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January 28, 1910
DRUMMER RECOVERS OUTFIT.
Detectives Looking for "Good Fel-
lows" Who Pawned It.
The detective department is looking for four "good fellows" who appropriated the drummer's outfit of William G. Viquesney, a member of H. O. Wheeler's band, during the automobile show in Convention hall. The date on which the drums, tambourines, whistle, etc., were supposed to have been taken was January 19. It was on that night that four well dressed white men, half intoxicated, took the instruments to a pawn broker on Grand avenue and realized about $25 on them. The more valuable of the collections were recovered by Mr. Viquesney yesterday.
Labels: Convention Hall, crime, detectives, Grand avenue, music, pawn brokers
January 4, 1910
CHARGED WITH USURY.
Warrant Issued for Pawnbroker on
Complaint From Prosecutor's Office.
For the use of $16.50 for eleven months, $15 interest, or 10 per cent a month, is alleged to have been charged by O. H. Stevens, a pawnbroker at 125 East Twelfth street, of H. S. Elder. A warrant was issued yesterday for the pawnbroker's arrest on a complaint charging him with violating the state usury law.
The complainant says that November 20, 1908, he pawned a gold watch chain and locket for $16.50. When he went to redeem the jewelry last month, he said, 10 per cent per month interest was demanded.
"This office has not started a crusade, so to speak, against usurious pawnbrokers," said Ruby Garrett, the assistant prosecutor who has these cases in charge, "but anyone who has been held up for exorbitant rates of interest we would consider it a favor if they would report the same."
Labels: jewelry, pawn brokers, Twelfth street
September 16, 1909
TO TAKE PRESENTS.
TWO DETECTIVES SUSPENDED
FOR THIS REASON.
Board Rules in Case Where Woman
Gave $25 to Show Appreciation,
That a Postage Stamp
The police board ruled at its meeting yesterday afternoon that it would consider any officer as grafting who accepted "even a postage stamp or a cigar as a present."
The ruling was made after Detectives J. F. Lyngar and Charles T. Lewis had been suspended for sixty days for accepting a present of $25 from Mrs. Rose Herman, 909 Lydia avenue. The money was given to Lewis on September 1 for recovery of a $125 locket. He gave his partner, Lyngar, half of it. The board ordered that if the $25 was not returned to Mrs. Herman within twenty-four hours the officers would be dropped.
Mrs. Herman was an unwilling witness and when she took the stand she said, with her eyes suffused with tears: "I would like to make a preliminary statement. I am not making these charges against these officers. A friend of mine virtually trapped me into doing it. If in telling the truth here I am going to cause trouble for either of them I want to say now that I am very, very sorry for it."
GAVE HIS PARTNER HALF.
The witness then went on to tell how previously she had lost $30 and how Detective Lewis had succeeded in recovering it for her. When the locket was stolen she sent for him. On August 30 it was located in a pawnshop at 812 Independence avenue, where sh paid the pawnbroker $10 to get it back.
"Both officers were there," she continued, "and advised me that I could replevin the locket, but lawyer's fees would have been more than $10, so I paid it. The man wanted $18.
"It was then I told Mr. Lewis to come to my house the next day. When he did I voluntarily gave him $25. I meant it as a present, as I felt very grateful to get my locket back. And I still want the men to have the money. I was dragged into this thing unwillingly."
Detective Lewis admitted all that Mrs. Herman said and added that he had worked on both cases alone, simply giving his partner half of the $25.
"It was my idea," he said, "that we were not allowed to accept of a published reward without permission of this board. I did not know it was a violation of the statute to accept a present. I have done it before, and so has every man on the force for that matter. Mrs. Herman will tell you that I told her she owed me nothing, but still she insisted and I took it."
POSTAGE STAMP IS GRAFT.
Commissioners Marks and Middlebrook discussed the case in low tones for a long time before rendering a verdict. Then Judge Middlebrook wheeled swiftly about in his chair and said:
"Were it not for the fact that Mrs. Herman was an unwilling witness, that the money appears to have been thrust upon the officer, both men would be dropped from the department here and now. That is the only mitigating circumstance in this case. You are suspended for sixty days and the money must be paid to the secretary tomorrow. He will return it. Hereafter men found accepting presents will be absolutely dismissed from the force.
