Harvey  County,  Kansas



Eight Kansas Bovines Sucked Dry by a Monster Bull Snake

A strange snake story comes from Harvey County, Kansas. It is told on the evidence of two reputable citizens---A. L. Bartlebaugh, a prominent grain buyer, of Newton, and J. W. Miller, a Dunkard farmer, of Wanton. Mr. Miller has lost eight fine cows as the result of the strange freak of the monster bull snake that has fattened from the milk he has sucked from the udders of Mr. Miller's herd. For several weeks the farmer has noticed that his cows have come up to the barnyard occasionally in an excited condition. One of them was invariably without milk, and its bag was badly swollen and inflamed. The cow in a few hours would die apparently in great agony. Mr. Miller, after losing eight cows, determined to learn the cause of the trouble.

One day he noticed that one of the cows was racing madly about the pasture at a terrible rate and in a state of great exciement, which was soon felt by all of the other cattle in the field. Approaching the cow, Mr. Miller saw a monster bull snake, eight feet in length, hanging to the teat of the animal with a grip that was not to be shaken by the frantic efforts of the thoroughly frightened bovine. As the cow plunged on the snake was rapidly absorbing the milk from the udder. When the last drop had sucked away the snake dropped off, and Mr. Miller killed it. The body of the monster has been preserved in alcohol and will be donated to the museum of the State University at Lawrence. Since he killed the snake Mr. Miller has lost no more cows.
(Inter Ocean ~ August 16, 1895)


University Students Take a Sunday Swim--Narrowly Escapes Death

Lawrence, Kan., May 17---While swimming in the Wakarusa yesterday afternoon Herbert Wing, a Kansas university studen from Newton, came very near getting drowned.

He had been in the water about fifteen minutes when he became weak and called for help. Harold Smith, one of his companions, was near him, and went to his aid, but in the struggle Smith soon gave out, and Wing went to the bottom before others could reach him.

He was taken out as soon as possible and after hard work revived. He was able to be around again today, but both he and Smith had very close calls.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ May 18, 1897)


Newton, Kan., March 22---Saturday the little two-year-old daughter of F. M. McDermott, of this city, was frightfully scalded by boiling water. The child died late last night after lingering in awful agony for nearly thirty-six hours.
(Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital ~ March 23, 1897)
NOTE: Gladys is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Newton, Kansas.


Newton --- Night Watchman Willard Anderson was making the rounds about 2 a.m. when he was accosted by a youth.

"Any danger of a fellow getting shot walking around here this time of night?" the youth asked.

"We're not in the habit of shooting people unless they start something," the officer replied.

So the stranger fell in step and made the rounds with the night watchman most interested in the job. They tried doors, to make sure they were locked; turned out lights; took a turn up and down back alleys, looking for prowlers.

"Gee, I'd like this kind of work on a nice night like this," the young man remarked. "I'd change jobs with you for a few nights, anyway if you don't mind."

"And what might your job be?" inquired the night watchman.

"Movies." replied the youth. "I'm Mickey Rooney, of Hollywood."

And it really was Mickey. He had been in Oklahoma City and was returning to Hollywood. His mother was due in on a train from the east and Mickey had three hours, from 2 until shortly after 5 am., to kill.

So he was killing the time by making the rounds, this early morning, with the night watchman.

"I've heard about Newton," the youthful screen star remarked. "Used to be a bad town, didn't it?" I've read about it in wild west stories, I guess. Newton, Abilene, Dodge City, they all were pretty bad towns weren't they? Guess I wouldn't want to wander around this time of night back in those days. Not unless I had a good night watchman along to protect me."

But Officer Anderson assured him Newton is a good town now, with good people. Almost as pure as the 99.98 percent drinking water which now takes the place of the firewater of the '70's.

While making the rounds Mickey was tickled to see the posters in front of the Regent theatre where "Stablemates", in which he teamed with Wallace Beery, is currently showing.

"Mr. Beery's a good egg," Mickey remarked.

"And I think Mickey Rooney's a great kid," spoke up the night marshall as No. 11 whistled in from the east, and his guest on the nocturnal tour of Newton had to bid him goodbye, to leave for Los Angeles.
(Hutchinson News ~ November 6, 1938 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


NEWTON --- Because some of the things at Newton's two mobile homes factories were too mobile and had been disappearing, a Texas transport driver landed in jail here.

The man, identified as Billy Joe McConnell, 24, Abilene, Tex., was nabbed by officers of city and county just as he was preparing to drive away from the plants with a new mobile home he had received for delivery to a Texas dealer.

Searching the new house trailer the officers, headed by Sheriff Weldon Morford and Police Chief C. E. Patterson, found about $800 worth of loot.

Inside the trailer were six dinette sets, seven lamps, four bottles of propane gas, three wheels and tires, a mattress, stove burner assembly, a wheel drum and brake, along with smaller articles.

The sheriff disclosed that McConnell also had in his possession an almost complete set of master keys for mobile homes which had been stolen from the American and Great Lakes plants.

Morford said the Texas admitted under questioning he had taken similar loads of loot on three previous occasions since Christmas, with total value of plunder estimated at close to $4,000. (Hutchinson News ~ April 11, 1957 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


St. Louis, Mo., Dec. --- A passenger train on the L.L. & S.N.R.R., in Kansas, while stuck in a snow bank twelve miles west of Newton, was run into by a freight train, and two cars telescoped. The conductor and another man were killed and four or five wounded. No names are reported. (Plain Dealer ~ December 26, 1872 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


A Newton man allegedly beat a Newton High School Teacher with a shotgun in a grocery store parking lot Thursday night, then shot and killed him as he tried to reach help inside the store.

