THREE BOYS INJURED WHEN AUTO OVERTURNS
Joe Raible, Jr., Harold Raible, both of Galena, and Junior Sohosky of Joplin, each received scratches and bruises about their faces and bodies when the automobile in which they were riding overturned on highway 66 each of Galena, near the Shady Grove night club. Joe Raible also suffered an injury to his right arm and Harold Raible suffered a sprained arm.
The accident occurred when the car, which had been driven off the pavement, turned over while being driving back upon the concrete. When the wheels of the car struck the edge of the concrete slab it overturned.
The three youths received treatment at the office of a physician here.
(Galena Times ~ 28 Aug 1934, submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
COLLAR BONE IS BROKEN
Harold Dean, left fielder for the Galena organized labor union members baseball team, suffered a broken left collar bone Sunday afternoon while playing in a game against the Miami Indians.
Dean broke his shoulder while sliding into first base.
The fracture was reduced by Dr. H. A. Browne.
(Galena Times ~ 28 Aug 1934, submited by Lori DeWinkler)
BAXTER SPRINGS MINE SOLD FOR $300,000
S. R. & W. Property Sold To New York Capitalists Is Rich Producer. Has Fine Record
A deal was consummated late Saturday night at Miami, Okla., where by the S. R. & W. Company's mine in Baxter Springs was sold to the Hutcheon Management Corporation for a consideration of $300,000 through the agency of John Crutchfield, dealer in mining leases at Miami.
It had been rumored here for several days that the Hutcheon corporation held an option on the property but little was known concerning the new owners.
The Hutcheon Management Corporation proves to be a new company in the Tri-State field. It is incorporated under the laws of Delaware and is composed chiefly of New York capital.
The S. R. & W. Company composed of Homer Seals and J. W. Roberts both of Miami and W. H. Walker of Joplin. The property was obtained from Victor Rakowsky of Joplin last November since which time it has produced more than enough ore to pay for itself, according to Mr. Roberts.
The property consists of 320 acres, adjoining Baxter Springs on the west with one of the most complete and modern mills and well developed mine with mill and field shafts. The property was originally developed by the Chanute Spelter Company and was known as the Chanute-Hartley which was later sold to Rakowsky.
The news owners assumed management of the property Saturday.
(Baxter Springs Citizen ~ Monday ~ 31 July 1925 ~ submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
MRS. GRACE BRUNER KILLS SELF; PLANS OWN FUNERAL
Mrs. Grace M. Bruner, 46 years old, 2123 Main Street, Joplin, committed suicide Wednesday at her residence. Coroner W. G. Hogan of Jasper county, who conducted an investigation into her death, announced Mrs. Bruner's death was caused by pulmonary hemorrhage and shock as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Her body was found at the house a 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, the left side of her chest pierced with a bullet fired from a 38-caliber revolver. Besider her body were found the revolver she had used and a note to Mrs. Maud Clark of this city declaring her intention to commit suicide and leaving directions for her funeral. It is believed by neighbors she had shot herself at 10 o'clock that morning, when they heard a report they believed to be the backfiring of an automobile.
Mrs. Bruner was born north of Galena in 1888 and resided in this vicinity most of her life. Last year she went to Joplin and until recently operated a home-made pie and chili establishment across the street from her residence.
Despondency is believed to have caused Mrs. Bruner to take her life. The note to Mrs. Clark of the Clark Undertaking company here, in part was as follows: "I'm such a miserable person---think some time I'll end it all. It's terrible to get in a state like this---never thought I would, but somehow I don't believe I can make it. I seem tired---have climbed so many hills, but the one I see ahead is the highest one yet."
The note gave detailed instructions concerning funeral arrangements. Mrs. Bruner requested that she be buried near her mother in Messer cemetery, north of Galena, and asked that the "boys out in that neighborhood dig my grave." In compliance with her instructions Miles C. Cook will officiate. Services will be at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the chapel of the Clark Undertaking company. Mrs. Bruner also requested that "Lou (Rev. Lou Love) and Lillie (Mrs. Lillie Clifford) and Mrs. (Cora) Robinson sing." The songs she selected were, "When They Ring Those Golden Bells," "Does Jesus Care?" and "Tell Mother I'll Be There."
