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January 1, 1909
USED HUMAN SKULLS
FOR RIFLE TARGETS.
Mt. Washington's Bad Boy
Dug Them From Cemetery.
Claude Statzer was the original bad boy of the Mount Washington neighborhood if half of what the neighbors said about him is true. What they said was plenty twice over to send him to Boonville, where the state of Missouri has a reformatory. Judge H. L. McCune made the order in the juvenile court yesterday.
Many of the neighbors said that Claude was 19 and that he had been accepted for enlistment in the army, subject to a physical examination. But the young man said he was 15, and so it was the reform school.
The neighbors began to go into Claude's past. There was the story of many "dime novels," only the matter-of-fact courts refer to them as "5-cent novels," for that's what they cost in these days. There was another tale of how the lad had picked out a box car for his very own, making a home and a fortress out of it. And there was a narrative about how the boy was often seen with a gun.
"Why," said A. P. Fonda, justice of the peace in Sugar Creek, "this boy dug skeletons from an old burying ground near Mount Washington. He took the rings off the fingers. The skulls he set up for targets for his rifle. Sometimes he put a cigar or cigarette in a hole in a skull and then tried to shoot away the tobacco. I have had him in court on complaint of the neighbors."
A storekeeper of the neighborhood related how he was going home one night when the boy halted him at the muzzle of a rifle. As soon as he saw the merchant plainly enough to recognize him, he apologized for a case of mistaken identity.
In sentencing Claude, Judge H. L. Mccune again showed his enmity to the "gun toting" practice. Said the judge:
"It ought to be a crime to point a gun at any one. I'm going to put a stop to this carrying of guns by boys."
"Amen," said somebody in the court room, and the word did not seem to come from the bevy of Scarritt Bible and Training school girls in the jury box, but rather from Mrs. Parks, whose son, John Parks, was shot and killed by Statzer in a presumed accident.
"It does seem," continued the judge, "that there is no well equipped home without a revolver and on a shelf where the children can get it. Of course, it is not believed to be loaded until somebody is killed. I've been here eighteen years and have never found it necessary to carry a weapon."
Labels: cemetery, children, courtroom, guns, Judge McCune, Mt. Washington, reform school
December 21, 1908
TO LIGHTEN WORK
ON GREEK SHINERS.
JUVENILE COURT COMMITTEE
Wants Standas Closed at 7 p. m., Night
School Established for the
Boys, and a Holiday
Seven propositions were put up to the Greek proprietors of shoe shining stands yesterday afternoon at a conference between them and a committee, appointed by Judge McCune, consisting of F. E. McCrary, Dr. E. L. Matthias and James C. Chaffin. Twelve of the sixteen stands in the city were represented. Owing to the inability of the Greeks to fully understand what was wanted of them, and also because they could not agree on the proprietors and then meet with this committee of the juvenile court.. The committee of Greeks is: Joseph Snyder of California, an educated Greek who is a leader among his countrymen; James Katzoulos, 818 Walnut, Demetrius Nikopolis, 1130 Grand, and Peter Maniatos, 14 West Ninth.
The articles of agreement which they were asked to sign were as follows:
1. Employ no boy, except with the consent of the juvenile court, under 14 years of age.
2. Open the shops at 7 a. m. and close them at 7 p. m.; between those hours the boys to be allowed sufficient time in which to get three meals a day.
3. Lend aid to establish a night school for Greek boys to open January 2, 1909, and remain open each year for the same time that the public schools are open.
4. Pay the boys their wages only on the last day of each month.
5. Encourage the boys to save their money and welcome any case where anyone designated by the juvenile court or its committee may talk with the boys and explain to them the subject of saving their money.
6. In cases where employers have agreed to pay the earnings of any boy to his relatives or legal guardian, pay the money through City Comptroller Gus Pearson, such payments to be made on the first day of the month, beginning January 2, 1909.