Witnesses said the victim is Thomas Zook, a Newton High School speech and drama teacher, who had gone to the Dillons store at 1216 North Main after attending a parent teachers night at the school.

A witness to the alleged beating and shooting who said he was a student in Zook's honors speech class, said he had parked at the store at about 9:30 p.m. when he saw a man in his mid 20's beating Zook.

The witness said he confronted the assailant saying "Hey that's my teacher." The man then allegedly swung the gun, pointed it at the witness and said, "I know who this is, I'm his son," said the witness, who gave his account of the shooting to the Newton police.

The witness said the gunman went to a car in the parking lot and loaded a single shell into the .12 gauge shotgun and followed Zook who was making his way into the store.

"Mr Zook was stumbling away, and I asked him if needed help," the witness said. "I started following him because I was going to help him. I saw this kid with the shotgun and I stopped. I saw it through the window. He just put it to the back of his (Zook's) head."

Authorities hadn't arrested a suspect early this morning and police monitored roads into Reno county and Hutchinson as they watched for the suspect's car, reported to be a maroon or dark colored Nissan.

Police did not identify the suspect or the victim late Thursday night, but bystanders also identified the slain man as Zook, including a woman who had just seen him at the high school. A group of high school students stood in the parking lot and watched as police moved the body from inside the doors of the grocery store to an ambulance. Police roped off the store, which is open 24 hours and part of the parking lot.

It is not known how many employees or customers were in the store at the time and no one else was reported injured.

Police believe the suspect left the store, driving north at a high rate of speed.

The witness who had drive to Dillons with a friend (who stayed in the car during the incident), said Zook was a popular teacher.

"I've always liked him." The witness said. "He was always nice to me," he said. (Hutchinson News, September 9, 1994)


Newton - A Newton man will spend up to 19 years in prison for the brutal murder of his father at a Dillons store here 1-1/2 years ago.

Christopher Zook, 27, was sentenced to the maximum allowed under Kansas law and then saw the sentences doubled by Harvey County District Court Judge Richard Walker.
Zook was found guilty in December of second-degree murder and aggravated battery for the beating of his father, Thomas Zook, at a Dillons parking lot in Newton and then the shotgunning of his father inside the store.

"I do not feel good about this sentence or about anything I've heard," Walker said from the bench. "There are no winners here. We are all losers."

Sentencing guidelines called for a maximum sentence of just over 8-1/2 years on the second-degree murder charge and a year and a month on the aggravated battery charge.

Harvey County Attorney Mary McDonald argued throughout the 6-1/2 hour sentencing hearing Tuesday that Zook's crime was so brutal and affected so many people in the community that Walker ought to exercise his authority to double the sentence.

With good-time credit Zook could be out in 15-1/2 years or when he is 42.

McDonald portrayed Zook, 27, as a violent man who turned to violence repeatedly during his life. The prosecutor brought up a fight involving Zook at a Pizza Hut in 1988 as well as a February incident at Larned State Security Hospital in which Zook had another inmate down on the floor and took swings at him.

His past also included sexual abuse of a young girl and the killing of pets.

"He did commit a murder with excessive brutality," the prosecutor said. "The other plain hard fact is this is a person who is committed to a life of violence. "The question is, where does the violence stop?"

"Christopher Zook is mentally ill," Iriogengaray said. "his mental illness we have to treat. This is the scream of a sick person, wanting somehow to put an end to the nightmare. It was the wrong thing to do, in his mind, for the right reason."

Zook took the stand during the often contentious sentencing. Repeatedly during Zook's testimony and that of others, Walker had to ask the two attorneys to calm down.

The defendant said he remembered being in the Dillons store the night of the murder, but that the image, however, was fuzzy.

"I wasn't aware at the time, of the other people, their thoughts or ideas, or that there would be or could be anything other than what I was feeling," Zook said.

"I would apologize to them (others in the store). I didn't know what they were going through."

Irigonegaray said he would appeal the decision. (Hutchinson News, April 3, 1996, page 3)


E. H. Hoag of Harvey county, will at once begin drilling for gas. This means another long, graceful, ornamental hole in southern Kansas. (Fair Play, June 3, 1898, page 2)


A very sad accident occurred at the home of Mr. Wash Harris, Valley township, this county, Saturday forenoon. His son Warren was plowing corn in the field, Groves, a younger brother, carried out to him a drink, Warren stepped around in front of the wheel, and behind the oldest horse on the farm, to adjust the plow. While in this act the horse kicked him in the abdomen with both hind feet. In much pain, by Grover’s assistance, he managed to get on the plow and ride to the house. Dr. Blasdel of Haven, was called and did all the could be done, but Warren passed away, Sunday evening.

Warren Cephas Harris was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, July 13, 1880 and departed this life, June 28, 1903, aged 22 years, 11 months and 15 days. He leaves a father, three brothers, two sisters, and a very large circle of friends, to mourn.

He was converted to Christ a little more than three years ago, in a revival meeting in the Pleasant Grove United Bretren Church, united with that church and lived a devoted Christian life. On the 16th of last March, his mother was laid to rest and now his remains rest by her side.

In the absence of his pastor, Rev. E. A. Powell, the writer conducted the funeral service. Brief services were held at the house. At the church a vast concourse of loving neighbors and admiring friends paid their last tribute of respect.

The funeral address was based on three subjects and text as follows: First – “A manly young man,” Dan. 1: 21; Second – Christ’s love for a good young man” Mark 11: 21; Third – “The death of God’s saints is precious in his sight,” Ps. 116: 15. Rev. Chas. Priddle assisted in the service. The remains were entered in the Burrton cemetery.