Pallbearers will be Mrs. Mamie Shields, Mrs. Nannie Roland, Mrs. Bessie Farmer, Mrs. Lillie Russell, Mrs. Mattie Whitlow and Mrs. Mabel Allen.
She is survived by three halfbrothers, John Weaver of Mannford, Oklahoma, Charles Weaver of Galena and William Weaver of Winfield, Kansas, and a halfsister, Bertha Oliver of Galena.
(Galena Times ~ Friday ~ 24 August 1934 ~ submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
ROBERT WILLIS TO FT. SCOTT
Robert M. Willis, of the County Engineers office at Columbus was calling on friends in Baxter Saturday prior to his taking a position with the County Engineer at Fort Scott, where they are planning for a big road program. Mr. Willis has been with the Cherokee County Engineer for two or three years and has proved himself very efficient help.
(Baxter Springs Citizen ~ Monday ~ 1 June 1925 ~ submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
BOY KILLED BY AUTOMOBILE
DODGES ONE CAR AND IS STRUCK BY ANOTHER, DYING A FEW HOURS LATER
Leroy Stephens, age 8, son of ARtie Stephens, of north Miami, was killed by a car last Saturday evening on the concrete highway just North of Baxter Springs.
The car in which the boy had been riding with his parents stopped on the west side of the road near the Willow Creek bridge and the Stephens boy with another boy had gone across the road and into the field to the east and as they were returning to their car they noticed a car approaching from the north which they attempted to avoid and in doing so they stepped back in front of a Ford coupe driven by Walter Townsend of Joplin which was approaching from the south and which was too close to the boy to avoid hitting him.
The injuries sustained were a concussion of the brain and a deep cut on one leg that required several stitches. The boy was brought to the Baxter Springs Hospital in an unconscious condition which continued until about 9 o'clock Sunday morning when he died.
Funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon and interment will be in the G.A.R. cemetery at Miami.
(Baxter Springs Citizen ~ Monday ~ 1 June 1925)
A GRAND JURY IN KANSAS
Cherokee County Will Investigate Charges of Joint Bribery.
COLUMBUS, KAS., Aug. 26---A petition signed by more than 700 taxpayers of Cherokee county has been presented to Judge Glasse of the district court, asking for a grand jury to be called for the October term. The petition is said to be in form, and it has been filed within the limited prescribed by law. When Judge Glasse opened the May term of the district court here he made an address from the bench, directed to the Cherokee county bar, the county officers and the people. It was in the interest of good government and the enforcement of the laws of the state, without any equivocation or evasion. He said that the report had reached his ears that the "joint" keepers, then numbering about 100, were being assessed $6 a month each, $1 of which went to the man employed to make the collection and $5 to the court officers for securing immunity from arrest and prosecution. The report had become common talk, and it was about as commonly believed. As for him, he felt the humiliation of sitting upon the bench of a court thus publicly accused of corruption, and that he would not rest until something be done either to show the report to be false or to bring the boodlers to justice. The matter has been in agitation ever since and the calling of the grand jury is one of the results.
(Kansas City Star ~ 26 Aug 1903 ~ submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
A KANSAS MINING TOWN
GALENA ONE OF THE TWO BUSIEST PLACES IN THE COUNTRY.
How Lead and Zinc Were Discovered---Some of the Lucky strikes---Saturday Night a Carnial of Money Spending---A School Built by Mine Royalties
In the Spring of 1896 one of Bradstreet's weekly reviews of trade stated that the two busiest places in the country were Cripple Creek, Col., and Galena, Kas. The story of the former and its wonderful gold fields has been told and retold; the story of the latter and its seemingly inexhaustible supply of lead and zinc has been only hinted at. One is as interesting in its way as the other.
Galena is perhaps the most remarkable town of 10,000 inhabitants on the face of the globe. Situated in the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas, in Cherokee county, only one mile from the Missouri state line and six miles north of the Indian territory, it is a typical Western mining town and yet almost in the East. When one first sees the town his impression is that he has found the place where all the cyclones that have visited Kansas for the last quarter of a century have dropped their various "pick ups." If he chances to arrive there on Saturday evening he will be justified in thinking that half the population of the surrounding states has been landed in the main business street, which is a mile or more in length, and lined on either side with all sorts and conditions of buildings, from a one story adobe to a three story brick.
