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September 9, 1908


One Was Out of Work, the Other
Feared She'd Be Docked for
Being Late.

Valna Walker, 17 years old, and Sylvia Miles, 18 years old, inhaled chloroform at the home of the latter, 1507 Washington street, yesterday morning. Miss Walter lives at 10 Rosedale avenue, Rosedale, Kas., but had remained all night with Miss Miles. They were found about 10 o'clock yesterday morning by inmates of the house. Dr. W. L. Gist was called with an ambulance from the emergency hospital and revived them. They were left at 1507 Washington street.

As a reason for the attempt on her life, Valna Waller said that she had recently lost her job at the Metropolitan Cleaners and Dyers, 4637 Troost avenue. Both the girls were out late Monday night at a party and, as a consequence, slept late yesterday morning. Sylvia Miles, who works for the Jones Dry Goods Company, said she feared to be docked for being late, or that she might lose her job altogether, therefore, death was considered the only way to settle her "troubles" for all time to come. Dr. Gist gave the girls a good lecture and showed them how foolish their attempt had been.

"As we didn't succeed," one of them told the doctor, "we have concluded to have nothing published about it."

"Your cases will be placed on record with others," was all the consolation they got.

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May 25, 1908


Either Rolled Onto Tracks or Fell
While Catching Ride in the
Burlington Yards.

Mangled beyond recognition, and the head missing, the body of Martin Pretzel, aged 17 years, a son of Joseph Pretzel, and employee of the C. H. Conklin Ice Company, residing at 1657 Washington avenue, was found on the Burlington tracks, directly under the Fourth street viaduct, at 4:30 o'clock yesterday morning by Louis Hommold, a laborer. He reported the discovery to the No. 2 police station. Patrolman James McGraw was sent to make an investigation but could find nothing by which to base the identity of the body and ordered it removed to the Eylar Bros. undertaking establishment.

At noon yesterday the parents of young Pretzel became uneasy about their son's absence, and hearing of the finding of the body investigated. Harvey E. Bailey, a son-in-law residing with the Pretzels, identified the pantaloons as the ones which he had given the boy a short time ago, and the father thought the coat and vest were the same as worn by his son when he left home. Beside the body as it lay on the track, was found a hat which belonged to Lee Ganders of 413 Landis court, the dead boy's companion. The two boys, who worked at neighboring grocery stores, left home after work Saturday night, saying they might go to St. Joseph on a fishing trip.

Lee Ganders reached his home at 4 o'clock yesterday morning, and explained to his mother that he had gone to the Fourth street viaduct with young Pretzel, that from there they had intended catching a train for St. Joseph. While waiting for the train the boys stretched themselves on the ground beside the track and fell asleep.

"About 3:30 o'clock in the morning," continued young Ganders, "I was awakened by the noise made by a passing passenger train. As the cars passed by I missed Pretzel, who had substituted the hat he wore for the one worn by myself. Thinking that he had either caught the train or gone home, I started for my own home."

The inference is that while asleep young Pretzel may have rolled on to the tracks and was run over or he might have attempted to mount one of the platforms of the moving cars and fell under the wheels. No part of the $1 given the deceased by his mother was found in his clothing.

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November 1, 1907


The Secretary of an Enbalming Society
in the West Side Fined $25.

A. H. Peterson, 540 Washington avenue, Kansas City, Kas, was before John T. Sims, police judge, this morning.

"What is he charged with stealing?" asked Judge Sims.

"Coffin plates, Your Honor," replied an officer.

"How's that?"

"Coffin plates," again answered the officer.

"Coffin plates?" echoed the judge.

"Yes. Peterson is accused of stealing eight coffin plates on which names are inscribed. They are valued at $1 each."

Peterson pleaded guilty and was fined $25. He is secretary and assistant demonstrator of the Institute of Embalming and Sanitary Science in the West Side.

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