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December 26, 1909



Rules Given Masters and "Black
Beauty" Books Also Distri-
buted by Humane Society.

A new meaning was given yesterday to the "horse laugh." From 1,000 to 1,500 horses in Kansas City not accustomed to a square meal stood in their stalls, free from work and protected from the weather, and munched full portions of the best oats the market affords.

And these horses laughed. It was Christmas day and they were enjoying a Christmas celebration planned especially for them.

The "feed' for poor work horses was given by the Kansas City Humane society as the result of a plan evolved by Mrs. E. D. Hornbrook and Mrs. E. H. Robinson, members of the board of the society.

For the purpose of carrying joy to the hearts of the poor animals which struggle under burdens on the streets of Kansas City every day and which are indifferently fed and kept, largely because of the poverty of their owners, the Humane society purchased a half dozen tons of the best white oats and did the grain up in five and ten pound sacks, giving out these packages to owners of horses whose cases had been investigated by the society and to whom tickets previously had been given.


About 1,000 of these tickets were given out and sacks of the grain were also given to others who had not received tickets. Provision was also made for still other cases and an automobile furnished by the Kansas City Rapid Motor Transfer company will take "feeds" to the cases which were reported too late to be cared for as were the others.

It was at Convention hall that the Christmas dinners for the poor horses were given out and the committee in charge of the distribution was composed of Mrs. F. D. Hornbrook, J. W. Perkins and E. R. Weeks, president of the Humane Society.

The sacks containing the oats were placed on long tables and when horse owners applied for the "feeds" they were required to present their tickets, give their names and the names of their horses. They were then given the sacks of feed, a tag which they promised to read and a copy of "Black Beauty." Where owners had sick horses they were also given blankets for the disabled animals.


The tag which each owner promised to read contained this "horse" talk:
"What is good for your horse is good for his master.
Your horse needs good care as well as good food.
Never work your horse when he will not eat.
Water your horse often. Water should always be given fifteen minutes before feeding grain.
Daily grooming will improve the health as well as the looks of your horse.
Give your horses rock salt, and head shelter from the heat.
Economize by feeding good oats and good hay.
Good drivers are quiet, patient and kind, and have little use for a whip..." and so on.


"This horse dinner means a great deal more than most people think," said Mrs. Hornbrook. "It is intended to show the horse owners that their animals must be cared for and to set an example for them to follow. Some of the papers have made a humorous affair out of it, when it is anything but humorous and has a most humane object.

"It is not intended simply to fill the empty stomach of some poor animal for the time being," said Mr. Weeks, "but is to create a kindly sentiment for dumb animals. We show the horse owners what a sample meal is and that is something some of them know very little about. The ten pounds of oats we give them is a double portion of a standard feed. The owners of all the big fine animals we see hitched to drays on the streets feed their horses five pounds of the best oats at a meal. Along with the oats we give out, we also give the horse owners a copy of 'Black Beauty' and the tag containing advice about the care of horses an d we hope your Christmas dinner for the horses will do good."

To many horse owners, who called for feed at Convention hall between 9 a. m. and 6 p. m., Mr. Weeks, Mrs. Hornbrook and other workers agents of the Humane Society gave good advice. Some of the callers were persons with whom agents of the society had come in contact in their work and there were scores of promises, such as "well, we'll take better care of our horses from now on."

Posted about the corridor in Convention hall yesterday, were copies of new cards issued by the Humane society. They read, "Be kind to your horse. Do not forget his water, feed and shelter."

Christmas day was the most notable day for the poor work horse in the history of Kansas City. No wonder a new meaning was given to the slang expression, a "horse laugh."

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October 26, 1909


County Marshal Joel Mayes Pleads
for Reading Material.

Prisoners at the county jail are having a pretty hard time just now getting something to read, and County Marshal Joel Mayes asks for magazines and periodicals. The magazines which the jail now affords have been read and reread so many times that some of the prisoners can almost repeat the stories and poems by heart while some of them have even digested the advertising portion to the extent of memorizing it, so anxious are they to read.

The marshal says a great many of the stores have magazines which they cannot return and he would be very glad to get these for the prisoners and, in fact, would be greatly appreciated reading matter from any source.

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September 28, 1909



Appointed Secretary Year Ago After
Retirement From the Abstract
Business -- Funeral Arrange-
ments Not Made.
Joseph L. Norman, School Board Pioneer.

Joseph Lafayette Norman, civil war veteran, compiler of the first set of abstract books in Kansas City, member of the school board for twenty years and its secretary for the last year, died at his home, 816 West Thirty-ninth street at 10:15 o'clock last night after an illness of two months. The funeral arrangements probably will be announced today, by which time a son who is in Mexico, and another who is in California can be heard from.

Joseph Lafayette Norman was born at Hickory Hill, Ill, October 21, 1841. In 1857, the year following the death of his mother, the family moved to Greeley, Kas., and took up a homestead there. A year later Mr. Norman and his father returned to Illinois. In the fall of 1859 Mr. Norman and his father came back West and located at what was Westport, Mo., one mile west of what is now Fortieth street and State Line. The deceased conducted a private school in Westport, and he had to close it at the outbreak of the civil war, August 14, 1862, the day of the battle of Independence, Mo.

