Leavenworth  County



Bailey Bell Newly Appointed Officer, Slain by Man In Stolen Car Parked on Ourskirts of Down Town Section

Bandit Used Sawedoff Shot Gun

Officer Hunt Opens Fire on Killer as he Escapes; Suspected to be Slightly Injured; Second Bandit Comes upon Scene, but Keeps on Moving
Leavenworth, Kan. Feb. 10 - A charge of shot from a double barreled sawedoff shotgun, fired at point blank range by a car thief and burguler on Saturday morning at 1:30 o'clock took the life of Bailey Bell, newest member of the police department, as he and Officer Kenneth Hunt sought to arrest the man, whom they found sitting in the stolen car just south of Maple avenue and Limit street. The full charge of buck shot Officer Bell in the right side of the chest, passed through the right lobe of his heart and through his lungs. He died instantly, although staggering about 12 feet before he fell.

Officer Bell and Hunt were patrolling the city in a police car when they noticed a Buick car which fitted description of a stolen car which had been reported Friday evening.

Officers Prepare for Trouble

Officer Hunt said he remarked to Bell that there was the stolen car and that they would take a look at it.

"There may be someone in it," he said "so get your gun out and be ready."

"I've got my gun and flashlight," Bell answered, "Let's go."

Hunt drove the police car up to the Buick coach, stopping just a little to the rear of it. Guns in hand, both officers got out of the patrol car and focused their flashlights on the windows of the Buick.

"Watch out," Hunt warned, "There's someone in it."

"Open the door," Bell ordered leveling his revolver at the figure behind the steering wheel, and at the same time Hunt ordered the man to hold up his hands.

The left door of the car, which was parked on the west side of the street, facing south, swung open, and simultaneously a sawed off shotgun held across the lap of the bandit blazed, once, Bell staggered away from the police car, his cocked revolver going off as his finger contracted. Hunt, standing just a little to the rear of the car and within a few feet of his fellow officer, opened fire with the roar of the shotgun, putting two bullets through the glass of the rear side window. He stepped back a pace to get a better view of his target and shot twice through the rear window, one bullet being directly in line with the steering wheel and the other just to the right. The glass of the door near the driver was shattered, also by one of the officer's bullets.

Officer Bell was appointed to the police force January 18 of this year. He lived at 908 Fifth avenue and had been highly recommended for the position. During the short while he was on the force he had proved himself an efficient officer, showing an aptness for duty and a willingness to learn. As an officer, he was unassuming and courteous, and well liked by all who knew him.

Surviving him are his widow, Mrs. Maggie Bell, and a step daughter, Miss Imogene Hunt, both of the home address; his mother, of Port Arthur, Tex.; one brother and six sisters. Funeral arrangements will await the arrival of out-of-town relatives.

Killer Runs For Life

The bandit got out of the car on the right hand side and ran north toward Limit street, with Hunt firing at him. The officer saw him fall in a storm culvert just at the intersection of Limit and Maple avenue. He stepped over to Bell to see how badly he had been shot, believing he had killed or wounded the bandit. As he reached Bell he glanced toward the culvert where the bandit had fallen and saw him running. He grabbed Bell's revolver and fired three times at the bandit as he ran west on Limit Street. (Morning Star, September 17, 1922, page 1)


John Atwood of Leavenworth is down in Texas, and if he gets in the right corner of the state it will be possible for him to don the various lodge badges he is entitled to wear by virtue of his many offices of high degree and make the natives think he is the personal representative of the Abkoond of Swat. (Kansas Semi Weekly, February 22, page 4)


An Enoch Arden story is stirring Leavenworth. Three years ago F. E. Harrison married a 20 year old Leavenworth girl. He stole and was sent to prison. She thought she was free and married a man named Wilson. Harrison was let out the other day and appeared at the Wilson's home for his wife. She decided that she belonged to Harrison and left with him though Wilson was the better husband and she says she loved him more than the first man. (Sedan Lance, March 30, 1899, page 6)


