Montgomery County, Kansas

Newspaper Articles


Tyro, Kas., Nov. 6 - Preston H. Feltz, formerly a business man of Tyro, today shot and killed his wife and ten-year-old son and committed suicide. All were dead when found.

Feltz and his wife had been separated more than a year. He persuaded his wife and son, their only child, to accompany him to an old cotton plant which Feltz operated when in business here. The tragedy took place there.

Feltz was fifty years of age and his wife several years younger. (Beatrice Daily Sun, November 7, 1915, page 1)


Tyro, Kan., Nov. 6 - Preston H. Feltz, formerly a business man of Tyro today shot and killed his wife and ten year-old son and committed suicide. All were dead when found.

Feltz and his wife had been separated more than a year during which time he had been in North Carolina. Yesterday he returned to Tyro and attempted to affect a reconciliation but according to friends, he was not successful. Today he persuaded his wife and son, their only child to accompany him to an old brick plant which Fetlz operated when in business here. The tragedy took place in an abandoned kiln there.

An hour before the shooting occurred Judge Flannelly of the district court and County Attorney Charles Dise, received identical letters from Feltz in which he requested assistance in adjusting his domestic affairs. He declared in the letters he had been away from Tyro more than a year but his wife refused to come to him. A prominent business man of Tyro is said to have been named in the letters.

Feltz was 52 years old and his wife was several years his junior. (Hutchinson News, November 6, 1915, page 11)


Independence, Kansas - Watt Foulk and Glenn Davis were sentenced here to life imprisonment for the murder of Israel Shadley, a groceryman, at his store in this city the night of September 19 last. (Wichita Searchlight, February 10, 1912, page 2)


Independence, Kan., Feb. 28 - Frank Meyer was arrested Saturday evening charged with the murder of J. Tomkinson, whose dead body was found Friday, and this morning he made a full confession of the crime before Justine Hogan. He was remanded to jail to await the action of the district court. (Kansas City Times, March 1, 1887, page 1)


Negro Captured After Search Lasting Three Years.


Victims Were Slain With Ax as They Slumbered - Scene of Operations Covered States of Missouri, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, St Louis Police Make Arrest of Man Accused of Killings.

St. Louis, March 22. - The investigation of thirty ax murders committed in five states since 1911 was reopened here after the arrest of Loving Mitchell, a negro. The warrant on which Mitchell was arrested charges him with the murder of William B. Dawson, his wife and daughter, who were slain in their home at Monmouth, Ill., the night of Sept. 30, 1911.

Since that time communities in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado and Kansas have been terrorized by similar crimes. In every instance the murderer killed an entire family as they slept by the blows of an ax.

Scores of persons have been arrested, but invariably the police were forced to release them for lack of evident. A list of some of the most notable ax murders follows:

H. C. Wayne, wife and child, and Mrs. A. J. Burnham and two children. Colorado Springs, Colo., September, 1911.
William E. Dawson, wife and daughter, Monmouth, Ill., September, 1911.

William Showman, wife and three children, Ellsworth, Kan., October, 1911.

Rollin Hudson and wife, Paola, Kan., June, 1912 J. E. Moore, four children and two girl guests, Villisca, Ia., June 1912.

Mrs. Mary J. Wilson and Mrs. George Moore, Columbia, Mo., December, 1912 Jacob Neslesla, his wife, their daughter and the latter's infant, Blue Island, Ill., July, 1914.

Mrs. E. B. Matthews, 80, Hartsburg, Mo., October, 1914.

Mitchell's arrest followed a search of more than three years. He had been employed near Monmouth, but disappeared after the murders in the Dawson house. He was later traced to Independence, Mo., and from there to St. Louis. The prisoner was taken back to Monmouth by Chief of Polite Morrison and Mayor Brown of that city. Before leaving, Chief Morrison

said: "Dawson, his wife and daughter were murdered by three negroes, two men and a woman; revenge for attentions which the negroes believed Dawson had shown their relatives was the motive for the crime; the negro woman in the case I will arrest soon; the other man is now in the Joliet (Ill.) penitentiary." He added that he had no evidence that these negroes were connected with any other ax murders. [The Democratic banner.(Mt. Vernon, Ohio), March 23, 1915]


Preliminary Trial of the Alleged Bender Women

Several Witnesses Testify Positively as to Their Identity - Others are Positive That They are not the Benders - Held for Trial

The Alleged Benders on Trial

Oswego, Kan., Nov. 19 - The preliminary examination of Mrs. Almira Monroe and Mrs. Sarah E. Davis, alleged to be the famous Bender women, began yesterday morning in Justice Kiersey's court, and at an early hour people from the country and the city filled the room.

