," the judge ordered. "By morning we will have found a place, perhaps at the Institutional church, where he can be kept."

"I'll tie him up until an officer comes tomorrow," said the mother.

Carl fell asleep in the "bad boy's chair" while his fate was being decided and, when his mother woke him up, cried lustily.

"This is the first outing I've had in three years," remarked Robert Fisher's mother, when she came to court yesterday to defend the lad. Robert's father reported the boy as incorrigible. The mother told the court that the boy is all right. She said she would rather keep the boy than keep her husband. Judge McCune continued the case to give the officers time to investigate the conflicting stories.

Two boys were given reform school sentences. They are Columbus Pitts, who returned to Kansas City from Coffeyville, Kas., to which town the court a week ago sentenced him for life, and George Saide, a colored boy.

Two lads were sent to the parental home with Thomas N. Hughes and Mrs. Hughes, recently appointed to run the place. They will open the home today, using first a six-room farm house, now standing. The county will erect other buildings as they are needed. There will be a school house for truants by fall. Hughes and his wife attended court yesterday and went away with their boys.

One of the lads is Delos Johnson, who ran away from St. Louis and came to Kansas City last fall. His mother came here to find him and stayed here because he liked this city. She bought furniture on the installment plan, furnished a home at 512 Oak street, and the children's court got Delos a position at $20 a month so that he could help his mother pay for their new home. He quit his hob, because the boss asked him to scrub a floor. A second position he resigned because he was asked to wash a spittoon. There will be floors for him to scrub at the parental home.

The other charter member of the home is Dan Clark of 911 Wyandotte street. There's nothing the matter with Dan, except that he has insisted for two years on playing marbles and shinny, when he should have been attending the Lathrop school.

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February 8, 1908


Juvenile Association Determined to
Raise Fund of $10,000.

An active campaign is to be begun by the Juvenile Improvement Club to raise $10,000 for use in caring for neglected children in Kansas City. In this association are gathered all the workers for the juvenile criminal and homeless. The money will be spent to endow the Boys' hotel, a hotel for negro girls, boys clubs in the West, North and East bottoms, and to provide scholarships for boys who now have to stay out of school and work to support smaller children dependent upon them. The idea of the club is to get all varieties of juvenile reform and educational work under one management.

Judge McCune of the juvenile court is president of the club, the Rev. Daniel McGurk is vice president, Arthur L. Jelley is treasurer, and Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer is secretary. On the executive committee there are in addition to these men the Rev. Charles W. Moore of the Institutional church, Mayor H. M. Beardsley and H. J. Haskell. Subscriptions may be sent to Hughes Bryant, R. A. Long, Charles D. Mill, C. A. Young or C. V. Jones, who comprise the finance committee.

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March 3, 1908


Four Years in Prison for Boy Who
Forged a Note.

"Please give Izzie 75 cents for the coat. Give him not less than 50 cents."

The name of Izzie's mother was on this note, addressed to a pawnbroker, but Izzie wrote the note himself. Izzie is hardly out of the swaddling clothes, but he had a weakness for doing little things in violation of the Missouri statutes. Some months ago he forged a check for $28. For this offense he was sentenced to four years in the reform school. Judge McCune paroled him, but when Izzie was hauled before his honor yesterday the old penalty was assessed. Both the father and mother of Izzie (their name is Miller, by the way) averred that Mrs. Miller really wrote the note, but the judge would not believe them.

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February 19, 1908



Now Mecum Is Trailing Them, Very
Leisurely, in a Covered Wagon.

Esta Mecum and John Mellinger, each aged 12 years, were yesterday ordered detained by Judge H. L. McCune, sitting in the juvenile court, until homes can be found for them with relatives or others able to provide for them. This will enable Esta's father to continue the hunt for the boy's mother "and that there outlaw Tom Hopkins," as old man Mecum designated a former friend.

"He is an outlaw, is he?" inquired Judge McCune of the witness, Mecum, who was before the bar to explain why he was making the boy sell silver polish while he himself was buying beer.

"I think he is," said the rustic Sherlock Holmes. "I had 20 acres up in Michigan and he and my woman sat fire to the house and barn and said that the Indians had done it. Then he ran away with this boy's mother, and I set out to trial them."

"Indians up there?" Judge McCune inquired.

"There's a reservation; yes sir."

Sherlock's account of his trail was touching. He had been overhauled with a man named John Mellinger, father of a boy named likewise, the boy being then before the court.

"They tell me you and Mellinger were making these boys sell the silver polish while you and he drank up the proceeds. What is Mellinger to you?"