Policeman Curry was stabbed to death this morning by a man named John Quinn whom he was endeavoring to arrest for breach of peace. Quinn was lodged in jail. This evening about 9 o'clock he was taken from the jail by a crowd and hung to a tree near by. Quinn was formerly from Jefferson City, Mo. There was very little excitement. Leavenworth May 1. (Weekly Champion and Press, May 10, 1866, page 1)


Convict at Federal Prison Had Killed Prisoner in Washington

Leavenworth, Kas., March 27 - Robert F. Stroud, who killed Andrew Turner, a guard at the federal prison yesterday was serving a term for a similar offense at McNeil's Island, Wash., having killed a fellow convict there. He was convicted on a charge of manslaughter and sentenced to serve twelve years in the prison here.

The killing of Turner makes the second murder at the federal prison this year and probably means that there will be two legal hangings on Kansas soil instead of one. On January 19 Edward Jones, a convict, stabbed Henry Schmidt, a military prisoner, causing his death. He has been bound over to the federal court, where an indictment will be asked on a charge of murder in the first degree. (Kansas City Star, March 27, 1916, page 3)


Callous Slayer To Be Princiapl At First Kansas Hanging Since 1870

LEAVENWORTH, Kan., Sept. 2---Erecting of a scaffold for the first execution in Kansas since 1870---the hanging next Friday of Carl Panzran, slayer of a prison official and described as one of the most hardened criminals in America---was begun at the Federal penitentiary here today.

Civilian workmen wielded hammers and saws within earshot of Panzran's cell. The condemned man remained as indifferent to his fate as when he addressed a letter to Federal Judge R. J. Hopkins at his trial demanding "justice," which he described as "that I be found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to die."

In a fit of rage, Panzran killed R. G. Warnke, manager of the prison laundry, June 19, 1929. He will be hanged between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Panzran was committed to the prison from Washington, D. C., February 1, 1929, to serve 25 years for burglary and larceny. It was his sixth prison term. He confessed in a letter to the state prosecutor at Salem, Mass., the slaying of George Henry McMahon in Salem and boasted of "21 other murders," expressing the hope that he would have an opportunity to murder "another 22."

The execution wil be carried out under Federal statues and upon Government property, the state of Kansas having abolished the death penalty, except for treason.

Other prisoners will be kept locked in their cells Friday morning until after the hanging to prevent demonstration.
(San Antonio Express ~ September 3, 1930 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


If a Convict in Leavenworth is Convicted of Killing a Fellow Prisoner, he Will be Hanged


So Hanging Is The Penalty

The Trial Will Occur Next Week, and The First Hanging in Kansas May Result---Federal Law Permits No Other Punishment

Leavenworth, Kan., Feb. 18 -- If the United States government convicts J. S. Jones, a convict, serving a term in the federal prison here, of killing Henry Schmidt, another prisoner, Kansas will see its first legal hanging in its history as a state.

Jones will be arraigned on a charge of murder before the United States commissioner next Thursday. He attacked and stabbed Schmidt, because the latter had spilled salt on bread Jones was eating.

The crime was committed on government land, and the federal statutes provide hanging and no other penalty for such cases.

If Jones is convicted the federal judge before whom he is tried will have no other alternative, but to sentence him to hang. The sentence will be carried out at the penitentiary and would be carried out by the United States martial officials. The case recalls the fact that there has never been a hanging under state law in Kansas.
(Emporia Gazette ~ February 18, 1916 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. --- Tom Brown, the oldest inmate at Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing until his parole Oct. 20, died yesterday. He was 93.

Brown's parole was delayed because a home for him could not be found. The Little Sisters of the Poor in Kansas City gave Brown a place to live, allowing him to fulfill his wish to die as a free man.

He became ill recently and was moved to Lakeside Hospital where he died.

Brown had been sentenced under the Habitual Criminal Act to life imprisonment. He had been convicted on several stealing convictions.

