Labette  County

Newspaper Items

POPS OUTDONE - Stanley Has the Biggest Rally of the Campaign at Parsons

Parsons, Kan., Oct. 31 - The Republicans held the largest and most enthusiastic meeting of the campaign in this city tonight, with W. E. Stanley and R. B. Welch as speakers. No candidate for Governor of Kansas ever received a more royal welcome than that accorded to Stanley. Special trains from Chetopa, Oswego and Mound valley, accompanied by brass bands, were run, and over a thousand people came to see and hear the next Governor. Two hours before the arrival of the special trains the opera house was packed to its utmost capacity, and when those from abroad reached the city they were unable to hear Stanley, but on the principal street corners meetings were held and addressed by local speakers. Not excepting the memorable campaign of two years ago has such an outpouring of people invaded Parsons on a political mission.

As compared with the free silver rally of Saturday conservative men of all parties frankly admit that the rally of tonight eclipsed that of the Populists. Put Labette county in the Stanley column. (The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, November 1, 1898, page 1)

EX-POSTMASTER ARRESTED - F. W. Frye of Parsons Charged With Making False Returns

Fort Scott, Kan., April 26 - Frank W. Frye, ex-postmaster of Parsons, Kan., under Cleveland and at present, editor of the Parsons Palladium, was arrested and brought here yesterday on a federal warrant, charged with making fraudulent returns to the postal department. His case is a novel one as it is alleged he reported the business done at his office in excess of what it really was in order to keep his salary up to that of the preceding year. The arrest was kept secret, but leaked out this evening. His trial will be held Thursday. (The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, April 29, 1898, page 3)

CHARGED WITH ARSON - Parsons Man Said to Have Set Fire to His Own Home

Parsons, Kan., Dec. 13 - The home of J. H. P. Tarr, on the corner of Fifteenth street and Partridge avenue, caught fire at 7 o'clock last evening during the absence of the family. The fire was discovered by neighbors who turned in an alarm but before the fire company reached the house the fire was extinguished. The damage was very slight.
After the arrival of the fire department an investigation was made to ascertain the cause of the fire and it was found that the interior of the house smelt of coal oil. A further investigation led to the discovery that oil had been sprinkled over the carpets and wood work of the house and that the doors and windows were locked and bolted.

Chief H. F. Hall of the fire department who personally conducted the investigation, was so positive that an attempt had been made at arson that he swore out a state's warrant against J. H. P. Tarr, charging him with an attempt to burn his own house. Tarr was arrested last last night and is now an inmate of the calaboose.

Tarr is an old citizen, having resided in his present quarters for many years and has always borne a good name among his neighbors and acquaintances, who will regret to hear of the grave charge with which he stands accuse.
Tarr denies the charge and will fight in the court to clear his good name Chief Hall, in speaking of the mater, said that he was positive that, he could sustain the charges against Tarr; that the whole interior of the house showed that an attempt had been made to burn the property. The coal oil, he said, could not have been accidentally spilled, for it was all over the room in which the fire organized.

Whether the house was heavily insured could not be learned. (The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, December 14, 1897, page 7)

BIG VERDICT FOR DAMAGES - Parsons Man Awarded $25,000 Against Railroads

Parsons, Kan., May 29 - Probably the largest verdict ever rendered in the state of Kansas against a railroad company for personal injuries was that given to L. T. Merrill in the court of common pleas at Kansas City, Kan., Friday against the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad companies for $25,490. At a former trial the plaintiff was awarded $20,800, but the case was reversed by the higher court upon an error. The jury Friday decided that Merrill was entitled to nearly $5,000 more than was first given him.