Chas. E. Farney. (Haven Weekly Journal Haven, Reno County, Kansas Saturday, July 4, 1903 page – front *** column – 3 submitted by Rose Stout)


And the Deacons have Brought it to the Appelate Court for Settlement

Yesterday the famous church row of Highland township, Harvey county, was transferred to the appelate court of this district. It has been brought here on an appeal from the decision of Judge Martin by the plaintiff in the case.

The case is entitled "The German Trinity Congregation of Harvey county and H. W. Tangerman, William Dreier, Henry Hawkey and John Molzen as deacons and trustees, vs. H. Mueller, N. Molzen, Carl Marguardsen and Charley Molzen."

The plaintiffs, as stated, claim to be the trustees and deacons of the church and as such have full and exclusive control of the property while acting in that capacity.

About nine months ago H. Mueller, the principal defendant, was installed as pastor, and in due time he claimed by reason of being pastor, full, absolute and complete control of the church and the management of the congregation. The result was, of course, a row and everybody knows what a church row is, and how bitter it can be made.

The upshot of the whole thing was that the deacons appear to have been excommunicated, according to the statements set forth by Pastor Mueller.

One fine day the defendants began to haul rock into the church land which consisted of a lawn and grave yard, and proceeded to build a permanent edifice. The trustees still claimed that they had sole control of the church property objected, but their objections were in vain. Then they applied for an injunction before Judge Martin, who, upon hearing the case, decided in favor of the preacher and his fellow defendants. It is from this decision that the deacons have appealed to the appelate court.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ August 24, 1895 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Denver Bunco Men Forced Harry Waldorf to sign a Check

Denver, Aug. 6---The motive for the suicide of Harry B. Waldorf, of Newton, Kan., who killed himself in Denver last June, has been revealed, and if reports made to the Denver police are true the young man was another victim of a gang of "bunco" men who infest Denver. Waldorf, after being cheated out of his money, was induced to sign a check on a Kansas bank which he knew was not good. Fearing exposure and the shame it might bring his father, he committed suicide.

Investigation into the death of Waldorf, who was a young locomotive fireman of Newton, made by private detectives in the employ of the dead man's parents, has brought the attention of the Denver police evidence which is said to show conclusively that Waldorf was beaten out of $400 in cash and a new revolver and forced to sign checks on the state bank of Newton for money he did not possess. A check payable to L. H. Blonger recently was returned from the state bank of Newton, on which it was drawn, marked "short." This gave the police and detectives their clew and subsequent evidence which is said to connect Blonger and the "bunco ring" of Denver with Waldorf's death was ferreted out.

Lou Blonger, known as the king of bunco steerers, denies ever knowing young Waldorf and says he merely tried to cash the check for a friend.
(Emporia Gazette ~ August 6, 1906 ~ Submitted by Lori Dewinkler)


NEWTON, Kas., Jan. 29----Fire here early today that threatened a business district destroyed half a dozen stores, causing a loss of $150,000. The Lehman Hardware & Implement company's building and 35 horses in the Thompson livery stable were consumed.
(Morning Olympian ~ January 30, 1908 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


NEWTON, Kan., April 5---Annelly, a town twelve miles southeast of Newton, was visited by fire about 10 o'clock last night. John Eilert's store and machine house with all its contents was consumed and will be a total loss of $3,000. Roger's warehouse with 4,000 bushels of oats was consumed and the Worthington residence fell a prety to the flames. The occupants of the Worthington house had a narrow escape from death in the flames. The total loss in the town will be in the neighborhood of $12,000.
(Wichita Eagle ~ April 6, 1888 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


A Wichita woman is endeavoring to regain possession of one of her children, says the Newton Kansan. The child, a two-year-old girl, was left at the Axtell hospital a year or more ago by the father, who said he would call for it later and pay for its "keep." He failed to do this and the child was finally turned over by the probate court to the custody of a well known Newton family, where it was assured of the best of care and treatment. The girl was never formally adopted into the family owning to the fact that the mother of the little one was unwilling to give her consent. A few days ago the woman, whose home is in Wichita, came to Newton and tried to get the child, but was unsuccessful. There are various reasons why the officials are unwilling to trust the child back to the mother's care. It is possible that the matter may come up in probate court, though the mother has not as yet brought proceedings here.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ September 2, 1903 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



But They Had Grown Up Total Strangers

Many Wichita people know the Beckwiths mentioned in the following story from the Newton-Republican:

In Saturday's paper was the announcement of the meeting of Harry Beckwith and his mother, who had been parted for seventeen years. Further investigation proves the story is stranger than that. While it has been seventeen years since the mother saw her son to know him, it is the first time in his life that he has really seen his mother.

Harry Beckwith was born in Valley Center, March 28, 1872, about a month after the death of his father. The mother and child came to Newton some time afterward and both took sick. They were at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Eberle, of this city, who took care of them tenderly. The mother found she could not provide for herself and babe, so she gave the little one to Mr. and Mrs. Eberle. On November 2, 1872, the adoption papers were drawn and the child became Harry Eberle. He learned to regard Mrs. Eberle with the devotion of a child for its own mother, and never knew but what she was until he was 20. There was a provision in the document that the mother was never to make herself known to her son at least before his fifteenth year. She strictly adhered to the provision. Mr. Beckwith left Newton and the next heard of her she was in Leadville.

In May, 1880, the Eberles moved from Newton to Red Cliff, Colo., about twenty miles from Leadville. Mr. Eberle made trips to that place quite often to get supplies for his stores. In 1882, he took the family over for a short visit. Harry's mother was then running a boarding house. She had married again, her name being Hatton. She visited with her 10-year-old son often in those days, but never violated her agreement. Through one of those strange processes which the human mind feels but knows not, Harry took a great fancy to her, and remembers distinctly to this day the little presents, among them a pair of white rabbits, she gave him. From Leadville she went to Waco, Texas, and thence to Ellis county, Kan., which is now her home.