Prison officials said Brown may have been the oldest prisoner in the United States before his release. He had been the oldest prisoner at the Kansas penitentiary since 1940.
(Great Bend Daily Tribune ~ November 26, 1965 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Dies of Wounds Received in the Mutiny at Leavenworth Prison.

Leavenworth, Kan.. Nov. 16.—

J. B. Waldrupe, a guard at the Fort Leavenworth military prison, who was shot during the mutiny at that institution Nov. 7, died to-day of his wounds. Twenty-six mutineers now become liable to a charge of murder. It was generally supposed that Frank Thompson, the negro who led the revolt, fired the shot that caused Waldrupes' death. Thompson is one of the seventeen convicts who have .been captured since the outbreak.

Waldrupe was stationed in a tower on the stockade. In a fight that ensued he was shot in a hip. He fell to the floor, but raised himself and fired Into the crowd, killing Quinn Port, one of the ringleaders. A moment later Waldrupe, while in the act of firing again, was struck between the eyes with a pistol bullet.

Then several convicts ran up the tower to secure weapons. Waldrupe, although mortally wounded, clubbed the first man down with his rifle, but was too weak to further defend himself and was barely rescued by other guards

The Minneapolis Journal November 16 1901 - submitted by Friends for Free Genealogy)


LEAVENWORTH, KAN., June 28----Mrs. Rener Small, 18, and James Stevens, 13, potato harvesters, were drowned near Linwood, Kan., today, while bathing in the Kaw river ner the mouth of Big Stranger creek.

County Coroner Ted Sexton said they went down together after attempting to go to the rescue of two other bathers who had cried for help. Mrs. Small, mother of an 8-month-old boy, James William Small, came from Jay, Okla., and had camped with two families in the vicinity, awaiting the potato harvest.

The two were taken from the stream by W. D. Wolfington, of Oklahoma City, but they were dead when a doctor arrived from Eudora.

The bodies were brought to Leavenworth. Sexton said they probably would be returned to Linwood for burial.

The six or seven bathers had paired off to protect the weaker swimmers. They were panic-stricken when the other pair called for help and left Mrs. Small and Steven unnoticed for a time. Mrs. Small had been separated from her husband.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Monday ~ June 29, 1931)



The death of Leslie McKeehen, 74, a veteran Tonganoxie barber, was termed suicide Saturday by Leavenworth County Coroner Charles Larkin.

McKeehen's body was found slumped in the front seat of his motor car. The car was parked in a closed garage next to his barber shop. The engine was running. McKeehen had suffered a bullet wound in the right temple from a .32 caliber revolver found in the car.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Congregational Church in Tonganoxie with Rev. Robert Johns in charge. The body will be cremated. The Quisenberry Funeral Home of Tonganoxie is in charge.

Survivors include the wife, of the home; a daughter, Mrs. Samuel Drews of Baltimore, Md., and a grandson, Thomas Leslie Drews, Anapolis, Md.
(Lawrence Daily Journal-World ~ Monday ~ Oct. 22, 1956 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



A Mayetta woman and her young child were killed this morning, and three other members of her family were injured when their car collided with a truck at the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and K-16 in Tonganoxie about 13 miles northeast of Lawrence.

Killed instantly was Mrs. Mildred H. Walker, 41. Her son, Christopher Walker, Jr., died later at Lawrence Memorial Hospital from injuries received in the accident. Two daughter, Patricia and Kathleen, and the husband, Christopher Walker, 41, were taken to where they received emergency treatment and were dismissed.

Leavenworth Deputy Sheriff Elmer Parmer, who was at the scene when the accident happened, said the Walker car was traveling east on K-16 and the truck, driven by William Otto Atteberry, 56, Kansas City, Mo., was traveling north on U.S. 24-40. The car and truck collided at about the middle of the intersection. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Mrs. Walker and young Christopher were thrown from the car, according to investigating officers. The truck passed over the top part of her body. Witnesses said the truck also passed over the youngster.

The accident happened about 10:50 this morning.