"Nothin' much, I kinder suspect him."

"More of your detective work?" the court asked.

"I reckon you'd call it that. He knows where my wife and Tom Hopkins are."

Humane officer McCrary said that if the ametuer detective would take a peep in the holdover, he would see his friend there, safe and sound, awaiting investigation.

The court took charge of the two boys until permanent homes can be found for them. Mecum said that he was a stone mason by trade but admitted he did not want a job -- "Not just now, anyway." He added, "I want to follow my wife and that outlaw, Tom Hopkins. They's gone north again."

He is following in a covered wagon. He explained that when Mrs. Mecum decamped she shipped the boy before the court to "Busy Bee Arizona." He meant Bisby.

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February 11, 1908


So Concetta Paolo, Wife of Another,
Is Sent to a Refuge.

The Italian girl who ran away from her husband of three months in St. Paul, Minn., and came to Kansas City with Paul Dominick, who was best man at her wedding, was yesterday transferred from the detention home to the House of the Good Shepherd. Dominick, who was fined in police court for vagrancy, is at large, and night before last came and sang beneath the window of the girl's cell in the detention home.

The girl will be held here by order of the children's court until money is obtained from her parents in St. Paul, when she will be put on a train with a ticket for home. She is kept locked up so that Dominick cannot talk with her.

In the children's court yesterday the girl said that her real name is not Rose Trapiss, but is Concetta Paolo. She told Judge H. L. McCune that she would never return to her husband, but would be glad if he could send her back to her mother. When asked if she loved Dominick, she sat silent.

Concetta is only 15 years old, but looks two years older. She is so beautiful that, despite her shabby clothes, people, who had seats in the court room, stood up to gaze at her.

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February 4, 1908


Female Role Was the Ambition of
Fred Coyle, Who Swiped $2.

When Fred Coyle was arrested last week, charged with stealing $2, he told the police he took the money for the sake of his starving parents. Yesterday he admitted to Judge McCune in the juvenile court that he had taken it to pay himself for a disputed bill.

"I would like to know a little more about this," said Judge McCune to Truant Officer Erskine, who had the case in charge. "Bring up Signor Salvini."

"Signor Salvini" turned out to be Pat Myers, who said he was a cook. Pat did not say it, but Fred said it for him, that onceupon a time he used to be an actor.

"The boy told me he wanted to get on the stage," said the signor.

"Wanted to be an actor, did he?" the judge submitted.

"Yes, sir-r," said Pat. "A female impersonator," he added.

"I think it was him," said the actor-looking cook. "I think it was him who stole my wife's petticoats. She lost six, and a dress. When a lady downstairs moved out, I went into a room Fred was using and found some women's clothes. We figured out he was rehearsing to go on stage."

"I do not know whether to believe the last story or not," said the judge, "but I certainly do not believe the one the boy told about stealing to keep his parents from starving. I'll hold him for a day or two to investigate further."

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January 9, 1908



Butted His Head Agasint the Wall
When a Child and Was
Becoming Viciously
Insane. May Be

Clyde Turner, a 15-year-old lad, a ward of the children's court, a portion of whose skull was removed Tuesday afternoon with the idea that he might, by the operation, grow up to be a good and bright boy, was reported last night by the Post Graduate hospital, Independence avenue and Campbell street, where the operation was performed, as doing well.

Clyde's case is the first of the sort in the history of the Kansas City children's court, and the second or third in the court history of the United States. Some years ago a lad in Philadelphia was trephined to cure bad habits, and there was a somewhat similar, but not exactly parallel, case in Omaha recently. Six months ago the Kansas City children's court removed Dewey Marcuvitz's tonsils to mend his ways, but the operation was only partially successful.


The lad who now lies on a cot at the Post Graduate hospital with a piece of his skull the size of a teacup taken away, has had an unfortunate life. His parents died when he was a month old and he was adopted by George Pack, an employe of the Kansas City Bold and Nut Compnay of Sheffield, who lives at Hocker and Sea streets in Independence. The baby Clyde had a habit of butting his head against the wall whenever he was vexed. Efforts were made to break him of this, but he was not cured until he had flattened the crown of his head.

He grew up "simple," and when 12 years old was sent to the Missouri colony for the feeble-minded in Marshall, Mo. He seemed to improve there, and was released about a year ago. He did not get along very well with his foster parents, although they treated him as they would their own son. Two weeks ago, according to the story told by Mrs. Pack in the children's court, a week ago last Monday, Clyde made an attack on her husband's mother with a butcher knife, and as he is a big, strong boy, might have killed her, had it not been for interference. The lad was confined in the detention home from that time until Tuesday morning, when he was taken to the hospital.