7. Arrange all day work of the boys so that each one can have at least one half holiday each week.
With most of these propositions there was no fault found. The proprietors all expressed themselves as being willing to settle the matter amicably and to the satisfaction of the court. The only one of the articles which caused any considerable discussion was that of closing the shops at 7 p. m. But as they were made to understand the liability of the invocation of the eight-hour law, it is quite probably that they will arrange working hours so that the boys can have a chance to go to school, besides getting a little recreation. The committee of Greeks and the juvenile court committee will get together at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, when an agreement will be made.
Labels: California, children, immigrants, Judge McCune, juvenile court, reform school
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
October 22, 1907
TRAGEDIES OF CHILDHOOD
DRIFT FROM BROKEN HOMES
INTO JUVENILE COURT.
"Parents Separated" the Burden of
Pathetic Stories Heard by Judge
McCune -- Many Sent to
"Parents separated" was the brief but sadly expressive story borne by a majority of the cases that came before Judge McCune at the regular session of the juvenile court yesterday. After it was added the pitiful detail of petty crime and wrong doing that the developments in the case showed was, in most cases, "born in the flesh and bred in the bones" of the young offenders present.
Judge McCune was quick to grasp the threads that led unmistakably back and beyond the little culprits before him, and "another chance" was the rule rather than the exception.
Ben Moore, who stood head and shoulders taller than his mother, was given a bad name by Chief Probation Officer Mathias, which is an unusual occurrence. "He is just a loafer," he told the court, "and in spite of our best efforts will not be anything else. We have found him jobs and helped him time and time again, but it is no use; he is a bad lot. His father and mother are separated and the woman can do nothing with him."
The mother, with tears streaming down her face, acknowledged the truth of the officer's assertions, and the boy was sent to the Boonville reform school for four years.
James Flaigle was accused of being a truant. He said his father wanted him to work in his store on Union avenue and the court was in possession of a letter bearing out the assertion. His father thought the experience of the store would be enough of an education, but Judge McCune could not see it in that light, and the youngster was ordered to go to school, which he smilingly promised to do.
HENRY DIDN'T CARE.
Henry Reisner ran away from his home in St. Louis because, he said, his father abused his mother. He came to Kansas City and was gathered in by the police while wandering about the streets. He didn't seem much interested in the proceedings pertaining to himself, anyway, and the court decided to send him home.
A West Prospect place woman was present to say that her son, who is on parole for past misdemeanors, was too ill to attend the court. When the court officers commented upon the mother's strong odor of whiskey, she calmly told the court that she had "inherited that breath." Judge McCune was moved to remark that he had heard of its being acquired in every other way but by inheritance. The woman finally departed, explaining things to herself after everyone else had refused to listen.
Charles Riggs, 13 years of age, 4322 East Fourteenth street, was up or the fourth or fifth time for violating his parole, playing hookey and numerous other bad things. His father and mother have separated, and the latter was in court to defend her son. Judge McCune said he must go to Boonville, and the mother said he shouldn't. When the court finally threatened to have her locked up if she did not stop her interference she allowed the child to be led away.
FRED CAME FROM WICHITA
Fred Corp of Wichita came to Kansas City with a load of cattle. He had nothing to do with cattle but just came along to see the sights and have a good time. Upon his arrival he got separated from the men he came with and the police picked him up at 3 'clock Thursday morning. He told the court of his experiences through many tears. When arrested he had $3.05 in his pockets. The necessary amount of this will be invested in a ticket for Wichita today.
Tony Lapentino, who has been behaving badly, and has claimed the attention of the court many times, was sent to Boonville for four years. Ethel Ackley, a sweet-faced girl of 9 years, whose mother is dead and whose father was charged with deserting her, will be provided for in some charitable institution.
Terrence Quirk, one of the boys who recently located and equipped with small arms a Wild West camp on the outskirts of the city, enrolled for the Boonville institution.
Ellen, Allen and Howard Collins, who were recently found in a destitute and suffering condition in the rear of the premises at 911 Paseo, will be cared for until other arrangements can be made at the North end day nursery. Their mother is in a hospital and the father incompetent to provide for his family.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, Fourteenth street, Judge McCune, juvenile court, North end, Paseo, reform school, St Louis, Union avenue, Wichita
October 9, 1907
BOY HAD WORTHLESS CHECK.