Mineral was first discovered in this section of Kansas in 1868 by an old farmer who was digging a well. He was too busy looking for water to pay any attention to the shiny surfaces of the broken ledges of rock, so it was not until nine years later, April 7, 1877, that two young men from Missouri sunk a shaft on a piece of ground which now lies in the heart of Galena. They "struck it rich" and opened what has since proved to be one of the most productive zinc and lead regions in the world; a few squares miles of ground which furnish 30 per cent of the total zinc output of the United States, and over 2 per cent of the total output of lead. A grand rush followed the discovery and in a few weeks the twin cities of Galena and Empire City, which was separated by a small stream of water, sprung into existence with a combined population of 5,000 people.
Those were the wild and woolly days of the town. The value placed on a good piece of mining property far exceeded that placed on a human being and the result was that a "killing" was no rare occurrence. Then the town quieted down somewhat and for ten or twelve years the outside world heard little of it. Even as late as 1895 the United States government published a large geological map of this country and failed to place Galena on it, as was also the case with Cripple Creek. But in that year new mines were discovered, rich strikes were made and for the last eighteen months Galena has been as lively a place as one would care to live in, unless he had a United States deputy marshal's commission.
The houses in the town are a mixture of the various styles of architecture. An adobe blacksmith shop, a typical old fashioned log cabin, a frame cottage and a row of modern brick business buildings are all in the same block. Othe rparts of the town furnish similar examples of heterogeneous architecture. Every foot of ground that is not occupied by a building of some kind has been probed for mineral, the result being that where there are no building are numerous deserted shafts, surrounded by piles of gravel, in many cases all that was ever taken from them. Front and back yards are torn up in the hope of finding lead or zinc, and it is no unusual sight to see a gaping hole in a few feet from the sidewalk on any of the principal streets. Many portions of the town are underlined with a honeycomb of shafts. Men are not the only ones who speculate. Several mining companies composed of women have been formed and some have been very successful. Yet for every person who gets back the money sunk in the earth there are five who part with it at a depth of from fifty to a hundred feet, never to see it again. And with all that wonderful tales are told, which sound like the adventures of Aladdin, which are still true.
The wealthiest man in the town is a German, who came to Baxter Springs, Kas., twenty years or more ago, after hiavng sunk his fortune of $3,000 or $4,000 in Colorado. He had walked most of the way from Colorado to Kansas, and arrived at his destination with five cents, which, with true German instinct, he invested in a schooner of beer. He went to work and later moved to Galena and began mining on a small scale. He was fortunate and today his wealth is estimated at over 1/4 million dollars, and he is getting richer.
Another story is told that illustrates the chances a man takes when he trusts his luck to mining. A German spent all his money sinking shafts and found nothing. One day a wealthy land owner went to him and offered to lease him a piece of ground, to be paid for when mineral was found. With renewed vigor the old German sunk two more shafts, about fifty feet apart, and found nothing except clay and limestone. His last ray of hope was gone and he sat down to decide what to do. The owner of the land offered to interest a friend in the mines if the German would superintend the sinking of another shaft. The miner accepted and the friend selected the place to begin operations. It was not eighty-five feet from either of the other holes, but the drill had not gone down twenty feet before great quantities of mineral were struck. Today the German lives in a $10,000 house and is daily adding to the $40,000 he has already made from the property.
Still more remarkable than either of these incidents is the way in which Galena fell heir to the largest and finest of her present school buildings. When the town was first organized, a large frame school house was built on a piece of ground which contained about five lots. Some years later, mineral in paying quantities was found on an adjoining piece of land and a company was organized for the purpose of leasing the ground on which the school building stood and prospecting on it. The school directors leased the land on condition that 10 per cent of the gross receipts of the mine should be turned over to them. The schoolhouse was undermined and great quantities of lead and zinc taken out. When, at length, the supply was exhausted, the school directors found themselves $15,000 ahead, while they still owned the property. In selecting a site for the brick building which was erected with the money thus obtained, the directors decided on a lime hill, as it is seldom that ore is found in such ground. Within the past few months, however, rich strikes have been made in the near vicinity and it may be that enough can be made by leasing the ground again to build and furnish an entire system of ward schools.
It is only a few months since a well-to-do young Kansas Cityan went to Galena and put $200 in a mining scheme. Up to date he has cleard $16,000.