Dr. E. G. Blair, assisted by Dr. John Punton, performed the operation. The portion of his skull, which was flattened, was sawed out and thrown away. The brain, which had been pressed down, rose to fill the cavity. The lad will remain in the hospital until nature grows a cartilage across the aperture.

When the boy awoke yesterday morning he seemed very happy. He was a sour-faced, frightened lad when he came to the place. His eyes wore that pathetic, timid, hunted expression of those who are not mentally normal. But when he awoke his eyes were bright. He smiled and said: "I feel awful good!"


Judge H. L. McCune of the children's court said last evening in regard to the case:

"It was a question of the court's permitting the lad to become permanently insane, for his spells rising out of the sullenness into passionate outbreaks such as he made on his foster father's mother, were growing more and more frequent, or having him operated upon with a slight chance of death but a much larger chance of recovery and development into a bright and useful man. The doctors told me there was absolutely no chance for the boy to recover without the operation. The court received the consent of his foster parents and of the boy himself.

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October 30, 1907


Non-Committal Opinion of a Visitor
to His Court.

"Like other men, I like to hear something in the way of approval of my public work," said Circuit Judge H. L. McCune yesterday, "and occasionally I do hear it. I am doubtful, however, about what Jim Smith's father said of my juvenile court yesterday."

The Mr. Smith referred to is 93 years of age, a stately old man.

"He spent the whole day in the juvenile court watching the proceedings," Judge McCune explained, "and I supposed he must have been agreeably surprised at the summary way in which business is dispatched. He saw thirty or forty criminal cases put on trial and disposed of in a single day.

" 'What do you think about it, Mr. Smith?' I inquired, prepared for the usual complimentary remark about the system.

" 'It is the damdest court I was ever in,' the patriarch responded."

Now Judge McCune wants to know.

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October 22, 1907



"Parents Separated" the Burden of
Pathetic Stories Heard by Judge
McCune -- Many Sent to

"Parents separated" was the brief but sadly expressive story borne by a majority of the cases that came before Judge McCune at the regular session of the juvenile court yesterday. After it was added the pitiful detail of petty crime and wrong doing that the developments in the case showed was, in most cases, "born in the flesh and bred in the bones" of the young offenders present.

Judge McCune was quick to grasp the threads that led unmistakably back and beyond the little culprits before him, and "another chance" was the rule rather than the exception.

Ben Moore, who stood head and shoulders taller than his mother, was given a bad name by Chief Probation Officer Mathias, which is an unusual occurrence. "He is just a loafer," he told the court, "and in spite of our best efforts will not be anything else. We have found him jobs and helped him time and time again, but it is no use; he is a bad lot. His father and mother are separated and the woman can do nothing with him."

The mother, with tears streaming down her face, acknowledged the truth of the officer's assertions, and the boy was sent to the Boonville reform school for four years.

James Flaigle was accused of being a truant. He said his father wanted him to work in his store on Union avenue and the court was in possession of a letter bearing out the assertion. His father thought the experience of the store would be enough of an education, but Judge McCune could not see it in that light, and the youngster was ordered to go to school, which he smilingly promised to do.


Henry Reisner ran away from his home in St. Louis because, he said, his father abused his mother. He came to Kansas City and was gathered in by the police while wandering about the streets. He didn't seem much interested in the proceedings pertaining to himself, anyway, and the court decided to send him home.

A West Prospect place woman was present to say that her son, who is on parole for past misdemeanors, was too ill to attend the court. When the court officers commented upon the mother's strong odor of whiskey, she calmly told the court that she had "inherited that breath." Judge McCune was moved to remark that he had heard of its being acquired in every other way but by inheritance. The woman finally departed, explaining things to herself after everyone else had refused to listen.

Charles Riggs, 13 years of age, 4322 East Fourteenth street, was up or the fourth or fifth time for violating his parole, playing hookey and numerous other bad things. His father and mother have separated, and the latter was in court to defend her son. Judge McCune said he must go to Boonville, and the mother said he shouldn't. When the court finally threatened to have her locked up if she did not stop her interference she allowed the child to be led away.


Fred Corp of Wichita came to Kansas City with a load of cattle. He had nothing to do with cattle but just came along to see the sights and have a good time. Upon his arrival he got separated from the men he came with and the police picked him up at 3 'clock Thursday morning. He told the court of his experiences through many tears. When arrested he had $3.05 in his pockets. The necessary amount of this will be invested in a ticket for Wichita today.