Mr. Norman closed his school and with five of his pupils reported at Fort Union on the west side of the city and tendered their services to the government. He served for three years as a member of company A of the Twelfth regiment of Kansas volunteer infantry. At the battle of Westport on his twenty-third birthday, Mr. Norman was aide to General S. R. Curtis and carried across the field of battle an important message under an extremely dangerous fire. His first wife, Miss Martha Jane Puckett, a native of Virginia, died January 1, 1901.

They had five children, the oldest of whom, Captain Trabor Norman, is at present in the infantry, in Southern California. Another son, Joseph L, Jr., is in Mexico. Fred, Frank and Miss Jennie Norman are the other children.


On June 25, 1903 Mr. Norman married Miss Katherine Gent of Kansas City. A son, Howard, was born of this union. Mr. Norman was a member of Farragu-Thomas Post, G. A. R. No. 8, and was also a Mason. H e was the first quartermaster of the Third Regiment N. G. M. In politics he was a Republican.

All of his ancestors were inclined to the military life. His brother, Calvin M., his father, Jones, and his wife's father, William E. Plunkett, all served in the civil war.

His paternal grandfather, Joseph Norman, served in the war of 1812, and his great-grandfather served in the revolutionary war, enlisting from North Carolina.

Mr. Norman commenced the work of getting up a set of abstract books at Independence, Mo. In October, 1865, and in the spring of 18657, with Lafayette Trabor he opened an abstract office. Later the Trabor interests were sold to Richard Robertson. Mr. Norman retired from this business a year ago.

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September 22, 1909


Cynics Might Learn Lesson in
Optimism There -- Uncle Sam
Helps Find Delinquents.

The cynic who believes that the world is going to the bow-wows because of increasing dishonesty could take a lesson in optimism at the public library from the infrequency with which books are stolen by the general public.

"The number of books lost through theft in the course of a year is surprisingly small when it is taken into consideration that the library, to meet its greatest usefulness, is forced to allow the books to be taken out in a rather indiscriminate way," said Mrs. Carrie W. Whitney, the librarian. "And beside that, it doesn't seem any more of a crime to a book lover to steal a book than it does to a man with a plug hat to steal an umbrella on a rainy day."

In spite of the air of trust that surrounds the obtaining of books at the library, close supervision over thousands who receive books from there is maintained. The most potent agency used by the library in finding thoughtless persons who take public library books with them when they remove to some other portion of the city than the residence they gave in getting the library card, is the postoffice department. Persons who leave Kansas City are located through the same agency.

When almost every effort to locate the thoughtless borrower had bee made, the librarians drop a registered note in the mails. Uncle Sam takes charge of it. There are few persons who do not leave a new address at the postoffice. They may ignore polite notes to return the book, leaving the librarian to believe they never received the letter.

But when a registered letter arrives, their signatures must be placed on the return slip, which is sent back promptly to the library. This course rarely fails to locate the borrower and the book.

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September 8, 1909


Based Upon Number of Names in the
New Directory.

Work on the new city directory being issued by the Gould Directory Company is being rushed to completion and the figures compiled by the company statisticians give Kansas City a population of 376,332. The number of names in the directory are 158,653 and 8,120 names are deducted to allow for business concerns and non-residents. The population is arrived at by multiplying the number of names appearing in the directory by 2 1/2.

These figures give Kansas City an increase in the population over the old directory of 51,967, or an average yearly increase of 25,983 persons. The increase is due, according to the directory officials, to three causes, the rapid increase in population, extension of the city limits and the exhaustive canvass made by the company.

Only three names appear in the directory which begin with X. The letter S is the largest, rolling up a total of 15,270 names. H is second, with 13,395, although M, counting Mc's, has 15,730.


September 2, 1909



Flattering Description of Despera-
does in Yellowbacks Belied by
Experience Here, Declares
Criminal Judge.

Fade away, Deadwood Dick and all other bold highwaymen who look so strong and big in the yellowbacks. You're fiction. The real highwayman and criminal is between 18 and 22. he's a puny little fellow who has not much more strength of mind than he has of body.

After having carefully inspected Deadwood Dick and all his kind as they pass in and out of the criminal court of Jackson County, Judge Ralph S. Latshaw says:

"The real criminal is not the fierce-looking man, with long mustaches drooping in a manner to make his face look fiercer than it was made by nature. He is not tall and stately in appearance, nor does he stalk with his head up and the proud glitter of defiance in his eye.

"Criminal courts have the hardest time with the boy, just growing into his manhood. He is the fellow who fills the lists of those convicted of crime. From 17 or 18 to 20 or 22 years old is the worst stage.

"Look over the records of the highwaymen and burglars who have been sent to the penitentiary from this court, not only in recent months, but for years. All of them are young men, undersized and weakly. They put a revolver in their pocket and go out to commit crime. If it were not for the weapon concealed in their pockets they would not dare steal. It is the additional false courage the firearm gives them that is responsible for the crimes they commit.