Before he was taken to the hospital, Walker told witnesses he and his wife had been talking about remodeling their home in Mayetta and that he did not see the stop sign on the west side of the intersection for cars traveling east onto U.S. 24-40.

Truck driver Atteberry told officers he has been driving for the Blue Valley Transfer Co., of Kansas City, Mo., for 18 years, and this was his first accident. He said he was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The car was demolished. After it collided with the truck, the car apparently spun around and hit another part of the truck with its rear end. The truck went over the curb and jackknifed.
(NOTE: They are buried in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery ~ Holton, KS)
(Lawrence Daily Journal-World ~ Friday ~ Oct. 19, 1956)


LEAVENWORTH, KAN., Feb. 16---The reply of Warden Case of the Kansas state penitentiary to the information sought by Governor Humphrey regarding the suicide of the convict Weisner, an account of which first appeared in THE TIMES, does not appear at all satisfactory to those who know the manner in which punishment is awarded in that institution. In concluding his reply, he states that no one suspected Weisner's attempts to take his life and that no officer is permitted to use profane or abusive language to a convict and no punishment is inflicted except on a written report of an officer in charge, and a copy of such report is kept on file and a full record kept of punishments.

Today THE TIMES of that institution opposed to the present manner of punishment this statement: "The warden may say that no one suspected the convict's suicide, but it is not so, at least so far as the officials under him are concerned. The day previous to the successful attempt at night Weisner had threatened to cut his own throat---even marked it with a knife that the officer persuaded him to give up. The night guards were also watching as well as they could to prevent Weisner from suiciding, and had such not been the case the body would not have been discovered until the usual hour in the morning for unlocking the 'dark cell,' whereas, officers on night duty cut him down between 1 and 2 o'clock a.m. Mr. Case says: 'It (the mode of punishment) has been in vogue in this prison from its earliest history.' Very true; but with a difference. No administration previous to May 1, 1885, ever put such dangerous power in the hands of prison guards as they have enjoyed since that date. Previous to that time whenever a report was made the warden or deputy made it his business to see the convict so reported, hear both sides of the case and more out punishment according to the nature of the breach of discipline. Each officer being aware that his report would be closely scanned, that his reputation for varacity depended upon the terms used in such report was careful that no exaggerations crept in. After seeing the convict and deciding what punishment was needful the warden or deputy assessed the punishment, and when it had been borne the prisoner returned to work. Since May 1, 1885, the guards have had things their own way, and if cruelty and inhumanity has not been practiced it has not been for want of opportunity. The reports---nine out of ten cases---are made out in shops or place of work and sent in at night with the books. After the officer making such report and also the deputy have gone home the night officer calls the man and sends him to punishment. When the prisoner is once in the dark cell he is turned over completely to the guard who reported him, and he---the guard---can keep him in as long or as short a time as he pleases. Supposing the prisoner persists in his claim of innocence? The officer slams the door in his face, walks off and there the power devil stays until from sheer exhaustion he is willing to admit anythning to get out of the terrible place. Then the officer, who never had charge of so much as a yoke of oxen until quartered by some two penny politician upon the state, draws himself up in imagined superiority and thinks his honor has been vindicated. Why, sir, since the new regime young, boyish men have been employed---many of whom imagined the sine que non for perferment rested upon their record as punishers---and little attention was paid to justice, because they knew their reports would be accepted and no questions asked. You may ask, 'Are there no honest guards there?' Yes, sir, many of them, and every one of them will substantiate what I have asserted. Weisner was the second man found dead in the punishment cell since May 1, 1885. But such affairs will surely occur whenever the unfortunates under our care are turned over bag and baggage to inferiors."
(Kansas City Times ~ February 17, 1892 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Charles Jyer Killed Himself in the Leavenworth Soldiers' Home

LEAVENWORTH, Kas., Dec. 2---Charles Jyer, a veteran of the Soldiers' home, committed suicide today by shooting himself with a revolver. Jyer was a member of the Eleventh Kansas cavalry, volunteers, in the Civil war.
(Kansas City Star ~ December 3, 1905 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Miss Laura Ward, a student in the Normal, was called home last night by the news that her mother and 3-year-old sister were burned to death yesterday afternoon at their home fifteen iles from Leavenworth. The story of the tragedy as it appeared in the morning papers, follows:

"The wife, Mrs. Mary Ward, and Mildred, the 3-year-old daughter of Samuel Ward, a wealthy farmer and prominent county politician, were burned to death at his home on Big Stranger, fifteen miles from Leavenworth. They were alone when the mother rushed from the house, her clothing ablaze, and screamed for help to two hired men and her son, working in a field close by.

