Kingman County, Kansas

Newspaper Items


KINGMAN, Kas., Charges Wednesday were being prepared for filing against two youthful farm hands who, Sheriff J. W. Brite said, related in signed statements that they fatally shot a grain elevator operator and his son who had befriended them.

The slaying of W. W. McClennan, 60, and his son, Arnold, 36, occurred during a robbery that netted only $4.50.

County Attorney John McKenna said he would file first degree murder charges against Cecil Tate, 22, Jacksonville, Tex., and George Frederick Gumtow, 21, Battle Creek, Mich.

Brite said Raymond McClellen, 34, an invalid who is unable to walk and suffers from a speech impediment, witnessed the slaying of his father and brother and then crawled two blocks to a neighbor's house for help.
(The Bismarck North Dakota Tribune ~ May 14, 1947)


Lansing, Kas., July 19---Two former carnival workers were hanged simultaneously at the Kansas state prison early today for the slayings of a father and son who had befriended them.

The two, Cecil Tate, 22, of Jacksonville, Tex., and George Gumtow, 21, of Battle Creek, Mich., went to their deaths at 1:01 a.m., CDT for the slaying of W. W. McClellan, a 60-year-old grain elevator operator and his (continued on Pg. 6 no further info)
(Dixon Illinois Telegraph ~ July 29, 1947)


Terrible Affray at Kingman, Kan.

A Prominent Young Man Shoots an Alleged Rival

The Murder Caused by a Quarrel About a Woman

An Attempt to Commit Crime Stopped by an Officer

The Murdered Man Unarmed at the Time of the Shooting

Hutchinson, Kan., Feb. 8, At Kingman last Saturday Taylor Whitelaw, a brother-in-law of Judge Hawk of this the Ninth judicial district and brother of W. M. Whitelaw, late candidate for associate justice of the supreme court of Kansas, shot and killed Steve Bedford of Kingman.
Whitelaw and Bedford had a quarrel concerning a woman when Whitelaw drew a revolver and threatened to shoot Bedford, but was disarmed by an officer and the parties were separated.

Whitelaw then procured another revolver met Bedford coming out of a restaurant, drew the weapon and remarked, "You ______, I am going to kill you."

Bedford struck Whitelaw and he fired five shots, killing Bedford, and sought to make his escape.
Whitelaw was for many years a prominent dry goods salesman in this city, stylish in his deportment and a companionable fellow, though regarded as a little reckless at times and sometimes more dissipated than he should be. (Kansas City Times, February 9, 1887, page 1)


A Kingman County Farmer Fatally Shoots his Neighbor

Kingman, Kan., Aug 1 - Near New Murdock, this county, last Saturday night, George Hughes, and his 17 year old son Allen became enraged at Bob Bomar a neighbor for killing their dog, and went over to the latter's house to settle the matter. A fight ensued and young Hughes shot Bomar with a revolver. The wound was fatal. Bomar dying in a short time, but not before he ran into the house, secured a gun and fired once at his adversaries, without hitting either of them, however.

Young Hughes skipped out and has not yet been apprehended. His father was arrested and is now confined in the county jail here.
The elder Hughes was sheriff of Garfield county for five years during the exciting county-seat wars out there. He declares he has done nothing for which his conscience troubles him. (Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, August 2, 1898, page 5)


Lewis Leach, Aged 25 Years, Was the First Child Born in the Town

KINGMAN, KAS., Dec. 3---Lewis Leach, 25 years old, committed suicide last night by taking carbolic acid. He was the first child born in Kingman and leaves a wife. The cause of the suicide is unknown.
(Kansas City Star ~ December 3, 1903)


Then Commits Suicide in Home of a Daughter

Kingman, Kans., Aug. 14---W. S. Evans, 87, for many years a resident of Kingman, shot and fatally wounded his invalid daughter, Stella, and then turned the pistol on himself, firing five shots into his head. He died before medical aid could be given.

Evans and his daughter lived with Mrs. Pearl Beal, another daughter. During the temporary absence from home late Friday, Evans shot his daughter. She died a short time afterwards.

