Cowley  County,  Kansas



Constable Siverd of Winfield Shot Down by a Jointist - Talk of a Lynching

Arkansas City, Kas., Oct. 26 - Constable H. H. Siverd, one of the oldest resident of Winfield, was shot and killed yesterday by Jointist Morgan Wright. Siverd had arrested Kid Norton after a severe struggle during which the officer was forced to call for assistance. While taking his prisoner to jail Siverd met Wright. On the command of Norton to kill the officer, Wright fired and Siverd fell. He died thirty minutes later, Norton and Wright were locked up. There is strong talk of lynching. (Kansas City Star, October 26, 1893, page 1)


Winfield, Sept. 26---At 5:30 o'clock this morning Mrs. Andrew Swindler, a nice looking woman of 20 years, who was married a year and a half ago to Swindler, a section hand on the Santa Fe, got up from her bed without waking her husband, walked thru the mud to the Walnut river, a mile south of town, and jumped from the bank thirty feet down into a watery and suicidal grave. At 6 o'clock her husband awoke and found her gone and tracked her to the river, when he gave the alarm and the body was soon after found. She and Swindler did not get along well together, she having to take in washing to help support the family, and a serious quarrel is said to have precipitated the suicide. She leaves a babe 6 months old.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Tuesday ~ Sept. 27, 1887)


Appearances Show Man Committed Suicide


Right Hand Clutched Bloody Pocket Knife

With a bloody pocket-knife clutched tightly in his right hand and his throat cut in two places, the body of a well-dressed man, apparently about thirty years of age, was found three miles this side of Udall yesterday, partially concealed in a tile sewer beneath a Santa Fe culvert.

The body was discovered by three boys about 1 o'clock. Coroner Cooper, of Winfield, was notified and arrived on the scene about two hours later. The body was taken to Udall, and lies now in an undertaking establishment at that place.

Thus far the identity of the dead body has not been learned. In the clothes was found $25 in money and a letter. The latter Coroner Cooper took possession of and returned to his home at Winfield. He told the marshal at Udall that he would wire the writer of the letter and ascertain if the dead man was a relative.

The Eagle, in an effort to learn the identity of the dead man, telephoned Winfield last night, but it was said that Coroner Cooper had taken the train for Burden. Burden was also communicated with, but the coroner could not be found. It is supposed that the address of the letter found in the man's clothes bore his name.

Murder was the first theory advanced by the coroner when he was called to the scene where the body was found. On discovering the $25 in the man's clothes, and taking other appearances into consideration, however, he came to the belief that the man committed suicide.

When the body was found nothing but a portion of the legs and feet of the man were visible sticking from the tile sewer. When the body was drawn from its position, it presented a terrible sight. The clothes were bloody, as also was the ground in that vicinity. The man had cut his throat, evidently, first on one side and then on the other.

The knife was a small affair, and of the kind that can be purchased at a hardware store for 10 or 15 cents. The man had evidently cut his throat before entering the sewer, as there was hardly space when the body was once inside for the man to move about.

The dead man is described as being six feet and one inch tall. He was dressed in a tailor-made suit of clothes and wore a stiff hat. The latter article was found on the ground beside the body. His hair was of an auburn color, as also was his mustache, which was short and stubby. His face was covered by a several days' growth of beard. It is thought that he was about thirty years of age.

From all appearances the body had lain in the position in which it was found at least several hours. The coroner thought life had been extinct at least an hour. Owing to the cuts in the man's throat not being at all large, it is thought that at least an hour must have passed for him to bleed to death, during which time he must have suffered terribly. Unless relatives of the man are located the body will be buried in Udall at the expense of Cowley County.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ April 1, 1904 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


UDALL, Kas.---Signs proclaiming Udall as "America's Safest City" now greet motorists entering this once-devastated Cowley County town.

Udall was almost leveled by a tornado in May, 1955. Eighty persons were killed and more than 200 injured.

In the almost completely rebuilt town three fourths or more of the homes have tornado shelters, Mayor Ellis Sherrard said. In addition he said, shelter psaces in the basements of both the new elementary school and the new Congregational Church have been given Civil Defense approval, and both have health and cooking facilities.

Reinforced concrete and steel basement quarters in the new Udall High School will accomodate the entire student body and faculty during an emergency. The shelter is equipped with flashlights and first aid supplies.

On the highway signs at the approaches to Udall, the new slogan, 'Udall---America's Safest City," is superimposed across an outline map of the United States.
(Emporia Gazette ~ January 2, 1960 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



WINFIELD, KS., Nov. 13---A fearful tragedy occurred in room 23 of the Bretton house in this city, early this morning. Lillian Quinn, a waiter girl at the hotel, shot Frank E. Lockwood, the ball from a 38-caliber revolver entering his head above the left eye. She then shot herself through the head and died instantly. Lockwood is still alive, but cannot recover. Lockwood was formerly a conductor on the Southern Kansas railroad, and later the proprietor of the Grand Central hotel at Medicine Lodge. While in that business Lillian Quinn was in his employ as a waiter girl. He paid her assiduous attention, and she has been with him often. She has been in the employ of the Bretton for some time, and has been fearing that Lockwood was going to abandon her. During the morning hours she went to Lockwood's room with the above result.
(Plain Dealer ~ November 14, 1886)


WINFIELD, Kan., March 5----Archibald Olmstead, head of the Winfield College of Music, died very suddenly here of apoplexy. Mr. Olmstead was prominent in musical circles through Kansas and Oklahoma and was a pianist and organist in New York City and Washington before coming to Winfield twenty-two years ago. He was 55 years old.
(Dallas Morning News ~ March 6, 1924)



Great Excitement Caused by a Big Raid at Winfield, Kansas

Winfield, Kan., Feb. 14----A mob of 200 men and women raided Schmidt's saloon, the finest in the city, at an early hour today. Some of them fired a half dozen shots with shotguns through the front door that started a general onslaught with rocks and guns on the windows and guns. Emma Denny received a pistol ball in her face and was slightly hurt otherwise. Although this was an accident it served to enrage the mob and the crusaders swarmed into the saloon. There they found Charles and Henry Schmidt. After chasing them from the buildling through the door, the mob created havoc right and left. Cigar cases, mirrors and pictures were smashed, and those that could not be reached with the arms were shot full of holes. The mahogony bar was backed to splingers, bottles were broken and barrel ends were knocked in. This was the work of but a few moments.