Meanwhile the Eberles moved from Red Cliff to Leadville, where they lived a few years and then came to Newton. Beckwith started east, working at Pueblo and other places till December, 1891, when he landed in Newton. On July 24, 1892, he married the eldest daughter of O. N. Eberle, brother of W. H., who had a short time before revealed to him his identity. When Harry was married he took his right name. He often tried to find his mother, but finally gave her up as dead. He worked in this city till 1893, when he went to Kansas City. In 1895 he went to Leadville and was on the police force. He boarded three blocks from a boarding house kept by his mother, who had again moved to that place. Beckwith lost one eye in his infancy, but at this time was wearing a glass eye, which accounted for the fact that his mother did not know him, although they no doubt saw each other often. In January, 1897, Beckwith returned to Newton, which has been his home ever since. He is one of C. H. Brining's trusted employes, a member of the Sons of Veterans and claims distinction as the promoter of the G. A. R. drum corps, one of the best juvenile organizations in this end of the state.

Ten years ago the mother began her search for her boy. She has written to towns where she heard of the name of Eberle or Beckwith, advertised and traveled much. She made one trip as far as Sacramento, Cal. At times she gave up hope of ever seeing her first born, but with a mother's faith kept up her search. A letter to Red Cliff, Colo., finally brought her a reply, stating that there was an Eberle in Newton. She wrote to Mayor Young, and on receiving a reply immediately started for this city. Friday evening she arrived in the city, and the reunion that took place in the little home on West Ninth street was one of the happiest in this town. Her name is now Gallon and her husband is a car inspector on the Union Pacific at Ellis. She has another son, with whom Harry will visit in a few days. He has not had a vacation since he began work here.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ June 15, 1899 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Frank Miller of Halstead was charged with assaulting a child. The people took him out, stripped him, whipped him and then tarred and feathered him.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ July 15, 1898 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Thrown From the Train at Newton


How Her Husband Was Killed on the Way to Wichita

Mrs. Frank Streeter, who, with her husband and family started from Hesston Tuesday happy, anticipating a pleasant trip to Wichita and a visit to Buffalo Bill's Wild West exhibition, and who returned hom a widow, her home desolated, her husband mashed to death by a fall from the train, is prostrate with sorrow, and sick in bed.

The Newton Republican gives the following account of the death of her husband, mention of which was made in yesterday's Eagle:

Frank Streeter, a prominent Democratic politician of Harvey county and a well known citizen and successful business man of Hesston, met a horrible death just about the hour of noon today when he was thrown from the Frisco passenger train just outside the railroad yards and instantly killed.

Streeter, with scores of other people from here, was on his way to see the "Buffalo Bill" Wild West show at Wichita. HIs wife was with him. The cars were so crowded he was obliged to stand outside and was on the platform of the rear chair car.

The Frisco has a well known reputation for swift departure from an entrance to the yards here, and had gained a good rate when it reached the carriage factory. Rounding the curve, the swerving threw Streeter off and he plunged headlong to the ground. His fall was such and the impetus gained from the train's movement so great that nearly the entire top of his skull was torn away, causing the brains to ooze forth and almost instantaneous death, a horrible sight for the pleasure-seekers aboard the train. Only a quiver and he was dead.

The train did not stop. It was not known, it seems, that the accident had happened, at least not to the trainmen, and it went on to Wichita as though nothing had happened. A telegram was sent to Mrs. Streeter, who with her two children was unconscious of the tragic fate of her husband. She immediately sent word she would be upon the Frisco at 4:45.

Word was at once sent the upper end of the yards, and a switch engine with a half dozen men on it, including Assistant Yardmaster Tom Peters, left at once with a stretcher. They took Streeter to the depot and Edwards and Schumacher's undertaking wagon came immediate, in charge of Mr. Edwards and City Marshal John Cummings, whose wife is a niece of Streeter's wife.

The dead man was taken to the undertaking establishment and arrangements made for an inquest as soon as Coroner McKee could be found. In the meantime Dr. Bennett, the Santa Fe physician here, ascertained the situtation and wired Chief Surgeon Kaster at Topeka to see if the latter desired an inquest. This was mere for mality, however, as one would have been held anyway.

Streeter was about forty-five years old. He had lived in Harvey county twenty-seven years; is married and has children. He was one of the most well-to-do citizens of the county. For years he engaged in the coal and grain buying business at Hesston, part of the time with his father, equally well known, an old ciitzen and now deceased. Streeter also owned farms. He has been trustee of Emma township several times and was postmaster at Hesston under Cleveland's last term.

The dead man was known here very well. The First National Bank, of which he was a customer, says he bought the first bond, one for $500, sold in Harvey county by the government at the issue last spring. He also drew some money from the bank this morning just before train time. In his effects were found $14.93 in cash, a few papers, a receipt for wheat sold at Dick's mill, knife, matches, etc.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ September 15, 1898 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Newton, Kan., July 20---Word was received here today that Earl Abbey, son of Mrs. F. L. Abbey, of Newton, was drowned in the gulf of Port Arthur, Texas, Sunday attempting to save a man who was struggling against the undertow. Abbey rushed into the water in his clothing and was dragged under. His father was Dr. Frank Abbey, pioneer physician who died a few weeks ago.
(Hutchinson News ~ July 20, 1931 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


NEWTON, Aug. 1---A 46-year-old man identified by police as Grover Beach, Denver, Colo., was killed beneath the wheels of a Santa Fe streamliner as the train was leaving the station here last night.