"When you go walking in the evening and see, in the shadows, the tall form of someone slinking away into further darkness, don't feel for your pocketbook. It is safe. But steer around the two little fellows who never had enough hair on their face to grow one tenth of the mustache which Deadwood Dick and his fellows sport in the lithographs.

"Do you mean to say," the judge was asked, "that stature has a direct bearing on crime?"

"Only to this extent," said he, "that a child born of average sized parents, who is smaller than they, is commonly a weakling. And with this physical weakness comes mental deficiency, to a certain extent. The late Judge Wofford used to say: 'These boys give me more trouble than all the rest of the county.' He spoke from long experience, and from keen observation of conditions which obtain now as well as then."

"But many Kansas City lawyers say they read penny dreadfuls to relax their mind," was suggested. "Do you never read them?"

"No, thank you. I do not care for that kind of literature," said the judge.

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August 9, 1909


Isidore Koplowitz on "Immortality
of the Soul."

Rabbi Isidore Koplowitz of the Keneseth Israel synagogue, Fifteenth and Troost, is the author of a learned and interesting volume just published by the Franklin Hudson Publishing company of this city, under the title: "Al-Moveth" or "Immortality of the Soul." This is the fifth volume from the pen of Dr. Koplowitz, who was formerly a lecturer at the state university of Georgia and is a scholar of wide attainments. He has been here for the past four years and has taken high rank in Jewish circles.

In his latest book, which is a modest little volume of attractive typopgraphy, Dr. Koplowitz examines exhaustively the whole problem of the soul's immortality. The book is designed as a protest against the prevailing materialism of the day and as a battle cry and slogan in the assault upon this dangerous and insidious tendency. The author's profound scholarship and extensive research are shown in the aptness and variety of the quotations used in support of his argument for immortality, which, he declares, is demonstrable by reason, logic and science. The answer to Job's question "If a man die shall he live again," is a triumphant affirmative.

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July 29, 1909


Bell Company's New Booklet Is Re-
plete With Information.

The July issue of the Missouri & Kansas (Bell) Telephone Company's Kansas City directory is now being delivered to subscribers. The directory appears in an entirely new form, made necessary by the large increase in the number of subscribers. The old style cover which persisted in rolling up and breaking, has been replaced by a handsome, index bristol cover. The front section of the directory contains several pages of useful information, including a page write-up of Kansas City, compiled by E. M. Clendening, Secretary of the Commercial Club, postal information, office buildings, directory of both Kansas Cities, street directory of both Kansas Cities, libraries and reading rooms, theaters, table of weights and measures, information for taxpayers, street car routings, railroad time tables, carriage and automobile rates and a two year calendar. Subscribers' names are listed double column in new style type. The classified business directory is printed on yellow paper. The listing therein now includes business addresses. This section of the directory contains a goodly showing of classified advertising of a varied nature.

In speaking of the new directory, Homer Montfort, Advertising agent of the company, said: "The telephone directory of today has many uses aside form that for which it was originally intended. Its value as a social and business directory is beyond question. We have added the new features at considerable expense, with a view of making the directory more valuable to our patrons, and we will gladly receive suggestions as to other useful features that might be added. Our Kansas City directory is used for various purposes approximately 250,000 per day or 91,000,000 times per year."

The new directory is said by telephone men to be the handsomest ever issued for the purpose. There are 30,000 directories in this issue.

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June 10, 1909



A. W. Johnson Alleged to Have In-
duced Them to Give Up Money
and I. O. U.'s Totaling $120.
Held by Justice.

Six members of the Athenaeum Club went to the prosecutor's office yesterday and on behalf of themselves and three others declared that A. W. Johnson, a book agent, had hypnotized them into giving up money and I. O. U.'s totaling $120.75.

The women who complained to M. M. Bogie, assistant prosecuting attorney, were the following: Mrs. Anna S. Welch, wife of a physician; Mrs. E. T. Phillips, wife of a physician, residence the Lorraine; Mrs. Paul B. Chaney, 3446 Campbell street; Mrs. George S. Millard, 4331 Harrison street; Mrs. W. W. Anderson, 2705 Linwood avenue; Dr. Eliza Mitchell, 1008 Locust street.

Besides these, the following complained of Johnson, but did not appear yesterday: Mrs. Willard Q. Church, 3325 Wyandotte street; Mrs. Wilbur Bell, 200 Olive street, and Mrs. S. S. Moorehead, 3329 Forest avenue.

The women confronted Johnson in Mr. Bogie's office. It was declared that he had exercised hypnotic power. Said Mrs. M. H. Devault, 3411 Wabash avenue, prominent in the Athenaeum:

"This man sold a set of books called 'The Authors' Digest' to these members of the Athenaeum on representation that I had purchased the volumes and had recommended them. They bought largely on this recommendation."

"Yes, and we were hypnotized," said the women.

In addition to the books, Johnson sold a membership in the "American University Association." This, the women say he told them, would enable them to buy books, and especially medical works, at less than the usual price. After correspondence it was found that the lower prices could not be secured.

From all but one woman named, except Mrs. Devault, Johnson secured $5.75 and an order for $115. From Mrs. Millard he got $20 in money.

Johnson, a well dressed, affable young man, was arraigned before Justice Theodore Remley on a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a bond of $500. He said he had an office in the Century building.