More money is paid out every Saturday night in Galena than in any other town of its size in the world. The three thousand miners there drew over $40,000 in wages at the end of each week and it is safe to say that at least $35,000 of this amount is put into circulation before sunrise Sunday morning. Saturday night in Galena is a carinaval of money spending. Everybody is out on Main street, and each seems to have some money, but they are few indeed, of which this can be said Sunday. Most of the business houses remain open until 2 or 3 o'clock Sunday morning and many of them do not close at all on the Sabbath. The grocery stores do the largest business, for though a majority of the miners live in rude homes, with nothing more around them than is absolutely needed, they demand the best of food and plenty of it. The wagons begin delivering groceries about sundown Saturday evening and run until 5 or 6 o'clock Sunday morning. Then a few hours rest is given the horses and a fresh start is made. The last orders are usually delivered to the music of church bells. The Saturday night sales at many of the stores amount to about as much as all the sales of the week put together.
The grocery store is not the only place where the festive miner parts with his hard earned money. Galena is in Kansas, but like some other towns in Kasnas, it has an abundance of saloons which are wonderfully well patronized Saturday nights. These saloons, as a rule, are in the second stories of store buildings and the bars are fitted up much as are those in states where prohibition does not prevail. About once a month the town marshal serves notice on the properties of these places that they must pay their fines and they march to court and do so. The only difference between the saloons in Galena and those across the Missouri line is that the former pay their licenses by the month; the latter by the year.
The picturesqueness of the Saturday night scene is often heightened by the presence of a cowboy or two from the Indian territory or several groups of tall, handsome Indians from the country in the vicinity of Baxter Springs. A prairie schooner or a line of them, with their lighted lanterns shining on either side of the driver's seat, sometimes adds to the picture. When the crowd is largest, just before midnight, the spectacle presented is at once interesting and exciting. All classes and nationalities, thousands of them, mingle with each other and when the sidewalks become too crowded pedestrians take the roadway and make thei ways through the blockade of vehicles. With all its members, however, the crowd is peaceable. A fight is a rare occurrence, and though Missouri beer and whisky sometimes make a portion of the male contingent forget itself it is seldom that anyone is hurt.
About a month ago a continuous variety show was started in Galena. It continued two weeks and then the "company" disbanded. The cause of the failure as stated by a rough miner was on account of its not having had enough "good looking gals."
A mile east of the town, on the Missouri-Kansas state line, are situated two of the most notorious gambling dens and saloons in the Southwest. They were closed two weeks ago and will probably never be opened again. Both are shanties, built in such a manner tha one-half of the room is in Kansas, the other in Missouri. In one end was situated the bar, in the other the gambling room. When the Kansas officers attempted to raid the places the occupants crossed the state line into Missouri and thus evaded them. So it was with the Missouri officers, but at last a detail of officers from both states swooped down and broke up the gang. Since then there have been fewer murders in that vicinity.
The total output of the Galena mines in 1892 was valued at $718,141. In 1896 it was valued at 2 million dollars. The lead taken out of the mines is 95 per cent pure, the zinc almost 60 per cent. (Kansas City Star ~ 7 March 1897 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
HANGED HERSELF AND CHILD (MRS. BLANCHE MACKEY)
GALENA, Kan., May 28, - Several weeks ago Mrs. Blanche Mackey with her two children, aged 6 years and 18 months respectively, came from San Juan county, Colorado, where she lived with her husband, to visit her mother, Mrs. Hall. About a week later William Alvord also came from Colorado.
Sunday about noon Alvord and Mrs. Mackey, with the two children, were seen going toward the river, and about 2 o’clock parties saw them at Chico, two miles west of here. This was the last time the mother and youngest child were ever seen alive.
The older child returned home about 4 o’clock and told her grandmother that her mother and Alvord were out in the woods and that she became frightened and left them.
About midnight Alvord went to Mrs. Hall’s and asked for Mrs. Mackey, saying that he had agreed to meet her there. Mrs. Hall inquired for her daughter and was surprised at not finding her in company with Alvord.
Monday morning searching parties started out but no trace of the woman or child be found.
In the afternoon, suspicion being aroused, Alvord was arrested and closely questioned by the officers. He stated that he came from Colorado; that he had known Mrs. Mackey in that state; that he had followed her here; that she had met him on Sunday about half a mile west of the city and that they had gone to the river and returned about 4 o’clock; that they parted pleasantly on the outskirts of town, and that she had agreed to get a divorce from her husband and marry him. He firmly denied knowing her whereabouts. He was held for further developments.