Tony Lapentino, who has been behaving badly, and has claimed the attention of the court many times, was sent to Boonville for four years. Ethel Ackley, a sweet-faced girl of 9 years, whose mother is dead and whose father was charged with deserting her, will be provided for in some charitable institution.

Terrence Quirk, one of the boys who recently located and equipped with small arms a Wild West camp on the outskirts of the city, enrolled for the Boonville institution.

Ellen, Allen and Howard Collins, who were recently found in a destitute and suffering condition in the rear of the premises at 911 Paseo, will be cared for until other arrangements can be made at the North end day nursery. Their mother is in a hospital and the father incompetent to provide for his family.

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October 15, 1907



This Form of Charity Amounts Prac-
tically to Widows' Pensions and
Is Made Possible by Volun-
tary Subscriptions.

"There is a heap in this world that is good. There are any amount of good fellows in it. There is sunshine pretty nearly every day it rains," said Judge McCune yesterday morning just after he refused to issue a permit to little George Galloway to remain out of school.

The boy's mother had told that she needed his earnings; that he could make $5 per week, and that he had been a faithful child to her. In proof of his good behavior the mother, through occasional tears, said that only once in years had he missed attending Sunday School, "and that was to attend his father's funeral last April."

"You say he can make $5 a week, madam?" Judge McCune inquired.

"Six dollars, and we need the money judge, since papa died."

"He must go to school. We can fix him up right. I have a scholarship I can let him have. He will get $3 a week for going to school."

This astonishing conclusion of the widow's petition was beyond her comprehension for the moment.

This scholarship business is a part of the new juvenile court. Explaining its operation, Judge McCune said that institutions and private individuals agree to pay into Judge McCune's hand pensions of $3 a week to compensate impoverished mothers for the loss of wages children might earn if allowed to work.

"We hire the boys to work for it by going to school," said Judge McCune. "Instead of letting them work for somebody else. In that way somebody educates them and helps take care of the mother. We have a long list of big-hearted people who give these scholarships, which really are widows' pensions."

The bottom of the pension barrel was scraped yesterday. Judge McCune encountered Phil Toll and left with four pensions in his note book.

"Heaps of good fellows in this old world," the judge of the juvenile court asserted.

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September 17, 1907


Frank Clarken Is Only 9 but He Is
Making a Record.

Frank Clarken, 9 years old, of 1734 Locust street, was before the juvenile court yesterday for taking six sacks and selling them to a junk man at Eighteenth street and Charlotte streets.

"You were in the court before," Judge H. L. McCune said. "What had you done that time?"

"I was teasing a lady," the urchin replied.

A search through the records disclosed the fact that Frank had broken a lamp belonging to a neighbor of his mother's and when the owner of the lamp had remonstrated with him he had called her "an old witch." The court sent him back home and told him to be a good boy.

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July 2, 1907



Juveniles Play "Big" Until Judge
McCune Comes, and Then Young-
ster in Chair Goes to
Reform School.

"This court will now behave!" said Joe Tint, and incorrigible 12-year-old of 1902 McGee street, as he called a kangaroo court to order in the witness room of the juvenile court yesterday morning. There was half an hour to spare before Judge H. L. McCune was to arrive, and the children, whose cases were set for yesterday, all got a sentence from Joe in that half hour.

"Who are these people?" Joe asked, pointing to three boys sitting disconsolately in a corner. "These people" were Ralph, Orpha and Leota Hill, waifs found recently alone in a house at 2101 Vine street.

"They are the Hillocks," suggested one.

"Naw, theys just foothills," said Joe. "Foothills, stand up! I sentence each of you to a square meal. Draw on 'Doc' Mathias for the grub."

"What are you in here for?" Joe asked of Joe Shaeffer.

"He stole $1.04 from a man," said Carl Robinson, who thereby appointed himself prosecuting attorney.

"Did the man have any more money? asked Joe.

"Yes, I guess so," the prisoner said.

"Ninety-nine years for you. Why didn't you get all of it?"

"What's that under that straw stack there in the corner?" the court inquired. Oh, it's a negro, is it? Well, take off your hat. You stole a dollar and spent it for fireworks, I believe. You ain't old enough to burn money. Four years for you."

Just then the real court convened and Kangaroo Judge Joe was called.

Joe has been in and out of juvenile court for four years and was sentenced to the reform school in May, 1903. He was paroled in April, 1904. he was before the court for quitting thirteen jobs which had been found for him.

"I'm sorry to have to sentence you, Joe," Judge McCune said to Joe, "but you'll have to back to the reform school for four years.

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June 5, 1907


With Three Lawyers She Will Resist
Order of the Court.

