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August 13, 1909



After Shooting, O'Donnell Disap-
peared, but Later Surrendered
to Police -- Moran Not Dan-
gerously Wounded.

Enmity said to have grown out of a factional fight in the Democratic party in the Second ward last night culminated in a quarrel between Jack O'Donnell, a cigarmaker, who lives at the Century hotel, and James Moran, formerly proprietor of a saloon in the Washington hotel, in which Moran was shot in the neck and painfully injured by O'Donnell. The shooting occurred in the Century hotel about 8:30 o'clock.

Moran with several friends was standing at the bar in the hotel saloon when O'Donnell and Joseph Donnegan, manager of the Century theater, entered the place.

Moran and O'Donnell began quarreling and Harry Friedburg, who was with the Moran party, endeavored to quiet them. He told O'Donnell that there would be trouble if he stayed int he saloon and that it was best that he leave. O'Donnell went into the lobby of the hotel and was followed by Moran, who again started to upbraid O'Donnell. According to witnesses Moran threatened O'Donnell.


"I'll just get you before you have a chance to do anything to me," is the reply credited to O'Donnell, who drew a revolver and fired at Moran, who had turned and was running from the lobby. As Moran dodged into the bargershop from the lobby, O'Donnell, who was following, fired a second and third time. One bullet struck the fleeing man in the back between the shoulders and ranged upwards and to the left, lodgining in the neck. One bullet lodged in the wall and the third went through the door.

Moran ran out of the barger shop and fell on the sidewalk in front. He was carried into the hotel and Dr. J. D. Griffith was summoned. O'Donnell was caught by Friedberg and John Campbell. A police ambulance with Dr. H. T. Morton from the emergency hospital removed the injured man to St. Joseph's hospital. H is wound is not dangerous and he will be out of the hospital in a few days.


The police were notified but when they arrived on the scene O'Donnell had disappeared and they were unable to locate him. Inspector of Detectives E. P. Doyle detailed Detectives Kinney and Jennings on the case. After going to the hotel the men went to the hospital to see Moran, who refused to tell anyone who s hot him. The detectives telephoned the inspector that they could not find O'Donnell, but that Joseph Donnegan informed them that O'Donnell would give himself up the first thing int he morning.

Another officer was informed that O'Donnell was in the Century hotel and would give himself up in the morning. His reason for delaying was said to be because Captain Walter Whitsett disliked him and would place him in the holdover without a chance of securing bond. When Captain Whitsett heard that O'Donnell was at the hotel he instructed Lieutenant M. E. Ryan to send Sergeant Robert Greely to arrest him.


The quarrel last night followed one in the afternoon during which O'Donnell struck Moran in the mouth and further bruised the ex-saloonkeeper. This fight occurred in Wisman's saloon, Twelfth and Oak streets. Bert Striegel, a deputy constable named Caulfield, Joseph Donnegan and Moran were in the saloon when Jack O'Donnell came in. The men had a drink together and then Moran, it is claimed,, accused O'Donnell of throwing down politically Michael O'Hearn. Other charges were made by Moran and finally, it is said, he called Edward O'Donnell, a policeman and brother of Jack, a name which Jack resented. The men engaged in a fight. Wisman separated them and put the crowd out, as he said he would not allow a fight in his place.


It was midnight before the police could locate O'Donnell and then he voluntarily gave himself up. He rode by himself in a carriage to police headquarters and surrendered to Lieutenant M. E. Ryan. He was not asked about the shooting by the officers in charge and was placed in the matron's room. He did not mention the shooting nor offer any explanation for it.

The trouble between the men, it is alleged, grew out of the fact that O'Donnell and Donnegan were out of the town on the last election day and Moran and his friends accused the two of being faithless to O'Hearn. The breach between the men was widened more by O'Donnell's brother arresting a barber on election day.

The shooting scrape of last night is not the first in which O'Donnell has figured. He was shot in the back by J. D. Cosby, proprietor of the Cosby hotel, following a fight in the hotel. At the same time J. P. Hayes, who was with O'Donnell, was shot twice in the back. The shooting was in February, 1908.

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February 2, 1909


There's a Difference of Opinion Over
a Telephone Call.