"The mere fact that you see no wrong in what you have done is to say the least distressing. You are paid $115 a month and the acceptance of a postage stamp above that is regarded as graft."
"Rear in mind now," added Mr. Marks, "this means that you are to accept nothing form the public, not even a cigar, without the permission of this board."
"If that rule is enforced," said an officer who heard the order, "the board would be kept busy examining new men for the force, as every ma on the department would lose his job every day. I know a copper who has lost his eleven times today, as he has just that many good cigars in his inside pocket."
Labels: cigars, Commissioner Marks, corruption, detectives, jewelry, Lydia avenue, pawn brokers, police, police board
August 17, 1909
REVOLVER DISPLAYS MISSING.
Wilson Law Gives Pawnbrokers'
Windows New Appearance.
The displays of revolvers in downtown pawnshop windows disappeared yesterday.
The anti-revolver law went into effect Sunday night at midnight. It permits the display of such weapons only inside a store and they must not be visible from the street. A fine of $50 to $500 or imprisonment from one to six months are the penalties. "Gun toting" is made a felony, punishable by two years in prison or fines from $100 to $1,000. The judge of the criminal court and the prosecutor's office intend to enforce both laws vigorously and inquirers yesterday were told to stick closely to the letter of the law.
A question as to how much would be loaned on a standard weapon, put to three brokers , all met with the reply that they were not loaning anything on revolvers now.
"Gun men will have to go to Kansas City, Kas., after this," said one Main street man, who said he was going out of the revolver trade.
"It has not been worth engaging in," said this pawnbroker, "since Judge Hugh Brady began fining men $300 for carrying them. That was the beginning of the end. There was a dragling trade, though, but the new law kills the last possible hope for it to longer continue."
Labels: guns, pawn brokers
April 21, 1909
BOY PRISONERS TELL
OF SEVEN HOLD-UPS.
IMPLICATE OTHERS IN STATE-
MENT TO INSPECTOR BOYLE.
Arrests May Lead to Breaking Up
Band of Highwaymen Which
Has Been Operating Al-
In the arrest of Joseph Tent, 20 years old, and Frank McDaniels, 18 years old, the police think that they have solved the identity of the mysterious highwaymen who have bee holding up persons almost nightly in Kansas City. The two, who are mere boys, admit that they have taken part in at least seven holdups in the last six weeks and Inspector Boyle thinks that they can be connected with several others.
For several hours yesterday afternoon, the boys were "sweated" in the inspector's office and at last were willing to make statements to the prosecuting attorney. Two or three others are implicated by the boys' confession and within the next few hours other arrests likely will follow. It is believed the boys are members of a gang of highwaymen, who prowl nightly in Kansas City.
The capture of the youthful bandits came about in a singular manner. In the reports of pawned jewelry that came into the hands of the detectives Monday afternoon was the description of a watch which had been taken from F. R. Hedges of 1004 Forest avenue on the night of April 15. It had been pawned Saturday, the pawn broker said, and a boy had left the watch at his office. Detective John Farrell stationed himself near the store and about 1 o'clock two young men entered the pawn shop and offered to redeem the watch.
PAWNBROKER GIVES TIP.
"Just wait a moment," said the pawnbroker, and he hurried outside. Farrell entered the shop and arrested both men. The younger proved to be Tent, who had secured a prospective purchase for the watch.
"I don't want to go unless you take the fellow that helped me," said Tent. "I don't want to go alone.
The chance to land another highwayman was satisfactory to the officer, and the two went to a photograph gallery at 310 East Twelfth street, where Tent admitted that Frank McDaniels, his partner, was working. The two climbed the narrow stairway and passed into the dark room of the gallery. Farrell was holding the young man to keep from losing his way. Suddenly he felt something pressing against his side, which instinctively he knew was a revolver. He jerked the revolver from the boy's hands. Tent denied that he had intended to fire.