Merrill was employed as a switchman when he fell between the cars while crossing the Chicago, Great Western over Jersey creek bridge and had his legs crushed off at the knees. After being run over the man clung to the trestle-work of the bridge and saved himself from falling into the river until the train had passed, when he drew himself up and waited for the other trainmen to come to his assistance. Suit was brought against the two companies because, it was claimed, both of them were responsible for the condition of the car that plaintiff was injured on. (The Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital, June 1, 1900, page 3)


"Fogg" Edwards passes away on Train Near Joplin, Missouri

A. F. Edwards, known familiarly by nearly every citizen of Parsons as "Fogg" Edwards, died on the trains near Joplin, Mo. Monday night. He was enroute to Eureka Springs for his health. Ellis & Martin were called early yesterday and advised that the funeral party would arrive on the Joplin train Tuesday evening at Seven-thirty. Since the death of Mrs. Edwards on Nov. 19th, Mr. Edwards has been at Hot Springs, Arkansas but continued failing health caused him to undertake the trip to Eureka Springs.

The funeral will be held from the First Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. Grant Chambers, but definite time cannot be announced until the arrival of the funeral party.

Mr. Edwards is survived by his children, Mrs. Margaret Welch, Mrs. Chas. Bradfield, Mrs. O. S. Hunt, Mrs. Keller Keyes, and P. S. Keyes of Parsons, Mrs. Chas. Perry of Canada, Mrs. Wirt Whitney and Mrs. Belle Gwinn of Pueblo, Colo., and Irwin, John and Lee Edwards all of Parsons.

Mr. Edwards was a very prominent railroad conductor for many years and did a great deal of work for the M. K. & T. He also served for several terms as sheriff of this county. His former home was five miles southeast of the city where he operated a large farm in connection with his other interests. During his long and active life he came in touch with an unusally large number of people, who ever afterwards counted him as their friend. (Unknown date, Probably Parsons Sun, submitted by Ann Baughman)


A letter in this paper forty years ago, from Coffeyville, Ks, says that the old feud between the Delawares and the Cherokees, has broken out again. Last Sunday three men appeared at a place a few miles from Coffeyville, just over the line in the Indian Territory, where the Delawares were holding a camp meeting and without warning, shot and killed John Sarcoxie, son of a Delaware chief. His friends at once attacked the desperadoes and killed two of them and later captured the third and promptly hanged him. Much excitement prevails and troops have been asked for. (Kansas City Times, unknown date, submitted by Ann Baughman)


Judge A. J. Miller, aged 82, who was a veteran of the Civil War, and who was one of the early settlers in Kansas, having at one time owned the plot of ground upon which Baldwin City and Baker University is now located, died at Arkansas City yesterday. He was formerly prominent in state politics and he tried the first law suit ever tried in Butler county.

He leaves a wife and two sons. For a brief period he published the Daily ------------ in Parsons. (Submitted by Ann Baughman)


Murder committed at Katy oil house last evening

Body discovered at 10:50

Skull fractured, body dragged to to the Basement and the Building Set on Fire.

The most fiendish murder ever committed in Parsons, was commited last night, when Charles King, an Englishman, and foreman of the Katy oil house, his skull fractured, and a rope put around his neck and the body dragged into the basement, all turned out on one of the tanks and the building set on fire. The rope found around the dead man's neck was a bell cord cut from an engine standing in the yards.

Just what time the murder occurred is not known, but it is presumed that it happened about six o'clock. King worked from 7 o'clock in the evening, and one of the Katy employees says he saw King at ten minutes to six, and another says he saw him the last time about two minutes to 6.

Robbery was unquestionably the motive of the crime. King failed to go home to supper, and a telephone message started some of the railroad emplyees to looking for him. The fire was discovered about 8 o'clock but the fire department subdued the flames, and it was not until more than two hours after that time that the body was discovered in the basement of the oil house.

King had twenty-five dollars and the amount of his pay check in his possession at the time, and when the body was found one of the pockets had been turned inside out and the money was missing, showing that robbery was the motive of the crime.

Coroner Hamlin was summoned from Oswego and today a coroner's jury was impannelled and an inquest is being held at the office of Justice of the Peace D. A. Coate.

King came to Parsons when the Katy officers were removed to Parsons from Sedalia. Later he conducted a restaurant in this city. For the past fifteen years, he has been foreman of the oil house. He was a quiet, inoffensive citizen.