The identity of the individual who asked that a stay of execution be given the workhouse sentence of E. J. Marr, convicted of vagrancy, is still a mystery. It was reported Sunday that Alderman "Mickey" O'Hearn had asked Chief of Police Ahern to keep Marr out of the workhouse, for a time at least. Alderman O'Hearn does not remember calling up the chief over the telephone or visiting him during the day that he was reported to have interceded in behalf of the prisoner.

"I never heard of the man," he said last night. "I don't see what The Journal has got it in for me about. I never called up the chief about the case, much less visited him."

Chief Ahern said: "Well, I'm sure it was Mr. O'Hearn who called me up. He told me he was coming right down and I held the prisoner until he came. But then I might be mistaken. You know one can't tell every time who is speaking over the phone. No, I don't believe I know who it was, but it certainly sounded like Mr. O'Hearn."

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May 31, 1908



Came Here With Honors of Gradua-
tion Fresh Upon Him and Began
His Eventful Career.

Since it has been charged that, through the influence of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn, the police force in Kansas City has been governed "in a quiet way" ever since Governor Joseph W. Folk's "rigid investigation" nearly one year ago, it might be interesting who Mickey O'Hearn is.

When signed to a legal paper the alderman's name is Michael J. O'Hearn, but to "the boys" he has for years been known as plain "Mickey." Mickey was born in St. Louis, Mo., and lived there until about 25 years old. In St Louis he learned the horseshoeing trade three years ago the present alderman opened another place, at 1205 Walnut streets, where he is still. He then put trade under the private tutelage of that smooth politician, Edward Butler. From Butler it is said that Mickey probably got his first lessons in how to use a copper when you need him; also how to put the kibosh on a cop that you can't use.

It was about twenty years ago when O'Hearn first landed in Kansas City with the intention of making it his home. While he was a horseshoer by trade, and an expert at the business, it is said that he worked at his trade but a short time. Mickey soon found that in those days when the town was "wide open" there were too many soft things floating about for a man of his talents to waste his energies on labor.

When he left his trade Mickey worked at many places as bartender and that gave him an opportunity to "meet the boys." It was not long before he was identified with some of the biggest crap games in town. He is known to have dealt craps on Missouri avenue near Main, and later on Main street, between Ninth and Tenth streets. It beat hanging onto the hind leg of a Missouri mule all hollow.


Mickey O'Hearn was, and still is, a man to be feared when in his cups. The horseshoeing trade gave him solid bone and tough sinew, and he at one time had the reputation of striking the hardest blow with his fist of any man in Kansas City.

"Whenever he hit a guy it meant the hospital or the Morgue," said a close friend yesterday. "But Mickey always would take the part of the under dog. If he came along the street and saw a big guy cleanin' a little one, that fight had to stop or Mickey would take a hand and put the big one to sleep. I never knew him to start a fight on his own accord, except on election day, when lots of fellows are apt to get too fresh."

In the breast of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn is said to beat a kindly heart if touched in the right place. He is said to be charitable and ready with his money if he can relieve suffering. Being a man who has affiliated a great deal with the sporting fraternity, he, like the many others of that ilk, is superstitious. It is said of him that he will not pass an aged organ grinder, especially a woman, without giving a coin. Again it is said that when he "feels lucky" and intends to take a chance at cards, dice or the races, he will walk blocks to rub a hump-backed man or a bald-headed negro. "It gives me luck," they say.

Many years ago Mickey ran the Pike's Peak saloon at Twelfth street and Baltimore avenue. In the day s of the wine room agitation by the board of police commissioners the place was closed. After that he is said to have been interested in a road house at Thirtieth street and Southwest boulevard. That house was closed by many previous boards and by the present one as a disorderly place. O'Hearn then tended bar for Robert Murdock at 1128 Walnut street, and was there several years. When Murdock died, O'Hearn ran the place in his own name, but was said to have belonged to the estate. The board of police commissioners refused to give Mickey another license, giving as the reason that it as not going to allow another saloon at that place. When he was out, however, the place was opened by George Schuri, who is there now.


The saloon business suited Mickey's fancy, so his next venture was a saloon on the southwest corner of Twelfth and McGee streets, in partnership with Jack O'Flaherty, a brother-in-law, by the way, of the present chief of police, Daniel Ahern.

When Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., was inducted into office, Mickey succeeded in landing the job of superintendent of the workhouse for his brother, Paddy, and the job of matron for Mrs. Paddy O'Hearn. He is also said to have placed some of his most valuable lieutenants with Paddy as guards at the works.