Police said Beach apparently was trying to hop on the train and caught his foot in the rails.
(Salina Journal ~ August 2, 1953 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Iola Camp Number 101, Woodmen of the World, have purchased of Palmer & Mull, the Iola monument manufacturers, a handsome monument which cost $900, to be erected above the grave of Guy Nebergall at the Newton cemetery. Mr. Nebergall lived for some time at Iola and became a member of the Iola lodge. He died of disease in Manila on May 3 of this year, he having enlisted here in Company "I" of the 20th Kansas. The monument is a very handsome one and may be seen at the Marble Works. It bears, in addition to the symbol of the order, the following letters cut into the beautiful marble.

Erected By the Woodmen of the World
Co. "I", 20th Kansas, Vol. Inf.
Born Sept. 7, 1870; Died May 3, 1899
At Manila

What higher tribute can be paid a man than that he was loved, honored and respected by his comrades?

This handsome act on the part of the Woodmen calls to mind the fact that when the funeral party, which leaves soon for Manila to bring home the soldier dead, returns with the remains of Willie Vancil, city of Iola will see to it that a handsome monument be erected above his grave. It is meet and fitting that this should be done and when the proper time comes a committee should be appointed to look after it.
(The Iola Register ~ Friday ~ December 1, 1899 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



D. E. Kern, Newton Negro, lost in the Supreme Court yesterday for the second time in his fight to use his city's municipal swimming pool.

Braden C. Johnston, Marion attorney, named by the high tribunal as commissioner to take evidence in the case, recommended that Kern's plea be denied on the ground that his general reputation for morality in the community was bad.

This recommendation was accepted by the Supreme Court, which made clear that it was not passing on the general question as to whether Negroes could use municipal pools, however.

Kern contended that because of his race he was denied use of the pool, built from the proceeds of a $30,000 bond issue. Asserting that his constitutional rights were being violated, he filed application in the high court June 8, 1936, for a writ of mandamus against Newton city officials.

The tribunal first denied the writ April 6, 1940, holding that Kern had not taken the necessary preliminary step of presenting himself at the pool and being refused the right to swim.

Later Kern went to the pool and made two separate requests. The case then was reopened and a commissioner named.
(Topeka Capital ~ March 8, 1942 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)




Newton, Kan., May 10---In an automobile accident seven miles west of Newton tonight, Judge M. P. Simpson, of the district court, was killed. Miss Anna Lees, Mrs. M. P. Simpson and S. Lehman were injured. The machine got beyond control and dashed off a bridge, falling fifteen feet into a ditch.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ May 11, 1904)

Nothing less than a devastation of the entire town could have shocked Newton more than the tragical death of Judge P. M. Simpson. He was a man honored and respected by all as one of Kansas' truest and noblest citizens.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ May 13, 1904)

The Reno county bar association attended the funeral of Judge M. P. Simpson in a body yesterday afternoon.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ May 15, 1904)



Thirteen Years Ago Bertha Petterson Eloped From Newton, Kans.----Then Came News of Her Death and Burial in the Potter's Field

NEWTON, Kas., May 13----At the home of Frank Petterson, an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe carpenter, a resident of Newton thirty years, the curtain is being rung down on the last act of a drama in real life. It is the scene where the long lost daughter who has been mourned as dead by her parents and five brothers and sisters since she left home thirteen years ago, has been found, not as they had feared, but with husband and four children, and is the center of the once more united family circle.

In the potter's field in Wichita is a lonely grave that had been pointed out to the father as that of his daughter years ago. At one time he contemplated removing the body to the Newton cemetery, but was prevailed upon by friends to let the fancied unpleasant memories and the sad story of the supposed death, remain where they were. Each Decoration Day the family sent some member to Wichita to search out the lonely grave in the potter's field and cover it with flowers. Only recently Mr. Petterson contracted with a Newton marble worker to erect a monument on the grave.


Ten days ago came a letter signed by the long-absent daughter, Bertha. The handwriting had not changed in the thirteen years. Scarcely could the Petterson family believe their eyes as they read again and again the lines which unfolded the pent-up love of a daughter who no longer could control the heart yearning once more to inquire about the old folks at home whom she had left so unceremoniously when a 17-year-old girl. Despite the fact that she had violated their wishes when she eloped with Frank Noble, proprietor of a laundry in which she was employed, the letter related that the marriage had proven a happy one had been blessed with a family of four children, the eldest 11 years old. Continuing, it told of their home in Clinton, Ia., where they have lived since they left Newton, and of the desire once more to be taken back to the family circle.


Several letters were exchanged and Mrs. Noble learned to her surprise of the grave in the Wichita cemetery. Mrs. Petterson and her son, Alfred, a machinist in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe shops here, went to Clinton and found all that the letters had unfolded to be true. Then to complete the happy revelation, Mr. and Mrs. Noble and the four children returned to Newton with Mrs. Petterson and her son and are now here. Of the other five children of Mr. and Mrs. Petterson, Mrs. Colvin Bailey lives in Wichita, Alfred, John, Mrs. John Connell and Mrs. James Bertram live in Newton.

The story of his daughter's death came to Mr. Petterson shortly after she disappeared. Johnson Tiler of Peabody brought the information and directed Mr. Petterson to persons in Wichita who took him to the cemetery and pointed out the grave in the potter's field where the records showed lay the body of "Bertha Petterson." Mr. Petterson put detectives to work on the case in the effort to find Noble, the man with whom the girl eloped, believing he could make an explanation, but all unknown to Noble and his wife.