Yesterday the searching party found the mother and child hanging to trees in a place of dense undergrowth seldom frequented about a mile north and west of the city.
The child was hanging by a ribbon which its grandmother had tied around it early in the morning.
The mother was about thirty feet away hanging by her apron from a small sapling.
When the news came Alvord was told of it by the officers, who then left him alone in his cell. About 5 o’clock last evening some men returning from work went to the city prison out of curiosity and found him hanging to one of the bars of his cell window. He was immediately cut down and, although nearly dead, was finally resuscitated.
GALINA, KAN., May 30. – The coroner’s jury after investigating the case decided that Mrs. Mackey hanged her child and then herself. Alvord was accordingly discharged from custody.
Richmond Conservator (Richmond, Ray County, Missouri) June 4, 1891 (Submitted by Lisa Smalley (Lisarps @ gmail.com)
A BIG DOCKET
Ten Murder Cases in the District Court of Cherokee County
Columbus, Kan., Sept. 8 - District court opened this morning with the largest criminal docket ever known in the county, if not the entire state. Ten cases of murder in the first degree, two of which, for cold calculating fiendishness can scarcely be paralleled, rare included in the criminal calendar. These two cases, to wit: Ed and Geo. Stiffleback and Naney F. Wilson charged with the murder of Frank Galbraith, and Wm. Hawkins and Jerry McMurray charged with the murder of Matthew McGurk, both occurred at Galena, and in some respects are similar. In each case the murder was committed for money and in each the body of the murdered men thrown into abandoned mining shafts.
The case of Stiffleback excels in horror, as not satisfied with inflecting a number of mortal wounds upon Galbraith, the murderers cut the death man's throat as if gloating in the blood of the victim.
The readers of the Capital will be furnished with the daily proceedings of these two trials when they take place.
Judge Skidmore, who was much detailitated from arduous work during the spring term of this court, the murder cases in Labette and Montgomery counties which attracted so much attention, taxing his strength to the utmost. He is now in robust health, having spent his vacation at Eureka Springs, Ark. (The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, September 10, 1897)
FATAL CYCLONE IN KANSAS
Baxter Springs in Ruins--At Least Six People Killed and a Score Wounded By Lightning or Flying Timber
Baxter Springs, Kan., is in ruins and of her population five are killed and about 20 wounded as a result of a tornado of twisting cyclone that struck the town Friday evening about 6 o'clock. The dead are Mrs. Webster and two children, H. Hibbs and an infant. Three of the persons were killed by lightning. Two currents of wind seemed to have struck the town, one going north and the other going west, and meeting near the Methodist Episcopal church, joined forcces and turned east. In the track of the current going north, the passenger depot of the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis railroad was the first thing damaged. Further on much damage was done to the residence of Mr. Purty.
The current gong west seems to have been the stronger. It struck some of the residences west of the freight depot, doing serious damange, but when it reached the yards of the railroad 28 freight cars were thrown from the track and badly damaged. The depot was wrecked. From the railroad track on to the point of meeting the damage to property was not great. After the two currents met, the Methodist church was totally destroyed. J. M. Cooper's large store was also damaged. The blacksmith shop on the northwest corner of Military and River streets were swept away. The Christian church was reduced to kindling wood. The Episcopal church was not touched, but the storm struck further up the street on the south side and from there not a residence escaped from being badly wrecked. Seven houses of J. M. Cooper's were badly damaged. The houses of Col. William March, A. A. Hanbeck, Mr. Childs and Ira Perkins are in ruins. The Occidental hotel, now used as an opera house, was struck by lightning and damaged. Four large hay barns near the freight depot were wrecked.
A conservative estimate of damange plaes it at about $100,000. There was little if any cyclone insurance. The damage to property west of Baxter Springs cannot be fully determined. It is reported for many miles in the track of the storm fences and barns were blown down and crops destroyed. W. L. Archer was found dead on the Noolan farm in Sheridan township. It is supposed he was drowned while crossing a creek. The rain was the most violent ever known, resembling a cloud-burst, and the entire country was flooded. Reports of further fatalities are probable.
