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August 15, 1908


Union Soldiers Will Attend Reunion
of Quantrell's Men.

The annual reunion of Quantrell's men will be August 21 and 22, at Blue Springs. There will be a basket dinner on the schoolhouse lawn the first day and on the second officers will be elected and reminiscent speeches made.

The Quantrell men have broken over the long established rule and have this year invited Union soldiers to meet with them and forget the animosities of a half century ago. The people of Blue Springs are preparing to give the blue and the gray a reception . Many of the soldiers who wore the blue expect to attend the reunion and show their friendliness to the men who fought on the other side fifty years ago.

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March 13, 1908


No More Mud-Isolated Hamlets.

Road contracts amounting to $55,604.65 were let by the county court yesterday. When these contracts are completed there will not be a town nor hamlet in Eastern Jackson county which is not touched by the web of rock roads.

There was talk yesterday that injunction proceedings would be brought against the court, but this only materialized in a warm protest from Atherton as to the location of a rock road to that town. Some wanted the road east of the Blue, others west. The court had listened to the arguments before on this measure and decided on the east route as the most beneficial.

The contract for the Hickman Mills road to Lee's Summit was let to Colyer Bros., the lowest bidders, at $19,917.44. This gap is three and three-fourths miles long.

Today the county court will go over the Blue Springs rod and make an inspection of work done under the contract. A few days ago a strong delegation from Tarsney appeared before the court and claimed that the contractors were not complying with the specifications. Two of the our miles of road remain to be built. The farmers claim that the macadam laid is not deep enough, the rolling light and everything short in measurement.

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October 11, 1907



Has Been in Jail Almost Two Years
on Charge of Forging His Mother's
Name -- Has Never Seen His
Child -- Grand Jury Takes Case.

Sunday theaters and matters of public interest were laid aside yesterday and the day was spent in searching out justice for Nealy Harris, a Blue Springs youth, who , awaiting trial on the charge of forging his mother's name, has been in the county jail for twenty-two months. During his imprisonment his father has died and his only child, whom he has never seen, has been born.

Leading men of Blue Springs, where Nealy's family live, and of Independence, where he disposed of $5,000 worth of alleged forged notes, were summoned by the jury. Among them was J. L. Prewitt, mayor of Independence and president of the Grain Valley bank' Matthew Wood, president and Hartley E. Warren, cashier of the Bank of Independence; J. G. Paxton, attorney; William A. Symington, Emmet E. Montgomery, G. N. Hughes, all of Independence; N. Utterback of Oak Grove and John H. Alkire of Blue Springs, and these relatives of Nealy Harris: Mrs. Mary Eliza Harris, mother; Mrs. Minnie Etta Harris, wife; Mrs. Anna Bridges, aunt, S. S. Holloway, brother-in-law, and V. Adams, father-in-law.

Nealy Harris's story is familiar to Blue Springs people, and the neighborhood is about evenly divided as to his guilt. On the one hand it is claimed that he has been a wild and reckless youth and abused the confidence of his mother by forging her name to paper upon which he collected money at the Independence banks. On the other hand, it is claimed that the papers were signed by his mother through the instrumentality of another, and that person, after inducing the mother to sign them, influenced her to repute them and her son. The mother has steadily refused to testify against the boy.


When Harris's case came up for trial last spring in Judge Porter's division of the criminal court, the mother, who had been subpoenaed by the state, fell in a faint in the court room. An immediate parole was offered Nealy, if he would lead guilty and take six months' sentence, but the youth insisted upon his innocence and refused to plead. The trial was then continued.

Prior to Harris's confinement in the county jail on December 5, 1905, from which place he has never been since, he was for a few days in an asylum in St. Joseph. He was discharged from that place by the authorities, who said he was sane.

Yesterday afternoon Harris was brought down from his cell on the fourth floor of the jail to talk with his mother. As he came came down the corridor Mrs. Minnie E. Harris, his wife, was led out of the way.

She was weak and practically helpless at the time and did not know Nealy was coming. She had come an hour before from the jury room, in which two men had half led and half carried her, and to bring back two men again were needed. When she was placed in a chair by the press room, just across the hall, she fainted.


"It is persecution, not prosecution," Nealy said from behind the bar that evening, after the jury had adjourned and his relatives had gone home.

"I have been in here nearly two years and have never seen my child, who was born a few weeks after my arrest. My father died January 19, 1906. I didn't know of it until my wife wrote to me a week later.

"I am not afraid of a trial. I wrote a note to the grand jury, urging them to investigate my case. I had read that they are good and true men."

The deputy marshals and jailers almost without exception believe his story. He has for over a year been in charge of the jail hospital, a considerable responsibility.

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October 6, 1907


Fight Between Blue Springs Boys
Results Fatally.

Two Blue Springs school boys fighting with stones resulted in the death yesterday morning of James Shropshire, 12 years of age. The injury which caused death was received Friday afternoon as the boys were going home. Robert Snodgrass, 16 years of age, became involved with young Shropshire in stone throwing, and the latter was struck on the back of the head. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Addison Shropshire, who live in Blue Springs.

John Snodgrass, father of the other boy, is a farmer. Young Snodgrass was arrested, but w3as released last night, after Deputy Coroner C. H. Parker had held an inquest. The jury returned a verdict of death from the blow of a stone thrown by Snodgrass. No recommendation was made and Snodgrass was released on his promise to appear if wanted by the prosecutor's office.

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