Judge H. L. McCune yesterday made his ruling in the case of Robbie Patterson, whom a jury in the juvenile court found to be a delinquent child and to be neglected by his mother, Josephine Patterson, of Tenth street and Troost avenue. The court followed the advice of Dr. J. D. Griffith, who is the Pattersons' family physician. The mother was ordered to send the boy to the country for the remainder of the summer and in the autumn to take or send him to Arizona. The lad is frail, and, according to Dr. Griffith, is upon the verge of an attack of tuberculosis and unable to attend school. If the lad's health is improved after the winter in Arizona, the court said, he shall return to Kansas City and attend school.

Mrs. Patterson announced, after the decision, that she would take the case to the Kansas City court of appeals. She is wealthy and has three lawyers in her employ.

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May 29, 1907


Mother, After Long Search, Kisses
First Child She Sees.

"It's mamma's darling! How is the sweet one?" cried Mrs. Margaret Johnson, of St. Louis, as she snatched a small child from the arms of Mrs. Ivan Elliot, of 2441 Flora avenue, at the Detention home yesterday afternoon.

The mother hugged and kissed the child and cried over him for fully five minutes without stopping to breathe. Then Mrs. Elliot said:

"You got the wrong baby, madam."

The child she had been caressing was Willie Jefferson, a nephew of Mrs. Elliot. Her own was handed to her by Dr. E. L. Mathias.

Lee Johnson, her husband, and the child's father, left her in St. Louis nineteen months ago, when the baby was 5 months old, and brought the child with him to Kansas City. The police all over the United States were notified and yesterday the Kansas City officers located the father and the child. Judge McCune last evening set today for hearing the rights of the parents as to the custody of the youngster.

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May 14, 1907


In the Juvenile Court Yesterday
Judge McCune Lectured the
Father When He Objected
to the Decision.

Seven little boys, from 9 to 12 years of age, charged with being the "Sixteenth Street Gang," train hoppers and coal thieves, were before Judge McCune, of the juvenile court, yesterday afternoon.

"The boys sit on the rails of the Belt line tracks," said James H. Knapp, of the Knapp & Coumbe Construction Company, a witness, "and try to scare the engineer of the approaching trains. When the engine is within a few feet of them, they jump up like frogs and get off the track. If the engineer sticks his head out of the cab to talk to them, they make finger signs at him."

There were other witnesses against the boys -- three truancy officers and W. K. Miller, flagman for the Belt line at Sixteenth street. They said that the boys made a practice of stealing coal and hopping on trains.

"I pointed out to the boys," Miller told the court, "the place where a boy was killed last year jumping on a train. It wasn't ten feet from where these boys repeat the practice. But they only laughed at me.

"They sit up on the cars and kick the coal off. Then they get down, pick it up, and haul it away in little wagons. The gang has two wagons."

The seven boys before the court were; Willie Eft, 10 years old; Martin Eft, 9 years old, both of 1511 College avenue; Henning Broman, 12 years old, of 3113 East Sixteenth street; Harry Wright, 11 years old, of 3208 East Sixteenth street, Edward Blickhan, 11 years old, and Harris Blickhan, 10 years old, both of 1612 College avenue; Earl Frizzell, 12 years old, of 3208 East Sixteenth street.

All of the boys, with the exception of Earl Frizzell, admitted that they hopped on trains and stole coal. The Blickhan boys took the coal home and the other s sold it for 15 cents a wagon load, they said. Willie Eft and Henning Broman owned the two wagons.

Edward J. Blickhan, father of the Blickhan boys, appeared to defend his offspring, but he did more harm than good. He told the court that they had been sick with tonsillitis for two weeks and could not go to school. He denied all knowledge of their bringing coal home, but the court stated that he preferred to believe the boys' own statement that they had brought coal home and put it in the box by the kitchen stove. When the Blickhan boys were rounded up by the truancy officers last Thursday their hair hung over their shoulders and they were so ragged that Miller told the officers that he thought they were orphans. Yesterday afternoon they wore new suits and had their hair clipped short.

Judge McCune turned Earl Frizzell loose, as he had been with the "gang" only one day, ordered a home in the country found for Willie Eft and released the other boys with the understanding that they attend school and quit playing among the railway yards.

When Blickhan protested against the court holding his boys, Judge McCune said:

"You don't care if your boys get killed playing in the yards, so long as they fill your coal box. I don't want to hear another word from you. You have violated the law yourself."

Henry Eft, 13 years old, a brother of Willie and Martin, now has a reform school sentence hanging over him and is at work.

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