In the morning nothing was done, but when court convened at one o'clock the testimony on the part of the State was begun.

C. W. Booth of Cherryvale, first testified that he knew the Bender family, but knew Kate the best; that Kate and he worked in a hotel in Cherryvale. He saw her afterward at a dance, and was acquainted with her sufficiently to identify her when he met her. He continued: "I visited the Bender place with Colonel York in the spring of 1873 looking for York's missing brother. We went to the house and made inquiries and John took us down on Drum creek to show us where some one had shot at him. He showed us a tree perforated with bullets. From there we went home. The second Monday following we went to the Bender farm and found the place deserted, searched around and found several bodies terribly mutilated."

Then the attention of the witness was directed to the defendants to identify them and the house became painfully still as he scrutinized closely the features and form of the alleged Kate. Then he answered: She bears an awful striking resemblance to Kate Bender. The cross examination brought out nothing further than what was testified in chief. The witness was unable to identify the old woman.

T. C. Dick was next called and testified that he had had a personal acquaintance with the Bender family, having lived close to them for two years. He knew Kate well and was familiar with her general features and form. He saw these women get off the train at Independence a few weeks ago, and thought the younger woman filled the bill for Kate Bender and from his recollection she was Kate. The cross examination brought nothing further than to confirm strongly his testimony in chief.

J. A. Handley next swore, I freighted from Fort Scott to Independence from 1869 to 1873. I knew the Bender family well and saw Kate and John often. I used to stop there to buy provisions and to get water. I remember distinctly how they looked and would be able to identify them now.

Witness was shown the women, Monroe and Davis, and testified: That is old lady Bender and that is Kate, pointing to each.

Held Without Bail

Oswego, Kan., Nov. 20 - the first witness called yesterday morning for the State in the preliminary examination of the alleged Bender women was L. F. Dick of Parsons. He swore: I have lived in Labette County twenty-one years. I know where the Bender farm is and knew the family well. I saw the young woman Kate, at Sunday school and several times at the house. I also saw the old lady there often and had some conversation. I have sufficient remembrance now of the Bender family as to distinctly remember how each one looked and I have now in my mind how the women looked at that time. Several things in Kate were strange, and that was her belief in supernatural powers an din Spiritualism.

The testimony of Dick was of the most importance and damaging to the defense. The old woman seemed to realize it the keenest. Several times she arose to her feet and muttered under her breath something unintelligible. Once only - and that Monday - did the alleged Kate wince and show the effect the identification had upon her.

The first witness introduced for the defense was Thomas James. He said, I think I saw the Benders often enough to know them. The old lady Bender's language was "Dutchy." Witness made a thorough examination of the defendants and said that in his best judgment they were not the Benders. Cross examination by the State proved the fact that the witness was color blind. Witness closed his eyes and tried to describe the defendants, but failed.

Silas Toles testified, "I know the Bender farm and the Bender people. Saw them first when I went to buy groceries. I saw Kate and John quite often. I had a long talk with Kate once when coming home from a camp meeting. This was in 1872. Kate had light blue eyes, light hair, slim form and graceful step, and was about twenty-two years old. The old lady was about fifty years old and had small dark eyes. I think if I met them now I would know them. The women here, in my opinion, are not the Benders.

The defendants were placed on the stand and gave in detail the history of their lives. Mrs. Davis (supposed to be the notorious Kate gave a straight forward story, telling in detail where she had been and the main incidents of her life for the past twenty years, developing the fact that she had had as varied a matrimonial experience as her mother, having been married to four different men. The cross examination failed to shake her evidence in the least.