From the manner in which the murder was committed it is thought that the deed was committed by more than one man, and it is hoped that the murderer or murderers will be speedily brought to justice.

The coroner's jury adjourned to view the remains of the murdered man at the undertaking establishment of the Gregory-Kersey company. (Submitted by Ann Baughman)

He was the well known porter at the Moose Club rooms
A life for seventy cents. 
Slain by J. S. Evans, an employe on the Katy Rip Track, Apparently without provocation.

Elijah Barclow, the well known colored porter at Moose club rooms, was shot three times and killed on Saturday night, and his death seems to have been a cold blooded murder. The slayer of Barclow was J. S. Evans, who for the past two years has been working on the Katy rip track in the car department.

The tragedy occurred about 11:30 when almost everybody had left the club rooms. The only ones who were there at the time were Evans, Barclow, Aelred Cannon and Fred Davis. When the shooting occurred Fred Davis had reached the bottom of the stairs, Cannon was looking out of a window to see if it was raining, Barclow had been in an adjoining room turning out the light preparatory to leaving the building, and had just come into the parlor, when, saying something in an undertone Evans opened fire on the porter, who at the time had an armful of provisions which he was taking home. The first shot went through the stomach, the second through the upper portion of the right shoulder and the third through the right hand. Cannon ran from the building and Barclow did also. The latter ran as far as the grocery store of H. Levi on Broadway where he fell and was found a few moments later. Evans ran from the building and ran north on Eighteenth street. Barclow was taken to the office of Dr. Brady, in the Edwards block, where he died in less than an hour.

The police at once made a search for the murderer. Fred Davis told the police that he thought Evans roomed at the rooming house of Mrs. Parks at 217 Central ave.. They asked Mrs. Parks if Evans was there and she told them he was not. But the next day she saw him sneak out of the house, the first time she knew he was in the house.

When the police went to the club rooms no one was there. They followed a trail of blood from the hall around through the banquet hall and into the parlor. Before dying Barclow, who could then speak in only a whisper, said to Davis, "Fred, he shot me and then took my money." Davis then discovered that a hip pocket had been turned inside out. Barclow had about seven dollars in the pocket book.

It appears that Evans claimed that Barclow owed him seventy cents. He was overheard during the evening to say something about seventy cents, but no one in the room paid any further attention to the matter or heard what was further said. it seems that Evans had been at the rooms earlier in the evening. He left and returned about 9:30.

It was reported on the streets that Barclow had been playing cards with Evans for money, but this is denied by those who were present. A few moments before Barclow commenced to turn out the light several member of the order had been playing cards for past time, among whom were one or two well known citizens but no one had been playing cards for any wagers.

Barclow had been a resident of the city for many years and was regarded as an excellent porter at the club. He was uniformly polite and seemed to be well regarded by all who knew him. (Submitted by Ann Baughman)


This remarkable case involving an estate worth $35,000 and wherein B. W. Perkins, Judge of the 11th Judicial District, F. A. Bettis and David Kelso, prominent lawyers of Oswego, with others are charged with a conspiracy to defraud the rightful heirs, and pocket the entire estate, came up for hearing before A. H. Ayres, Judge pro tem, during a recent term of the Circuit Court in, and for Labette County. The evidence in the case as summed up by Judge Ayers, together with the findings of facts and conclusions of law, as rendered by the court, are very voluminous and fill nearly two pages of the Oswego Independent. The facts in this remarkable case are briefly as follows:

On or about the 4th day of May 1872, Nathan Ames, a wealthy farmer of Labette County died intestate leaving no issue, whereupon his widow, Hannah E. Ames became sole heir to the entire estate. Residing with the Ames' at this time was a boy, Martin Lynch, who afterwards figures in the case as the adopted child and pretended heir. On the 19th day of August 1872, Hannah E. Ames died, intestate. After her death, it was claimed by Bettis and Kelso, that the boy Martin Lynch was adopted by Mrs. Ames a short time previous to her decease, and the entire estate was seized by them as attorney and guardian for the said Lynch. In support of this obligation they were able to exhibit an order of adoption by the Probate Court, purporting to have been made by B. W. Perkins, then Probate Judge, upon the petition of Hannah E. Ames, and the consent of the boy, Lynch. Upon the trial of the case, however, it was shown that the order of adoption was falsely and fraudulently entered after the death of Mrs. Ames, and that the boy Lynch never knew anything about it until informed by his attorney Bettis Kelso was appointed guardian for Lynch and received $15,000 in money and bonds, while the boy took possession of the real estate. The suit was brought by the heirs of Mrs. Ames for the recovery of the estate and it was during the progress of the trial that the astounding disclosures above referred to were made. Judge Ayers in summing up the facts in the case says:

"V. That the defendant, Martin Lynch, alias Martin L. Ames, was never adopted by the said Hannah E. Ames, by the probate court of Labette county, as her child and heir.

VI. That the alleged petition for the adoption of the said Martin Lynch by the said Hannah E. Ames, a copy of which is attached to the petition in this action, was presented to said court without the knowledge, consent or authority of the said Hannah E. Ames never offered to adopt the said Martin Lynch as her child and heir.

VII. That the said Martin Lynch never appeared before said court, and then and there gave consent to such adoption; and that the said probate court never acquired any jurisdiction of the matter of the adoption of the said Martin Lynch by the said Hannah E. Ames.
VIII. That the said defendants, other than the defendant J. S. Waters, did conspire and confederate together to procure the said petition and order of adoption to be made, with the knowledge consent or authority of the said Hannah E. Ames, with the intent to cheat and defraud the rightful heirs of the said Hannah E. Ames deceased and to appropriate the same to their own use and benefit; and that said pretended petition and order of adoption were never entered of record by the probate judge of said county.

X. That on the 20th day of August, 1872, the said defendant, David Kelso, was appointed by the Probate Court of Labette County, guardian of the said Martin Lynch and did as such guardian an in pursuance of the conspiracy aforesaid, receive into his possession notes, bonds, mortgages, choses in action and other personal property belonging to the estate of the said Hannah E. Ames, deceased, and then and now the property of these plantiffs.

Judgment was rendered for the plaintiffs and a receiver appointed. A prominent attorney of Oswego, who heard the evidence and was present during the entire trial writes to the editor of the Girard Press that:

Judge Perkins is found guilty of a fraudulent conspiracy and the manufacture of a false and fraudulent order of adoption in the Probate Court of this county while he was the judge thereof, and by which fraudulent order Bettis, Perkins and others, attempted to steal an estate valued at $35,000.

In an able editorial on this remarkable case, the editor of the Independent says:

It is with the evidence the public have do do. Common place, honest people have no taste for false records or cunning practices among those to whom are entrusted before and after death all their earthly possessions. The chain of evidence seems to the court to clearly establish the fact that the boy Martin was not adopted by Mrs. Ames, and that the record of adoption was made after her sudden demise. The estate is estimated to be worth at least $35,000. Mr. H. S. Coley, since the decree of the court, has been appointed receiver and a portion of the effects have been turned over to him. Thus ends one of the most remarkable civil suits in the annals of court. (The Sumner County Press, Thursday, October 9, 1873)


Attorney D. C. Joslin received a wire this morning that his brother, Lou Joslin, had committed suicide at Parsons, Kansas, by shooting himself. The message was sent by his other brother, Charlie Joslin, who resides at Parsons. The reasons for the act were not stated.

The deceased formerly lived in Jonesboro and is well known to many people here. He removed to Parsons shortly after his marriage to Miss Tippen. He had one child by his last wife.

The funeral will be held at Golden City, Mo. Relatives here will leave tonight for that place to attend the funeral.
(Jonesboro Evening Sun ~ January 28, 1918)


His Skull Fractured by an Unknown Indian Near Nowata, I. T.

