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December 2, 1909
BOY GETS FATHER'S PLACE.
Judge Pollock Appoints Henry Dil-
lard, 19, Court Messenger.
Judge John C. Pollock of the federal court in Kansas City, Kas., yesterday announced the appointment of Henry Dillard, a negro 19 years old of Topeka, to be the messenger of the federal court. Dillard takes the place of his father, Henry Dillard, who shot himself accidentally while hunting last Saturday. Judge Pollock went to Topeka Monday to attend the funeral of the boy's father. At the funeral Judge Pollock noticed the boy and was so impressed by his manly actions that he decided to appoint him as his father's successor.
"The boy is young, but I believe he will be able to hold the position," Judge Pollock said yesterday. "I am going to give him a trial at least."
Henry Dillard, who was part Cherokee Indian and part negro, was messenger of the federal court in Kansas thirty-three years and won the friendship of many attorneys and federal officers.
Labels: employment, federal court, Funeral, Judge Pollock, Native Americans, Topeka
January 21, 1909
LYE VICTIM CAN'T RECOVER.
Jury Is Instructed to Bring In Ver-
dict for Armours.
Judge John C. Pollock, in the United States circuit court, Kansas City, Kas., yesterday sustained a motion instructing the jury to return a verdict for the Armour Packing Company in the $25,000 damage suit against the company which was being prosecuted by Joseph Novak. The plaintiff in the action claimed to have fallen into a large vat of lye while working at the Armour plant in September, 1907. The judge, in his instructions, held that the company was not at fault and did not contribute to the cause of the accident.
Labels: accident, Armour plant, Judge Pollock, Kansas City Kas, Lawsuit
November 17, 1908
ALSO DELIVERS ADDRES BE-
FORE LADIES' STUDY CLUBS.
MANY YEARS SPENT
HAD PLANNED TO ORGANIZE
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS HERE.
Reardon's Singing of "Holy City"
in a Church Praised by One
Newspaper -- Acts as His
"Mr. William A. Graves was a visitor in our city last evening. He paid a very welcome visit to the rectory and at a special service sang 'The Holy City' in the Methodist church. Mr. Graves is an accomplished gentleman of much Oriental travel, and is always a delightful guest."
So says a newspaper clipping, part of a bundle two inches thick, relating to Arthur P. Spencer, alias a dozen other names, among them Harry Reardon. There was not much in the proceedings in the federal court yesterday afternoon to identify the "Holy City" singer as being Harry Reardon, on trial for impersonating an officer, so that he can be held to give the state authorities time to see if he is the man who killed the Chinaman last week near Liberty.
Reardon acted as his own lawyer and made a botch of the whole business. The government put six or eight witnesses on the stand who testified that Reardon had gone to their laundries or stores, had spoken to them in Chinese, had said he could "fix" residence certificates for from $150 to $400 and had collected from $3 to $6 from each of them in the way of loans. Every witness examined told the same story, and Reardon was unable to break down one of them. This morning he will take the stand in his own behalf and will have several white people by means of whom he will try to establish a reputation.
"You came to my house and said that you could fix up residence papers for a boy in my kitchen, who had none," said Dr. Mon Gong Young.
"I did, did I! And what did you say?"
TOO MUCH FOR THE DOCTOR.
"I said I would not pay it. It was too much," the doctor answered, whereat Assistant United States District Attorney George Neal, conducting the case, had to laugh. The simplicity of the witness was too much for his decorum.
Reardon or Spencer, or whatever his name is, is an animate example of a misspent life. Master of the difficult Chinese language, he could command $100 a month steadily, according to the government interpreter who was sent here to help in the case now on trial. In addition to English and Chinese, he speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.
With all these accomplishments and without a dollar to his name, after living forty or forty-five years, he has a record of having done five years in the New York penitentiary, three years in the Pennsylvania state penitentiary, two terms of three years in the California Penal Institute and three years in the state penitentiary in Washington. In addition he was sentenced to do three months in jail in Pennsylvania for beating a woman out of a board bill, but was paroled. He was fined "to pay 6 1/4 cents to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania" at another time and to undergo three months in jail for representing himself as a lawyer long enough to collect $5 from one Frank de Laurentis, and there is a sentence of three years hanging over him in New York for a last offense.
GETS SMALL SUMS.
