November 13, 1909
"MAJOR," FIRE DOG, DEAD.
Mascot of Number 6 Station Killed
While on Duty.
"Major," the mascot of No. 6 fire station in Kansas City, Kas., is dead. He was only a dog, was "Major," a little white bulldog of uncertain pedigree, but he had bee the constant companion and playfellow of the boys at "Six" since the days of his puppyhood, and his tragic death yesterday under the wheels of the fire wagon he loved so well, cast a gloom over the station. "An ordinary dog with perhaps a little more than the ordinary intelligence," you would have said, had you seen him plying about the station. Had you carried your investigation farther eager friends would have imparted to you many wonderful tales of the sagacity and almost human intelligence displayed by the mascot.
The ordinary trick dog seen on the stage would have died of envy could he have witnessed the "stunts" performed by "Major" for the edification of his friends, the firemen. Long hours of patient training had perfected him in every trick known to "dogdom," but it was as a shortstop on the baseball diamond that "Major" gained the greatest laurels.
"The greatest dog shortstop in the world," he has been called on numerous occasions. Hundreds of boys and girls, yes, and grown folks too, have watched "Major" as a ball was batted or thrown from some distant part of the field, only to find a lodging between the jaws of the mascot who judged the ball with the accuracy of a major league star.
Always the first to respond to an alarm of fire, sometimes running by the side of the wagon, at other times riding on the footboard or in the basket, Major was a familiar figure at all the fires in the Armourdale district. About a year ago a can of acid was overturned an d some of it burned the mascot's foot. Since that time he has been unable to run any considerable distance and accordingly has ridden on most of the "runs."
It was while returning from a fire yesterday that in some unaccountable manner he was caught under one of the wheels and his hip crushed. Every attention was paid to him and when it was found that he could not live the fire boys brought chloroform and administered it in the hopes of alleviating his sufferings. Later it was found necessary to shoot him in order to end his misery, and an officer was called from No. 3 police station.
Passersby may wonder at the little mound in the rear of the fire station and smile when told that it is the grave of a dog, but to the fire boys, who knew his love and devotion, it marks the resting place of a friend.
Labels: animals, Armourdale, death, Fire, Kansas City Kas, sports
October 23, 1909
TRIPLE MURDER NOT
WORK OF ONE MAN.
TWO PRINCIPALS, SAYS COUNTY
Inquest Develops That Slain Women
Were Alive at 5:30 P. M. Tues-
day -- Prosecutor to Let Guilty
"Sweat" Two Weeks.
RELATIVES OF REIDY ROAD MURDER VICTIMS AND WITNESSES AT INQUEST.
Click to Enlarge.
The coroner's inquest into the deaths of Alonzo R. Van Royen, his wife, Margaret Van Royen, and Mrs. Van Royen's sister, Rose McMahon, who were murdered at the Van Royen farm, west of Kansas City, Kas., last Tuesday, was continued for two weeks yesterday after County Attorney Joseph Taggart of Wyandotte county had examined James and Patrick McMahon, brothers of the dead girl; Dr. W. F. Fairbanks, who made the autopsy; Sheriff Al Becker and James Down, an uncle of the McMahon boys.
"I want this investigation to rest two weeks," said Mr. Taggart. "I want the persons who are guilty of this murder to have time to sweat. I believe there are circumstances in the affair that have not as yet been surmised. There has been a brutal and well planned crime committed, and I want the assistance of everyone in Wyandotte and Jackson counties in getting at the true facts in this case.
TO LET THEM "SWEAT."
"I believe there were two persons actively concerned in this murder. The testimony of Dr. Fairbanks as to the powder burns on the breasts of both women leads me strongly to the belief that two guns were held close to those women, and that they were shot to death at the same time.. It is improbable that one man was holding the two weapons; it looks highly probable that two persons were each standing over the women and putting their lives out.
"There is not going to be any haste in this trial. It's a big case; a deep one, and a case, I believe, that will develop endless circumstances. The persons guilty of this crime are going to sweat, and they won't sweat in my office; they'll have to sweat at home."
BOTH ALIVE AT 5:30.
That James McMahon saw his two sisters, Rose and Margaret, as late as 5:30 o'clock last Tuesday afternoon, that there was friction between Mrs. Van Royen and her mother to the extent that neither called at the other's home; that Patrick McMahon spoke to his brother-in-law, Van Royen, when he met him, but that he had never called at the little home of the Van Royen's until after the murder, that Patrick opposed his sister and her husband in their desire to move out of the farm -- a wish resented by Patrick McMahon -- were some of the incidents of the family life brought out in the testimony yesterday of James and Patrick McMahon.
It has been the understanding of the officials all along that there had been no accounting for the three victims of the tragedy after 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. At about that time Van Royen was seen to drive over the Reidy road into the valley of the stream which runs through the farm. He was bound for the place while he had been cutting dry wood, and from where, according to all evidence given, he never returned alive. The county attorney argues that Van Royen must have been murdered before 3 p. m., for he could have secured his load of wood and returned to the house within an hour. If Van Royen was murdered early in the afternoon, says the county attorney, and Margaret Van Royen and Rose McMahon were seen as late as 5:30 o'clock that same day what was the murderer doing in the meantime, and how long after 5:30 were the women slain?
TRAMP THEORY EXPLODED.
The testimony of James McMahon that the women were alive at 5:30 explodes the theory that the much discussed wandering tramp committed the crime, for that person, according to a score of witnesses, was well beyond the Leavenworth city line at that hour.
The inquest will be resumed November 5.
The funeral of Van Royen, his wife and Rose McMahon will be held at 10 o'clock this morning, from the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Chelsea Place. Three priests will officiate. Burial will be in St. John's cemetery.
Labels: Armourdale, churches, County Attorney Taggart, Kansas City Kas, Leavenworth, murder, Reidy road, Sheriff Becker, undertakers, Van Royen Murders
October 22, 1909
TRIPLE MURDER NOT
COMMITTED BY TRAMP.
THEORY ON WHICH SHERIFF
BECKER IS WORKING.
Believed Crime Was Carefully Plan-
ned and Deliberately Carried
Out -- Robbery Not Motive,
the Officers Say.
An important development in the case of the murder of Alonzo R. Van Royen, his wife, Margaret, and her sister, Rose McMahon at the Van Royen farm on the Reidy road, five miles west of Kansas City, Kas., last Tuesday afternoon, is expected when the coroner's inquest is held in the Daniel Brothers' undertaking rooms, Armourdale, at 9 o'clock this morning.
Following his visit to the home of the McMahons and the Van Royens yesterday afternoon, Joseph Taggart, county attorney, made an earnest request of the county coroner, Dr. J. A. Davis, to hold an inquest. Sheriff Al Becker, who obtained important information in two visits to the farms yesterday, also requested the inquest. Dr. Davis had announced that there would be no inquest, but he finally acquiesced.
Taggart made this statement to The Journal:
"The murder of these three persons was a deliberate one. It was not committed by a begging tramp, a wayfarer or a skilled criminal, but it was planned deliberately and executed by a man thoroughly familiar with the Van Royen home and the territory surrounding it; a man who knew the people that he murdered and a resident of Wyandotte county.
PURPOSE WELL FORMED.
"That is my firm opinion of the case after reviewing the evidence at hand. True, the evidence is negative, but the man who committed this triple murder carefully formed his purpose and knew just what he was about."
Taggart, in company with Sheriff Becker and Henry T. Zimmer, former chief of police in Kansas City, Kas., made a visit to the scene of the tragedy yesterday afternoon. Sheriff Becker had made a visit in the morning and had reported his findings to the county attorney. In the opinion of Sheriff Becker there was not the slightest doubt that some deep motive lay back of the tragedy, and the uncommon circumstances, evident at every hand, convinced him that some person or persons, after long study, had formulated a plan that was so skillfully made to arouse the very suspicion that it had been aimed to divert.
THIRTEEN BULLETS FIRED.
Thirteen bullets were fired in the killing of the three persons, yet not an empty shell could be found, either at the place where Van Royen was killed or in the home where the two women met their death. There were at least nine shots fired in the home, that many bullets having been taken from the bodies of the two women. Unless the murderer carried two loaded revolvers he would have had to reload his gun and release the empty cartridges.
Another interesting and convincing point is that while nine empty purses were found in the Van Royen home and no money could be found anywhere, two trunks, filled with clothing and various articles, were not disturbed. A man with the sole intent of robbery, it is argued, would have ransacked the trunks and the cupboard.
The authorities believe that if a wayfarer had seized the opportunity to murder and rob, Van Royen, who was a full half mile from the home, would not have been killed, even though the robber would have been compelled to slay the women. The location of Van Royen's body, placed in the mouth of a small ravine, which was barely large enough to conceal it, indicated beyond reasonable doubt that the murderer awaited his chance when Van Royen should be a safe distance from the house, slew him and after placing him in the ravine and covering the body with dried leaves, proceeded to the home to slay the unprotected women. That this theory is beyond reasonable doubt is Sheriff Becker's opinion, after canvassing every part of the territory.