Thursday, Evans purchased the gun, a .32 caliber pistol, at a local hardware store. He also bought six cartridges.

Seated at the bedside of his daughter, who had been a semi-invalid for ten years, Evans, brooding over her condition, shot her. Then he fired three shots into his head, walked into another room, fired another shot and while a physician was preparing to give him aid, fired another shot. He died instantly.
(Wichita Beacon ~ Saturday ~ August 14, 1926 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)




Underwent An Operation


Wm. M. Wallace, of Kingman, died yesterday morning about 7:30 o'cloc, in this city, as the result of an operation performed for appendicitis at the St. Francis hospital one week ago Saturday. Up until twenty-four hours before he died Mr. Wallace's condition showed a decided improvement. In fact, it was said several times that he was entirely out of danger. A relapse occurred and he sank rapidly, passing away at the time mentioned.

Both his wife and Mr. Wallace's daughter, Mrs. Geraldine Wallace Talbot, with a few immediate friend of the family, were present at the bedside of the sick man when death came.

Funeral services will be held in this city this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock, from the First Presbyterian church, conducted by Rev. C. E. Bradt. The body will be taken to Berwick, Ills., a former home of Mr. Wallace's, for burial.

William M. Wallace was born in Milan, Rock Island county, Ills. He was 43 years of age at the time of his death. He moved to Kansas and located in Kingman county in 1885, where he engaged in the practice of law. He was prominent in Republican politics, and a man of many sterling qualities. He was two times elected county attorney, and was serving on his last term at the time he was taken with the illness at the time he was taken with the illness which later resulted in his death.

Prosperity attended Mr. Wallace in nearly every undertaking after coming to Kansas, and at the time of his death he was considered a moderately wealthy man. He was the owner of a large ranch near his home, in Kingman, which he operated for many years.

Mr. Wallace was two times a candidate for the Republican nomination for congressman from the Seventh district. He ran against Chester L. Long the first time and the second was against Victor Murdock. At one time he served in the capacity of deputy state revenue collector.

Due to the prominent part which Mr. Wallace took in politics and to the fact that he was a member of many secret societies in which at various times he held high offices, he was one of the best known residents of the state. He was elected to the grand mastership, A. O. U. W., in 1895, and re-elected holding that honorable office at the time of his death.

Mr. Wallace not only leaves many friends at his home in Kingman, but also in Wichita, where he was known as well, perhaps, as at his own home town.

G. M. Dickson, of this city, was a particularly intimate acquaintance of Mr. Wallace's. While yet a young man Mr. Wallace made his home for a time with Mr. Dickson's family while he lived in Illinois.

Out of respect for their dead friend and brother, the I. O. O. F. lodge of which Mr. Wallace was a member at Kingman are planning to run an excursion train to Wichita this morning to attend the funeral. Preceding the funeral the casket will be open between the hours of 2:30 and 3:15 o'clock this afternoon, at the First Presbyterian church.

"Billie" Wallace, as he was known to those friends who will miss him most, was an optimist, born and bred. He was loved the state over for this happiest of man's blessings. He had no acquaintances on this account; they were all friends. He never overlooked an opportunity to send a shaft of sunshine into the heart of even the small boy whom he chanced to meet, and the small boy and the grown man will never forget Mr. Wallace.

His admirable character was probably a birthright, but Providence tested its genuineness many times. When but a boy he was compelled by circumstances, his father being an invalid, to get out and "hustle" for himself. Going to the office of George Dickson, now of this city, but then in the railroad business at Rock Island, he applied for a position. Mr. Dickson was told of the incident many times since, for he has always been proud of his judgment of the boy, and the way in which he was borne the truth of it out. Mr. Dickson had no position which a boy could fill, but he was so struck with the earnestness and character in the young fellow's face that he made a place for him. Within a few weeks he could not have done without him.

Then, again, when young Wallace came to western Kansas, adversities beset his path. A young lawyer in Kingman twenty years ago had not the brightest future in the world, and still less bright was that of an entirely unacquainted youth from the east. Yet his inflexible determination to view the world and its course of events in the best possible light lifted him above the average, and today Kingman mourns for a man whom it considered one of its most important supports.