Mr. Petterson had kept his daughter Bertha's life insurance until she left home, and he now supposed the story of his daughter's death was a ruse whereby some person hoped to collect the insurance. None, however, was collected, but the family had ample reason to believe that Bertha lay buried in the Wichita cemetery. It was because of the circumstances under which she left home that the daughter for thirteen years maintained the estrangement with a determination never again to communicate with her relatives.
(Kansas City Star ~ May 13, 1911)


Worst Fears REalized and Body Found In Ruins of Fire


Small Army of Volunteers Reached Body About 2:00 O'clock

The body of W. T. Green, who lost his life in the fire yesterday morning, was discovered this afternoon by men who were put to work escavating by the city and volunteers from the Newton order of the A. H. T. A. and others.

Phil Lagree, foreman of the Newton street department, was among the workers in the debris and was shoveling away some dirt when he picked up something with his shovel that looked like flesh. He called Russ Gray who was standing near him and they immediately uncovered the body.

The body had been burned almost to a crips, the left arm being burned off nearly at the shoulder and the right arm between the elbow and the wrist. His left leg was burned off almost at the thigh while the right leg was burned off at about the knee. His ears were burned off and his features were unrecognizable. The body was taken to the Northfoss undertaking establishment.

The burned body was found in a spot that would have been directly under the hallway of the building and it looks as though he had made an effort to get out in the hallway when the floor caved in.

About forty workers had been at work all morning in an endeavor to discover the body.

Willis Green was an old settler of Harvey county and a well known figure on the streets of Newton. He was born in Putnam county, Ohio, in November 1846, and lived on a farm with his parents until nineteen years of age. He was married to Miss Mary Smith while residing in Ohio, and four children were born to them. One died while in Ohio and the others, Mrs. L. C. Palmer, Mrs. Joe Shuck, and Frank Green, of Newton, survive him. His wife passed away ten years ago.

Mr. Green and family came to Kansas in 1872 and homesteaded a farm in Darlington township. After several years residence on the farm he moved to newton and continued to reside here until taken away by a most tragic death.

Mr. Green was a Civil war veteran having served in an Ohio company. He held the office of clerk of the district court in 1898 and was for several years employed as engineer at the old city water works. The past few years he has not been actively employed.

For eight or nine years he has had a room in the opera house on the third floor. For a short time he had occupied a room elsewhere but feeling more at home in his old room, had returned to it.

At 7:30 Thursday efvening, Mr. Green was known to have gone to his room. During the excitement of getting the people out of the rooming houses, when the building was afire, it was not known that he had not escaped. Later when he could not be found, several persons remembered having seen a man's form at the window of the room that he occupied. He was seen for a moment then appeared to drop back. At this time the whole building was in flames and had it really been known for a certainty that a man was in the building it would have been impossible for any one to attempt to rescue him.

The sympathy of the community is extended to the daughters and son of Mr. Green in the loss of their father in so terrible a manner.
(The Evening Kansan ~ Republican ~ Saturday ~ January 2, 1915)


Friends of Willis Green and a large number of citizens of Newton gathered at the Methodist church Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock to pay respects to one whose life had ended so tragically in the fire on the morning of January 1. The services were in charge of the G. A. R. of which Mr. Green was a member and had at one time been commander. Rev. R. L. George, pastor of the Methodist church, officiated.

A quartet from the choir of the church sang several hymns.

The G. A. R. and W. R. C. organizations attended the service in a body. The pall bearers were Henry Burgener, H. C. Jewett, W. H. Means, M. Covert, Chas. Chase and W. A. Fleener.

The church was filled to its seating capacity and many who gathered there followed the procession to the cemetery where the G. A. R. service was given.
(The Evening Kansan ~ Republican ~ Monday ~ January 4, 1915)


New Nurses' Dormitory is Now Nearing Completion at Hospital

Halstead, Feb. 25 --- The new nurses' dormitory at the Halstead hospital is nearing completion.  The new building is 86x36 feet in dimensions, and has a basement and three stories with a solarium a a fourth story.  This building contains 40 rooms.  The basement of this building houses the heating plant and will contain a swimming pool for the nurses.  Along the east wall just outside the building is the shooting gallery of the Halstead Hospital Revolver Club.  The building is built of brick and reinforced concrete.

Architects are now at work on plans for a new building to run east and west along the present north wing.

The hospital last year treated 1,110 patients, 950 of whom were operated upon.  In addition some 6,000 patients were treated in the clinic.
(Hutchinson News ~ Friday ~ February 25, 1921 ~ Page 16)


Was For Many Years Superintendent of Halstead Hospital

Mrs. A. C. Hertzler, for eleven years superintendent of the Halstead Hospital, Halstead, Kan., will retire to private life October 1.  A host of friends and patrons of the hospital regret the retirement of Mrs. Hertzler who, by her broad sympathy, tact, gracious personality, and efficiency, has contributed so largey to the success of the institution.  While preeminently devoted to her profession and a member of the American Hospital association, Mrs. Hertzler is also known as a patron of the best in music and drama, being a member of the Drama League of America.

Mrs. Hertzler is the wife of Dr. A. E. Hartzler of Kansas City and Halstead and, while their home has always been and will continue to be Halstead, they have a large circle of friends in both Lawrence and Kansas City.  A very pleasing tribute to the truly "helpmate" qualities of his wife is shown by the dedication "To My Wife" of a valuable treatise on tumors written by Dr. Hertzler in 1912.
(Lawrence Daily Journal ~ Friday ~ October 1, 1915 ~ Page 3)


J. Morton Carey of Denver Killed at Halstead Last Night

J. Morton Carey, late of Denver, was run over and killed by the night train from the west that arrives here at 9:10 o'clock.  The trainmen notified that the coaches bumped over some obstruction as the train was pulling out of Halstead but it was not thought that the obstruction was a human form at the time.

The man was bumming his way east from Colorado and had a bundle swung on his back.  He attempted to board the passenger train at Halstead as it was pulling out last night and it is thought that the bundle caused him to miss his hold.  He fell under the wheels and life was crushed out of him almost instantly.  He was nearly cut in two.