BROTHERS VISIT PLACE.
Many persons visited the home yesterday. James McMahon, a brother of the girls, was there in the morning, and Patrick McMahon, another brother, looked after the property in the afternoon. As on Wednesday, when the murder was uncovered, the brothers could give no tangible information as to what caused the killing.
James McMahon still thinks that the man in whose company he found his brother-in-law Tuesday may have been the slayer. His description of the stranger is not complete, as he says he paid little attention to him.
It is believed now that the mysterious stranger, who visited so many of the farmers in the neighborhood Monday afternoon, begging money from them, had no connection with the crime. The man was bound west, and inquiries from the farmers living several miles beyond the scene of the murder developed the fact that the stranger at sundown Monday night was near the Leavenworth county line.
The sheriff thinks the man would hardly return over the same route Monday with the hope of receiving more money.
Labels: Armourdale, County Attorney Taggart, murder, Reidy road, Sheriff Becker, undertakers, Van Royen Murders
October 21, 1909
TRIPLE TRAGEDY IN
POSSE WITH BLOODHOUNDS SEARCH-
ING FOR THE UNKNOWN SLAYER OF
ALONZO VAN ROYEN, HIS WIFE
AND HER SISTER.
MANY BULLET WOUNDS
IN THE WOMEN'S BODIES.
MYSTERIOUS VISITOR SOUGHT
Coroner's Office Delays Sheriff
Several Hours by Failing
to Promptly Report
MRS. MARGARET VAN ROYEN AND MISS ROSE M'MAHON.
Two of the Victims of a Triple Tragedy That is Mystifying the Kansas City, Kas., Officials.
A triple murder in which Alonzo Van Royen, a farmer; his wife, Margaret Van Royen, and Mrs. Van Royen's sister, Rose McMahon, were the victims was enacted Tuesday night or Wednesday morning on the Reidy road in Wyandotte county, about five miles west of Kansas City, Kas.
A posse with bloodhounds is now searching for the assassin whose identity is not known.
The body of Van Royen was not discovered until ten hours after the bodies of the murdered women had been found, and during the interim the theory of the officials was that Van Royen had murdered his wife and sister-in-law and had fled.
The bodies of the women were discovered by their brother, James McMahon, who went to their ho me and found them lying on the floor of their one room about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Shortly before midnight Sheriff Al Becker and a party discovered the body of Van Royen lying near a ravine about fifty feet from the house.
MANY BULLETS FOR WOMEN.
Six bullet wounds, made by a 38-caliber revolver, were in the body of Mrs. Van Royen, and three bullets were found in the body of her sister. Both women were pierced through the heart and every bullet was fired into their breasts.
When the news of the murder spread through the country, fifty farmers, carrying lanterns in their hands, organized a posse to search for Van Royen. At 11 o'clock his body, buried under leaves, was found by Geo. Stimpson, a 19-year-old farmer boy living a short distance west of the Van Royen farm on the Reidy road.
The body was found to have two bullet wounds in the back. One of them passed through the heart. His face had three bruises on it. At 1 o'clock this morning the body was taken to Daniel Bros. undertaking rooms in Armourdale.
The police who brought the bloodhounds to the scene were forced to give up the hunt. The trail of the murderer was found to be "cold." A good description has been secured. Telegrams were sent this morning to the police departments in this part of the country to be on the lookout for the man.
There was a visitor at the Van Royen home Tuesday morning and it is for this man that the officials are vigorously searching. James McMahon saw the stranger talking to Van Royen, but did not learn his name. He thought the man was buying potatoes. The diaimond ring which Mrs. Van Royen wore is gone from her finger, also other jewelry and money, possibly as much as $700, which was known to be in the house.
The Van Royens lived on a twelve-acre farm about a half mile distant from the farm of Mrs. Van Royen's mother, who is the widow of Timothy McMahon, one of the first settlers in Wyandotte county. On the mother's farm live three sons, James, Timothy and Patrick McMahon. Rose McMahon lived with her mother, but was a daily visitor at the home of her sister.
James McMahon made this statement to The Journal:
"Van Royen came over to our place Tuesday morning and said he was going to Kansas City, Mo., to sell some potatoes, and asked that Rose go over to his house and stay with Margaret. Rose left here Tuesday afternoon. I went to town Wednesday morning and when I returned my mother told me that Rose had not come home Tuesday night. This was an unusual thing. I also expected to see Van Royen at the market, but I learned that he had not been there.
"I went over to their home and then went to the back door and knocked. I got no response, so I tried the door. It was not locked. As I entered I saw the dead bodies of my sisters. Margaret was lying near the south door, a part of her body resting under the dining table. Rose, wearing her outer cloak, was lying near the west door. Thee bed clothes were rumpled and the dishes were not washed, but the room did not indicate that there had been a struggle. I looked for my brother-in-law, but found him nowhere in sight. I was stunned, of course, that there was no reasoning of the problem. I ran to a neighbor's and notified the coroner.
MAY HAVE SEEN SLAYER.
"I am confident that the man I saw my brother-in-law with the day before had something to do with the killing. I was not introduced to him, but Mr. Van Royen appeared to know him pretty well. We have been selling a good many potatoes and I supposed that it was some fellow after potatoes or possibly a load of wood.
"The man wore overalls and a gray coat. He was of dark complexion, having black hair and a black moustache, and of medium build."
James A. Downs, the uncle of Mrs. Van Royen, said last night that Van Royen, in company with a stranger, whose description answers that of the man seen by McMahon, came to his Union avenue saloon about a week ago. Downs was not there, but his bartender told him that Van Royen had called for him.
"About a week ago," said Mr. Downs, "Mrs. Van Royen visited me and said that she and her husband had decided to sell their farm and move to Colorado. They wanted to farm out there on a larger scale.
"I advised them not to leave. She said that her husband was anxious to move and was insistent upon it. I had not seen her since and don't know whether the sale was consummated. My theory is that Van Royen had talked about the prospective sale and that someone just laid for the money. Even if the sale was not consummated there probably was $600 or $700 in the house."
The great number of shots fired into the women by the assassin mystifies the authorities. According to the coroner, nearly every one of the bullet wounds would have caused the death. The coroner searched the premises and found in a trunk a 38-caliber revolver, unloaded. It did not smell of powder and he doesn't believe it was the weapon used in the tragedy. Three loaded cartridges were found in the trunk.
HER UNTIMELY ARRIVAL.
In the coroner's opinion the victims had been dead at least eight or ten hours before their bodies were discovered. The killing of Rose McMahon, it is conjectured, resulted from her arriving at the house at an unexpected moment, just as the assassin had begun his plan of slaying the husband and the wife and that he killed her to put the only witness out of the way. The fact that the girl's cloak was about her body indicates that she had either just arrived or was just departing.
MET AT CHURCH FAIR.
Alonzo Van Royen was 32 years old and his wife was the same age. They met at a Catholic church fair in Chelsea place, Kansas City, Kas., three years ago and were married soon after, Father Stephen Kelly, the pastor of the Chelsea Place church performing the ceremony. Van Royen was then a driver for a baker, an occupation he had followed for several years. He continued with the bakery until about a year after his marriage when he started a small grocery store in Mount Washington. He ran the grocery store a few months and then he and his wife went to live with Mrs. Van Royen's mother.
Mrs. Van Royen owned twelve acres, which originally was a part of her father's farm. A short time ago her husband erected on this land a one-room frame house and they went there to live. The married life of the Van Royens was said to be ideal and both were extremely popular. Their plan to sell the property and move to Colorado was not approved of by any of their relatives, who did not want to see them leave Kansas City.
Their threatened departure was especially opposed by Rose McMahon, the slain sister, who was always her sister's companion. Rose was 24 years old and an attractive girl of the brunette type. Every day she went over to her sister's house.
Another sister, Nellie, is the wife of Edward E. Blue of 4909 Michigan avenue. A third sister is Cyrilla, wife of Richard O'Brien of St. Joseph, Mo., and a fourth, Catherine, is a nun in a Catholic convent at Butte, Mont. Mrs. John Ellis, an aunt, lives at Seventh street and Oakland avenue, Kansas City, Kas., and it was at her home last night that Mr. and Mrs. Blue, Mr. Downs and a few intimate friends of the family gathered. At this time the body of Van Royen had not been discovered and the theory that he had murdered his wife and sister-in-law was suggested. No member present would be convinced that such was the condition.
MURDERER HAS GOOD START.
The bodies of the murdered women were taken to the undertaking rooms of Daniel Bros., Packard and Kansas avenues, and the body of Van Royen will be taken there as soon as Coroner Davis examines it.
In the meantime, the sheriff and his deputies are searching the surrounding country in the hope of apprehending the murderer. The sheriff believes that the murderer has a start of at least twenty-four hours and he has probably gotten a safe distance away.