"I was trying to get rid of it," he said to the officer, "and it was so dark that I couldn't see where I was placing it."
McDaniels was caught in the gallery and both were taken to headquarters. Both admitted that they had taken part in several robberies, but only two in each other's company. Experienced highwaymen had been their companions, the boys said, and the police are inclined to believe their story.
In the inspector's office, the boys did not appear to realize the gravity of their deeds. Both admitted that older crooks had started them in the business. Both denied that they had started in the holdup business together, and claimed that they had known each other but a few days.
Labels: crime, Forest avenue, highway robbery, Inspector Boyle, pawn brokers, police headquarters, Twelfth street
April 14, 1909
BERT BRANNON DISCHARGED.
Justice Says State Had No Case
Against Ex-Deputy Marshal.
"Not guilty," was the verdict rendered by Theodore Remley, justice of the peace, yesterday morning at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing of Bert Brannon, ex-deputy marshal. Brannon was arrested on April 6 by Detectives J. H. Farrell and Denver Mitchell, and charged with receiving and concealing stolen property.
One diamond pawned by Bert Brannon to Edward Costello, a saloonkeeper, was the "property" the police claimed had been stolen from L. V. Reichenbach on April 3.
Reichenbach and Henry Metzger, who had sold the diamond to Reichenbach, testified that the stone was identical with the one Reichenbach lost. Captain Walter Whitsett was not allowed to testify as to the conversation he had with Costello previous to the arrest of Brannon and left the court room in an indignant mood.
Brannon testified that he purchased the diamond from a pawnbroker, S. R. Alisky, 540 Main street, for $65 on March 29. It was bought "on time," he said. The diamond, Brannon said, was pawned to Costello on the same day for $35. Costello, the pawnbroker, and his clerk corroborated Brannon's testimony, and the pawnbroker produced his receipt book with Brannon's signature in it as evidence.
Judge Remley said the evidence produced by the state was not sufficient and he discharged Brannon. A "bum steer" on a horse race Brannon said was the cause of the "little inconvenience" which he suffered for one night in the city holdover.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, crime, detectives, Judge Remley, Main street, pawn brokers, saloon
September 8, 1908
NEGROES ARM FOR TROUBLE.
Symptoms of Race Trouble Out on
East Eighteenth Street.
Fear of an attack by whites kept several hundred negroes living in the vicinity of Vine and Twenty-third streets awake until an early hour this morning. Rumors that the "Eighteenth street gang" was going to come with firearms, tar and ropes and make a second Springfield of the district, caused the negroes to arm themselves and stay up at night, watching on the doorsteps of their houses for the approach of the white mob.
Sunday night the undertaking rooms of A. T. Moore, a negro undertaker at 1820 East Eighteenth street, were burned down and the report was spread that the building had been fired by white men. On the same night a crowd of negroes gathered at Twenty-fifth and Vine streets and eleven officers from the Flora avenue police station were sent to disperse them. They went away quietly.
Yesterday Dave Epstien, a pawnbroker at 1418 East Eighteenth street, reported to the police that all the firearms he carried in stock had been sold to negroes. Other dealers in firearms also sold many weapons.
"We don't want to have another Springfield," said one of the negroes at late hour last night, "but we do intend to protect ourselves if the police will not protect us."
Meanwhile, in the headquarters of the redoubtable "Eighteenth street gang" all was peace. There were no preparations being made to attack negroes, so far as could be learned. The police attribute the scare to the malicious tale bearing of idle negroes.
Labels: Eighteenth street, Fire, Flora avenue, pawn brokers, police, race, Twenty-fifth street, Twenty-third street, undertakers, Vine street, violence
June 9, 1908
ON MASON'S BODY.
ONE CLUE AGAINST WIX DIS-
PELLED IN HIS FAVOR.
NEW LIGHT ON
FRIEND OF DEAD MAN SAYS
HE TRADED WITH HIM.
Warren W. White Positive That the
Timepiece Taken From a Pawn-
shop Was Once His.
