Died in the Line of Duty



The Kansas State Peace Officers association will pay $100 reward for the arrest and conviction of the slayers of C. F. Artz, Rock Island special agent at Wichita, who was slain while on duty. This announcement was made today by W. T. Clark, Reno County undersheriff who is president of the Kansas Peace Officers association. ((Hutchinson News, July 2, 1920, page 12)



Night Patrolman at Augusta is Probably Fatally Injured

Augusta, Kan., April 12 - An unidentified bandit was shot and instantly killed and S. A. Jenkins, night patrolman, wounded perhaps fatally in a gun fight here early today.

Jenkins discovered the bandit in the office of a gasoline filling station and ordered him to submit to arrest. Instead the robber opened fire.

Jenkins fell with four bullets in his body. Steadying his aim, Jenkins returned the fire, killing the bandit instantly.
At a hospital, Jenkins recovery was said to be doubtful. (Hutchinson News, April 18, 1924, page 1)



Kansas City, Kan. - A car hit two Wyandotte County patrolmen Sunday, killing one and injuring the other.

The officers were struck while standing beside a parked car on Highway K32 trying to waken two men in the vehicle.

Patrolman Thomas W. Mendina, 28, was killed. An officer 14 months, he was the father of a 10-month-old son. Lt. William Scherzer, 44 suffered an arm fracture. (Salina Journal, March 5, 1956, page 13)

Patrolman Killed in Wyandotte County

Kansas City, Kan - One Wyandotte County patrolman was killed and another was injured by a car that struck them about eight miles west of here on K32 early Sunday.

Patrolman Thomas W. Mendina, 28, a member of the force 14 months, was killed. Lt. William Scherzer, 44 suffered a fracture on the left arm.

Scherzer said the accident happened this way:

Investigating two men asleep in a car on the highway, Mendina and Scherzer were awakening the driver when they were hit by another car that came around a curve on the highway.

The driver of the car that hit them, Jerry Junior Sullivan, 21, Kansas City, Kan. Was held under $10,000 bond on charges of reckless and drunken driving and having an open bottle. (Hutchinson News-Herald, March 5, 1956, page 26)



Patrolman Shot Tuesday Evening Dies - Murder Charge for Maynor Cheek

After a tenacious fight for life against insurmountable odds, Sherman Monroe, city patrolman, died last night about 8:30 o'clock at a local hospital.

For over 24 hours his life hung by a thread as the result of three bullet wounds received when he attempted to arrest Maynor Cheek of 200 Ave. B. west, Tuesday night. One of the bullets entered his left lung and ranged upward, while the other two struck his right arm.

Conscious to the Last

Throughout the 24 hour fight for life, he never lost consciousness and was able to relate clearly the details of the shooting affray.
Following the death of Patrolman Monroe, a warrant charging first degree murder was issued this morning against Maynor Cheek, who is now being held in a cell at the county jail. Cheek is charged with shooting Mr. Monroe when the officer attempted to arrest him about 8:15 o'clock Tuesday night.

On Force A Year

Mr. Monroe was one of the veteran officers in the city having been a guard at the reformatory for many years before entering the police service.

He entered the police department about a year ago and has been covering a beat in the south end of the city.

Near Death Once Before

While serving as guard at the reformatory he was severely beaten up when he blocked an attempted break away. He was hit over the head with a gas pipe and a couple of his fingers were severed. At that time he lay in a critical condition for many days.
Mr. Monroe was 57 years old and lived at 609 Ave. B. east. He is survived by his wife and a brother. He was born in Tennessee and came to Kansas while a young man. (Hutchinson News, July 3, 1924, page 9)


Hugoton, Oct. 20 - Evidence of an eight months' reign of lawlessness here which it is expected will involve prominent Hugoton business men and professional men, and public officials is being secured here today by an inquisition being conducted by Attorney General Roland Boynton.

The investigation is being held as a result of a demand of the American Legion post, which has undertaken the job of cleaning up Hugoton and getting rid of what is alleged to be a vice ring operating here.

Charges were made among others that George McBee brother of Sheriff Irvin McBee, was operating a gambling house in the basement of the McBee hotel and that this hotel was headquarters of a lawless gang.

Houses of prostitution, liquor joints, and gambling houses were being protected by the local authorities, it was charge.

Reach Climax with Murder

The reign of vice reached a climax with the murder of City Marshall Charlie Newman who was shot down by Fred McBee, brother of the sheriff and the hotel man, when the marshal was trying to arrest McBee who was drunk and brandishing a gun.
McBee knocked the marshal down, and when Newman got to his feet and started toward him again McBee pulled his gun and fired three shots at him.

Attorney General Boynton started his personal investigation of vice conditions yesterday afternoon. He began taking evidence from local witnesses yesterday afternoon. He continued the investigation today.

Direct evidence that may involve some Hugoton business men and members of prominent families in the responsibility for the eight month reign of lawlessness was promised the attorney general.

Demand Wholesale Cleanup

An executive committee of the American Legion representing the membership of Hugoton churches and others interested in a wholesale clean up of the city said they would offer the attorney general direct testimony that a gambling house was operated by George McBee in the basement of a hotel, with a roulette wheel, faro dealer, and poker and crap games.

They said they would show that prostitution was practiced in other parts of the hotel.

They promised witnesses would swear that liquor joints were operated in the city three of them on the main street, in at least one of which liquor was served in glasses across the counter.

Fights between rival gangs might be shown, the committee believed.

They would show they said that rivalry and controversy between city and county officers has existed since Sheriff Irvin McBee went into office last January and they want the investigation of the attorney general to include the court records on liquor cases in court during this year.