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June 8, 1909


John H. Hardin, Christian Divine,
Arranges for Disposal of Library.

By the will of John H. Hardin, who was a Christian minister, formerly of Liberty, Mo., some young Christian minister will be given a valuable library. The testator provides that three ministers shall select a promising young divine to whom the books shall be given. The balance of the estate, with the exception of small bequests to children and friends, goes to Mrs. Willie A. Hardin, the widow, who is also named as administratrix.

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June 2, 1909


Mayor Crittenden Learns of Late
Ex-Governor's Daily Reading.

While Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., was yesterday cleaning up the desk used by his father, the late T. T. Crittenden, in his law offices he found a Bible with thumb worn leaves and many pencil marked passages.

"That was your father's Bible," said the former governor's stenographer, "and the very first thing he did on arriving at his office in the morning was to read a passage from it. No mater how urgent the business awaiting hi m, he would cast it aside until after the Bible reading."

The mayor last night sent the following communication to both houses of the council:

"Having passed through the most painful ordeal of my life -- the loss of my beloved father -- I hasten to convey to you and to the various departments of the government my gratitude for your kind words and beautiful expressions of sympathy. It was a great comfort to my mother and brother during our hours of darkness.

"I ask all of you to accept my abiding appreciation."

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April 4, 1909


Body of William Ward Mitchell,
Author, Editor and Poet, Taken
From the River.

Decomposed almost beyond recognition, the body of William Ward Mitchell, author, poet and editor, was found in the Blue river at Blue Mills yesterday afternoon. Mr. Mitchell had frequently talked suicide to his physician, Dr. Ralph W. Holbrook, 415 Argyle building, under whose care he had been for several weeks during the past year, and it is believed he accomplished his own death.

Seven years ago, or thereabouts, Mr. Mitchell was the editor of the Higginsville, Mo., Jeffersonian. During that time Mr. Mitchell wrote several books which attracted more or less attention. Perhaps the most popular of them all was "Jael," a historical novel of local setting.

Two years later the editor became a nervous wreck from overwork and deep study. Last fall he came to Kansas City and consulted Dr. Holbrook, an old friend. Dr. Holbrook advised him to take treatment and he was sent to a local hospital. Natural pride of family and other peculiarities, caused Mr. Mitchell to use the name of M. W. Ward while in Kansas City last fall.

In November he was discharged from the hospital and went to board with A. J. Leonard, 1006 Forest avenue. From time to time he was heard to talk of self-destruction, particularly to his friend and doctor. His act of suicide, which was committed about three months ago, being the time that all trace of him was lost, seems to be the outcome of brooding over imagined or real ills.

"Mitchell was always a dreamer," said Dr. Holbrook last night, "and his act can readily be accounted for. He considered himself down and out because of his health. Yet in the very midst of it all he would write the prettiest and most optimistic poetry that you ever read. For five years he has not been to his home in Higginsville.

His mother is aged an palsied, and has frequently sent word for him to come home.

"Mitchell has relatives by the name of Ward who live in Kansas City, on the Paseo, I think."

Mitchell's body was taken to Independence, and there a corner of an envelope bearing Dr. Holbrook's address was found in his clothes.

Dr. Holbrook was notified immediately and last night he made the trip to Independence by motor car to identify the body. The identification was complete. The clothes which Mr. Mitchell had worn when he committed suicide were the same which he had when he left Kansas City last December. On that occasion he told his landlady that he was going for his mail and then disappeared.

Mr. Mitchell was 38 years old.

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December 22, 1908


Shows What Passages Influenced
Religious Fanatic.

A little Bible belonging to James Sharp, "Adam God," the religious fanatic, who with others of his kind started a riot in the North End two weeks ago, is now in the possession of Police Captain Walter Whitsett at headquarters. It is much worn and looks like a book that had been carried by a soldier through a four years' campaign. Throughout the two testaments dog and pot hooks indicated the paragraphs upon which the peculiar sect of which "Adam God" was the head based its belief.

One of the quotations underlined is from the first book of Corinthians and says:

"But I say that the things that the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice unto devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye would have fellowship with devils. Ye can not drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils."

In the third chapter of James this verse is underscored heavily:

"From whence comes wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence even of your lusts that was in your members? Ye lust and have not, ye kill and desire to have and cannot obtain. Ye fight and war yet ye have not because ye ask amiss. Submit yourselves, therefor, to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you."

The following verses in the twenty-second psalm were enclosed. Above them also was a cross made with a lead pencil apparently to signify their importance:

"Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies; thy right hand shall find out all that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger. Their fruit shalt thou destroy. For they intended evil against thee' they imagined an evil device which they are unable to perform."

"Adam God," as he is known to his followers, apparently was not able to read Roman numerals, for every chapter in the little Bible is numbered with a lead pencil or in ink.

"Sharp was sure a close reader of the scriptures," said Captain Whitsett yesterday. "I notice nearly all of his favorite quotations are of a morbid nature and calculated to cause a weak minded person to do something rash.