"Izzy" Miller, Once in Reform
School, Again in Trouble.
"Izzy" Miller, 14 years old, is held at the detention home awaiting trial in the juvenile court on the charge of trying to pass a worthless check on a dry goods company, 1331 Grand avenue. "Izzy" was arrested by the police of No. 4 station. The check, which the company wouldn't take, was signed, "H. C. Jacoby," payable to "Isadore Miller" and drawn on the Pioneer Trust Company. "Izzy" has been in trouble before, and was released from the boys' school at Boonville only five months ago. He lives iwth his step-father, Mike Harris, at 1829 Grand avenue.
Labels: children, detention home, Grand avenue, No 4 police station, reform school
July 24, 1907
STAGE PICTURE IS DIMMED.
Lieutenant Kennedy Gives Inquisitor
Some Sound Advice.
A girl entered police headquarters last evening, and calling Lieutenant Michael J. Kennedy to one side, confidentially informed him that her mother had threatened to send her to the reform school if she went away with a summer theatrical company. She told the lieutenant that she was past 19 years old, and had contemplated becoming an actress, but her parents objected so strenuously that life at home had become unbearable since her artistic inclinations were so hampered.
She asked if a young woman past her majority could be sent to the reform school by her parents, and was apparently relieved when told by Lieutenant Kennedy that such would be impossible.
"But if I were you," continued the lieutenant, "I would not disobey my parents in this case. They know what's best for you."
With this bit of advice, the lieutenant supplimented an outline of trials and tribulations of young girls who leave good homes to enter that army upon their own resources. When this discourse was concluded, it was apparent that the lieutenant's story had had the desired effect. With tears in her eyes the girl arose, and as she started away said that though she had signed a contract with a company that was being organized in St. Joseph, declared that she would give up the project and remain at home.
Labels: arts, police, reform school, St.Joseph
July 2, 1907
A BOY ACTS AS 'JUDGE'
"KANGAROO" COURT WHILE
WAITING FOR REAL JURIST.
Juveniles Play "Big" Until Judge
McCune Comes, and Then Young-
ster in Chair Goes to
"This court will now behave!" said Joe Tint, and incorrigible 12-year-old of 1902 McGee street, as he called a kangaroo court to order in the witness room of the juvenile court yesterday morning. There was half an hour to spare before Judge H. L. McCune was to arrive, and the children, whose cases were set for yesterday, all got a sentence from Joe in that half hour.
"Who are these people?" Joe asked, pointing to three boys sitting disconsolately in a corner. "These people" were Ralph, Orpha and Leota Hill, waifs found recently alone in a house at 2101 Vine street.
"They are the Hillocks," suggested one.
"Naw, theys just foothills," said Joe. "Foothills, stand up! I sentence each of you to a square meal. Draw on 'Doc' Mathias for the grub."
"What are you in here for?" Joe asked of Joe Shaeffer.
"He stole $1.04 from a man," said Carl Robinson, who thereby appointed himself prosecuting attorney.
"Did the man have any more money? asked Joe.
"Yes, I guess so," the prisoner said.
"Ninety-nine years for you. Why didn't you get all of it?"
"What's that under that straw stack there in the corner?" the court inquired. Oh, it's a negro, is it? Well, take off your hat. You stole a dollar and spent it for fireworks, I believe. You ain't old enough to burn money. Four years for you."
Just then the real court convened and Kangaroo Judge Joe was called.
Joe has been in and out of juvenile court for four years and was sentenced to the reform school in May, 1903. He was paroled in April, 1904. he was before the court for quitting thirteen jobs which had been found for him.
"I'm sorry to have to sentence you, Joe," Judge McCune said to Joe, "but you'll have to back to the reform school for four years.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, fireworks, Judge McCune, juvenile court, McGee street, reform school
May 14, 1907
BREAKS UP BOYS' GANG.