To merit all this punishment Reardon has done no more than blackmail small sums of money out of contraband Chinese, commit perjury, forgery once and represent himself as a government inspector. In being sent up in Pennsylvania the federal judge declared that Reardon was doubly guilty for not taking advantage of his accomplishments. Now he is in Kansas City trying to prove that he was here organizing a Sunday school, and trying to disprove that he killed the Chinaman found dead a week ago near Liberty and with having borrowed money from laundrymen here under penalty of turning up unregistered Chinamen to the government.
The records show Reardon to be a man of amazing nerve. He borrowed $5 from a Pennsylvania chief of police after explaining to the chief that he was in his town looking for contrabands. At another time he actually went to a government immigration officer, in Waterville, Pa., and told that he was a lawyer representing the Six Companies, adding that the Chinese company always required him, when in the vicinity of immigration officers, to work with federal authorities. Thereupon Reardon, sailing under the name of Spencer, asked for a dozen John Doe warrants so he could make an arrest. Armed with those -- which he did not get --Reardon could have made a hot time of it in Waterville Chinatown.
Witnesses on the stand here yesterday said that Reardon had told some of them that he was a government immigration officer, detailed to look after the Chinese, but that for $400 he would let any Chinaman into the United States. Reardon is up to the minute on the Chinese exclusion law, which has made him formidable in the laundries, where, as one witness said yesterday, through an interpreter"
"He came in and asked if I had any papers and any boys without papers. He said he was an inspector and wanted to see mine. I was not sure that he would not destroy them if I handed them to him, so I gave him $3 he asked for and got rid of him that way."
"PERSECUTION," SAYS HE.
"It is all a conspiracy," said Reardon to United States Judge Pollock. "The Chinese hate a white man who speaks their language. They have tried for years to have me locked up. I am being persecuted, and I want the court to protect me."
"The court will," Judge Pollock replied.
Reardon showed his legal training when at one time he said hastily:
"I object, your honor. That is misleading."
"It is a little so," the court admitted. "Objection sustained."
Reardon, while in Kansas City during his three weeks, had addressed a ladies' study club, addressed a church society, had undertaken to organize a Sunday school class of fifteen Chinamen, got mixed up in a murder and now is nabbed on the word of eight laundrymen and storekeepers, on a charge of representing himself as a government inspector of Chinese certificates.
In swearing the witnesses, the usual form prescribed for use in this country was followed. Reardon, familiar with Chinese customs and himself knowing the trivial light of the United States oath in the eyes of a Chinaman, offered no objection. This was supposed by the government authorities to be his ruse for a fight later on to throw out testimony. The evidence is being given before a jury.
"They could not take a binding oath no matter what form it was administered in," said Reardon. "To make a Chinaman tell the truth, he has to break a saucer over the grave of an ancestor, have a baked fowl there, and walk all around the grave. They have no graves here. This trial is ridiculous. They are determined to keep me locked up, and are here now doing their best."
Labels: California, con artist, courtroom, doctors, immigrants, Judge Pollock, Liberty, United States District Court
November 12, 1908
HALFBREED INDIANS COME
HERE TO PURCHASE WIVES.
Pay Brides as Much as $100 to Go
Through Ceremony -- So They
Can Sell Lands.
Effie Smith remarked incidentally on the witness stand in the federal court yesterday that "there was a heap of them young Indians comin' up here to git mar'd so they could sell their lands," and immediately set the entire court retinue thinking. It was developed that scores of negroes with Indian blood in them, who had come in for 160-acre tracts in the old Indian Territory, had come to Kansas City to qualify to sell their lands by making themselves heads of families. This they did by getting wives.
"Had they any trouble in finding women who would be willing to marry them," Smith was asked.
"Nearly all of the lot I met up with, who came here to get married so they could sell, got their women form the colored rooming houses. They gave some of them as high as $100 to marry them."
"Did the marriages 'stick'?" was asked.
"They were not supposed to. I never heard of one that did. The boys just got married and then sold their lands and moved on."
Smith was on trial for cashing a post office order that had been stolen. He had been indicted two days before, and during the afternoon a trial jury found him guilty. This morning he will toe the mark in the federal court before Judge John C. Pollock, along with a cargo of Greeks and others for sentence.
Labels: Judge Pollock, marriage, Native Americans, race, United States District Court
November 10, 1908
WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK.
Interpreter and Witness Spend Much
Time in Arguments.