Optimism unalloyed soon runs to presimism. Mr. Wallace's alloy was the product of the hard knocks that he had received. It was practicability, common sense. His optimism was no dream, but it was a fidelity to his friends that knew no tide. As one of his closest friends expressed it yesterday, "No man could speak ill of one of Mr. Wallace's friends to him. He would simply wave them away, saying kindly that the party was his friend and he would listen to nothing detrimental of him."

From the same source that produced such optimism by which all the world is benefited, was generated anothe remarkable force. Nerve. Nerve, as it embraces patience, endurance, resolution, fortitutde, courage, intrepidity and firmness of spirit under all the trying ordeals of the flesh. This force Mr. Wallace showed most plainly when death was inevitable. Monday night, Mrs. Wallace expecting any moment that he would be carried away from her, asked him if he realized that he could not live. "No; I am not so sure about that," came in reply from the man who never knew what it was to give up. He desired to live and he meant that if the firmness of body and mind would bring that end, that he would live. Not for a moment up till the last breath had been taken, and the world's loss became irretrievable, did his nerve desert him. He died with his family about him, conscious of their presence and happy in it.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ May 5, 1904 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Kingman county's poor farm has turned out to be a money maker.  The county marketed over twenty-two hundred dollars in stock and grain last year.  No wonder the county can have but three paupers.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Sunday ~ January 19, 1908 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Wagon Load of Ties Passed Over Her Body

The four-year-old son of Charles Cole of Zenda, Kan., had a narrow escape from death last Thursday evening.  His father came driving up with a load of ties and one hind wheel pased completely over the child's body in such a manner that he was only badly bruised.  Had the wheel pased directly over the child he would have been killed instantly.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Wednesday ~ March 13, 1907 ~ Page 5)


L. P. Roll at St. Francis Hospital for Treatment

L. P. Roll, whose leg was broken at his home in Zenda, Kan., on the 17th of this month, was brought to St. Francis hospital yesterday for treatment.  The doctors in attendance fear that it will be necessary to amputate the foot.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Thursday ~ January 23, 1908 ~ Page 5)


Wichita, Kansas --- Blowing in a lamp chimney to extinguish a light will cost Mrs. Ida Birch of near Zenda, Kan., her life.  Mrs. Birch lives on a farm five miles southwest of Zenda, a little town in Kingman county.
(Alma Enterprise ~ Friday ~ November 27, 1908 ~ Page 2)


Zenda, Kans., Girl Operated Upon to Restore Vocal Chords

Gladys Miller, a Zenda, Kan., girl, 14 years old, is lying at St. Francis hospital praying that a curse of silence she is under will be removed.  Her hope of regaining speech lies in a dangerou surgical operation recently performed.  It was the operation that saved her life, and both she and her father, Ernest Miller, a farmer of Zenda are in an agony of suspense, hoping her speech will be brought back.

For years the girl had been suffering from a goitre, a malady that seldom afflicts one as young as she.  Two year ago the swelling in her neck affected her vocal chords.  Then he lost the power of enunciation and her hearing became affected.  With the growth of the disease her eyes were forced forward and surgeons said an operation alone could prevent her death.

Gladys was brought to Wichita and placed in the hospital where an operation that included a ligature in the neck was made.  It is too early yet to be certain she will regain speech, but it is almost sure she will not die, and her hearing improves daily.

She is the eldest of several children in the Miller family.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Sunday ~ November 19, 1916 ~ Page 5)


ZENDA, Kan. --- The body of Mrs. Inez Cox, a widow in her 60s, was found Monday amid the debris in her small frame house and preliminary examination indicated she may have been murdered.

An autopsy was ordered.

Sheriff Robert Lindt said Mrs Cox might have been slain by a robber.

"There always is talk about such people---that they must have money around somewhere because they never spend it," the sheriff said.

Neighbors found the body partly buried in piles of paper, rags and other litter.  They investigated after Mrs. Cox failed to walk to the post office Saturday and Sunday for the mail.  She had no close relatives and lived alone.
(Salina Journal ~ January 31, 1961)


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