The police case against Clark Wix, charged with the murder of John Mason on January 26, seems to be weakening. Yesterday it developed that the watch charm Wix had been wearing and which had been positively identified as the one worn by Mason on the day when he was last seen alive, was not Mason's an had never belonged to him. When the coroner, Dr. G. B. Thompson, was making an examination of Mason's body the watch charm which Mason had worn fell from some part of the clothing on the body to the floor. The police had based a great part of their theories upon the identification of the watch charm which Wix had been wearing and the discovery of the true charm by Dr. Thompson completely put the question of ownership of the charm beyond question.
Yesterday Warren W. White, an embalmer at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, went to Central police station to identify the watch which was taken from the pawn shop as having been the one which had belonged to Mason and which Wix is charged with having stolen from the dead man. Mr. White was the original owner of the watch in question and knew that he could identify it beyond all question.
Captain Walter Whitsett refused to let him see the watch. Mr. White put his request to the captain directly, but with no further result than gaining the permission of the captain to describe it. He did so, after which Captain Whitsett informed him that his description the watch did not tally with the article.
Mr. White said last night that he had traded his own watch for the one which Mason was wearing about ten days previous to the time he was supposed to have been murdered. He said it seemed to him that it would not have been probably that Mr. Mason, from whom her husband had been separated, could have seen the watch, at least closely enough to give a minute description of it.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Mason did give a complete description of the watch which is in the hands of the police and which Mr. White believes is not the watch he traded to Mason.
Mason and White had been in the habit of making trades of jewelry, seeing each other often during the week. When one of them would get a new article of jewelry it was the custom for him to display it and then to begin a dicker for trade. This accounts for the way in which he and Mason traded watches, says Mr. White.
It is on the watch and the watch charm, it is asserted, that the police base most of their charges against Wix and it would seem from the statements of Coroner Thompson and Mr. White that these two articles of evidence have been changed to a most useful weapon in the hands of Wix's attorneys. Coroner Thompson has no hesitancy in saying that he doubts greatly the guilt of Wix. He has made some study of the body and of matters which pertain to the evidence against the accused man.
Captain Whitsett still refuses to discuss the Wix case, saying only that he is positive that the accused man will be convicted of murder.
The grand jury will consider the charges against Wix today.
Wix was visited at the county jail yesterday by many of his friends, who cheered him up with their kind words and presence. Among his visitors were the prisoner's wife and father, who spent some time with him. Several floral offerings were sent to him.
The police say that they have not lost confidence in their evidence against Wix, but are positive that if the grand jury hears all of the testimony now in the possession of the police that Wix will be indicted.
Mrs. Wix said yesterday that after her husband had been arrested she had been to the pawn shop of L. L. Goldman, 1207 Grand avenue, and to Silverman's pawn shop, 1215 Grand avenue. She stated that two pawn tickets which had been on top of a writing desk in her room disappeared after her husband had been arrested.
Believing that the tickets had been stolen by someone, who would attempt to get the jewelry out of pawn, she visited the store where they were pawned to warn the proprietor against allowing anyone to have them. She said she knew the watches had been pawned at Silverman's, but she did not know where this place was. She went to Goldman's pawnshop and asked Mr. Goldman where Silverman's place was located. When she was told at Siverman's that the police had the watches she did not ask any further questions. At Goldman's and Silverman's Mrs. Wix's statement regarding her visits were corroborated. In the search for evidence Mrs. Wix said the police had not left even a strand of hay in the barn untouched. It was suggested that the pawn tickets she supposed were stolen, were in the possession of the police, although the latter will not discuss them.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, flowers, Grand avenue, murder, pawn brokers, undertakers
June 7, 1908
POLICE REFUSE TO
"NOT TRYING WIX IN THE NEWSPA-
PERS," THEY SAY.
As in All Cases, They Are Seeking
Evidence Against the Accused,
Only, and Not That Which
Would Free Him.
"The police will give no more information concerning the Wix case. I think we have given out too much of our side already. We do not intend to try the case in the newspapers."