In the Juvenile Court Yesterday
Judge McCune Lectured the
Father When He Objected
to the Decision.
Seven little boys, from 9 to 12 years of age, charged with being the "Sixteenth Street Gang," train hoppers and coal thieves, were before Judge McCune, of the juvenile court, yesterday afternoon.
"The boys sit on the rails of the Belt line tracks," said James H. Knapp, of the Knapp & Coumbe Construction Company, a witness, "and try to scare the engineer of the approaching trains. When the engine is within a few feet of them, they jump up like frogs and get off the track. If the engineer sticks his head out of the cab to talk to them, they make finger signs at him."
There were other witnesses against the boys -- three truancy officers and W. K. Miller, flagman for the Belt line at Sixteenth street. They said that the boys made a practice of stealing coal and hopping on trains.
"I pointed out to the boys," Miller told the court, "the place where a boy was killed last year jumping on a train. It wasn't ten feet from where these boys repeat the practice. But they only laughed at me.
"They sit up on the cars and kick the coal off. Then they get down, pick it up, and haul it away in little wagons. The gang has two wagons."
The seven boys before the court were; Willie Eft, 10 years old; Martin Eft, 9 years old, both of 1511 College avenue; Henning Broman, 12 years old, of 3113 East Sixteenth street; Harry Wright, 11 years old, of 3208 East Sixteenth street, Edward Blickhan, 11 years old, and Harris Blickhan, 10 years old, both of 1612 College avenue; Earl Frizzell, 12 years old, of 3208 East Sixteenth street.
All of the boys, with the exception of Earl Frizzell, admitted that they hopped on trains and stole coal. The Blickhan boys took the coal home and the other s sold it for 15 cents a wagon load, they said. Willie Eft and Henning Broman owned the two wagons.
Edward J. Blickhan, father of the Blickhan boys, appeared to defend his offspring, but he did more harm than good. He told the court that they had been sick with tonsillitis for two weeks and could not go to school. He denied all knowledge of their bringing coal home, but the court stated that he preferred to believe the boys' own statement that they had brought coal home and put it in the box by the kitchen stove. When the Blickhan boys were rounded up by the truancy officers last Thursday their hair hung over their shoulders and they were so ragged that Miller told the officers that he thought they were orphans. Yesterday afternoon they wore new suits and had their hair clipped short.
Judge McCune turned Earl Frizzell loose, as he had been with the "gang" only one day, ordered a home in the country found for Willie Eft and released the other boys with the understanding that they attend school and quit playing among the railway yards.
When Blickhan protested against the court holding his boys, Judge McCune said:
"You don't care if your boys get killed playing in the yards, so long as they fill your coal box. I don't want to hear another word from you. You have violated the law yourself."
Henry Eft, 13 years old, a brother of Willie and Martin, now has a reform school sentence hanging over him and is at work.
Labels: Belt line, children, College avenue, Judge McCune, juvenile court, railroad, reform school, Sixteenth street
April 1, 1907
PERRY BROCK ONCE AGAIN.
After Escape From Detention Home
Takes Team to Aid in Flight.
A sentence of four years in the reform school did not seem to affect the criminal ardor of Perry Brock, for after escaping from the detention home Saturday, where he was waiting to be sent to Boonville, he stole a team of horses and wagon belonging to S. G. Davis, a farmer west of Quindaro, about noon yesterday and three hours later was arrested in the West bottoms. He admitted the theft to Captain Ennis at No. 2 police station. The farmer says he will prosecute.
Brock was sentenced to the reform school last Friday by Judge McCune, of the juvenile court, for stealing chickens in Englewood and Mount Washington. When but 10 years old, he kidnaped a 3-year-old child in the south part of the city and locked him in a closet of a vacant house where he was found three days later by prospective tenants of the place.
Labels: crime, criminal court, detention home, Englewood, Judge McCune, juvenile court, Mt. Washington, No 2 police station, police, reform school, West bottoms
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