Nowata, I.T., Aug. 24--Will Lackey, a young man who lives with his parents near Edna, Kan., was murdered a few miles north of here last night by an unknown Indian. Lackey was with a threshing outfit that had been operating in the neighborhood, and along with the other hands had gone to the loft of the barn on the place where they were working to sleep on the hay. Lackey made some remark at which an Indian who was among them took offense that he picked up a club and struck Lackey over the head several times, fracturing his skull. Lackey died soon after. The Indian at once escaped in the darkness and is still at large.
(Emporia Gazette ~ August 24, 1896)


Kansas City, June 1---Downpours of rain, ranging from three inches up to eleven inches unofficially reported north of Emporia and nine inches at Waverly, east of there, brought flood conditions to Southeast Kansas today. Two men were killed in an electrical storm accompanying the rain.

Alfred Pearson, 24 years old, and his brother-in-law, Robert Williams, 22, were killed near Chetopa yesterday when lightning struck a tree under which they had taken shelter.

The Neosho river went out of its banks at Emporia and continued to rise rapidly as other streams in that vicinity were at the highest ever known. An overflow of the Neosho from Emporia to the Oklahoma line was predicted by the government weather bureau at Topeka.
(Times-Picayune ~ June 2, 1928)


Isaac McCarty, straight-shooting bank cashier of Altamont, Kansas, who a few days ago killed one bank bandit and injured a second in an attempted robbery of his bank, was a visitor at A Century of Progress - the Chicago World's Fair, Aug. 8.

McCarty, who was discovered by a World's Fair reporter as he sat in the peaceful environs of the Hall of Science fountain court, was reluctant about discussing the heroic act which he performed.

He was more interested in discussing the marvels of the World's Fair.

"Were you nervous when the gunman entered the bank?" he was asked.

"I heard the World's Fair at Chicago was not quite as expressive as some of the other fairs, but I don't see how it could be more expressive than it is," was his reply.

"Don't you think there would be fewer bank robberies if all bank cashiers treated robbers as you did?" he was asked.

"I think the Hall of Science is a marvelous exhibit," was his reply.

McCarty was so enthusiastic about the World's Fair, it was impossible to lead him into conversation concerning the robbery.
(Negro Star ~ August 25, 1933)


Horrible Crime Committed by a Kansas Farmer

Oswego, Dec. 11---After a preliminary examination, Rudolph Bruckman, a wealthy farmer of Osage township, has been held in the sum of $10,000 to answer for the murder of his 17-year-old daughter, Mary. Four weeks ago Bruckman gave the girl a terrible beating, because she did not work to suit him in his cornfield. He then tied a rope around one of her ankles, fastened the other end of the rope to a rear axle of his wagon and drove to his barn a quarter of a mile off, dragging the girl behind. Arriving there, he locked her up in the barn without sufficient clothing and without food.

The girl was found by her uncle and another neighbor, who carried her away, but her injuries were so serious that she died on November 22.

Bruckman has long been an outcast among the farmers of Osage township. His ranch adjoins the notorious Bender farm and he was the nearest neighbor of the Bender butchers.

After the horrifying crimes of the Bender family had become known and they had fled the country, Bruckman was visited one night by a mob of masked men who demanded to know where the Benders had gone. Bruckman insisted that he knew nothing of the Benders or their deeds, but he was strung up to the limb of a tree and held there until almost dead. Finally, however, he was cut down and allowed to go away, but ever since he has been shunned.
(Morning Olympian ~ December 11, 1896)


Taken Out of Police Court

The fight against Sunday theaters at Parsons which has been waged for the past month by the W. C. T. U. was ended when the county attorney served notice that prosecutions would be commenced In the district court under the state law. and that every person violating the law would be prosecuted as often as the law was violated. (Alma, Wabaunsee County, Kansas October 23, 1908, page 3, submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)


Engine Crashes Into Box Car in "Katy" Yards in Kansas City

Kansas City, Aug. 6---Engineer John Flynn and Fireman Samuel Jones, both of Parsons, Kans., are dead, as a result of their engine collidng with a box car in the Missouri, Kansas & Texas yards in Rosedale today. The engine was running light.