(Springfield Republican ~ 7 Jul 1895 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
CLOUDBURST DAMAGES KANSAS ZINC MINES
Galena, Kan., Aug. 4---A cloudburst today did $500,000 damage to the zinc and lead mines in this vicnity and put all the railroads out of business, besides injurying the water plant, etc.
(Aberdeen Daily News ~ August 4, 1911 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
A FIEND IN HUMAN FORM
Two Boys Murdered at Galena, Kan.
Galena, Kansas, April 3---Yesterday morning Newton Walters, aged 19 years, enticed two sons of Samuel Cox to go with him to the river to shoot ducks. About noon he returned alone, and, entering Cox's house, attempted to assault his daughter, Miss Dolly Cox, who was alone. The girl escaped, however, and ran to one of the neighbors. Word was brought to town of the affair, and a party went in search of the Cox boys, who were still missing. The body of the older of the two boys was found in a sitting posture against a tree with a bullet hole in the back of his head. He was just able to tell that Walters shot him. Near where the older boy was found were traces where the younger boy had been shot and his body dragged to the river and thrown in. Posses are scouring the country for Walters.
(Boston Journal ~ April 3, 1895 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
AWFUL CRIME NEAR GALENA
Two Boys Murdered by a Youthful Companion, Who Hangs Himself
The Murderer Before Taking His Own Life Makes an Attempt to Assult the Sister of His Two Victims, bu Is Frustrated After a Severe Fight in Which the Young Woman Secures the Pistol of Her Assailant
Galena, Kan., April 3---Yesterday about 3 p.m. word came to this city that a murder had been committed near the Bosgon Mills, about two miles north of here, and immediately a large party started to the scene to hung the fugitive. The details are:
Two families, one named Cox and the other Walters, live on adjoining farms. Samuel Cox being the father of two boys, one aged 19, the other 12, and a girl named Dolly, aged 17. Walters had a son named Newton, aged 18. Newton Walters keeping company with Dollie Cox, and on Monday remained all night at the Cox residence. The next morning Walters proposed to the Cox boys that they go squirrel hunging, which proposal was accepted, the boys taking a small 22-calibre pistol.
About 11 o'clock Newton Walters returned and asked Dolly Cox to go to the woods with him to catch some squirrels. This she declined to do, and he drew his pistol and threatened to shot her if she did not comply. She got into a scuffle with him and took his pistol away, but he succeeded in getting it again, and again threatened her, saying at the same time, "Someone has killed your brothers." She had another struggle with him, and got the pistol and threw it away and ran to the house of a neighbor.
Search was at once commenced for the two boys, and about 4 o'clock George Cox was found under a tree about a quarter of a mile from the house. He was not dead, and upon being revived said that he went up into the tree to shake down a squirrel, when his brother called to him, "Newton is going to shoot you," and immediately something hit him in the back of the head, and that is the last he remembered.
A search revealed the fact that Walters had shot James Cox and then had dragged his body to the river and threw him in, where he was found at 9 o'cloc in the morning, hot in the back of the head.
Search was made for Walters and at 2 o'clock this afternoon he was found in the woods hanging to a small tree stone dead. Whether he hung himself or was helped no one knows. George Cox has since died. (The Kansas City Times ~ April 4, 1895 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)
WOMAN BANK ROBBER
Cora Parker, the Kansas Bandit, a Very Common Woman
Has Greasy, Expressionless Features, Black Eyes and Hair, and Is an Expert at Handling a Rifle
A woman bandit.
That woman a Kansas product.
Such is Cora Parker, the short, greasy faced, iron muscled daughter of Sam Hubbard of Weir City, Kansas, who is now in jail at Pineville, Mo., for robbing the McDonald county bank there on Tuesday, August 17.
Cora is remarkably unlike a woman in many ways. Her features are very commonplace and not at all prepossessing, with an inclination to mannishness. She is said to be only 19 years old but she looks to be 28, which she insists is her age. The best all around rifle shot in the neighborhood and a boasted ex-member of the Dalton gang, she is just the woman one would pick to be the virtual leader of a gang of bank robbers. It is not surprising, then, to find her not only planning the raid, but actually taking active part in the robbery.
Tuesday afternoon Cashier J. W. Shields had gone to close the front door for the day, when three farmers with Winchesters walked in. Before he could get behind his counter he and the bookkeeper were covered with revolvers while the third man hurried to the cash drawers and safe.