Greeks are testifying in the federal court just now and Judge John C. Pollock knows it to his sorrow. They will not quit talking, and instead of the required yes or no, heated arguments ensue between the witnesses and the interpreters. In vain the court directs the interpreter to call for a direct answer. The interpreter grows red in the face, talks as much and almost as fast as the witnesses, and in the end explains that the witness wanted to explain his answer.
Some months ago the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway sent a letter containing $25 to Joseph Alespsis. The letter was rifled and the United States district attorney made a raid on the local Greek colony.
It was found that one Thomas Rigors knew something about the case and he was subpoenaed as a witness for the government. Last Thursday Rigors arrived from Nebraska and while walking on West Fifth street was slugged. He spent almost all yesterday afternoon on the witness stand trying to tell how it happened.
"Get him to say how his eyes were blacked," Assistant United States District Attorney George A. Neal directed the interpreter. The interpreter translated the instruction. Two minutes later Judge Pollock had to call a halt.
"Stop him now, will you please, and let us see where we are," the bench directed.
"It took the interpreter two seconds to give the answer which the witness had spent minutes in giving, most of the time evidently wrangling with the interpreter.
The hearing will be resumed this morning.
Labels: courtroom, immigrants, Judge Pollock, Texas, United States District Court
May 11, 1908
SILENT WOMAN MYSTIFIES.
Marie Moore Hasn't Spoken Since Be-
ing Locked in a Cell.
Marie Moore, the sphinx of the federal court, retired early last evening to her cot in the county jail, and when she was asked where she lived and who her father was, she pulled the covers over her head, but never said a word.
Marie was taken before United States Commissioner John M. Nuckols Thursday after her arrest in the postoffice to answer to a charge of sending an improper letter through the mails to another girl. She refused to plead guilty or not guilty and would not answer the commissioner's questions. Saturday she was indicted by the federal grand jury on the same charge, and when arraigned before Judge John C. Pollock again refused to talk. She finally stammered, "I am innocent," but declined to state whether she had an attorney or not or to tell her address or the names of friends.
Since her incarceration in the county jail Thursday no one has called to see her an d she has not spoken one word to the jailers.
"She'll talk in a few days," Night Jailer Sam McGee remarked. "They all do in time. She isn't insane, because she eats her meals and acts like any other woman. She's just got her dander up, that's all.
"I judge from looking at her that she is a city bred girl and known too much to try and pay street car fare with postage stamps."
Labels: federal court, jail, Judge Pollock, post office
April 29, 1908
CLERK STOLE MONEY
FOR SICK BROTHER.
IN CONSEQUENCE JUDGE POL-
LOCK IS LENIENT.
Editor of Art Book Fined Nominal
Sum and Escapes Payment.
Other Federal Offend-
It was sentencing day in the United States district court yesterday. Judge Pollock of Kansas was on the bench. Alfred Friend, formerly a clerk in the New England National bank had stolen out-of-town remittances by means of juggling accounts in the bank. The government prosecuted him for getting only $5, but he was supposed to have got about $2,000. After everything in the case was told Judge Pollock undertook to examine the prisoner on his own account.
"What made you do it?" he inquired.
"This made me do it, sir," Friend replied, displaying a small packet of letters and holding them out towards the bench. "Would your honor read them, please?"
FOR HIS SICK BROTHER.
Judge Pollock scanned some of them, interrupting his perusal to ask:
"And did you send the money to this sick brother of yours?"
"I have the money order receipt for it," Friend then said, at the same time producing another paper and handing it to Judge Pollock.
After reflecting a minute the court announced that as Friend had been confined to jail for six months, had lost his employment and had not profited by his thievery, he would be let off with a fine of $500, which means only thirty days in jail. The United States government never holds a prisoner longer than thirty days in liquidation of a fine, no matter how bit it may be.
JULIUS WAS SURPRISED.
Julius Planca, a Frenchman, who was surprised to know that it is contrary to the laws of this country to sell liquor without a license, was fined $10 and costs for bootlegging in a railroad camp east of the city. Arthur Anderson, a 14-year-old boy from the southeast part of the county, was given the same punishment for stealing stamps and coppers from rural free delivery boxes.
A week ago William Soper robbed the little postoffice at Mount Washington, just outside Kansas City's eastern limits, and got $2.50. Yesterday he got a year and a half in the government prison at Fort Leavenworth. He pleaded guilty, saying to Judge Pollock that he would not have broken into the store where the postoffice was had he known it was a postoffice.
"You would rather have broken the state than the federal laws, would you?" the court remarked, adding, dryly, "Either is wrong."