The ho use of the tragedy stands amid lonely surroundings. Practically the nearest neighbor is the McMahones, a half mile away. A small stream rns near the house and it was beside this that the body of Van Royen was found. There was a team of horses standing tweenty feet away and a short distance from the horses was a wagon. Van Royen had another team, but this was gone and the slayer probably used the horses in his escape.
An inquest will be held today but the funeral arrangements for the three victims have not been determined.
CORONER DELAYED SHERIFF.
Owing to the fact that Coroner Davis did not notify the sheriff until 7 o'clock last night, the Wyandotte county authorities had little opportunity to run down any tangible clue. Mr. McMahon notified Coroner Davis of the tragedy at 1:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Instead of informing the sheriff of the crime the coroner had brought the bodies of the women to an undertaker's establishment, and then he called up the sheriff's office. According to Sheriff Becker, the coroner gave such an indefinite description of the locality last night that he went eight miles out of the way before arriving at the Van Royen home at 10 o'clock. If the bloodhounds could have been brought to the scene yesterday afternoon, the sheriff thinks the animals might have found the trail.
According to the sheriff, other instances of negligence on the part of the coroner have been noticed during the year.
Labels: Armourdale, churches, farmers, Kansas City Kas, ministers, Mt. Washington, murder, Reidy road, saloon, Sheriff Becker, Van Royen Murders
August 16, 1909
HEARD HIS CHILD WAS DYING.
McWilliams Ran Home and Fell in
Doorway From Heat Exhuastion.
Although it was much cooler yesterday than the day before, one case of heat prostration was reported in Kansas City, Kas. John McWilliams, a teamster employed by the Armourdale Lumber Company, while driving his team along South Tenth street yesterday afternoon, was notified that his 4-year-old son was very sick and likely to die. McWilliams tied his team and ran all the way to his home at 376 South Boeke street, a distance of nine blocks. When he reached his home he fell in the doorway unconscious. He was attended by Dr. J. A. Davis, who had been called to attend the child. Dr. Davis said he was prostrated by the heat, and that the condition was critical. The child, which was stricken with spasms, recovered before his father reached home.
Labels: Armourdale, children, doctors, illness, Kansas City Kas, teamsters, weather
July 5, 1909
QUIET FOURTH, BUT
TWO KANSAS CITYS HAVE LONG
LIST OF CASUALTIES.
Big Demand for Tetanus Anti-Toxin
at Emergency Hospital -- Four
Boys Hurt in One Explosion.
It was one of the quietest Fourths of July the two Kansas City's ever experienced. But the real test will come today. Many minor accidents were reported yesterday, and there were a number of applications to Dr. W. L. Gist of the emergency hospital for injections of tetanus anti-toxin to ward off the possibility of lockjaw from injuries.
Victim No. 1 to ask for aid at the dispensary was Willie Parrish, 9 years old, 1230 Drury avenue. Willie was playing with a friend named Clarence Cott, who was handling a pistol. It was accidentally discharged and a piece of the gun wad entered the palm of Willie's left hand.
A blank cartridge which S. Stern, 10 years old, 571 Campbell street, accidentally discharged, injured his right hand. He went to the emergency hospital and Dr. Gist cauterized the wound and gave him an injection of tetanus anti-toxin.
CHILD MAY LOSE EYE.
William Meyer, 14 years old, 2108 West Prospect avenue, was wounded yesterday afternoon while playing with a 22-caliber pistol. A wad struck him on the left hand, which was dressed in the emergency hospital. The surgeon made use of 1,5000 units of the anti-toxin which Dr. W. S. Wheeler secured to prevent tetanus infection.
Powder burns, suffered when his brother, John, snapped a toy pistol containing a blank cartridge, probably will cost Charles Grube, aged 6 years, 838 South Pyle street, Armourdale, the sight of his right eye.
Only a few boys and no grown-ups were arrested yesterday for noisy celebration of the Fourth. One boy was taken in at Central police station during the forenoon for exploding a cannon cracker on West Fifth street. His father appeared in a few minutes. Only $4 was necessary too get this juvenile lawbreaker from behind the bars. Police station Nos. 9, 5, 4 and 6 also made an arrest apiece, all the boys being released on minimum bonds.
Thomas Rogers, a negro 14 years old, applied at the emergency hospital last night for treatment, saying he feared he was suffering from lockjaw. Thomas shot himself in the hand with a toy pistol July 2. A piece of the cap was imbedded in the skin. One thousand five hundred units of anti-toxin was administered, and the boy sent home. He was instructed to keep his hand in hot water during the night.
Probably the most serious accident in Kansas City, Kas., was the injury sustained by S. A. Brophy, a street car conductor, living at 332 North Tenth street. The wadding from a blank cartridge entered his left thigh on the inside of the leg and caused a wound which Dr. W. R. Palmer, the attending physician, said last night might prove serious. Brophy was talking to a fellow street car conductor, L. J. Clark, when the latter pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger.
BOY MAY LOSE HAND.
Roy Irvine, 5 years old, was injured by a piece of tin which flew from a torpedo and buried itself in the third finger of his left hand. He was treated at the home of his father, R. W. Irvine, 727 Central avenue.
Herman Fielder, 11 years old, was shot through the palm of his left hand by the wadding from a blank cartridge. He was attended by Dr. J. A. Davis, and removed to his home, 940 Ohio avenue. Charles Orr, 931 Tenney avenue, held a firecracker in his left hand while it exploded and may lose the index finger of his left hand as a result. He was attended by Dr. J. A. Davis. Mrs. M. Westerman, 318 North Tenth street, fell and dislocated her left shoulder while attempting to get away from a bunch of firecrackers which had been thrown near her. Mrs. Westerman is 62 years old, and was suffering great pain last night. She was attended by Dr. J. A. Davis.
Nathan Spicer, a merchant at 40 North James street, shot himself through the palm of the right hand while explaining the mechanism of a revolver to a prospective customer. He was attended by Dr. C. H. Brown, assistant police surgeon. James Whipple, 20 North James street, was struck by a flying particle during an explosion near his home and was burned on the left hand.
Labels: accident, Armourdale, Campbell street, children, doctors, Dr. Gist, Drury avenue, fireworks, guns, holidays, Kansas City Kas, police, Prospect avenue, toys
June 21, 1909
MARKS CALLED A BLUFF.
Invaded an Italian Saloon Where
He Had Been Threatened.
A few nights ago a carpenter, a citizen of Armourdale, Kas., strayed into an Italian saloon in West Fifth street. While there, he said he overheard the bartender and others talking of Commissioner Thomas R. Marks. Dire threats, even to cutting the commissioner's throat, or decapitating him, he claims, were made.
Believing he would do a service in warning the police of what he he heard, the carpenter went to police headquarters and told his story. While he was telling it, Mr. Marks came in and was called to hear what was said to be in store for him.
Suddenly Mr. Marks left the station. He knew the location of the saloon where the threats were said to have been made, and he went there.
"My name is Thomas R. Marks, one of the police commissioners of Kansas City," witnesses report him as saying. "I hear that someone over here is going to cut my throat or cut my head off before I reach the city hall tomorrow. Here I am and you may as well begin now."
Mr. Marks was so mad that for once he is reported to have used adjectives not in the dictionary.
"Notta me," said the man behind the bar. "Me say notta da word bout you, Mr. Commisinia de Marka. You doa one granda work. Me tink you one granda da man, good as Garibaldi or Georga de Wash. You come one wrong place; we all for Mr. Commisha de Marka."
About this time a customer arrived in the saloon, and, not knowing was was on, ordered a glass of beer. The man behind the bar, still lauding Mr. Marks, turned to draw the beer.
"Don't you turn your back on me, you stiletto-sticking, black-handed rascal," ordered the police commissioner.
The frightened Italian wheeled about with more profuse apologies, saying Mr. Marks was a greater man than "Mayor de Crit or Presidenta da Taffa."
After satisfying himself that all within his hearing had been thoroughly subdued and that no more threats would come from such a source, Mr. Marks strode from the trembling bunch of dark-eyed foreigners and went back to police headquarters. His venture was regarded as foolhardy by the police, none of whom he asked to accompany him. The police say, however, that the proprietor of that saloon now cannot have too much praise for "Mr. Commisha de Marka."
Labels: Armourdale, Commissioner Marks, immigrants, police, police headquarters, saloon
May 29, 1909
PIONEER CONDUCTOR DIES.
A. B. Shepherd Ran Out of Topeka
in 1870 on Santa Fe.
A. B. Shepherd, one of the three conductors who were with the Santa Fe railroad when it started out of Topeka in 1870, and one of the oldest passenger conductors working out of the Union depot, died yesterday morning at his home, 1216 Washington street, at the age of 67 years. For several years Mr. Shepherd has had a night run on the Missouri Pacific line from Kansas City to Coffeyville, Kas.
