Montgomery County, Kansas

Newspaper Articles


Killer of Two Died by Own Hand, Says Kansas Officer

Independence, Kans., Aug. 29 - Frank Foster tumbled dead from a tree under a hail of bullets near here today as he shot it out with a posse seeking to arrest him for two slayings.

At least 15 bullets were found in the 57-year old tenant farmer's body, but Deputy Sheriff Gerald Gibson reported Foster ended his own life. A powder burn marked a wound in his right temple.

Possemen said they probably would not have seen Foster had he not fired first from the branches of a mulberry tree in which he had taken refuge after a two day fight.

Foster was killed three quarters of a mile from the farm house where Undersheriff Charles Casey was wounded fatally Friday night. Casey and two other officers had gone to the farm to arrest Forster in connection with the killing of H. B. Kolb, 79, wealthy farmer whose body was found near Zyba, Kans., Friday. Kolb, who lived on a farm near that occupied by Foster, had been missing since August 12.

Two Kansas highway patrolmen walked under Foster's hiding place in a brush-covered terrain without noticing anything. A moment later a third walked near by and a shot was fired from the tree.

The tree was surrounded and as other shots came from Foster's hiding place, the 22 officers and deputized civilians answered with gunfire.
Foster's body fell.

All six bullets had been fired from his .38 caliber pistol but no posseman was injured.

An examination of the man's riddled body showed two of his wound, were old, an indication that Deputy Gibson's gunfire took effect as Foster fled Friday night after Casey was fatally wounded. (Times Picayune, August 30, 1937, page 27)


This Time They are Thwarted and Four of Them Killed

They attempt to rob two banks at Coffeyville, Kans., when the citizens turn out and a bloody battle takes place - four of the gang bite the dust and three citizens are killed

Coffeyville, Kan., Oct. 6 - The Dalton gang entered this town Wednesday morning and made matters exceedingly lively. There were six in the gang and separating, two of them went to Condon's bank and four to the First National and demanded the cash on hand. At Condon's bank the men were told by the cashier that the safe was regulated by a time lock and could not be opened. They covered him with Winchesters and told him they would wait. In the meantime the other quartette went into the First National bank and ordered Cashier Ayers to hand the money in the vault. At first he refused and attempted to reach his revolver. One of the gang then fired a shot at him. He then handed over what money was in the safe, and after placing it in a bag the gang left and tried to rejoin their confederates. The alarm had been given and citizens quickly gathered and attempted to capture the robbers who were immediately recognized as members of the Dalton gang of outlaws.

Four of the Gang Killed

The robbers fired at the crowd of citizens and the shots were returned with precision and effect. The fighting became general and bullets flew thick and fast. When the smoke of battle cleared away four of the Dalton gang were lying dead on the ground and three citizens were also killed. Two of the robbers were wounded and three citizens were also killed. Two of the robbers were wounded and three citizens had received serious bullet wounds. One of the gang succeeded in escaping, but a mounted posse is in pursuit and it is certain that he will be captured and in all probability will dangle from the end of a hastily improvised noose. The greatest excitement exists and it may be that the wounded member of the gang will also be lynched.

Names of the Killed

The names of the robbers killed and wounded are: Bob and Grant Dalton, Tom Heddy and an unknown man. Emmet Dalton is fatally wounded with a bullet in his right lung. The names of the citizens killed are City Marshal C. T. Connelly, Charles Brown, and George Culbine. Cashier Thomas G. Ayer of the First National Bank. Lucas Baldwin, Thomas Reynolds and Alfred Diets are seriously wounded. (Morning Star, October 6, 1892, page 1)


Coffeyville is arranging for a Chautauqua assembly to be held June 27 to July 6. A very promising array of talent has been secured for the occasion embracing such names as Dr. Quayle, Rev. Sam Jones, Dr. Robt. McIntyre, Eli Perkins and Henry Watterson. It is expected that others will be secured but the list already given promises a most entertaining assembly. (Fair Play, June 3, 1898, page 2)


Independence, Kan., Apr. 16 - At Caney, near here Tuesday night, Mark Killion, a joint, or saloonkeeper while resisting arrest, shot and killed William Garr, a policeman. Killion fled to his home followed by a mob who had threatened him and locked himself in. He stood the crowd off the early Wednesday when he surrendered and was placed in jail. Before Garr was fatally wounded he and Killion exchanged ten shots. Killion was released from jail two weeks ago. Killion's father killed a man in this county 15 years ago and died in the penitentiary while serving his sentence for the crime. Killion's brother is now serving a term in the penitentiary. (Sedan Lance, April 24, 1908, page 6)



Donald David Fox Accident Victim on Highway Sunday

Donald David Fox, 19, route 3, was injured fatally about 12:20 by an automobile on US Highway 75-160 near the intersection of the Peter Pan county road, one-half mile west of Independence.