So said Captain Walter Whitsett at police headquarters last night when asked if there was anything new in the case. By "Our side" he meant the prosecution. He said further that the publication of too much of "our information gives the other fellows a chance to get busy." In other words the police department, a public institution, is run solely to prosecute men. When a man is arrested, charged with a crime, it is a well known fact that the police set to work to get all they can against the man and seldom take notice of anything in the prisoner's favor.
If Clark Wix is convicted for the murder of John Mason as he now stands charged, it appears that it will have to be solely upon circumstantial evidence as, so far, the police have no positive evidence.
The man's watch found in pawn in Wix's name at Silverman's pawnshop, 1215 Grand avenue, and later identified by Mrs. Lizzie Mason, widow of the murdered man and Maude Wilson, was yesterday proved beyond a doubt to be the property of Wix. In his statement Wix said that the watch was his and the woman's watch was his wife's.
When J. B. Schmeltz, 1231 Grand avenue, was seen he said that Detective Fred Bailey called him up about the watch. His mark in the watch was 10232107. The 102 Schmeltz places in all his watches and the 32107 when separated means 3, 21, 07, or March 21, 1907, when the watch sold. The works number is 14160503 and the case 6219763. It is a Waltham, size 16.
WIX BOUGHT A DIAMOND.
When Silverman's pawnshop was visited it was learned that the watch pawned by Wix February 10 last bears exactly the same numbers. Schmeltz also said that he recalled Wix bringing a diamond stick pin to him to be set in a ring and said that he believed he sold him a small diamond ring within the last year, possibly the one Wix gave to Maud Wilson.
The numbers on the works of the woman's watch in pawn are 10437364 and the case 67074. That watch is claimed by Mrs. Mason, who said that her husband was carrying it when he disappeared. She said that the watch was brought second hand, so it would be hard to trace the numbers in that case. Wix says the watch is his wife's and she confirms him. Her description of the watch is identical with the one in pawn. Her nurse friends used to use it when she was a nurse at the general hospital, and they all describe it as a large-sized woman's wath, engraved case, with a diamond in the back. Captain Whitsett says that the watch is being held as evidence and no one not connected with the police or the prosecution shall be allowed to see it. Harry Way, Mrs. Wix's father, said yesterday:
"That watch was given to Harriet by her uncle, Cyrus Way, fifteen years ago. It was brought from Roscoe Smulk, a jeweler at Shelbina, Mo, who is now dead. An effort will be made to get the numbers there, but I don't think they keep them."
If the watch was ever cleaned or repaired by a jeweler here, the numbers will be found here, and the defense is working along those lines now.
WHEN HE WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD.
Some of the new information received by the police yesterday that, twelve years ago, while hunting near Ottawa, Kas., with a man named Alvin Keller, the latter was supposed to have been accidentally shot by Wix, and that the belief was that it was not accidental. Wix is now 23 years old, so, if that is true, he was only 1 years old when the informant seems to cast suspicion upon him.
It was learned yesterday that on Sunday, January 26, when Mason disappeared, he was about the barn of W. A. Marshall, 1417 Walnut, during the morning. He took John Nevins out and drove him through Penn Valley park in an effort to sell him a horse. Nevins, who is a horseshoer, did not take the horse. Then Mason called up George Coleman, a liveryman, and tried to sell him the buggy and harness. He was turning all his property into cash, as his wife had sued him for divorce.
While Coleman was looking at the buggy Mason left the barn. That was about noon. About 2 p. m. he called Marshall and said:
"I will be over pretty soon with Clark Wix, and I want you to knock that trade with me."
"I asked him what he meant," said Marshall, yesterday, "In his broken German he had used knock for boost. I don't see how he could have been talking in the presence of Wix, to whom he wanted to sell a team."
DISPLAYED HIS MONEY.
Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent were assigned on the Mason case yesterday, and they took a new tack. They found out where Mason had often showed his money, that he did not choose his company well, and was often known to have shot craps with negroes. Any of that class may have known that Mason carried a large sum of money, and he might have been killed by them.