"Mrs. Ward was burned so bad that she died in a few moments without being able to tell how she caught fire. The child died an hour after the mother. Mrs. Ward was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Allison, of Platte county, Mo., and lived in Kansas twenty years, where she and her husband own a number of large farms. A husband and four children survive."
(Emporia Gazette ~ May 4, 1909)



Cries For Aid Heard


Twelve Other Passengers Injured, Of Whom Four Will Possibly Die

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 2----Three men were killed, four seriously injured, and a dozen more hurt in a wreck on the Union Pacific Railway near Linwood, Kan., twenty-seven miles west of Kansas City, this morning. The wreck was caused by a freight train on the Rock Island Railway, which uses the Union Pacific track between Kansas City and Topeka, running into the rear end of a mixed freight and passenger train of the Union Pacific. The dead were pinioned in the wreck and burned.

They are:

JAY ATWOOD, Union Pacific conductor, Kansas City, Mo.
H. O. MARTIN, stockman, Wakefield, Kan.
HERMANN SMIZE, stockman, Clay Center, Kan.

The injured are:

GEORGE W. HASKINS, stockman, Randolph, Kan.; back broken, will die
B. F. P. OSTEN, stockman, Hill City, Kan., badly injured internally
T. M. McCRARY, stockman, Tescot, Kan., back broken at waist; will probably die.
C. W. FAGERBURG, stockman, Oldsburg, Kan., arm bruised and head cut.
CASPER DITMER, stockman, Idana, Kan., arm bruised and head cut.
JOSEPH BERTRAND, stockman, Condordia, Kan., nose broken and head badly cut and bruised.
WILLIS HARDESTIN, stockman, Delphos, Kan.; head cut and arm broken.
DANIEL TAYLOR, stockman, Bellevue, Kan.; arm badly bruised and face and head cut.
G. W. SPENCER, stockman, Clyde, Kan.; badly cut about the head.
W. R. GILMORE, stockman, Idana, Kan.; sprained shoulder and contusions.
J. I. WEST, stockman, Concordia, Kan.; rib broken.
C. W. MASON, stockman, Concordia, Kan.; rib broken.


Both trains were coming to Kansas City and were in motion when the accident occurred. They were a few minutes late, and the Rock Island train was running fast to make up time. The Union Pacific train was near a water-tank west of Linwood, and was slowing up when the other train crashed into it.

The Union Pacific train was a stock train due in Kansas City about 7 o'clock. There were about twenty-five passengers on board riding in a combination passenger and baggage car, just in front of the caboose, and between it and a stock car. The passengers, or most of them, were stockmen from stations in Kansas, who were coming to Kansas City with cattle and hogs.

Nearly all of them were sleeping when the accident occurred. Conductor Jay Wood, who lived at No. 1431 Madison avenue, this city, saw a collision could not be avoided and started from the caboose to the coach to warn the passengers, but he was caught between the cars and crushed. His rear brakeman and a young man who was in the caboose, saved their lives by jumping.

When the Rock Island engine struck the Union Pacific train it smashed the caboose into splinters and crashed into the passenger coach, splitting it in the middle. A car loaded with hogs in front was wrecked, and the next car loaded with cattle was broken open and the cattle escaped.


Trainmen and passengers who were not seriously injured began at once to save those who were more seriously hurt. Four men were dragged from the wreck more dead than alive. Fire caught from the stoves, and before the dead could be removed, the cars were enveloped in flames.