Born and reared in Wellsville, O., Mr. Shepherd enlisted in the One Hundred and First Ohio volunteers at the outbreak of the civil war. At its close he was discharged with the rank of sergeant. Immediately he became a brakeman on the Cleveland & Pittsburg railway and had been in the railway business since, working out of Kansas City for thirty years.
Mr. Shepherd was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors. A widow and two sons, Charles, who lives in Armourdale, and Wilbur B., who lives at the Washington street address, survive.
Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home. Rev. Dr. George Reynolds, pastor of the Second Presbyterian church, will officiate. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery.
Labels: Armourdale, cemetery, Civil War, death, ministers, railroad, Topeka, veterans, Washington street
May 24, 1909
IS A KNOWING DOG.
Some of the Stunts Performed by
"Tige" in Kansas City, Kas.
The Famous Dog of Kansas City, Kas.
The remarkable intelligence displayed by Tige, a pedigreed bull dog, belonging to F. J. Wallis, 1224 Hasbrook avenue, Kansas City, Kas., makes him the most popular dog in the city. The circle of acquaintance of this knowing canine is not limited by the immediate neighborhood in which he lives, for practically every school child and many grown persons esteem it a special favor to be greeted as a friend by this descendant of royalty. An enthusiastic audience is never wanting when Tige decides to go through some of the "stunts" which have made him famous. Unlike the ordinary "trick" dog, Tige does not require to be prompted, but of his own accord will go through performances which would make the ordinary circus dog look like an amateur.
Sunday afternoon is matinee day with Tige and upon these occasions an open air performance is given for the benefit of the visitors who come from all parts of Armourdale to see their favorite.
Among the many feats accredited to Tige, aside from the ordinary ones of catching a ball in his mouth, jumping through a hoop and rolling a barrel, are those of climbing an eight-foot post and recovering an object placed upon the top of it. An object thrown onto the roof of a house will be recovered by Tige, who climbs a ladder and leaps from it to the roof. He will jump straight into the air a distance of six and a half feet and swing from a clothes line until told to drop to the ground. He will open sewing machine drawers or like places of concealment to recover hidden articles. A handkerchief given to him will be concealed under a fore leg while the dog pretends to search for it. In addition to his acrobatic accomplishments, Tige has a great reputation as a ratter, having on numerous occasions killed eight rats in three minutes. This thirty-pound brindle bulldog serves the double purpose of chief entertainer for a multitude of school children during the daytime and a faithful guardian of his master's premises at night.
Labels: animals, Armourdale, children, Kansas City Kas
April 3, 1909
USED WHIP ON HIGHWAYMAN.
Unsuccessful Attempt to Hold Up
Dr. Zachariah Nason of 636 Osage avenue, Kansas City, Kas., reported to the police that he was attacked at 10:30 o'clock last night by two masked highwaymen, who attempted to rob him at Seventh street and Tenny avenue. The intersection of the two streets is not well lighted, and while driving along Seventh street two young men, one of whom was in his shirt sleeves, stepped out from the shadows and commanded the doctor to throw up his hands. The smaller of the two men attempted to grasp the reins, while his companion approached the intended victim. Leaning out over the buggy shell the doctor struck the larger of the two men across the face with his whip and a second later struck the horse, causing him to break the hold of the other robber, and effecting his escape.
Labels: Armourdale, buggy, doctors, highway robbery, Kansas City Kas
December 26, 1908
TO 5,700 CHILDREN.
MAYOR'S CHRISTMAS TREE WAS
A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS.
BUT THEY WILL GET THEIR
SHARE OF GIFTS TODAY.
Little Ones Came From Suburban
Places and Swelled the Throng
Beyond Expectation -- More
Toys Have Been Bought.
Was it a success, the first Mayor's Christmas tree in Kansas City? It was, even more than a success, and if the committee had counted on delegates from Kansas City, Kas., Armourdale, Argentine, Rosedale, Olathe, Kas., Independence, Holden and Pleasant Hill, Mo., and a few from Chicago, Ill., all would have gone off swimmingly. As it was there were more present than presents.
The women sacked and separated 5,000 bags for boys and girls, and 2,500 sacks lay on tables on each side of the hall. Besides those, about 700 Christmas bags had been prepared specially for children in hospitals and those who were ill at home and could not come to Convention hall. It was the intention to deliver them by wagons late yesterday afternoon.
In one short hour every sack was gone, including the ones prepared for the hospitals, and many children were still in line. Over 700 tickets were given to them to come to the hall at 2 o'clock this afternoon when an effort will be made to supply them. Captain J. F. Pelletier of the purchasing committee bought toys, candies and nuts last night and a committee of tired women will be at the hall at 8 o'clock this morning to prepare them. It is estimated that fully 1,000 children who were last in line failed to get a Christmas sack.
CAME HOURS TOO SOON.
It was stated that he doors to the main floor would be opened at 1 p. m. and that the distribution would begin at 2 o'clock. But the children began gathering at 10 o'clock, and as the wind was raw, they were admitted to the balconies of the hall.
Shortly after 1 o'clock some one gave the word "Ready" and the girls and boys rushed from the balconies and jammed into one living mass before the entrance to the arena. The wee ones were being smothered and, in order to save lives, the crowd had to be admitted to the floor.
On the right side was a big placard reading "BOYS" and on the left another reading "GIRLS." Instead of mingling about the hall and looking at the trees and watching the antics of the five Santa Clauses under the two great evergreens, the boys massed before the chute leading to their side and the girls did likewise on the other side.
Patrolmen William M. Meyers, Elvin Gray, T. L. Savidge, George H. Moseley and Thomas McNally, who were rigged in full regalia as the five Saints Nick did all they could to detract the attention of the children, but they had their eyes on those Christmas bags, and the lumbering antics didn't even win a grin.
There was nothing to do but start the ball, and start it they did. The first boy to get his goodies was George Cook, 11 years old, of 115 North Prospect avenue. A committeeman placed the imprint of a little Christmas tree on the back of George's left hand with a rubber stamp and indelible ink. He grabbed his sack, sailed through the chute and squatted immediately outside the door to see what he had. He was soon followed by a mob of other boys, just as curious, and soon the doorway had to be cleared by a policeman as there was a boy to every square foot.
SHE HAD A DOUBLE LOAD.
At the head of the girls' line stood Ester Cronkhite, 11 years old, 1700 Fremont avenue. In her arms she carried her 2-year-old sister, Alice. Both were given appropriate sacks and, heavily laden, little Ester labored on. The children were given street car tickets home. One ticket entitled tow to a ride.
Most attention was paid to the boys, as it was believed that they -- the little scamps --- would do some duplicating. Soon after it was seen that their hands were being stamped several boys appeared in line with gloves on. And so did some of the girls. When the jam on the boys' side got beyond control Detective Thomas Hayde mounted a box and, in stentorian tones commanded, "Here, you kids, quit that pushing. Don't you see you're smothering these kids here in the front? Stand back there. Quit that."
"Hully chee," said one boy, "dere's de chief. Skedoo back kids and beehave er we won't git nuttin."
From that announcement there was a line formed out of the boys and there was little crowding. "De chief's here," went down the line. "See 'im hollerin' on de box dere." That settled it with them.
SHOVED POLICE ASIDE.
On the girls side there was nothing short of chaos. About nine stalwart coppers -- out of thirty detailed at the hall -- under Captain John Branham, could no t keep them in line. They actually shoved the police to one side. "O'm demmed, eh? Oi aint timpted tuh give 'em the loight schlap," said one policeman, who had been shoved about ten feet by the little girls, "but 'twudn't do, all being gerrels, ye know."
While the bulk of the eagle eyes were on the boys to see that they played no tricks and did no repeating, the girls did a rushing business on that very line. At the head of the line were bags for little girls, and the big ones got theirs further on. Many of the "mediums," which could pass for both, got both. One was seen to get a sack, hold it under her cloaK with one hand, while with the other hand she gratefully received another.
Still others would get their sack and immediately pass it over the chute to a waiting companion on the outside while she passed on and got a second present from another woman. Many of the sharp boys whose hands had been stamped and who could not get back in line were seen to do this same thing.
"GIMME 'NOTHER, MISTER."
"Gimme 'nother for my little brother what's sick at home an' can't come. Gimme one fer my sister with th' mumps. Gimme one fer my little cousin what has fits an' can't come. Gimme 'nother one fer my half little brother what's visitin' an' won't be home 'till New Years. Gimme 'nother, please, fer a kid what lives by me an' sprained his leg so he can't git his shoes on any more this year."
The foregoing excuses were given by the boys and girls in line, and there were possibly a hundred others. No one could refuse them, as many cried to make the play strong.
Many little ones got lost from brothers and sisters, and the five Santa Clauses were kept busy carrying them about hunting for relatives and companions with whom they had come. All were crying. R. S. Crohn found a little fellow's brother for him three times, and when he got lost again turned him over to Santa Claus. Finally a room was set apart for the lost ones and by the time the festivities were over all lost children had been restored.