Papers upon his person showed him to be late of Denver and to have followed the trades of plumber, showman and printer.  He had in his possession a union card from Aspen, Colo., but the card had expired a short time ago.  His Denver address was No. 1110 Seventeenth street.  The coroner went to Halstead this morning and held the inquest today.  Telegrams have been sent to addresses found on the papers in the hopes of finding relatives.
(Newton Daily Republican ~ Wednesday ~ November 6, 1895 ~ Page 1)


J. B. Thompson Meets With a Severe Affliction 

J. B. Thompson's friends are sympathizing with him over an affliction that came to him suddenly last Saturday evening.  He was stricken blind and although there has been a slight improvement in his condition since then, he is only able to distinguish light from darkness without being able to discern objects.  Mr. Thompson has been suffering fro Bright's disease for many months and his eyesight has been partially lost, one eye especially being affected.  Saturday night without warning he lost the sight of both eyes and had to be led around.  His condition elicits the sympathy of all his friends, who hope that later on his condition may improve.  Dr. Cecil Thompson will move back to Newton to take charge of the barn and will be in charge after next Monday.
(Newton Evening Kansan-Republican ~ Monday ~ July 30, 1906 ~ Page 1)


Willie Tangeman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Tangeman, was badly hurt Saturday afternoon.  He was driving into the barn with a load of cement and thought he had stopped low enough to escape the door but his back was caught and he was crushed on the top of the cement.  The wonder is that he was not killed.  The physician was called and helped relieve him of his sufferings and today he is much better but will be confined to the house for some time.
(Newton Evening Kansan-Republican ~ Monday ~ July 30, 1906 ~ Page 1)


Newton --- Student nurses of St. Francis hospital school of nursing in Wichita have been named principal beneficiaries in the will of David P. McCune, 63, Harvey county bachelor farmer, who died Monday.

The McCune will was filed for probate here Thursday at which time the nature of the bequest was made public.

It provides for establishment of the David P. McCune Memorial fund and will include 640 acres of land comprising section one of Richland township, southeast of Newton.

All income from the property in excess of $2,000 shall go to nurses in training each year at the Wichita school, the distribution to be made around Dec. 20 just before Christmas.  The money is to be equally divided among all trainees but graduate nurses are not to be included.

Immediate beneficiary of the first $2,000 will be Hylas Smith, close friend of the farmer, who, with George D. Hanna of Newton, was named executor.

During Smith's lifetime he is to receive a net income of not more than $2,000 annually from the real estate.  All the residue will go to the memorial fund.  Value of the estate has been estimated around $75,000.

Other individual bequests provided in the McCune will include $1,000 each to a nephew, a niece, the Whitewater Cemetery association, and the El Dorado post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A veteran of the Spanish-American War, McCune never married and had no immediate survivors.
(Hutchinson News Herald ~ September 18, 1948 ~ Page 13 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Edith Chapple, Halstead
Helen Meyer, Newton
Grace Pierce, Newton
Myrtle Watkins, Newton
Lucy Watkins, Newton
Letta Merrill, Newton
Howard Bierchbach, Newton
Elsie Bierchbach, Newton
Jennie Prather, Newton
Ed Krauss, Sedgwick
Anna Krauss, Sedgwick
Hazel Erb, Sedgwick
Louisa Suderman, Newton
Harry Burkhart, Hesston
Ashby Streeter, Hesston
Elmer Lucas, Walton
Russell Wilson, Walter
Goldie Wilson, Walton
Robert McArthur, Walton
Sylvia Marshall, Walton
Ruby Sheaks, Walton
Russell Kelley, Hesston
Elmer King, Hesston
Myrtle McGowan, Walton
Grace Wales, Sedgwick
Lizzie O'Keefe, Newton
Nora Chapple, Newton
Alice Chapple, Newton
June Chapple, Newton
Harry Ashcraft, Sedgwick
Milton Albertson, Walton
Anna Paden, Burrton
Ellen Chapin, Halstead
Kate Nelligan, Halstead
Myrtle Popkins, Halstead
Floyd Parkhurst, Walton
Isaac Heinie, Newton
Ethel Anderson, Newton
Marie Turner, Newton
Thomas Zimmerman, Halstead
Oscar Belefild, Burrton
Agnes Dirks, Halstead
Clytice Ross, Burrton
Daniel Langenwalter, Halstead
Samuel Langenwalter, Halstead
Irma Haury, Halstead
Verna Tourtilotte, Newton
Edna Nebergall, Hesston
Katie Friesen, Burrton
Mary Jones, Burrton
Harry Frederick, Burrton
Esta Harmes, Burrton
Estella Poorbaugh, Burrton
Lizzie Banman, Halstead
Merle Arrowsmith, Halstead
Walter Masters, Halstead
Alma Stewart, Halstead
Leslie Redway, Walton
Mabel Schlender, Moundridge
P. K. Regier, Moundridge
Katie Baergen, Inman
Charley Hepler, Hesston
Bertha Moore, Sedgwick
Charley Barnes, Patterson
Hallie Barnes, Patterson
Jacob Krauss, Sedgwick
Martha Buerki, Newton
Gertrude Barnes, Newton
Mabel Jones, Newton
Georgia Lewis, Newton
Silas Johnson, Halstead
(Newton Evening Kansan-Republican ~ Wednesday ~ April 17, 1907 ~ Page 6)



Hutchinson, Kan., Feb. 17 --- Resolved, That in retaliation for the inexcusable treatment given Burrton boys while in Halstead, no Halstead boy will hereafter be allowed to "light" in Burrton.