The youth suffered a fractured skull and died at 3:12 a.m. Sunday in Mercy hospital.

According to Sheriff Lessman who with highway patrolmen investigated the accident, Fox's car, a Cadillac sedan, had stalled and he flagged down a car driven by Don Pitts, rural Elk City, for a push.

Both cars were headed west, Lessman said. Fox suffered fatal injuries when he stepped from behind his own car and was hit by a 1949 Plymouth headed east and driven by Richard Pitts, 1216 West Myrtle.

Richard Pitts told the officers he was travelling at about 40 miles per hour and did not see the youth in time to avoid hitting him.

Pitts was driving his car with his left arm hanging out the window. He suffered a fractured and shoulder dislocation when his arm hit Fox's body. He was admitted to Mercy hospital for treatment.

Donald David Fox, 19, was the son of Lehman and Alice Fox, Grabham Station. He was born November 20, 1932, at West Plains, Mo. He is survived by his parents, of the home, one sister, Mrs. Margie Kinsley, R. R. 2, city, three brothers, Robert Nelson, in the navy at San Diego, Delbert Dale and Jerry Lehman of the home. Also surviving are Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Fox, grandparents at Joplin, and Mrs. Della Nelson, grandmother at West Plains, Mo.
He attended high school in Independence and graduated with the class of 1951. He had previously worked for Continental Can Co., but approximately three weeks ago took employment with Cessna Aircraft at Wichita. (Independence Daily Reporter, Monday, July 7, 1952, submitted by Kristy Fox)


Coffeyville, Kas. Nov 11- Elmer Cales, young farm youth of Caney, Kas., today entered a plea of not guilty when arraigned in district court on a charge of the first degree murder of Miss Marguerite White, 22, his motoring companion.

The young woman died from revolver wounds after a motor car ride the night of June 12. She also lived in Caney. Trial has been set for Nov. 18.

Carl Schuetz, Dearing, Kas., dairyman charged with the first degree murder of his wife, Frieda, also entered a plea of not guilty. His trial is expected to follow that of Cales unless a continuance is granted. (The Hays Daily News, November 11, 1929, page 3)


The South Kansas Tribune says in Montgomery county the Commissioners have in a measure placed the County Poor Farm under the eye of Commissioner Moore, and he is devoting a great deal of time to getting it in good shape. He intends getting the accounts so that each quarter will show its receipts and expenses, and has furnished us with the accounts up to February 15. The aim will be to grow everything possible for the support of the farm, and sell the surplus and use the money for the purchase of supplies which have to be purchased. The prospect for this year is most flattering, as they have above 250 acres in growing crops, and all good.

Why would it not be a good plan for Chautauqua county to do something of this kind? The people often hear that good round sums of money have been paid out for the poor farm but we never saw any one who ever heard of what becomes of the proceeds of the farm. The editor of this paper never could find any indication that the superintendent of the poor farm ever made a report or any statement of his accounts. All the county clerk could muster up was rolls of bills against the poor farm allowed and disallowed. We are not blaming the county clerk one bit for we believe he is a conscientiou gentleman, but the poor farm business on the face of it looks bad. If everything is all right there can be no harm in the people knowing how the business is managed and we would like to see some move made to inform the public on this subject. Would it not be a good plan to get the accounts in such shape that each quarter will show its receipts and expenses.
(Sedan Lance ~ May 28, 1896 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


So Kansas Officials Ship An Unfortunate Human Derelect To Tulsa

Harry Davis, a wreck on the sea of life, brings a horrible indictment against the county officials of Montgomery county, Kansas. Davis is near 70 years of age and is on the verge of the grave with dropsy. His legs are so swollen that he can hardly walk and his lungs affected so he can hardly get breath. David claims that he has lived at Independence, Kansas, for the past year. Yesterday he says he applied for entrance at the county farm in his home county, but was informed that the poor farm was too crowded now. He was given a railroad ticket to Tulsa and instructed to apply here for aid. Davis is at the city jail, where he was given his first meal in 24 hours last night.
(Tulsa World ~ August 27, 1913 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

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