THE MAYOR WAS LATE.
Mayor Thomas T. Crtittenden, Jr. , mistaken in the time he should have been there, arrived at Convention hall with Franklin Hudson, just as the last of the bags had been given out to the children. There was to have been an entertainment, with a speech by the mayor, but that had to be left out. Devaney's orchestra furnished music while the children were waiting.
"It's the happiest day of my life," said the mayor. "I wouldn't have missed the little I have seen for anything. We will know better how to proceed next year, however, and will begin earlier. Another thing we will know is just how many children will be here and just what sort of presents to put up for them. Other cities may profit by our example next y ear and relieve us of such an unfortunate incident as took place today. We have more money, however, will buy more toys, more nuts, candy and fruit, and will be ready for the leftovers Saturday at 2 p. m."
"It was more than what we bargained for," said Franklin Hudson, chairman of the executive committee. "We were counting on our own children only -- but what's the difference, they are all children anyway."
"I don't care if they came here from Europe," said Captain J. F. Pelletier. "We were not looking for 1,500 outsiders, but as they weere here we are glad of it. I wish all the kids on earth had been here. At one time I thought at least half of them were here.
Another large bundle of Santa Claus letters were received at the hall yesterday, some of them being handed in by the children who came. They will be classified by districts and an effort made as far as possible to give each child just hwat it asked for. It may take several days yet, but the committee says: "We are not going to do this thing by halves."
Labels: Argentine, Armourdale, charity, Chicago, children, Convention Hall, holidays, Independence, Kansas City Kas, Mayor Crittenden, music, Olathe, Prospect avenue, Public administrator Crohn, Rosedale, toys
December 10, 1908
"ADAM GOD" HAS
NOT BEEN CAUGHT.
LEADER OF MANIACAL RELIG-
IONISTS STILL AT LARGE.
DETECTIVE BOYLE AFTER HIM.
BELIEVED TO BE HEADING FOR
Man Answering His Description Seen
in Armourdale -- Clark and Mul-
lane May Recover -- Selsor
Information was given the police about noon yesterday that a man answering the description of James Sharp, the "Adam God" of the murderous band of maniacal religionists which shot three members of the police force Tuesday, had been seen in Armourdale by a railroad man. Police were immediately dispatched to pick up the man's trail. At last midnight Sharp was still at large.
Every lodging house in the city and all the places were searched by the police Tuesday night and yesterday morning in an effort to catch the instigator of the riot of Tuesday afternoon in which Patrolman Albert O. Dublow was killed and two policeman and a citizen were seriously wounded. Many false clues were followed, as every policeman was anxious to find the man who had preached to his followers that it was right to kill.
Though the entire department was working on the case not a trace of Sharp could be found, and the information that he had passed through Armourdale was the first clue that looked good. The railroad man who telephoned to Chief Daniel Ahern that he had seen Sharp, said that the man had trimmed his whiskers and was bleeding. It was known that Sharp had been shot in the hand. When he laid a gun on the bar in John Blanchon's saloon, 400 Main street, while the shooting was going on in the street, the bartender saw that his right hand was bleeding.
NEGRO TRIMMED HIS BEARD.
According to the story told by the railroad man, Sharp stopped him and asked the direction to Bonner Springs, and then hurried on. He told the chief that he noticed blood on the man's hand and clothes. While Sharp wore a long beard, partly gray, during the fight, when he stopped in the railroad yards in Armourdale the beard was clipped, and his hair had been trimmed. Two hours later the police at No. 2 station were told by Chester Ramsey, a negro barber for George W. Robinson, 956 Mulberry street, that he had cut a man's beard and trimmed his hair and that man might have been the leader of the Adamite fanatics.
Ramsey said that the man came from the east about 5 o'clock Tuesday evening and, when he left the shop went west. The man acted strangely while in the shop, refusing to take either of his hands out of his pockets.
"He got in a chair and ordered me to take his hat off," said the barber. "He kept his hands in his coat pockets while I cut his hair and trimmed his beard I had about half finished when he seemed to get very nervous and said, 'Hurry up. I have to meet a man.' When I got through with him he got out of the chair and had me put his hat on his head. Then he made me take the money out of his left trouser pocket. He explained that his hands had been frozen and he couldn't take them out of his pockets.
"I said, 'You must have been in a colder climate than this. He said, 'Yes, I was up north of here fishin'. That was all he said."
The police believe the man was Sharp. They say he evidently was hiding his right hand, which was shot, and kept the left hand on a revolver in his pocket. The description of the man given by Ramsey coincides with that of Sharp.
CITY HALL GUARDED.
The police took precaution to guard the city hall and police headquarters all day yesterday. They were of the opinion that Sharp might return to the scene of the crime on Tuesday, and for revenge enter the station unnoticed and shoot one or more of the officers.
The police are not sure that Sharp is alone. Two patrolmen stood on the sidewalk at the main entrance to the station and two were stationed in the areaway opening on the market. Inside the station two officers guarded the hallway leading to the chief's office and our or five patrolmen and detectives were held in reserve.
Labels: Adam God sect, Armourdale, barbers, Bonner Springs, city hall, Inspector Boyle, ministers, missing, Mulberry street, No 2 police station
November 24, 1908
ROOF OF HIPPODROME FELL.
Accident Was Due to Workmen's
Lack of Foresight.
Owing to the carelessness of workmen on the building a portion of the roof of the Hippodrome, Twelfth and Charlotte streets, fell at 3 o'clock yesterday morning. The accident was due to the moving of two of the supports to the main beams upholding the roof. The work was being done to make room for an aerial act which is to be put on, and the two supports were moved at practically at the same time, thus leaving the heavy beams without support. The walls of the old street car barn, where the Hippodrome is located, are of unusual thickness, and were not damaged to any extent. The floor likewise was built to stay and, although the mass of timbers crashed down on the skating rink, this portion was not damaged. No one was injured.
It was stated yesterday that the building would be repaired in two days, and would be opened for the Thanksgiving crowds. The loss is estimated at about $200 and is covered by insurance. Owing to the way the building was originally constructed, no other portion was damaged in the slightest.
The building inspector inspected the building yesterday and pronounced it absolutely safe.
Labels: architects, Armourdale, Charlotte street, skating, thanksgiving, theater, Twelfth street
November 19, 1908
IT IS BAD TURKEY WEATHER.
Demand Is Light When There's No
Frost on Thanksgiving.
Scores of turkeys were brought into Kansas City yesterday by the neighboring farmers, and the produce merchants are getting ready for the Thanksgiving sale of gobbler meat. But the weather is worrying them. If warm and sun-shiny days are to be the lot of Kansas City for the next week, there will not be chants. It is always the case; cold weather increases the demand and warm weather decreases it.
There is no particular reason for this strange fact, according to many commission men. It is because it is. Years past have proved it to be a fact. Some say that Thanksgiving without cold weather and snow doesn't seem like Thanksgiving and people would just as soon eat beefsteak on the last Thursday in November, if it is warm, as to taste of the the time honored gobbler meat.
At the present turkeys are being sold at from 13 to 15 cents a pound wholesale, and from 17 1/2 to 20 cents retail. These prices are a little higher than the cost of chickens, so all who can afford chickens on Thanksgiving may take their choice between the two kinds of fowl.
Labels: architects, Armourdale, food, holidays, thanksgiving, weather
October 22, 1908
EX-POLICE OFFICER REMOVED
TO A STRONGER JAIL.
To Save Her Mother, Mary Great-
house Ran Between Her and
Her Father and Was Shot.
She may Recover.
MARY GREATHOUSE AND PERRY GREATHOUSE.
PRINCIPALS IN THE ARMOURDALE TRAGEDY.
Talk of lynching in Armourdale yesterday afternoon caused Sergeant Patrick Lyons of No. 3 police station to order the removal of Perry Greathouse, an ex-police officer who shot his daughter earlier in the day, to the county jail in Kansas City, Kas. There he will be held awaiting the death or recovery of his innocent victim.
Physicians attending Mary Greathouse at Bethany hospital say her youth is in her favor and that the bullet which entered her left side below the heart took a course least likely to produce fatal results.
The story of Greathouse's deed produced a sensation in Armourdale.
According to the statement of Mrs. Emma Greatouse, his wife, her husband had not been home in two days when the shooting occurred at 11:30 o'clock yesterday forenoon. He had been seen hanging around the state line saloons drunk, had bullied one man and officers had gone to the home of Mrs. George Coleman, 67 Central avenue, to arrest him, but were persuaded away by Mrs. Coleman, a distant relative of the Greathouses.
Monday he drew his pay as merchant policeman, but when he appeared at his home, 816 South Pyle street, he was very much intoxicated and with only a few dollars with him.
HE ABUSED HIS WIFE.
In the sitting room of the home, Mrs. Greathouse asked her husband to share the remnant of his salary with his family and upbraided him for his debauch. After fumbling in an uncertain manner through his clothes he produced $4 and laid it down on the center table. The sum did not satisfy Mrs. Greathose but she took a dollar from the pile of change and went down town to make a few purchases.