At the conclusion of the evidence and arguments the justices decided that there was sufficient evidence to hold the accused without bail. (Thomas County Cat, November 21, 1889)


Wyatt Earp, the subject of the following sketch, is known to many old timers. The account is from San Francisco and is dated Feb. 2:
Last night Wyatt Earp the "bad man" and prizefight referee, engaged in a row with Danny Needham, the well known exponent of physical culture. When the turmoil was over Needham was waiting for more, while Earp was led away by his friends, a bleeding, confused mess.

The row took place is a saloon, Earp having accused Needham of having led his brother Jim astray. Needham let both hands go and for a moment Wyatt did not know how things came so. He was smote on the nose, the jaw and the body. In response to the attack he did the best he could to defend himself but his efforts amounted to nothing and in a moment he rolled over dazed.

Friends sprang to the rescue of the falling referee. I had no gun no me or I would not have been bruised this way, he said to a friend. My pistol is with its uncle, he said sadly. Earp now has his pistol and is hunting for Needham. (The Globe Republican, February 10, 1898, page 4)


Wichita, Kan., October 10 - Allie Ogee, who was thought to have been the escaped member of the Dalton gang, and whom the Coffeyville party is pursuing, as it supposes, in the Territory, is in this city, and has been here continually for the past nine months, working in the Dola packing house. He can prove by hundreds of friends that he has not been out of the city during the past month. The posse is evidently after the wrong man.

Dr. Wood, of Coffeyville, Ogee's foster father, is here and says he cannot understand how Ogee's name became connected with the Dalton's. As boys they knew one another, but Ogee always disliked the Daltons and they have been been together of recent years. (Phillipsburg Herald, Phillipsburg, Kan., October 20, 1892, page 3)


So Declares Governor in Speech Delivered at Coffeyville - Coffeyville, Kan., Oct. 28 - Henry J. Allen governor of Kansas, speaking here tonight against the Ku Klux Klan said: "I am here to tell you very frankly tonight that I have directed the Attorney General to bring an action against the officials of this Klan to expel them from this state. They have no charter to do business in Kansas. Their charter is granted at Atlanta and to make this incredible organization legal in this state their charter must be given the sanction of the Kansas Charter Board." (The Liberal Democrat, LIberal, Kan.) November 2, 1922, page 9)


Two Half-Breed Indians Invade a Kansas Town - In the Presence of Ten Men They Secure $2500 - Three officials of the Caney Valley, Kan. Bank were suddenly confronted by two unmasked robbers, covered with revolvers and after a show at resistance the bank was coolly robbed of $2500 in cash a few afternoons ago. The robbers were the notorious desperado Henry Starr and a halfbreed Indian, also an outlaw, whose name is Newcomb.

In the bank at the time were Cashier perry Hollingsworth, Assistant Cashier H. A. Schurr and Judge McEnergy, Vice President of the First National Bank of Coffeyville, where the Daltons met their fate.

As the robbers reached the bank counter each man pulled revolvers. Assistant Cashier Schurr jumped backward into the vault and closed the door after him. The other two men were at the mercy of the robbers who vaulted the counter. Starr ordered Hollingsworth to open the door of the vault, saying that he would kill him if he refused. At this Schurr opened the door from the inside fearing the threat would be carried into effect, but was coolly told to wait a minute.

Starr covered the two bankers with his pistols and had Newcomb reach under the cashier's counter and secure the two Winchesters and a revolver lying there.

Then Schurr was ordered to open the vault door and at the point of a Winchester was made to place all the money in the vault $2000 in a wheat sack and from the money drawer $500 was added. All this was done very quickly.

Starr jumped over the counter just as a business man came in to make a deposit. Starr ordered the man to throw up his hands, and was obeyed. Starr backed to one side of the entrance just as another customer entered with bank book in hand.

It was nearly the closing hour, and in five minutes, perhaps, the robber had seven citizens in line, each with his hands up.

"The Daltons are not all dead," said Starr to the terrified bank officials and citizens. "I guess we'll pay the bank across the street a visit," he laughed.

It was 3 o'clock and Starr calmly closed the bank doors but without turning his back to the prisoners. Then the robbers marched the ten men back through the bank into a yard surrounded by a high board fence, locked the door, walked hurriedly out at the front, mounted their horses and rode rapidly southward. It was ten minutes before the alarm was given.