The flames spread so rapidly that the men under the debris of the caboose and passenger coach could not be reached. Faint and piteous calls for help were heard, but the men who had been saved were powerless to aid the poor fellows, and soon their cries ceased. To have ventured into the burning wreck would have been certain death.

The unfortunate men whom the passengers heard, but could not help, were Conductor Atwood and Herman Smize, a stockman of Clay Center, and Stockman Martin, of Wakefield, Kan. Conductor Atwood was frightfully burned, and his body was not reached for several hours. The bodies of the other men were burned to a crisp.

The Rock Island engineer and fireman saved themselves by jumping. The front trucks of the engine were broken off and the wheels dismantled.

The Rock Island conductor notified the Union Pacific officials here at once and General Superintendent A. T. Palmer took a special train with surgeons and a wrecking crew to the wreck. The relief train returned to Kansas City, Kan., this afternoon with the injured. They were taken to St. Mary's Hospital.
(Daily Inter Ocean ~ January 3, 1894)



A Hostelry First Intended for Pro-Slavery Men in Border Warfare Days---A Place of Masy Fights and Disturbances

LAWRENCE, Kas., Dec. 5----Mella & Giacomini purchased the Planters hotel yesterday. Deeds recording the sale will be filed Monday. The price paid is said to have been $30,000. Mella & Giacomini are managing the National, Imperial and Planters hotels here. They took possession of the Planters hotel under a five year lease November 1. The ex-owners lived in Minneapolis. The Planters is one of the oldest hotels in the West. It was erected in 1856, and was remodeled six years ago.

One of the provisions of the builders of the hotel was that it should be "controlled by Southern men and conducted on exclusive Southern principles." This meant in the border warfare days, that no Free Soilers were to be received as guests. This plan was carried out until it was bought by Free Soilers, L. T. Smith and "Jep" Rice. The "free for all" policy at first lost to the proprietors guests of both parties. Each side was indignant because the hotel entertained those of the other.

Many notable men were entertained at the Planters house. Stephen A. Douglass made his Kansas territorial speech from the balcony of the hotel. Abraham Lincoln was a guest there when he came West later, but he spoke in the old Sedgewick hall.

While practicing law here William T. Sherman, afterward the famous general, and Thomas Ewing stopped at the Planters. One of the things, aside from getting little legal business, that disgusted General Sherman with Kansas, was the way elections were conducted and political questions discussed at the hotel. General Sherman and "Jim" Williams, who prides himself on having been the colonel of the "Fighting Niggers," rescued a fugitive slave from some Missouri border ruffians, and he was convinced at once that he was not cut out for political or social leadership in Kansas, and he left soon afterward.

A notable night at the Planters was the joint debate between Governor Ranson and Mark Parrott. Great preparation was made for it, and instead of speaking from the balcony of the hotel a special platform was put up. Mr. Rice did not like the platform idea, feeling that the lumber might be used for another purpose before the night was over. In this he was right. Parrott opened the debate and there was turbulance. His speech was fiery, and in closing he worked his partisans up to a high pitch. Shortly after Governor Ranson began speaking a rush was made and the platform was broken down and torn to pieces. The doors and windows in the lower part of the hotel, or barroom side, was smashed and a fighting mob took possession. Captain Tough, who had a record in those days as a fighter, and who is now a resident of Kansas City, was stopping at the hotel. Mr. Rice had asked the captain to remain near the hotel that night, as he feared the debate might end in a "rough house." When the melee was at its height Captain Tough, who had been sleeping in his room, slid down the banister, a pistol in one hand and a long knife in the other, and called out, "Stop instantly or I'll make this a slaughter pen." The captain's words calmed the warriors and they left the place in haste.