On the street corner she was met by Greathouse, who followed her home again, she says, misusing her and in the sitting room the words merged into a quarrel and Greathouse buckled on his revolver and started to mount the stairs to his room.
Well, I have stood all of your abuse I am going to, and I'm going to put you behind bars," called out Mrs. Greathouse, opening the outside door as if to go in search of an officer. Then she glanced backwards and saw the barrel of her husband's revolver leveled at her.
"Don't shoot --" she started to say, but 17-year-old Mary saw the movement, realized the danger and thrust herself in the way in a heroic attempt to save her mother. After the report of the revolver was heard she was seen by neighbors to stagger out of the door and sit down in a faint on the front steps.
TRIED TO SHOOT HIMSELF.
According to the mother's story, Greathouse, when told that he had shot and probably fatally wounded his child, calmly replaced the weapon in its holster, with the remark:
"She ain't hurt. You know it was you that did the shooting, anyway, and you needn't try to lay it all on me." He then picked the child up in his arms and carried her into the house. By this time she was bleeding.
"Well, I have shot her and here goes for me," he suddenly exclaimed, seeing the blood. He then tried to place the muzzle of the revolver to his head, but Willie, his oldest son, wrested it away from him and gave it to his mother, who ran with it, depositing it within the open window of a neighboring house.
"GLAD IT WASN'T MAMMA."
Greathouse was taken by officers to the No. 3 police station, where he was kept until 4:30 o'clock. Mary was placed in an emergency ambulance and transferred to Bethany hospital. As she was lifted into the stretcher she said:
"I am awfully glad it was me instead of mamma. She mustn't live with father again or he'll kill her, too."
In a cell at the police station Greathouse walked back and forth, babbling. Policemen kept him informed as to the condition of his daughter.
"It was all a mistake, an awful mistake," he kept saying. "Mary was my favorite. I'd kill anyone who would say a word against her. She must get well. She must get well.
Perry Greathouse was a member of the Kansas City, Kas., force nearly nine years. He has lately be employed by the merchants of Armourdale to protect stores along Osage avenue at night. He was deputy street commissioner under Mayor T. B. Gilbert's administration and was a capable officer.
Mary works for the Loose-Wiles Cracker Company in the West Bottoms. Yesterday she was excused from her duties at the factory to attend the funeral of a relative.
Labels: alcohol, Armourdale, domestic violence, guns, hospitals, jail, Kansas City Kas, police, State line
July 19, 1908
IN MEMORY OF BENITO JUAREZ.
Mexican Laborers Rememer Date of
Peasant Liberator's Death.
Yesterday was an anniversary of the death of Benito Juarez, Mexican patriot and president, and was observed by several hundred Mexicans in Armourdale and Argentine. In the Santa Fe railway yards at 6 o'clock last evening fifty male voices recruited from the box car houses of the laborers sang the national anthem of the Southern republic and individual prayers asked peace and rest for the soul of the departed liberator.
"He was one of Mexico's greatest citizens as well as one of her most valiant soldiers," said Jose Perez, a foreman who was once a student in a military academy in Mexico, and led in the impromptu exercises in Argentine last night. "Diaz is the organizer, but Juarez made the organization possible by striking off the hand of the tyrant and freeing the people.
"They were born of full blooded Indian parents and symbolize the soil which was meant to be free, but Europe would gladly claimt them both," said Perez.
Labels: Argentine, Armourdale, immigrants, laborer, Mexico, railroad
July 8, 1908
CHARGES ASSAULT TO KILL.
Dr. Robinson Says John Kollenborn
Shot at Him in Street.
A warrant charging assault with intent to kill was issued yesterday by Justice J. B. Shoemaker for John Kollenborn, 1614 Lister street, who is charged by Dr. J. H. Robinson, 4816 East Fifteenth street, with firing three shots at him from a pistol Monday night about 10 o'clock near the corner of Sixteenth and Lister streets. Kollenborn was not arrested. An attorney said he will be produced when needed. His preliminary hearing will probably be called before Justice Shoemaker this week.
According to the physician, he received a call about 10 o'clock Monday night to go to 1608 Lister and see a family named Simpson, but on arrival at the number found the house vacant. He was told that a family named Simpson lived several doors below and went there, but found he had not been summoned. He states that he was returning to his drug store when he passed Kollenborn on the street and after the man had gone about four feet beyond him, he turned and fired. The physician ran after the first shot and was not harmed.
Before Assistant Prosecuting Attorney William Buchholtz yesterday, Dr. Robinson stated that he knew of no reason why the alleged assault should have been made other than that several months ago he had been informed that Kollenborn accused him of being too friendly with Mrs. Kollenborn. This charge, he states, is groundless.
Kollenborn works as a switchman in the Rock Island yards at Armourdale, is 32 years old and has a wife and four children. Dr. Robinson is also married and has one child. Kollenborn did not return to his home Monday night after the shooting. He employed an attorney yesterday.
Labels: Armourdale, doctors, Fifteenth street, Judge Shoemaker, Lister avenue, Sixteenth street, violence
June 13, 1908
WHISKY PEDDLERS ARRESTED.
Ten Men Are Caught Retailing
Liquor in Flood District.
Ten men were arrested yesterday afternoon for trying to swell the height of the flood with "wet goods." About 12 o'clock in the afternoon an express wagon drove up to police headquarters and unloaded ten cases of beer, the result of a raid made by Officer Bert Walters on a place at 276 Central avenue. William Ryan, Philip O'Connor, T. McLane and Frank Hagenbach were the names the arrested men gave.
Chief of Police Bowden arrested four men that were peddling whisky in Armourdale. A jug of whisky, several bottles and a number of glasses were confiscated. Roy Kidwell, L. J. Kidwell, Frank Mercer and Nelson Benson were the men arrested. Two drivers of the Kansas City Breweries Company were arrested by the chief as they came from the Argentine bridge. He sent them to police headquarters, where they were released as soon as it was learned the cases contained empty bottles and not full ones.
Labels: alcohol, Armourdale, breweries, Central avenue, Police Chief Bowden
June 13, 1908
WATER LEAVING STOCK YARDS.
If No Further Rise Comes They'll Be
Open Again Monday.
Flood water moved out of the stock yards all day yesterday, and the yard management and the commission men felt cheerful. The flood, as far as could be seen yesterday, did but little damage to the stock yards on the east side. While most of the pens were under water Thursday, by last night most of the water had receded and left but little sediment behind.
About three feet of water ran out of the yards during the day. There was some water in the basement offices in the Exchange building at the close of the day. If there is no further rise in the Kaw, the yards expect to be able to handle stock on the east, or main, side Monday. In the Texas division, in Armourdale, the situation is not so good, though everything there, too, it is hoped, will be straightened out inside of a week.
Labels: Armourdale, flood, Kaw river, stock yards, Texas
June 11, 1908
HE'S A TEMPORARY ORPHAN.
Lee Rogers, 6 Years Old, Separated
From His Parents in the Flood.
Lee Rogers, 6 years old, is the first boy to lose both his parents in the present flood, and he is being cared for at the detention home until such time as his father and mother can be found. The Rogers lived in Armourdale until Monday. On that day when the flood threatened their home, Mrs. Rogers came to Kansas City, Mo., to find a new home, and the father went away to help buil dikes. The boy was left in the care of Mrs. Mary Dunbar, 567 North Fourth street, Armourdale, and she, too, had to make a hasty retreat to the Missouri side of the river as the waters began to rise. She brought the Rogers boy with her, and being unable to find his mother turned him over to the superintendent of the detention home last evening.
Labels: Armourdale, children, detention home, flood, orphans
June 10, 1908
WOMEN WORK TO SAVE HOMES.
Side by Side With Men They Labor
at the Dikes.
A crumbling dike and the crest of the Kaw river rise only two hours distant was the condition at the Fifth street bridge, one mile west of the S. & S. Packing house, Armourdale, at 12 o'clock last night. Women as well as men joined in the unequal combat, wives holding burlap sacks while their husbands filled them with dirt for the levee. At 2 o'clock this morning the narrow bank, which was all that was between a city of 10,000 people and a repetition of the flood of 1904, was eighteen inches higher than the river level. It looked as though victory leaned toward the laborers.
Ever since the news of the unusual rise of the Kaw tributaries reached the drainage board, eight teams and about twenty men have been working without cessation on the dike at the Fifth street bridge. This is the weakest point in the river bank in Kansas City, Kas., and the place where it leaped through and inundated Armourdale and the West bottoms in 1903. The teams have done good work, according to the engineers, but the swift current burdened with timbers and debris of all descriptions, had eaten well into the new embankment yesterday, so extraordinary efforts had to be made t check it in advance of the volume of water expected to finish the rise last night.