"As a founder of a sect, believing himself to be God, the verses probably would appeal to his sense of divine power to an extraordinary degree. No one can read them without understanding the reason for the vicious fight put up by the fanatics at Fourth and Main streets."

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December 14, 1908


Bibles Cannot Be Printed Fast
Enough for Koreans.

Dr. Horace G. Underwood occupied the pulpit at the First Presbyterian church last night and delivered a sermon dealing with the missionary work in Korea. Dr. Underwood has spent twenty-four years as a missionary to that country. His headquarters have been at Seoul.

"Thousands of laymen of the Korean church," he said, "will travel from their homes to attend a conference; will walk all of the way and be on the road for ten days; will remain another ten days and then consume still another ten days returning, and what for? Merely to study God's word, that they may become more in spirit with its teachings. And, after reaching home, they will send the women.

"Korean women are timid. A rabbit jumping up beside one of them will give her a fright. Yet, that they may have the opportunity to study the Bible, they will t ravel for ten days over mountain roads infested with wild beasts. We can hardly print the Bible fast enough to supply them. Just before I left Korea I ordered 20,000 copies and now every one is spoken for. Koreans want to buy them. They work for 15 or 20 cents a day and are wiling to pay from 20 to 75 cents for a Bible."

The speaker told instances showing their simple, childlike faith in prayer and their active work as soon as they become converted. Once Korean, who had professed in a meeting conducted by Dr. Underwood, went to another town without the latter's knowledge. In three months he came back and announced that he had there a church with more than 100 members.

"To the Korean, to win a soul is considered the peculiar privilege of a Christian," he said.

That they are money-giving is shown by their donation last year to their church work, $61,730.

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December 2, 1908


Librarian Whitney Calls Attention
to This in Her Current Quar-
terly Report.

In her twenty-seventh annual report of the public library, Mrs. Carrie Whitney, the librarian, makes a plea for more room and explains the conditions that will soon make an expansion of the building necessary.

"An addition equal in size to the present building has become imperative," says Mrs. Whitney. "In the two small rooms used for the children are shelved over 15,000 volumes to accommodate the 18,000 children, 'under 18' card holders. This condition is only relieved by the twenty-one ward school substations and the three high school loan collections.

"The large reading room is so heavily patronized during the winter that the chair and table accommodations are entirely exhausted.

"In the fiction room, formerly the cataloguing room, are shelved 12,000 volumes with absolutely no more shelf space.

"A very much needed and necessary department is a room shelved around the walls, furnished with tables and chairs, where current non-fiction may be placed under the eyes and hands of the reading public.

"The administrative departments cannot do efficient work in the crowded quarters provided -- a part of the catalogue staff had to be transferred to a space back of the delivery desk, to the annoyance of patrons and superintendent, who are interrupted in their inquiries by the clicking of two typewriters."

Mrs. Whitney also explains that the newspaper room filled with bound volumes of the city papers is full, and that all available space in the building is in use at the present time.

The public has been an unusually honest one this year, judging from the report. Only eighty-seven books were "unaccounted for" in the fiction room and 107 in the children's room, while but twenty-four were lost form the miscellaneous shelves.

Mrs. Whitney's report appears in the Public Library quarterly, which was out yesterday.

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September 28, 1908





C. T. Bowers Explained at Grand
Avenue M. E. Church That the
Good Book Will Be a Solace
to Troubled Men.

An organized movement to place a Bible in the rooms of every hotel in the United States was formulated last night at a meeting of the "Gideons," an organization of Christian traveling men, at the Grand Avenue Methodist church. C. T. Bowers of Lincoln, Neb., national field secretary of the "Gideons," reviewed the history of the society since its organization, July 1, 1999, and explained to a deeply interested audience the plan to supply Bibles for the use of guests, in the hotels throughout the country.

"Of the 600,000 and more traveling men in this country," said Mr. Bowers, "3,000 only are 'Gideons,' and yet it is the largest mission effort ever organized that does its work at its own expense, and asks no help from the churches. We have begun this crusade to place Bibles in the hotels throughout the country, in the interest of those who might, if given the opportunity, be led by these simple means to turn from a life of unhappiness to one of usefulness. Many a young man and young woman, tempted almost beyond their strength, far from home and Christian influences might have been saved at a crucial moment, had there been an opportunity given to read the living words of truth, from the Book of God."


The organization took its name from the youthful Hebrew warrior, "Gideon," who, as the Bible relates, attacked, with an inferior force, the powerful Midianite army and put them to rout. The soldiers of "Gideon" were provided with pitchers and trumpets. When the attack was made, they broke the pitchers and blew the trumpets, thus adding to the terror and confusion of the enemy. When the question of choosing a name for the organization which was to fight against the powerful forces of evil was brought up, they decided upon the name "Gideon." A button, emblematical of the name, is worn by each member of the organization. The emblem is a white pitcher on a field of blue.

"I believe that much of the success which has crowned our efforts has been due to the little button we wear," said Mr. Bowers. "If you sit down near a traveling man and engage in a conversation with him he is almost certain to ask the meaning of the emblem you wear. A white pitcher on a field of blue. To the man zealous in the work of his Master, this is sufficient opening to tell of the Christian life and the effort being made for the good of mankind in general and traveling men in particular.