It was at the Planters that Colonel D. R. Anthony and C. R. Jennison had their impromptu duel. They exchanged many shots, and the only man injured was a frontiersman named Wods, who started upstairs with half a dozen others to escape the bullets. When near the top Woods was hit in the neck, fell and rolled to the bottom. He was not badly injured, and on being picked up remarked: "It's a damn careless way they have of shooting around here."
(Kansas City Star ~ December 5, 1903)


Mr. Tom Banks, came home from Cheyenne, Wyo., where he has been for quite a while, and is very sick with the mountain fever. He is at the residence of his parents on Dakota st. Mr. Banks is an industrious young man and an example to the rest of our young men, while absent he managed to save enough money to purchase a home for his parents. The ADVOCATE wishes Mr. Banks a speedy recovery.
Source: Leavenworth Advocate, Leavenworth, Kansas, Saturday, October 19, 1889. Transcribed by M.K.Krogman.


Leavenworth, July 21 – The Nez Perces prisoners were removed from their campyesterday to Fort Leavenworth railway depot, where they spend the night previous to their removal.  They will be put on a special train to-morrow morning and taken to a home near Baxter Springs. (The East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) - Saturday, August 3, 1878, transcribed by Jim Dezotell)


St. Paul, July 14 – A Bismarck special says: A report is current here that the hostile Nez Perces Indians in Canadian Territory with Sitting Bull are quietly moving across the mountains back to their old home.  Major Crane, of the Canadian police, left Fort Walsh to try to obtain the peaceable removal of Nez Perces to the American side. (The East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) - Saturday, July 27, 1878, transcribed by Jim Dezotell)

The Leavenworth county poor house is boasting of having over sixty inmates at present.
(Daily Kansas Tribune ~ Lawrence, KS ~ Tuesday ~ November 24, 1868 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

A fire started at the Leavenworth county poor farm by mischievous boys destroyed much valuable property, including a large field of corn in shock.
(Belleville Telescope ~ January 13, 1898 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

The Leavenworth county poor fund is exhausted so if the county lends any aid to paupers now it will be a case of the poor giving to the poor.
(Iola Register ~ Friday ~ August 10, 1906 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Old Woman Brings Suit Against Manager

Says He Slapped and Kicked Her

Tells of Indignities

Inmates Slept on Straw-Filled Mattresses

Live on Oat Meal Mush and Coffee

Leavenworth, Nov. 3 --- Mrs. Virginia Lille, a poor, mishapen old woman, who is past the alloted three score years, has employed an attorney and will immediately file suit against Manager Wm. LaCaille of the Leavenworth county poor farm, charging him with slapping and kicking and otherwise mistreating her on the 4th day of last September.

Mrs. Lille says:  "I entered the poor farm three years ago last April and had no complaint to make until Mr. LaCaille took the management.  Since then, the inmates of the poor farm have been subjected to many indignities and are not getting the charity that the good people of this city and county intend they should have.

"Since Mr. LaCaille came to the poor farm the old worn out mattresses on which the paupers slept have been discarded and we were compelled to sleep on cheap ticks filled with common straw.  The food is not nearly so good, as we were allowed before, and under Mr. LaCaille we are only allowed meat once a day.  For breakfast the paupers have oat meal musch and coffee of a very poor grade.

"I had no trouble with Mr. LaCaille until about two months ago, when a dispute arose as to whether or not I should be allowed to go into the upper part of the house if I had occasion to do so.  I asserted my rights and Mr. LaCaille slapped me brutally in the face, the blow throwing me on my back on the floor.  I suffered a serious injury by falling against a bench and have been crippled ever since.  Mr. LaCaille then kicked me as I lay on the floor.

"There are at least three inmates of the poor farm who witnessed this and will testify in my behalf.  I left the poor farm immediately after this happened, and have not been back since.  As a rule, the inmates of the poor farm are afraid to tell their troubles on the outside."