The police had several men in the office of Captain Whitsett last night, sweating them and taking their statements. Some of them are believed to have been men who worked for Wix at the time of Mason's disappearance. It is known that an old man named Barslow, a barn foreman, was told to be there at 8 p.m. One of the men who worked about there at the time and who knew Mason and his habits well is now being looked for by police with two different warrants for swindling transfer men and others for whom he worked. That is he collected C. O. D. money and decamped. That man's name is Gale Chaney, and his brother Tom also worked there. Another man now driving a newspaper wagon may be questioned by police.
Every person who ever knew Wix is now rallying to hi support in his hour of trouble. The verdict of many seen yesterday was, "He was the hardest worker I ever saw, and at the same time a man of jolly disposition. I can't conceive his committing such a crime and feel that he will come out all right."
Funeral services of John Mason, the murdered man, will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, 3015 Main street.
Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery.
Prosecutor I. B. Kimbrell and the grand jury were ready at 10:30 yesterday morning to examine Clark Wix and the evidence in the case against him, on which he is held in the county jail for the murder of John Mason, but Inspector M. E. Ryan telephoned that he did not have his evidence in shape to present. The grand jury then adjourned until Monday.
Labels: buggy, Captain Whitsett, detectives, Grand avenue, Main street, newspapers, nurses, pawn brokers, Penn Valley park, police headquarters, Prosecutor Kimbrell, undertakers, Walnut Street
March 28, 1908
HUSBAND GOT THE EARRINGS.
Wife Now Sues Company Where
They Had Been Pawned.
Mrs. Marie E. Ruffner brought suit yesterday in the circuit court to recover her diamond earrings or $400 from William F. Smith, president of the William F. Smith Jewelry Company. Mrs. Ruffner says she pawned the rings on October 7, 1907, with Smith for $125, and on November 1, 1907, her husband took the rings out of pawn and left for a destination to her unknown. She thinks Smith should not have given the rings to her husband. Smith said last evening that he had no recollection of the transactions.
Labels: marriage, pawn brokers
March 3, 1908
TOO FREE WITH HIS PENCIL.
Four Years in Prison for Boy Who
Forged a Note.
"Please give Izzie 75 cents for the coat. Give him not less than 50 cents."
The name of Izzie's mother was on this note, addressed to a pawnbroker, but Izzie wrote the note himself. Izzie is hardly out of the swaddling clothes, but he had a weakness for doing little things in violation of the Missouri statutes. Some months ago he forged a check for $28. For this offense he was sentenced to four years in the reform school. Judge McCune paroled him, but when Izzie was hauled before his honor yesterday the old penalty was assessed. Both the father and mother of Izzie (their name is Miller, by the way) averred that Mrs. Miller really wrote the note, but the judge would not believe them.
Labels: children, forgery, Judge McCune, pawn brokers, reform school
May 31, 1907
DOOR YIELDED TO A PUSH.
Now Warren Lancaster Faces a
Charge of Burglary.
The dry goods store of A. Newman, 1327 Grand avenue, was entered on May 20 by breaking in a rear door. Silk waists and skirts to the value of about $200 were stolen. W. B. Clark and James Downey, plain clothes men from No. 2 station, noticed some silk waists in pawn in the West bottoms. Then they arrested Warran Lancaster, alias "Hayseed," who held out firmly that he knew nothing about the robbery. Yesterday, however, he made a full confession, detailing how the robbery was committed and telling where most of the stolen goods had been sold or pawned.
"No one was implicated with me," he said. "I went into the alley, placed my back against the door, gave it a shove and in it went. I got nine silk waists and four shirts."
Labels: crime, Grand avenue, pawn brokers, police, retailers
February 16, 1907
WORTHLESS DRAFT COST $60.
"Dead Brother" Game Used to
Ensnare a Farmer From Nevada.
On the old plea that he needed $25 more to take the body of his brother to St. Louis, a young man succeeded in securing $60 from J. Moseley, a farmer who lives near Nevada, Mo., on a train from that city yesterday. With Moseley he left a draft for $1,100 as security. The farmer found the paper to be worthless when he arrived here. He had to pawn his watch to get back home, after protesting for a time that the draft was good. The man who gave him the draft left the train at Southwest Junction.
Labels: con artist, crime, pawn brokers, St Louis
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