This resolution, or a resolve to the same effect, is now in force, and woe, be unto the youth from Halstead, who is caught "sparkling" a Burrton girl.

Because of the breaking out of the feud several matches between Halstead and Burrton young folks have been declared under embargo, and at least one engagement has been broken off.

It all came about by the action of the city officials of Halstead who ordered out of town a bunch of Burrton's leading young men because they were "cutting up."

As the story goes, eight or ten of the young men of Burrton decided to go over to Halstead and visit friends while there.  Some of the Burrton boys had "girls" in the neighboring town.  The youths of Halstead resented this, and when one of the Burrton boys was waiting outside of a Halstead store to take his lady love home, some of the jealous swains of the village grabbed him, escorted him around the corner and told him to "hike."

When his companions found it out they started on the trail of the local fellows, and loudly proclaimed their intention of taking them down into the middle of the business street and making them publicly apologize.

The town marshal declared that by heck he[d not let any roughnecks from Burrton run things there, and summoning reinforcements in the shape of the constable and the town mayor, they proceeded to the field of carnage.

"Now you young fellers pile into your wagon and run along home," warned the marshal.  "If you don't we'll have the law on you."

The sight of the big star on the marshal's coat and the evident determination to suppress th riot at all costs, led Bill Stanton, who hauled the bunch over the advise the boys to be cautious.

"Don't go and do anything to disgrace the fair name of Burrton," he advised.

And so they left.  But the sting of disgrace left a stinger in each soul.  The youth of Burrton will never forget that insult.

And so, the next time a Halstead lad is found in Burrton courting a girl, or even looking like he was going to, it will be a sorry time for him.

A vigilance committee has been organized which will attend to the harrowing details.
(Topeka State Journal ~ Friday ~ February 17, 1911 ~ Page 5)


John Burns, an old familiar character of the city was declared of unsound mind this afternoon by a jury before whom he was tried.  It has been evident to all who are acquainted with the old gentleman that he has not been quite right for several years, and the malady seems to be getting worse.  However, he is in feeble health at present which may have made him worse than usual.  Provision will probably be made for him at some asylum as soon as he is able to make the journey.
(Newton Evening-Republican ~ Thursday ~ April 10, 1902)


Robbers Blow Open a Safe Vault at Burrton

Secure About $3,000 and Make Their Escape


Two Pursuers Exchange Shots With Three Bandits

Lively Battle About Six miles From the Town

Robbery Took Place at Early Hour This Morning

Burrton, Kan., Oct. 23 --- Dynamiters blew open the safe of the Burrton State bank between the hours of 12 and 1 o'clock last night, secured about $3,000 in money and got away before being discovered.  Two hours later two pursuers overtook the robbers, three in number, and exchanged shots with them before being driven back.  A posse of 40 men started for Patterson, five miles south of Burrton, the point from which the first information was received of the escaping bank robbers.

The Anti-Horsethief association of Harvey county is conducted the pursuit.  The robbery was discovered immediately after its occurrence and by 2 o'clock a hundred members of the organization were either scouring the country in all directions or were preparing to join the pursuit.  The number of the robbers was not then known.  At 2:30 o'clock two members of the pursuing party overtook three mounted men on the road six mles south of Burrton, a mile beyond the village of Patterson.  Upon being challenged, the three men opened fire with revolvers, and shots were exchanged by the pursuiers, who, finding themselves outnumbered, immediately hastened back to Burrton and told their experience.  All the mounted men who could be secured were immediately ordered in pursuit from Burrton.

In every particular the robbery of the bank was successfully conducted.  Without attracting attention the dynamiters entered the bank building from the rear.  A burglar alarm connected with the Independent Telephone office failed to operate or was cut off, but the first knowledge of the robbery was secured through the telephone operator., who notified the cashier that there was something wrong at the bank.  It is believed that no one heard the explosion of the dynamite but the telephone operator's suspicions were first aroused by the peculiar action of the instrument.  The operator at once called the bank cashier, who investigated and discovered the wrecked safe.  But little damage was done to the building.  After blowing off the hearvy doors of the safe the robbers made quick work of the robbery and their escape.  No one saw them enter the town or leave.

While the bank officials are reticent about discussing the amount of their loss it is understood that between $2,000 and $3,000 was taken---though the amount may be much larger.  They say that between $1,000 and $2,000 in currency was secured besides several sacks of coin.  Nearly $1,000 in gold and silver was left untouched.

The amount of money stolen is fully covered by burglar insurance.
(Topeka State Journal ~ October 23, 1903 ~ Page 1)


Kansan, Unable to Attend Brother's Funeral, Asks Damages

Hutchinson, Kan., June 29 --- Because of errors in transmission of a death message, W. L. Daily, a prominent farmer of near Burrton did not get a telegram announcing the death of his brother, A. F. Daily, president of the Live Stock exchange at St. Joseph, Mo., until it was too late for him to attend the funeral.

Judge F. J. Martin, counsel for Mr. Daily has filed a suit for damages to the amount of $1,006.15, in district court, against the Western Union Telegraph company because of this delay.

The telegram informing him of the brother's death was sent as follows:  "W. L. Daily, Burrton:  C. M. Daily died this evening."

Here is the way it was received at Burrton:  "W. P. Wiley, Burrton, C. M. Baily died this evening."

The telegram arrived at 9:20 p.m. February 16 last.  It was not until 4 p.m. February 18 that Mr. Dailey received it.  The oeprator had sent the telegram out into the country to N. P. Wiley, who lives near Burrton.

Mr. Daily was put to extra expense in the sum of $6.15 as a result of the careless transmission of the message, and he sues for that sum of actual damage and $1,000 exemplary damages.
(Topeka State Journal ` June 29, 1911 ~ Page 10)

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