Matthew Kennedy, candidate for re-election as county commissioner, having no other argument at hand to maket he people believe he is an economist, has done a good deal of shouting of late about the amount of money he has saved the county by putting a good manager in charge of the poor farm.  LaCaille's report as published, shows a cost of only $183 for running the farm for seven months.  Biddle and others who fixed up these figures neglected, of course, to include LaCaille's and the hired man's salary in this amount which would bring the sum total up to just as much if not a little more than it has ever cost before.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Sunday ~ November 4, 1906 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Left Leavenworth Poor Farm and Walked to Kansas City

Leavenworth, Oct. 29 --- Homer Luckman of Leavenworth county, who is 74 years of age, started out the other day to walk to Lawrence, and late that afternoon he reached Kansas city, Kans.  Why he went so far out of his way, he did not explain.  When he reached Kansas City he was exhausted.  He was given a bed in the detention quarters and yesterday morning was turned over to the poor comissioner of Wyandotte county.

Luckman left the Leavenworth county poor farm early in the morning, saying he was going to Lawrence.  He had been at the poor farm eight years.  In all probability he will be brought back to that institution.
(Topeka Daily Capital ~ Wednesday ~ October 30, 1907 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Herman Luta Applied for Transportation to Leavenworth

Carrying a small amount of clothes and some eatables in a pillow slip, Herman Lutas, 75 years old, this morning applied to the Humane society for transportation to Leavenworth.

For 10 years he was an inmate of the Leavenworth county poor farm.  During that time he saved enough money to secure transportation to his daughter's home in Shelbina, Mo.

He left the poor farm last week and went to his daughter's home.  Her husband would not allow him to stay there and gave him a ticket back to Kansas City, Kansas.  When he reached there he had no money to get to Leavenworth.

He was furnished a ticket over the Leavenworth electric line.
(Kansas City, KS, Globe ~ Monday ~ June 8, 1908 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


A Distinguished Veteran and a Member of Custer's Famous Seventh

George Kelley, with Sheridan in the campaign of the Shenandoah valley and a member of the Seventh cavalry under its famous Colonel Custer, yesterday went to the Leavenworth county poor farm.  He is poor and ill, and without friends.  Kelley came here seeking admission to the Soldiers' home but it was found that he is not eligible.
(Leavenworth Times ~ Wednesday ~ November 18, 1908 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


The attacks which have been made upon the management of the Leavenworth county poor farm have their foundation either in malice or in absolute ignorance, the one quite as bad as the other.  When Will LaCaille was made superintendent of the 200-acre poor farm five years ago, fifty acres of it were in cultivation.  The remainder of the land was covered with jack-oak and brush so densely as to make it almost impenetrable.  Now there is less than thirty acres to be cleared, and this task will be accomplished in a very short time.

On the poor farm there are fifty acres of as fine wheat as will be found in Leavenworth county.  It is entirely free from weeds and should yield a harvest of nearly a thousand bushels.  There are thirty-five acres of corn that would be a delight to the eye of the most critical farmer.  It stands from a foot to eighteen inches high and some of it has been cultivated for the third time.On the poor farm are fat hogs and cattle and chickens.  There is a garden that shows the most careful attention.

But what is more essential and noteworthy is the fact that there is evidence of the greatest degree of harmony and contentment among the population of this institution.  To be provided for at a poor farm is not a disgrace.  That unfortunate class which accepts a bounty from the public has every right to expect good treatment, and out at the Leavenworth county farm they are getting it, with just enough employment supplied to bring forgetfulness of their lot or condition.

On no other ground than inherent meannes can it be accounted for that a Leavenworth newsppaer should complain that the inmates at the county farm are being too well treated, that too much money is being spent upon them, and that they would as well be quartered "at the best hotel in the city."

To the credit of Will LaCaille it must be said that in face of this unfair criticism, he has gone ahead working persistently and conscientiously, bringing land under cultivation where the work seemed hopeless.  He doesn't at all regard his position as that of an overseer or superintendent.  He gets out into the fields and works day after day.  There has never been a carpenter or a painter employed at the county farm since he went there.  He does the work himself.  He gives the county the free use of his teams to help along the county work, and he never renders a bill to the county for anything that is not absolutely needed.  Under his administration the county farm is worth twice as much as it was five years ago.
(Leavenworth Times ~ Friday ~ June 11, 1909 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler) 

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