When the alarm was finally given the news of the daring robbery spread rapidly and a posse of citizens was quickly organized and started in pursuit. Before the start could be made, however, the robbers had secured an advantage of fully thirty minutes.
The bank was soon surrounded and the still frightened bank officials were too overcome to accurately state their loss further than that everything in sight in the money line had been secured by their visitors.

Henry Starr is one of the notorious Dalton gang, and only recently escaped from jail. (Friendship Weekly Register, April 6, 1893)


Coffeyville Official Resigned After Being Found at a Lodge

Coffeyville, Kas., Dec. 1 - Fred Wanenwetsch, chief of police, resigned last night following a raid on the Eagles' Lodge where Wanenwetsch and the city clerk were found with other members of the order. The raid was made by the sheriff's office. Seventy-two gallons of beer and forty-four gallons of whisky were obtained from Owls' and Elks' lodges. The hearing of evidence in an ouster suit against Mayor Rice, Chief Wanenwetsch and other city officials has just ended here. The chief testified on the stand that he knew nothing of the sale of liquor here. Arguments in the ouster suit still are to be made. (The Kansas City Times, Monday, December 2, 1912, front page)

We were this week shown a very handsome white bronze monument that is to be errected in the Robbins cemetery, in memory of Mrs. Walker.  Also a small one for a little son of Mr. Wesley.  Mr. J. M. Sherburne is agent for these excellent monuments, and he informs us that these will make the fifth that he has erected in this one cemetery.  The company presented him with a handsome soldier medallion, as a testimonial of their good will, for his services in their behalf.
(Coffeyville Weekly Journa ~ Saturday ~ November 14, 1885 ~ Page 1)


T. M. Hobson, the house mover of Paola, Kansas, moved the residence of G. T. Braden a short distance east of the old location last week.  Mr. Hobson is known all over eastern Kansas as a mover of buildings, and has moved more of them than any other man in this part of the state.  He is thoroughly equipped for this kind of work.
(The Evening Star ~ Independence, KS ~ Wednesday ~ April 24, 1907)


Leonard Davis, Coffeyville, Known Here, Accidentally Shoots

Mrs. Wilkins of Quaker Valley and her nephew and Niece, Loren and Myrtle Davis of Coffeyville, were here this morning on their way to Coffeyville.  Loren and Myrtle had been visiting Columbus friends and their aunt, Mrs. Wilkins in Quaker Valley for the past several days.  They were called home on account of their brother, Leonard Davis, having accidentally shot and killed a playmate in Coffeyville yesterday.  Leonard Davis has frequently visited in Columbus and has a number of friends here.  Yesterday's Coffeyville Journal gives the following account of the tragedy:

Floyd Hopkins, 15-year-old son of W. R. Hopkins, an employe of the National refinery, was shot and almost instantly killed shortly after 12 o'clock today at the home of Lennie David, 1305 West Seventh street, when an old muzzle-loading shotgun was accidentally discharged.  Young Hopkins and Wayne Baker were at the Davis home visiting with young Davis.  The boys were examining an old army musket which had been bored out and converted into a shotgun.  They were in the kitchen of the Davis home at the time of the tragedy.  The Davis boy had the gun when it was discharged.

The charge of shot struck young Hopkins under the chin, tearing away both of his jaws and nose and blowing out the base of his brain.  The Krugg hospital was notified by phone and Dr. Flack hastened to the scene in his automobile, reaching the Davis home within fifteen minutes after the accident, but Hopkins was then breathing his last.

Both Davis and Baker state that the accident was purely accidental.  The three lads were companions and were planning on going rabbit hunting.  Young Davis got down the old shot gun and the trio was inspecting the weapon when it was suddenly discharged.  Neither young Davis nor Baker can explain what caused the gun to go off.

The body of young HOpkins was allowed to remain on the floor of the Davis home for more than an hour while an effort was made to get Coroner Aldrich at Caney over the telephone.  The body was removed at about 2 o'clock to the morgue of the Coffeyville Furniture company.  There seems to be no doubt but that the killing was accidental and it is not likely that the coroner will hold an inquest.
(Columbus Daily Advocate ~ Friday ~ January 1, 1915 ~ Page 1)

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