"We realize the magnitude of the work we have undertaken. There are many, many persons anxious to learn more of Christianity and they must learn it through human instrumentality."

Speaking of the vast expense of placing Bibles in the hotels of the country, Mr. Bowers said:

"We are not asking for outside aid. The traveling men of this country will find a means of surmounting the difficulties which face them in this work. We may be compelled to go slowly and equip one city at a time, but rest assured that we have begun and we will finish; and the time is not far distant when a young man or woman, tired and discouraged by the vicissitudes of the day, instead of going to their room in the hotel to sit and brood over their troubles, will be enabled to gain strength and courage from the Bible, placed in their room through the efforts of the 'Gideons.' "

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September 22, 1908



Classed With Others as "Utterly Per-
nicious and Morbid" -- Students
of Fiction Have Privelege of
Their Perusal, However.

Have you read "Together" or "The Little Brother of the Rich"?

If you have, you didn't get them at the public library. Robert Herrick's and Joseph Medill Patterson's latest books are not allowed there because -- well, because they are so naughty.

Mrs. Carrie Whitney, the librarian, in proscibing them, has simply followed the initiative taken by a number of Eastern librarians who have condemned them as "utterly pernicious and morbid" with "exaggerated views and the emotions strained."

"We have been laughing at Mary J. Holmes a long time, and have ridiculed the books she has written -- 'trash,' most people call them," said Mrs. Whitney, "but let me tell you, I would rather her books were in the hands of our young people than 75 per cent of the novels that are being turned out every season. Mary J. Holmes was at least pure in her ideals and there is no hint of anything that is not beautiful or wholesome in her stories. As much cannot be said of the men and women who are vieing with each other in producing the most sensational novel of the year."

Mrs. Whitney is broader than most librarians in her views on literature. Boston and St. Louis have debarred books that are considered classics, but these will be found on the shelves at the Kansas City public library.

"I am pretty well acquainted with the reading public," continued Mrs. Whitney. "I know the students and those who read from morbid curiosity. The student may almost find anything in the way of the classics on our shelves, and for him we have at least one of even the questionable books of modern fiction. We cannot put them on the open shelves in the fiction room, however. And there is very good reason for not doing it. We have different cards for children and for adults, but too many children are drawing books on cards for adults. These children wander around among the fiction shelves, reading what they please, and we have no assurance that the books they draw are really for their parents of for their older sisters and brothers.

"All modern fiction is carefully selected. We have but little money to spend on current literature, and our choice must necessarily be discriminate. Within the past few years there are many books that we have had to debar. There was 'Old Wives for New.' It was not bad, but fearfully vulgar. Mark Twain's 'Double Barreled Detective Story' never found the way to our fiction shelves because there was nothing in it to merit it being there. We barred 'Eve's Diary' for quite another reason, however. 'Pam' and 'Pam Decides' were barred also for this same reason, as were Robert Grant's 'Orchid,' Frederick VanEeden's 'The Deeps of Deliverance,' Victoria Cross's 'Life's Shop Windows' and 'My Poor Relations' by Maarten Maartens. It is almost unnecessary to mention the notorious 'Three Weeks.' I think we must have told 1,000 people that we did not have it on our shelves. Even now we have a few calls, but the public generally has learned that we do not have it. You might mention, too, that 'The End of the Game' is another book that is not in the library.

"As to the two new books, 'Together' and 'The Little Brother of the Rich,' the criticisms that have been spread broadcast against them express my views. They shall never be found here."

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August 21, 1908


Roland Rexroth Is Self-Taught -- At
2 Years Old He Was Not Even
Able to Speak a Word.
Roland Rexroth, 4-Year-Old Child with Phenomenal Intelligence.
Picture and Signature of 4-Year-Old Boy
Who Reads with Remarkable

Almost phenomenal in his brightness is little 4-year-old Roland Rexroth, of 613 Troup avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Despite his years Roland is able to read as well as the average grown person. Newspapers are his particular hobby and he takes delight in reading them to his parents every morning and evening. What is more, he can understand what he reads and often entertains his neighbors and grown friends with discussions of matters which are of current interest.

The fact that he was unable to speak one word until two years ago makes his strange ability to read more remarkable.

About eight months ago, Roland, who had seen a bunch of A, B, C blocks, went to one of his friends, John H. Finlay, and asked him for a set of blocks. Having taken taken an interest in the child since his birth, Mr. Finlay immediately procured the blocks. That was on Tuesday. The following Sunday Mr. Finlay visited the child and found that he had mastered the mysteries of the A, B, C. Without being urged to do so, Roland asked for a primer. Within one week he could read every word contained in the book. Since that time he has rapidly advanced in his ability to read and now is able to read any kind of fiction, even newspapers, understandingly.

Roland is at his best when lying flat upon the floor. For hours he will lie in that position and read.

Wholly unaided, the child learned to write. His writing is nothing more than printing, following out the lines of the letters with which he so readily became familiar, but it is clearly legible. Roland prefers writing on a typewriter, and while he has not much speed developed in that line, his work is without error so far as spelling and punctuation are concerned. How the child learned to punctuate can not be explained.