The Schmidts ran to the front door and attempted to protect their property. The Rev. Charles Lowther prevented Charles Schmidt from entering the place by striking him with an axe. The blow was a glancing one and made only a scalp wound. As he fell to the ground Henry Schmidt made a gun play in defence of his brother that nearly cost him his life. One of the crusaders followed up the preachers' attack and raised his axe to strike Henry Schmidt when a companion wrested the weapon from his hands.

The greatest excitement followed the raid and for a time serious trouble seemed likely and the mayor called a special meeting of the council to plan means for quelling the disturbance and to provide against further outbreaks. He decided that all joints must close immediately. A mass meeting is being held tonight and an attack on the other is expected before morning. The saloonmen are defiant and bloodshed is feared.

This morning's attack was decided upon at a secret meeting held in the Baptist church last night. The cruisaders met the church by prearrangement this morning and marched directly to Schmidt's place, beginning the assault without the least warning.
(Morning Olympian ~ February 15, 1901)


ACCIDENTALLY KILLED----At Winfield Elmer, the eighteen-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Pilcher, was shot while hunting by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of one of his two companions, Joe Wade. The accident occurred near Krause's ford. He was brought to town and taken to the hospital of his uncle, Dr. F. Hoyt Pilcher. All efforts were unavailing as the wound, torn through his right kidney by the load from a 12 gauge, was too deep and proved fatal.
(Sedan Lance ~ March 24, 1905)

Neosho County Record:  A. R. Opdyke, of Udall, Cowley county, wishes to know the where-a-bouts of his son, Joseph H., who left his home about June 10, and has not been since since.  Age sixteen, fair complexcion, very light hair, blue eyes, wore a dark suit of clothes, white shirt, gold studs and sleeve buttons with "O" engrated in black on them, had a bundle with him, fastened with a strap, containing a pair of cotton pants and a brown and white plaid shirt.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Thursday ~ September 9, 1880 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

The new bridge over the Arkansas River four miles east of town, on the Udall road, was completed on Friday of last week.  The advantage of this bridge was at once seen by a large number of teams passing over and coming to town.  This shortens the distance between Belle Plaine and Udall about 12 miles, as compared with the old circuitous route via Mulvane, traveled by teams coming here from that region.  Now, give us a bridge over the Ninnescah, west of twon, and we will receive even great benefits from it than from the other.  This is absolutely needed,  and would soon bring to us enough business to pay for building it.
(Belle Plaine News ~ Saturday ~ October 4, 1884 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

M. S. Williams, Udall, has been fined $100 for unmercifully beating an adopted daughter, 18 years of age.  He had used chairs, pokers, sticks, etc., quite freely about her head and shoulder.  The girl is good looking, with a fiery snap in her eye; but not very bright intellectually.  It is said that Williams raised her as he did his horses---only to work.
(Kinsley Graphic ~ Friday ~ September 11, 1885 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Hattie Williams, whose foster father, M. S. Williams, of Udall, was convicted in a Winfield court a few weeks ago for unmercifully beating her, and fined $100 and costs, again comes to the front.  She has filed suit in the district court for $2,000 damages and $936 for labor.  The $2,000 is demanded as renumeration for the stern fact that said Williams did "beat and pound said plaintiff with clubs, and his fists, kicked her with his feet, and produced and inflicted upon her back and head great gashes, wounds, and whelks; that by reason of said beating and pounding, plaintiff's spinal column is seriously and permanently affected and injured; that said defendant's treatment of her for fifteen years past has been the most shameful and outrageous, inflicting indignity after indignity upon her person by forcibly and violently outraing her person."  She is a young girl of 16.
(Columbus Weekly Advocate ~ Thursday  ~ September 24, 1885 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Hon. Ed. P. Greer of Winfield came up on the noon train yesterday on business. Ed. Has been over the state a good deal recently looking after his candidacy for the nomination for congressman at large and he says the crop prospects everywhere are very satisfactory. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, May 1, 1894)

Dr. Pilcher performed an operation Monday upon Mrs. McNeale, an old colored woman and inmate of the county poor farm, for the removal of a cancer of the breast.  The operation was successful.
(Winfield Tribune ~ Friday ~ March 24, 1905 ~ Page 3)


Six persons were drowned in the Walnut river, seven miles below Douglas, Kansas.  Anson Carman and wife and Mr. Jay Carman, their son's wife, drove into the stream, which had risen during the night from recent rains, and were swept down and out of sight of the second wagon, which came down to the ford a few minutes later.  In the second wagon were Mr. and Mrs. Koutes and Mr. and Mrs. Jay Carman.  They drove into the stream and were swept down also.
(New Ulm Review ~ July 29, 1885 ~ Page 7 ~ New Ulm, MN ~ Submitted by Robin Line)


Back to Index Page

Copyright © to Kansas Genealogy Trails' Cowley County host & all Contributors
  All rights reserved