At 8 o'clock the Kaw was washing above the flood line at the Fifth street dikes, and the drainage board especially interested in this point as the key to the situation, passed word around to the effect that the last few hours of the rise might bring in a close race with the river.
In a few minutes after the condition of the dikes became known, hundreds of people, men and women, were on their way to Fifth street, armed with shovels. At the Cudahy and Schwarzschild & Sulzberger plants they obtained a large quantity of gunny sacks and at 9 o'clock the threatened dikes swarmed with toilers.
Women stood in the moist and holding the sacks open while the men, digging rapidly, filled them and carried them to lay on the dike.
It was a busy scene. Lanterns held by boys glimmered in and out among the workers like so many fire-flies ans whips cracked as the teams of horses were trotted with the wheel scrapers.
"It's coming up! Look out for that low place near the bridge; it needs tending to right away!"
"Come on here, with another bag!"
"All right now, fill in boys, it's coming our way. We're eighteen inches ahead of high water!"
The above were some of the shouts heard as the work progressed, and showed the anxiety of the people to save their homes. So well was the dike builded that as the torrent rose until the elbow of the river bend punched into its sides, it stood the test and not a leak came through.
Among the workers at the bridge whose part was to systematize the work so as to make it effective, were members of the drainage board.
These men with coats off and sleeves rolled up, occasionally seized a shovel and worked with the rest.
Labels: Armourdale, flood, Kaw river
May 22, 1908
SARAH MORASCH IS
GUILTY OF MURDER.
CONVICTED OF POISONING A
Sent Poisoned Candy by Mail to Ella
Miller, Who Did Not Eat It Be-
cause It Was Bitter -- Her
Sister Was Killed.
Mrs. Sarah Morasch must spend the remainder of her life in the Kansas penitentiary for the murder of her 4-year-old niece, Ruth Miller. The jury which heard the evidence in Mrs. Morasch's second trial reached a verdict of guilty at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The case had been on trial since May 4. There was no verdict in the first trial.
When the verdict was read Mrs. Morasch held her usual composure, and merely laughed.
The case went to the jury at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, and from the first ballot to the one which settled the fate of Mrs. Morasch the jurors stood eleven to one for conviction. At noon yesterday George E. Horn, foreman of the jury, asked for the testimony of Charles Miller, father of the dead girl. A few minutes later a knock was heard on the door of the jury room. "We have agreed," said Foreman Horn, and the twelve jurors filed in the court room and took their seats.
On the afternoon of February 13, the Miller children were in their home, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, corner of Cheyenne & Packard avenues. From the S. & S. girls."
The box was opened, and found to contain a pound of chocolate candy, which she says tasted bitter, and gave some to the other children who gathered around her.
A few minutes later Ruth, who had eaten more of the candy than the rest, was seized with cramps while playing in the back yard, and was taken into the house. She died before the nearest physician, Dr. Zacharia Nason, who lived a block distant, could be summoned. He pronounced the death as due to strychnine poisoning.
The fact that Mrs. Sarah Morasch bore a grudge against Ella Miller, who had once laughed at he, and that immediately after the little girl's death, she had gone to Harrisonville, Mo., caused suspicion to be directed to her. She was arrested at the Missouri town.
The testimony of handwriting experts was a strong factor in the conviction.
Labels: Armourdale, children, courtroom, Death of Ruth Miller, doctors, Harrisonville, murder, poison
April 28, 1908
HICKS ASKS BALM
FOR LOSS OF WIFE.
HE SAYS GEORGE JONES HAS
Hicks, a Spry Old Man of 62, Sues
His Rival for $5,000, and
His Spouse for a
Although William Hicks is 62 years old he is not at all willing that his wife of 45 summers should prefer another man to him and run away with the other man. Hicks filed suit in the circuit court of Wyandotte yesterday for $5,000 damages against George Jones, a retired farmer living in Armourdale, charging Jones with alienating the affections of Mrs. Hicks and inducing her to move to the Armourdale home.
Hicks, who is a mighty spry old man for his years, lives in Hamilton, Mo. Last February, he alleges, his wife up and left him, and he has been spending his pension ever since in traveling about the country and looking under sunbonnets, hoping always to catch a glimpse of her face.
He saw it Sunday, he claims, in Jones's home. But the face wasn't under a sunbonnet. Nay, far form a bonnet; it was the merriest of Merry Widows, with roses on the upper deck. And wifie, so Hicks avers in his petition, was content to stay under the Merry Widow, which Jones bought her, and not at all ready to go back to Hamilton and have half the pension.
Hicks has two little children back in Hamilton, loaned out to relatives, until he can recover his homemaker, he swears. But even when he showed his wife the latest photographs of the youngsters she continued to be indifferent.
Labels: Armourdale, farmers, marriage, visitors
April 9, 1908
PAYS PECULIAR ELECTION BET.
Youth Trundles Winner Around Ar-
mourdale in Wheelbarrow.
From 8 o'clock until noon yesterday a thin young man with nose glasses and a wearied look of regret, trundled a wheelbarrow in which another young man was sitting about the streets and byways of Armourdale. Starting at the Red Cross pharmacy the pair went south to Shawnee, east to St. Paul, north to Kansas avenue and west to Packard. There the youth with the glasses tilted the barrow over on its nose, unbent his back and mopped his brow with a handkerchief.
All this time not a word had been spoken by either party and many people passing on the walks thought they were fakers and dropped in behind to see what they were selling.
In this they were disappointed, however. The lonely occupant of the wheelbarrow said he was M. A. Gillespie of the Red Cross pharmacy, and that his propeller was Frank Bryant, a salesman at the Clanville furniture store at Armourdale.
"Just an election bet I won," said Gillespie. "I've got another bet, if there's any takers. That is, that I got the worst of this transaction. I've had my knees tucked under my chin so long I can't get them straightened out."
Bryant had made a bet with Gillespie that Timothy Lyons would not be re-elected to the city council.
Labels: Armourdale, druggists, gambling, politics, salesmen, wheelbarrows
April 9, 1908
MRS. MORASCH'S BOND $4,000.
Her Attorney Says She May Be Able
to Furnish It.
The bond of Mrs. Sarah Morasch, accused of killing Ruth Miller of Armourdale, February 12, has been fixed by Judge McCabe Moore of the Wyandotte county district court at $4,000. Mrs. Morasch is now being held in the couty jail for a second trial in the district court, set for May 4. Daniel Maher, attorney for the defense, said last night his clielnt may be able to give bond.
Labels: Armourdale, attorney, Death of Ruth Miller, Judges
April 4, 1908
MORASCH ARGUMENTS TODAY.
Jury Will Soon Pass on Fate of the
The last evidence in the Sarah Morasch murder trial, which has been running over two weeks in the Wyandotte county district court in Kansas City, Kas., was heard by the jury at 4:50 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The argument will begin this morning at 9 o'clock. In it all phases of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the kiling of 4-year-old Ruth Miller of Armourdale will be reviewed. Yesterday afternoon the court room was packed with visitors.
Mrs. Morasch finished testifying before noon and was suceeded on the witness stand by her oldest daughter, Mrs. May Gillin. Mrs. Gillin told of her dealings with County Attorney Taggart prior to the capture of her mother in Harrisonville, Mo., with which she seems to have played the leading role.
According to her own words $20 was the renumeration which she received for her services. She said that she had been assured by the county attorney that no harm would come to her mother, and thus led to believe it was for information only Mrs. Morasch was wanted by the state.
After Mrs. Gillin, Attorney Daniel Maher for the defense called his assistant, Judge F. H. Wooley, to the witness chair to testify as being the person who wrote the note introduced by the defense to the state's handwriting experts as having been written by Ella Van Meter. He succeeded in misleading two of the experts by the note.
Labels: Armourdale, attorney, County Attorney Taggart, courtroom, Death of Ruth Miller, Kansas City Kas, murder
March 27, 1908
NEW KIND OF EXPERT
IN MORASCH TRIAL.
IT'S A WOMAN WHO HAS HAD
Called to Bear Witness That Mrs.
Morasch Did Not Give Birth to
Child She Claimed as
Ollie Jones, the mysterious witness for the state in the prosecution of Mrs. Morasch, accused of poisoning Ruth Miller, did not testify yesterday and, according to County Attorney Taggart, will not today. Court is adjourned until 9:30 o'clock Monday morning. The prosecutor says there is a world of minor testimony to be heard before Jones can be called to the stand. Jones was subpoenaed in Indianapolis, Ind, Monday.
Professor Beshong of the chemical department of the Kansas university finished his testimony at 11 o'clock yesterday morning and was dismissed. In cross-examination, Professor Bushong could not be certain that the symptoms of a certain kind of ptomaine do not resemble the effects of a dose of strychnine. He held, however, that ptomaine cannot exist in ordinary glucose such as used in making the white center portion of a chocolate cone.
The first witness called in the afternoon was Mrs. Laura Brooks, special witness for the state. Mrs. Brooks testified that the child Mrs. Morasch took from the Hughes maternity hospital a month or two before the poisoning, and which she claimed she had given birth to, could not have been her own.