THAT'S WHEN HE GETS IT.
James A. Pope, editor of the Art Book, who was arrested a month ago on a complaint of a rival in business in St. Louis, got off handsomely. Pope had sent out printed post cards saying that he still owned the copyright to his journal, and that the issues being turned out by his rivals were false. He classified somebody as a "hunchback," and for that got into trouble. He would have gone to jail for the intervening nine weeks, having no bondsmen here, only for friends his tough-luck story made for him. As it turned out, District Attorney Van Valkenburgh took his personal recognizance and let him go. Yesterday the art editor, who is about 20 years of age, turned up "to take my medicine, as I said I would," he said. Judge Pollock heard his story and at the conclusion said:
"Have you $1 and the costs of this case?"
"I have not, sir," replied the editor, showing how dull business in the art journal business is just at present.
"Then if I fine you $1 you will have to go to jail, will you?" the court asked next.
"Yes, sir," the editor-prisoner replied.
"Then it will not do to try to collect it. The punishment will be a fine of $1 and costs, collectible upon execution," and slam went the judge's docket and another case was taken up. Pope did not know what was up, so he took his seat near one of the deputy marshals, supposing it was jail again in view of the fact that he had not the dollar and costs. While in the middle of the next case Judge Pollock caught sight of the little art editor's long curly hair and had to order him to freedom.
"You can get out, Pope," the court said. "That fine against you is collectible upon execution."
It took two lawyers and a deputy to explain this to Pope, who could scarcely believe all his good luck was real.
Labels: alcohol, banking, courtroom, crime, federal court, immigrants, Judge Pollock, Judges, Leavenworth, Mt. Washington, post office, United States District Court
October 24, 1907
NO ARRESTS TODAY
FEDERAL COURT ISSUES ORDER
IN THEATER CASES.
ACTORS ARE THE PLAINTIFFS
WILLIS WOOD AND ORPHEUM
Suit Brought on Behalf of Them and
Members of Orchestras -- Conten-
tion Is That Actors and Mu-
sicians Work No More
Upon the petition of eleven actors, now filling engagements at the Orpheum and the Willis Wood theaters, Judge John C. Pollock of the United States circuit court issued a temporary order last evening at Topeka, Kas., restraining the board of police commissioners, Chief of Police Daniel Ahern, County Marshal Al Heslip and all their subordinates from arresting actors, actresses, members of any theater orchestra, and all persons performing services essential to producing an entertainment in any theater in Kansas City, Judge Pollock will be in Kansas City at 10 o'clock Friday morning to hear arguments in the federal court, for and against making the restraining order permanent.
No mention was made of the managers of the houses, but it is thought that the restraining order was drawn to include them. For fear the order may not give them exemption from arrest a new move is being made, the attorneys securing affidavits from some of the most widely known business men of the city to the effect that Judge Wallace is prejudiced, and so incapable of giving the theater employes a fair trial.
IN CLASS WITH PREACHERS.
There is to be no conflict between the state and the United States courts. The restraining order is not directed against Judge Wallace, so that the criminal judge of Jackson county may continue his war upon the theaters, but he will not find any marshal nor police to effect the arrests which he may order. Although there are but eleven complaints in the federal case, they set up in their oration that they appear for the 200 or more professional actors now filling engagements in Kansas City, and for the several thousands of others similarly situated who will come to Kansas City to give entertainment before the close of the present session, which will be in July, 1908.
The unique claim will be set up that the actors are akin to preachers, and that neither of them work. The theater orchestras are to be associated in the argument with church choirs.
"In every particular and in every detail," said Attorney Frank M. Lowe, "we will be found on solid ground. There is to be an end to the attempt to close the theaters in Kansas City."
The suit brought yesterday was filed by the following actors: B. C. Whitney, John Edwards, Lt. J. Carter and W. J. Jossey, of the Orpheum circuit; Benjamin Welch, Roger M. Inhoff, Charles ARnold, Harry Hastings, of the United States Amusement Company; Clifton Crawford, Arthur C. Ainston and William Leummel, playing at the Willis Wood. The defendants are Criminal Clerk A. E. Thomas, County Marshal Al Heslip, Police Comissioners Henry M. Beardsley, Andrew E. Gallagher and Elliot H. Jones, and their subordinates.
Labels: attorney, Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, County Marshal Heslip, federal court, Judge Pollock, Police Chief Ahern, theater, Topeka
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