While the reputation of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn would not have admitted him to membership at the recent Presbyterian general assembly, it an be said in his favor that he has never been arrested in Kansas City or charged with a serious offense. He has always been a "friend" to the police, especially those who handle the police.

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May 30, 1908





"I Get My Orders From the Boss
Down Town," Boasts an Insub-
ordinate Sergeant --
What Happened to James.

"You'll only be here a few days."

"To hell with the captain. I get my orders from the boss down town."

Could it be that his avowed friendship for Alderman Mickey O'Hearn, and the fact that Mickey was for him when he made sergeant, inspired these remarks from Sergeant Charles Beattie? They were made some time ago in No 3 police station on the Southwest boulevard to Sergeant R. L. James, who, at that time, was in command of the station nights. There was more truth than poetry in the remarks, for James was moved at the next monthly meeting. It is said five persons heard the remarks of Sergeant Beattie.

It is a well known fact to all who understand police duty that the sergeant in charge of a station has full charge of the men in the entire district. On the night that the remarks were made it is reported that Beattie, who was serving as outside sergeant, changed a patrolman whom Sergeant James had ordered to walk the Southwest boulevard until the saloons closed. It was Saturday night and things were doing on the boulevard.

When the patrolman was told to go another beat he went to the station after his lunch, so report says. There this dialogue is said to have taken place:

"It's only 11 o'clock, officer. I thought I told you to stay on the boulevard until the saloons were closed," said James.

"Sergeant Beattie has ordered me back on my beat," was the reply.


Just at that juncture Beattie entered and an explanation was asked for. He said that he had ordered the officer back and intended that he should go there, too. He was asked if he didn't know that the sergeant in charge of the station was his superior officer and t5hat he is said to have replied: "Oh you'll only be here a few days."

James, according to the witnesses, must have felt the influence of the unseen power which has for nearly a year been guiding the affairs of the police, still he fought for his authority.

"I don't want to quarrel with my men, and won't," he is reported as saying, "but, Beattie, if you will be here tomorrow at 9 o'clock we will put this whole matter up to the captain and see who is right."

"To hell with the captain. I get my orders from the boss down town," is the reported remark of Beattie. Then the officer was ordered by Beattie to go hence and he went.

A full report of this affair was made to Captain John Branham, who has charge at No. 3 police station. The captain made his report and the correspondence was sent to Chief of Police Daniel Ahern. There the matter has apparently rested, for Beattie has never called "on the carpet" to explain his remark, and James "got his" at the first of the month. It is also said that the matter of James's removal was taken up with the commissioners later and that they knew nothing of it. Yet the board unanimously adopted a resolution in July last year, saying that only the commissioners should have to do with the shifting of men.


Who moved Sergeant James? What for? He is rated as one of the best officers on the force and there is not a black mark against him. What force was brought to bear? How did Beattie know that James would be moved? Beattie is said to be a close friend of "Mickey."

A reporter attempted to interview Sergeant James last night in regard to the affair. Here is all he got: "Yes, I was once at No. 3. I was moved from there and made relief sergeant. If there was any trouble down there, a full report was made on it, and that is all I have got to say unless called on by my superior officers or the board."

Before Beattie was made a sergeant, he walked a beat on West Twelfth street, by the Century hotel and theater. There he came daily in contact with Joseph Donegan, manager, a close friend of O'Hearn. He also saw O'Hearn many times a week for the Century was a hang out of his when not at his saloon. Many reports came to headquarters of a poker game in that neighborhood, but it was reported "impossible to get at it."


Good men on the police force who got "in bad" by doing their full duty are now living in deadly fear that their names will be published.

"What do you care?" one was asked yesterday. "You did your duty and got the worst of it, didn't you?"

"Yes," he replied mournfully, "and I know just why I got it and who gave it to me. But I have a family to support and I need my job. If you run my name I'm afraid the man who had me moved will have me fired."

All through the whole department that unseen power is felt. All seem to know what and who it is, but they fear to say so, unless called on to do so by the board of police commissioners.

A new man said yesterday that O'Hearn moved to the Century hotel in the Second ward just to run for Alderman there. The January Home telephone book gives his residence as 3427 Euclid avenue.

The police board seems to be resting fairly content while the force is being manipulated to suit a saloonkeeper-politician and his friends. Or is the board "wise" to what is going on -- and willing to stand for it?

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