"But, how do you know?" questioned Attorney Maher for the defense.
"The day after she said it was born I examined it and found it to be at least three weeks old."
"Three weeks old? I venture to assert t here is not a woman in the court room who could be sure on that point after a child is three days old. Are you a mother yourself?"
"Oh, yes; I have thirteen children, most of them grown," sighed the witness wearily. She was then dismissed by counsel for the defense without further cross examination.
Dr. Z. Nason of Packard and Osage avenues, Armourdale, was then called. Dr. Nason said he had been the first physician called after the poisoning and had seen Ruth die. He said she died of strychnine poisoning as far as he could judge. Her symptoms did not resemble those of ptomaine poisoning.
Labels: Armourdale, attorney, County Attorney Taggart, courtroom, Death of Ruth Miller, doctors, murder, poison, women
March 22, 1908
MRS. MORASCH TELLS
STORY OF HER LIFE
REARED IN THE SQUALID PACK-
ING HOUSE DISTRICT.
Still Wears the Wedding Ring of
Bill Morasch, Her First Hus-
band, Whom She Loved.
Case Goes On.
MRS. SARAH MORASCH, ACCUSED OF MURDERING 4-YEAR-OLD RUTH MILLER.
"I did not send the candy. Who thinks I sent it? Not my associates in the West Bottoms, who have known me for years Not little Ella, the poison was intended for. Ask her; look her in the eyes and see if she doesn't tell you on the square she loves me, and will come back to my house to visit as she used to, when this dreadful trial is over. I am innocent, I tell you; I am innocent."
Mrs. Sarah Miller, better known as "Mrs. Morasch," said this yesterday to a reporter for The Journal. She is the accused woman in the case of the poisoning of little Ruth Miller, the 4-year-old daughter of Charles and Ida Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. Ruth sickened and died apparently from strychnine poisoning, ten minutes after eating bonbons from a package anonymously sent by mail to her step-sister, Ella Van Meter, 14 years old, at noon, Wednesday, February 12. The case is now being tried before Judge McCabe Moore, in the district court of Wyandotte county in Kansas City, Kas.
Mrs. Morasch spoke earnestly. At the mention of Ella Van Meter, who testified against her Friday, her deep-set gray eyes softened, and the lines about her mouth thawed visibly. All facial evidence of years of hardship, toil and companionship in the packing house district of both Kansas Cities became temporarily erased. She did not look the woman who could deliberately poison a 14-year-old girl and a family of little ones.
Mrs. Morasch is only 49 years old, but stooped shoulders and gray hair make her appear 60, at least. Two front teeth are gone, and this discrepancy makes sinister a smile which otherwise might be motherly and kind Her voice is a trifle harsh at times.
BEEN HERE ALL HER LIFE.
"Where was I born? In Dayton, O., 49 years ago. I was brought to Wyandotte county, Kas., by my father, Edward Davis, and my mother, Elizabeth Davis, when I was but 3 years old. My father was a veteran of the civil war and a farmer.
"Everyone loved dad. He was such a neighborly soul and so fond of children that he at once won the hearts of everybody who got acquainted with him. I think that if I have really gone to the bad, it cannot be justly laid at his door or my mother's. Good, kind souls, both of them.
"I remember when I was a little girl father took me on his knee and told me to grow up to be a good woman like mother. We were in the kitchen of the old farm house near Quindaro. Mother was knitting a pair of leggins for me by the fire. Father took the family Bible off of a stand near his chair and read some part of it which meant 'be a credit to the old folks that they may live long and die in peace and know in heaven you did the best you could.'
"I think he cried a little then, for I remember he took a big, red handkerchief out of his pocket and after wiping his own eyes, wiped mine as though I had been crying, but I hadn't After that he lectured me on how I should behave when I had grown up.
FORTY YEARS AGO.
"About forty years ago, father moved to what they call the West Bottoms now. It was known as Kansas City, Kas., then and was not a packing house district at all, but a little village of two or three thousand people. He had some money laid up and invested in a home and truck patch in the rear I was to go to school. I believe that was the object my father had in view when he moved into town Mother wanted to move in so as to be near a Presbyterian church, for she was an old Scotch woman.
" 'Come to church with me,' she used to tell me of a Sunday morning, as she tidied me all up ready for the service 'You be a wee bit Scotch and Presbyterian yourself, do you know it lassie?'
"Father seldom went to church or to Sunday school, himself, but believed in it. I think I must have been Sunday schooled to death in my younger days."
Mrs. Morasch laughed harshly at the recollection. She seemed for the moment to have forgotten the dreadful charge hanging its threat of life penal servitude over head.
"Sunday schooled to death," she repeated seriously, returning to the story of her life in the West Bottoms.
MARRIED BILL MORASCH.
"When I became 20 years of age," she went on, "I married Bill Morasch. I was a little wild at that time. Fond of boys and kiting around to parties and dances at my own free will, but Bill was a steady fellow and we settled down to housekeeping. I married again after he died three years ago, but I have never taken his wedding ring off my finger and like best the name he gave me."
Mrs. Morasch, as she prefers to be called, then crowded a thin, wrinkled left hand through the small opening in the door of her cell, through which her victuals are passed to her by the jail matron. On the third finger was an embossed gold band ring, which she turned reminiscently with her thumb.
"Oh, I can stand this murder charge," she assured suddenly, "if it pans out all right in the end. I'll tell you what I'll do. When the trial is all over, and Ella comes back to me, I'll take her up to your office, wherever it is, and let you see for yourself.
"I know what you think. You think she will not, but she will. Ella knows in her heart I did not send the candy, and when she comes back to me she will say, 'Mrs. Morasch, I thought all the time you didn't send it, and I was sorry for you all the time I was testifying against you.' "
The accused woman seemed to think most of the attitude of Ella Van Meter, whose testimony more than that of any other witness, according to the prosecutor, condemns her. Several times during the interview she pronounced the name, always following it with a statement that Ella was her friend and would come back to her after the trial.
Ella testified Friday that she knew no reason why Mrs. Morasch should try to poison her, but insisted she had been to the latter's home only twice and had not been more than ordinarily intimate with her. When Daniel Mahe, attorney for the defense, asked the witness why she did not refer to the defendant as "auntie," Ella had replied sharply:
"She's not my aunt!" and manifested in other ways that the law relationship existing between herself and the prisoner was a matter of repulsion to her.
SAYS SHE'S PREJUDICED.
Mrs. Morasch said yesterday that this attitude was affected and that Ella has been prejudiced against her by older persons.
It was said by her counsel last night that both Ella and her mother, Mrs. Ida Miller, would be recalled for further cross-examination before the conclusion of the trial.
Her lawyers profess to have suffered for the failure of the state in locating Ollie Jones, a 19-year-old half-brother of Charles Miller. Jones is said to have left Kansas City the night following the poisoning, and later it was learned he went from here to Indianapolis, Ind.
When County Attorney Taggart tried to subpoena him there a few days ago he could not be found. What use the state intended to put Jones to and why the attorney for the defense should be disappointed because he could not be found is studiously screened from the public gaze. It was stated by counsel last night that Jones was a close friend of the Millers. County Attorney Taggart, who is bending every resource of a fertile and brilliant mind toward the conviction of the prisoner, practically admitted the same thing in the same mysterious manner less than an hour later.
"We need him badly," said the prosecutor. "There is one important phase of this case he must cover with his testimony If he will not come when subpoenaed, then a bench warrant will bring him."
EXPERT WOMAN WITNESS.
Taggart further said that a woman witness, mother of thirteen children, would be employed by the state as a special witness tomorrow in proving Mrs. Morasch's physical condition prior to the time the baby is represented to have been adopted out of the U. S. G. Hughes maternity home, and that the handwriting experts would probably be called in the afternoon of the same day.
Attorney Maher said last night that a great deal of the defense would lie in showing up Mrs. Morasch's past.
"She is a poor woman in two senses of the word," he said. "Poor from the standpoint of health and means of financing her case. She has been a wanderer in the West Bottoms, without money and almost without friends, for years. Her first husband died three years ago, killed himself with carbolic acid. Her second husband likewise died. Children she has kept and mothered, from the Hughes home, have sickened on her hands. One of them died after it had passed to the care of others in the hire of the county and the revolting suspicion that she had killed it with drugs and slow poison was expressed in her presence. She was warned by Attorney Taggart to leave town. Haggard and worn, dogged by the law and shunned by her intimates because of her misfortunes, Mrs. Morasch hurriedly gathered up her few belongings and fled to Harrisonville, Mo. But the Nemesis followed her even there, strangely coincident with her flight the poisoned bonbons arrived at the Miller home, so she was arrested on the murder charge and brought back to face trial."
Labels: Armourdale, children, Civil War, County Attorney Taggart, Death of Ruth Miller, murder, poison, The Journal, women
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Early Kansas City, Missouri