Outside Cora Parker, dressed in overalls, coarse blue shirt and dark coat and wearing a slouch hat and spurs, leisurely walking back and forth near the entrance. Almost on the heels of the robbers came a belated customer with pass book in hand. This was her opportunity. In a real man's voice this farmer addressed the merchant with a commonplace request for information.
The merchant had stopped but a moment and was answering a second question when three men rushed from the door and were joined by the one in overalls and spurs. They all ran around the bank to a side street, where before the merchant or the bankers could recover from their surprise, they had mounted horses and were speeding south. In leaving the bank one of the bandits knocked down Cashier Shields, who seemed to him too impatient to begin pursuit.
The alarm was spread and soon a posse was in hot chase. The country was scoured for miles about but no one had seen or heard of the four fleeing men. Darkness put a stop to the search, but the next morning it was not long before the pursuers came upon the camping place of the outlaws and there found a bag of pennies, containing over a hundred dollars, but evidently too heavy for the bandits to carry away. Near this was a crumpled piece of paper - a draft of the plan of escape. This showed that the robbers intended to go to the territory by way of Southwest City, I.T., and at once the posse was under way.
The robbers were overtaken near Southwest City and at long range firing the horse was shot from under Cora Parker. This brought the party to bay for a few seconds while the woman was being helped to horse behind another. Several of the robbers were shot but they hurried on and were soon lost in the darkness. Whit Tennyson was, however, so badly wounded that a little further on his comrades at the suggestion of the woman, abandoned him and hurried further south. Tennyson was taken back to Pineville. He was sullen and seemed to suffer more from being deserted than from physical wounds. Finally he confessed and implicated Cora Parker and her brother, "Bill" Hubbard of Weir City, Kan.
He told how Cora Parker suggested the raid so as to get money for some much desired conveniences about the place but more likely because she was in a feverish ache for excitement. She would practice daily with her rifle, though then the best shot of the party, and when the others faultered she jeered them into action.
She went to the bank several times to transact business in order to familiarize herself with the premises and to make a perfect draft of the bank exits as a means of escape in case too much resistance was shown. It was her wish to keep guard while the others did the commoner work. She planned the route to the territory and drew the draft.
With this information, the officers went at once to Weir City and began the search for "Bill" Hubbard and Cora Parker. Hubbard was captured on the streets Saturday a week ago. Then the officers, with Marshal Haton and Constable Ike Dennis of Weir City clambered into a wagon and armed to the teeth drove to the home of Sam Hubbard, the father, a mile from town.
They surrounded the house so none should escape and easily gained admittance. A careful search was made of the house and Cora finally found under a heap of bedding fully concealed in a roll of cheese cloth. She had discarded her tell tale men's clothes and was dressed only in a loose dirty wrapper. No money was found. The search was extended to the yard. Before they left all but $285 was found buried in various places around the garden, nearly always at the root of some tell tale and lately withered plant.
The woman and her brother were taken to Pineville, Mo., that night. Thursday the officers returned to the Hubbard farm to make further search for the missing $283. While there they were supposed to have a young man drive up in a new buggy. Cashier Shields at once identified him as the robber who struck him down at the bank. He proved to be John Streets, the fourth and the last of the Pineville robbers. He had with him goods for the territory and horse and buggy that were in all worth near $200.
He was sent to Pineville, where the four are now in jail.
It was thought that "Bud" Parker, the present husband of the woman, was the fourth member until Sheets was captured. Now Parker will be held as an accomplice.
This much married woman and boasted "bad" woman is not remarkable in any other way than for a large experience in vice. She seems to have only a second rate cunning and appears to get her power mainly from the fact that she is a man among men, and a real bad one at that. Until recently she was the wife of James Russell at Weir City, from whom she was divorced. Her latest husband is a very ordinary farmer living in the territory not far from the Kansas line.
She is given to much talking and though denying the robbery, keeps on relating little incidents of the escape. Her features are expressionless and her complexion dark and greasy. She has black hair and eyes and seems to suffer for the want of clothes. No where about the house could any other dress be found but the dirty wrapper she was captured in.
Excitement seems to be the keynote of her existence. She will soon go to the retirement of a quiet life. (Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, August 31, 1897)