Flynn died a few minutes after the accident, before rescuers had reached him. Jones died two hours later in a hospital.

Jones was engaged to marry Miss Maud Brown of Parsons in a few days. She is visiting in Hannibal, Mo.
(Daily Oklahoman ~ August 7, 1910)


Posses Scour "Bad Lands" of Northeastern Oklahoma in Vain for Desperadoes - Officers will Shoot

Lansing, Kan., May 31 - Leaving a policeman dead along the trail of their flight, the 11 desperadoes who escaped yesterday from the Kansas penitentiary had vanished tonight in the hill country of northeastern Oklahoma - long an outlaw retreat.

Posses hunted the timbered "bad lands" without avail. A police net was extended in a wide circle through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas on the theory that the convicts might make a dash for distant parts.

Squads of police and deputy sheriffs guarded highways. They were heavily armed and ready to "shoot to kill" if they encountered the fugitives. The convicts were well supplied with rifles, shotguns and pistols.

Otto L. Durke, 42, night policeman and a World-war veteran, was shot down early today at Chetopa, Kan. Authorities expressed belief he had run afoul of one of the two parties of convicts.

Chetopa is only 15 miles from Welch, Okla., near where Wilbur Underhill and Harvey Bailey, leaders of the prison break with four other convicts last night released Warden Kirk Prather and Guards L. A. Laws and John Sherman who were kidnapped from the prison and taken on a wild automobile ride.

After a harrowing experience as captives of the other five convicts who fled in a separate group, Mrs. M. J. Wood, her 17 year old daughter, Louise and Miss Cloris Wears, 17 returned unharmed today to their homes at Kansas City, Kan.

They were freed last night at a farmhouse near Pleasanton, Kan., 100 miles southeast of Lansing, but because the telephone lines at the house had been cut, did not report their safety until this morning.

Warden, Prather returned to the prison today and prepared to turn the office over tonight to his successor, Lacey Simpson, who was appointed recently under the new state administration.
Penitentiary Probe Launched

At the direction of Gov Alf M. Landon, the state board of administration began a searching investigation at the penitentiary.

"I want to know whether there were any violations of the rules, a breakdown or laxity in discipline; how those weapons got into the prison and how the men got out after the difficulties within the prison walls." The governor said.

Indications were that the second group of fugitives fled south into Oklahoma after releasing the women. They were some hours behind the band which held the warden prisoner.

Authorities advanced the theory that one gang or the other encountered Policeman Durkee at Chetopa and a gun fight ensued at 3 a.m. while an attempt was being made to steal a needed tire from a shop owned by Roy James. The body of Durkee was found at the rear of the shop. His pistol was empty, having been fired six times.

Warden Prather said his captors had developed tire troubles near Welch, Okla.

"Gas" Station Owner Robbed

The hunt for the Underhill-Bailey gang, considered the most desperate, was pressed in the mining district around Miami, Okla., this morning, after Jeff Weatherby, a filling station owner, reported he had been robbed of a few dollars by four men, who forced him to accompany them to a point south of Miami, where he was released. He said Underhill was one of them. Underhill's wife lives at Picher, Okla., nearby.

No trace of the men was found, however, and authorities expressed belief the convicts had fled westward into the Spavinaw hills, a wild section of Craig county.

It was believed that Bailey badly wounded in the leg by a bullet from a guard's rifle at the prison, had been left with a companion at some hide out. Miami police feared some doctor might be kidnapped to treat Bailey.

Warden Prather said the convicts told him the firearms used in the break had been smuggled into the prison in bales of sisal, used in making twine. Six new .38 automatic pistols had been smuggled.

"We are lucky to be here now," said Prather, as he embraced his wife. "It looked several times as though they would do away with us."
Slid Down Rope to Freedom

The warden said he ordered a tower gate opened, giving the convicts access to the top of the prison wall - from which they slid down a rope to freedom - to prevent a "massacre" of the 14 guards who were covered with pistols. These guards and the warden, overpowered during a baseball game, had no firearms. (Springfield Republican, June 1, 1933, page 1)

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