Roland's parents are poor; too poor to secure books for him to read, and the child longs for books. His neighbors kindly furnish him with newspapers and a few books, but Mr. Finlay has helped the child forward more than anyone else. William Rexroth, the boy's father, is a mechanic. Neither he nor his wife has had more than a grammar school education, and they speak with a German accent.

While Roland shows such remarkable ability to read, he knows nothing about mathematics. It seems strange that the child is able to form letters into words and words into sentences and at the same time be unable to add figures into totals.

A particularly attractive looking child is Roland. He has dark blue eyes, shaded by extremely heavy brows. His face shows much intellect and no mean amount of will power. His features are all clear cut and attractive, but standing out from the rest of his features are his eyes and heavy brows.

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August 9, 1908



Thousands of Pupils Must Pay 13
Cents Extra for the New Al-
gebra -- Other Books
Changed, Too.

Some objection has been raised concerning the change in textbooks which are to be used in the high schools of Kansas City this fall. The change was recommended by the principals of the different high schools, and Superintendent J. M. Greenwood, and then passed upon by the board of education. When asked why the changes were made, Greenwood explained that in every case the textbook dropped has been found unsatisfactory.

"The Milne algebra which has been in use in the high schools here for over ten years was found to be inadequate and not up to date. The change in that book will cost the pupil 13 cents each, and the benefit derived from the change ill be more than 13 cents' worth," said he.

"The physic which has been in use is too hard and complex for the high school student, and it has lately come out in more than one edition, which serves to cause confusion among the pupils who are studying that subject. With the exception of the change in the Latin book, physics and others except the algebra do not exceed the prices of the books which have been in use."

Superintendent Greenwood and Professor G. B. Longan denied emphatically that the book trust had anything to do with the change in textbooks. Superintendent Greenwood was asked if the high schools or ward schools did not change one or more of their textbooks each year. To that question he replied that such was not the case.

"No book of any importance has been changed in our ward schools for years and years," he said. "We consider the books in use in those schools to be adequate for their work. The books of the high schools have been changed oftener and more recently than any of those in the ward schools, but the subjects studied are more advanced and new phases of the subjects are being uncovered. New books must be had to keep pace with the times. At any rate, no pupil is disbarred from the schools because he cannot purchase books. The public schools of Kansas City furnish books free those who are unable to purchase them. Of course the board must know that the pupil cannot afford to buy his books and the matter is closely investigated to prevent graft.

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July 28, 1908



That Was Twenty Years Ago -- Sold
Papers Until His Death Sunday,
Forgotten by Those Who Once Knew Him.

They will be burying Edson E. Phelps today somewhere or other. He died in a third floor back on Sunday, which explains why the doubled-up, little, prematurely old man was not on his camp stool at Eleventh and Main yesterday or the day before, selling newspapers.

When the newspapers yesterday published the announcement of the death of the old "newsboy" they dismissed it in a line or two. There was no mention made about Mr. Phelps, formerly a book seller with a large establishment on Delaware street, and before that the head bookman in M. H. Dickinson's great store at 620 Main street.

The writers who picked up the death of Phelps, the old newsboy, and the undertakers who got his remains, and the deputy coroner who viewed them, were not old enough to remember the days when The Journal was on Fifth street and the town ended at the Junction, where Dr. Munford was talking of putting up one of the biggest buildings in the West, which he had somebody do afterwards, sure enough, and it is there today.

In those days Mr. Phelps, the best known book seller in this part of the country and an authority looked up to from New York and the shops in Churchyard street, London, no less. Mr. Phelps, without a doubt, was the best posted man on books in private trade. He would not snap his fingers to sell a set of new stuff, but he could make T. B. Bullene go miles to look at a hand-tooled Bible, and then made Mr. Bullene buy it and, which may be news to some people interested, he got Father Dalton interested in some other rich old books and the upshot was that Mr. Bullene gave Father Dalton his precious old hand-tooled Bible, that Mr. Phelps had secured for him, one of the only three of the kind in the world.


And Mr. Phelps could walk slap bang up to the desk of Simeon B. Armour, one of the great Armours, and talk books to him. Mr. Armour said once that he understood there was a Mazarin Bible for sale. Could Mr. Dickinson find out about it? Mr. Phelps was sent for, and he told that excepting for the copies in the British museum and the Lenox, N. Y. library, the only other copy was in the hands of a rich Chicago candymaker, and might be bought. What would Mr. Armour care to offer?

Thank you, he would run up and see if Gunther would take $10,000 for the book.

Last week Phelps would say thanks for two pennies for a copy of a newspaper he was selling, and he would take off his hat for a nickel.

Mr. Phelps -- this is going back to the '80s, when Dickinson's bookstore was the literary center of the city and the public library was on the second floor of the old trap at northeast Eighth and Walnut -- handled a Breeches Bible, and he negotiated for a Caxton Golden Legend, finally terminating the deal by deciding the copy was spurious. He knew the whereabouts of the only First Psalter, Caxton movable type print, and bought over half a dozen copies of Mlle De Maupane, excommunicated though it was and hard to get through the postoffice or customs house without having all the pictures and most of the pages torn out. He thought nothing of charging a $100 commission on a two or more volume set of old works when he was Mr. Phelps, and he cried like a child last winter one cold morning when a man, instead of buying a paper which old Phelps, the newsboy, was wobbling about as an offer, slipped a half a dollar in his hand and said, "Pretty cold this morning, Mr. Phelps."