We are not blaming any person or any group of persons, said Roy McClure, chairman of the American Legion committee. We want an investigation to learn the cause of these conditions and we want to correct them.

The Legion man continued, If the attorney general can get at the bottom of this, it is my opinion there will be indictments of men in this community that will be surprising.

Started Months Ago

But the investigation did not have its start in the murder of the city marshal but dates back over a period of months, committee members said.

Several months ago Rev. Robinson, pastor of the Methodist Church wrote to the attorney general about conditions here. The result was the attorney general wrote to L. L. Morgan county attorney about the report.

Earlier than that, however, a Hugoton business man was complaining of conditions and threatened to write to the attorney general but neglected to do so. The man operates the Child's bakery on Main Street, next to the McBee hotel. He said his business was showing a decided falling off, and he believed it was because women would not walk to that part of town where they had to pass the alleged house of gambling and prostitution.

Appeal to Attorney General

Then the church people of Hugoton began to get serious about lawlessness in the city. They discussed it with members of the American Legion and it was decided to get direct evidence to offer the attorney general.

If I have something definite to offer, I will call Roland Boynton personally said Roy McClure who had been a wartime buddy of the attorney general in an artillery outfit in France.

He said they began to gather evidence. McClure M. S., Baker and Marion Shive are the executive committee. From the evidence they expected to ask for the arrest of a large number of men and women, partly local persons and partly of the floating population left from the gas boom of a year and two years.

Then came the tragedy of the slaying of the city marshal by one of the alleged gangsters of the town.

Exodus of the Lawless

That quickly brought public indignation against the lawless gang to fever heat, and it brought quick results.

We have information that within thirty minutes after that shooting, said Roy McClure head of the Legion committee, a truck was backed to the back door of the old hotel Bundy, all of the gambling equipment was loaded in it and a gang of bootleggers and prostitutes climbed aboard and went out of town. We believe it was a local truck that moved them out.

Was it only the floating population that left or did some local residents leave, too? McClure was asked.

Mr. McClure is a Scotchman. He does not talk freely. At the question he smiled and remarked, I expet there are some local fellows missing to.

The gambling equipment was stored in a vacant farm house near here, McClure continued and the owner of the place found it there and threw it out. Then it was moved again. The owner said they had broken into the house to store it there.

Committeemen said a notorious bootlegger in the community was arrested one night recently and that he had secured a parole before morning. It was reported he was fined $100 they said.

Members of the committee said a man was stabbed. He was reported to have won $94 in a poker game and the rumor was that a loser in the game followed him down the street and stabbed him. The committeemen said officers explained that the victim would not say who did it but said he would take care of the affair himself and no arrest was made.

Had Hushed Them Up

Other citizens said they had heard of hi-jacking affairs in the community being hushed up.

One man who said he saw gambling equipment of all kinds in a joint, said he was told that if he won very much he would not get out of the place with it.

You can't have an idea of what conditions were here unless you lived here and saw them. Marion Shive, another committeeman said. You could not walk down the main street with your wife or sister that they were not insulted by remarks of street loafers.
The conditions here were not nearly so bad during the boom, as they have been this year. The hangers on that follow the oil fields were here then but this was a small town and their activities had to be kept quiet. But while they were here they taught their ways to some of the local population whose bent was in that direction. The trouble this year has been with those of the hangers-on who remained and local people who had joined them.

I have followed the oil booms in Florence, Kas., Borger, Texas, Amarillo, and pretty well over the country in several states, Shive remarked but I never saw conditions in a small place like they are here and the facts have not got out of this community until now.

Their Hands Tied

Members of the committee said some persons had gone to the late marshal about conditions and he had said his hands were tied and he could do nothing, while others who had gone to Sheriff McBee had received the same reply from him. Members of the committee said they were not trying to place the blame.

L.L. Morgan, County Attorney, is young and inexperienced. His heart is in his work, but he has been misguided, one committeeman said.

Another remarked, McBee has been in an unfortunate position as sheriff on account of the general hell raising of his brothers.
It was said in Hugoton that several months ago, early in the administration of Sheriff McBee, he and the late city marshal clashed over the arrest by the city officer of one of the brothers of the sheriff. At that time they had a fuss that almost reached the shooting stage between the two officers, McClure Said.

At Marshal's Funeral

The excitement that followed the shooting of the city marshal had quieted down Sunday as the whole community turned out to the Christian Church to pay their last respects to their late friend and neighbor who the Rev. J. S. Mooer said died a martyr to the best interests of this community.

The little church only two blocks from the spot on Main street on which the marshal was shot would not seat more than half the crowd. About 350 persons found places in the church and more than 200 persons stood outside the church near opened windows Sunday afternoon to hear the message of eulogy paid by the pastor of the church, who was a friend from boyhood of the late marshal and whose own son Garland Moore, formerly was an undersheriff of Ford county

In the crowd outside the church stood Ed Jones, who retired from the sheriff's office last January.

Charlie was like a brother to me, he said.

Lynching was Feared

Members of the committee said within ten minutes after McBee was arrested following the shooting a crowd in an ugly mood had gathered at the county jail. Through the streets small crowds gathered and over the community hung an ominous brooding that presaged trouble, until the more sober-minded regained their faculties and exerted their influence to avoid mob violence. Then McBee was taken out of town after dark by Earl Kerns, undersheriff and having to make a return trip was brought back before daylight and rushed out of town again, before it was known that he was there.

Things are quieted down now, the citizen remarked. But I'll bet even now he couldn't walk down the two blocks of Main street alive. (Hutchinson News, October 20, 1931, pages 1 & 2)

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