"Mr. Phelps" was getting back to the days of uncut first editions of "Pickwick Papers," second edition "Shakespeares," fully illumined "Arabian Nights," and Frank Tyler, and Cameron Mann, and when Miss Sheldley used to buy her expensive editions through Mr. Phelps.

Mr. Phelps would show his precious smuggled copies -- most of them consigned --to the biggest people of the city, and he had the right to walk into the private office of Colonel W. H. Winants in the old Armour bank and talk original plates to him.

But that was a long time ago. That was as long ago as twenty years, and twenty years are twenty decades in this rapidly revolving West.

The self-same Mr. Phelps did not dare to go into the humblest office where they let out desk room in his last years. He had the bad luck to live too long. He ought to have died when Herb Matthews, his old partner in the bookselling business in the Delaware street store, died, or when his other old running mate, Ed Burton, the stationer at Dickinsons, died. The three were the literary authorities of Kansas City. Two of them died ten years ago, and went to their graves in honor.

Phelps buried himself about the same time, but kept on breathing until last Sunday, and the longer he lived the deeper he buried himself, till he got so deep down and so far out of sight that he could come out in the open and sit on a cap stool at Eleventh and Main and sell papers for coppers, getting into greater ecstasy over a nickel than when he was Mr. Phelps and making $100 commission on a single deal. He did not have to die to be forgotten, but old-timers like D. P. Thompson, whose gallery in those days was near Dickinson's store on North Main street, turned up who remembered when Phelps, the newsboy, was Mr. Phelps, the bookseller and literary antiquarian, and the identity of the man was fixed.

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December 31, 1907


First One Ever Received in Kansas
City Is Now Here.

A year or so ago the late King Oscar of Sweden conceived the idea of sending a number of circulating libraries to the United States to be read by the Swedish people, who had made America their adopted home. The libraries contain about 100 volumes, largely historical and poetical, with some fiction and some translations of American works. The chief purpose of the traveling library is to keep the Swedes in touch with the fatherland.

The first of these libraries to reach Kansas City is now here and is installed at the Swedish Lutheran church, 1238 Penn street, of which Rev. A. W. Lindquist is pastor. After it has remained here a year, it will be sent to another city and another of the libraries will come here. The library now in Kansas City is No. 24, so that the scope of the movement may be gathered from this fact.

Among the books is a translation into Swedish of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." All Swedes are urged to read the books and may consult them by applying at the church.

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October 6, 1907


A New Publication Which Seems to
Fill a Long Felt Want.

A booklet that will be immensely popular with every automobilist in the city has just been issued by Bertrand B. Clarke and James O. Westervelt, containing much valuable information for everybody who enjoys a trip into the country or a spin over the boulevards in the city. It is called the "Automobile Blue Book," and one of its most important features is a map of Jackson county showing the macadam and dirt roads, railway crossings as well as towns.

Starting from the junction at Ninth and Main streets, the distances are indicated by a system of circles, each circle showing a distance of five miles, so that the approximate position in relation to the other point in the county can be determined at a glance. There is a list of every automobile owner in the county, together with the license number of each car, name of the maker as well as the agent handling the different machines, and a number of "pertinent truths," which are intended to be helpful to those operating a new car.

The Automobile Blue Book will be issued quarterly.

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August 2, 1907


Book Agent Ate One, Taking It
for a Mushroom.

W. S. Bundy is a book agent. He is 37 years old and lives at Lister and Linwood avenues. He has a "neat little patch of ground," to use his own words. Bundy stepped into his back yard and saw what looked like a patch of "pretty, round, fresh mushrooms."

"I believe they are toadstools," said his wife.

"Well, I'll just taste one," said Bundy. "If they are toadstools I'll find it out. If they are not, you can cook them for supper."

Thereupon Bundy made his word good by "tasting" one. That was 9 a. m. The pursuit of his business found him on the third floor of the R. A. Long building about noon. Not until then did Bundy realize that he had eaten a toadstool. He was so completely prostrated that the ambulance from the emergency hospital called and took him away. When he reached the hospital he was unconscious. Dr. Paul Lux worked with him all afternoon. At 5 o'clock he was considered out of danger.

"Telephone my wife not to cook those toadstools," were his first words.

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June 13, 1907


Mrs. Spahn, Who Played Organ Two
Hours, Rings Bells.

Mrs. Ellen Spahn, the insane woman who for seven hours played the organ last Sunday in Holy Trinity church, rang doorbells, and rapped on windows on the East side yesterday morning until she was taken charge of by the police and placed in the General hospital. She carried a prayer book with her, and talked disconnectedly to all she met of colors, religion and music. Her home is at 1603 Norton avenue and two daughters and a son have been to the hospital to see her. They will have her examined as to her sanity. She is a cultured woman about 55 years old. Grief over the recent death of a son is supposed to have cost her reason.

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