Sedgwick  County,  Kansas





Harry F. Schmidt Loses His Life in Sand Pit Hole, Foster Parents Are Informed


Harry F. Schmidt, 23, adopted son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Schmidt, 348 Fannie, drowned early yesterday in a sand pit near Great Bend.

An employee of the Lee Davis bakery at Great Bend, he evidently sought relief from the heat by swimming in the sand pit. At 2:20 a.m. yesterday Great Bend police telephoned Wichita police that the boy was located after he had been under the water 45 minutes, and that efforts were being made to revive him.

Later his foster parents and an uncle, D. B. Meyer, 1134 South Hydraulic, were informed of the young man's death. Culbertson mortuary brought the body to Wichita last night.

Schmidt left Wichita last May 1 to take a night job at the Great Bend bakery. He previously was employed by his uncle at the Meyer Delicatessen, 1628 East Douglas, and as a driver for Culbertson mortuary.

Meyer said his nephew was not an expert swimmer.

He was born at Topeka, October 13, 1913, and was reared in the Schmidt home. The family came to Wichita in 1920 and he attended Immanuel Lutheran school.

Besides his foster parents and uncle he is survived by two brothers at Burlingame, Kan.; two step-brothers, Carl, Jr., and Paul; and four step-sisters, Kathryn, Eva Marie, Ruth and Louise, all of Wichita.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Culbertson mortuary with Rev. G. E. Hart officiating. Burial will be in Wichita Park cemetery.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Monday ~ July 20, 1936)


Henry E. Richley Comes in Contact with 60,000 Volts of Electricity on Tuesday

Henry E. Richley, 69, 333 Ellis, carpenter at the Kansas Gas and Electric company, died Wednesday afternoon in a local hospital following burns suffered Tuesday when a wire he was holding fell against a transformer carrying 60,000 volts at the company's plant.

Richley was engaged in fastening a block and tackle to a beam when the fata accident happened. He had been working on a tunnel which is being constructed at the plant.

He was a native of High Prairie, Ia., coming to Wichita 10 years ago from that place. He had been employed at the electric light company for the past year.

He was a member of the United Presbyterian church and was highly respected in his community.

Richley is survived by his wife, Eva, at home; two sons, Richard V., 524 Baltimore, and George J., 1014 East First; one daughter, Mrs. Carl Shapley, 1902 Laura; a brother, George, St. Cloud, Fla.; three sisters, Mrs. Charles Blanchard, Des Moines, Ia., Mrs. Ed Hicklin, Wapello, Ia., six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Lahey & Martin mortuary.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Thursday ~ July 2, 1936 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

Note: Henry Richley is buried in Park Cemetery--Wichita, KS ~~ Lori


Mrs. Cora Bunton Dilley of Reeds, Mo., Dies Saturday; Sister Is Stricken


Death of Callie W. Bunton, 49, World war veteran and former Wichitan, in the United States Veterans hospital here Friday was followed in less than 24 hours by that of his sister, Mrs. Cora Bunton Dilley, 57, at Reeds, Mo.

As if this were not enough, their only survivng sister, Mrs. Ethel Busenbark, Roseburg, Ore., was taken seriously ill Saturday morning as she prepared to leave for Wichita on receipt of the tragic news and will be unable to attend the double funeral services Monday.

The Bunton family resided in Sedgwick county, on Route 1, Wichita, for a number of years in the early days. The children, a number of years ago, scattered after the death of their parents, going to widely separate parts of the country. Callie Bunton had lived in Oklahoma for a number of years and Mrs. Dilley in Arkansas.

Surviving members of the immediate family, in addition to Mrs. Busenbark, include four brothers, Lewis Bunton, Gravette, Ark., John Bunton, Wharton, Tex., Clyde Bunton, Moscow, Kan., and Charles Bunton, Route 1, Wichita. The brothers are expected for the funeral.

Mrs. Dilley also is survived by her husband, T. I. Dilley, at Reeds, and three sons, John Dilly, 737 Fannie, Guy Dilley, 1106 Ida, and Claude Dilley, Reeds, Mo.

Double funeral services for Callie Bunton and Mrs. Dilley will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at the Lahey & Martin mortuary. Rev. H. A. Kuhns, pastor of the Linwood Presbyterian church, will officiate. Burial will be in the cemetery at Kechi.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Sunday ~ July 12, 1936 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Mrs. M. Benoit Bitten on Right Big Toe by Stranger to Wichita

There's varmints in this here city so says a police report.

Mrs. M. Benoit, who, with her husband operates a bakery at 210 East Twenty-first, stepped out the back door of her home at the rear of the bakery Monday night and her right big toe was bitten by a raccoon.

A few feminine exclamations brought the master of the house to the scene. A bed slat came into play and Mr. Coon lost three falls consecutively and found himself counted out, loaded into a sack and turned over to police, who may have booked him on a charge of big toe assault. The injured woman says she would like to prosecute the owner.

Mr. Coon is now at home in Riverside zoo. Visitors please bring peanuts.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Wednesday ~ July 1, 1931 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



Man Who Came to Kansas in Covered Wagon in '71, Dies at the Age of 82


William Russell Wilson, 82, extensive landowner in this section of the state, who came to Kansas from Indiana in 1871 in a covered wagon and $2 in his jeans, died Friday at his home, 1032 Riverside, following an illness of several months.

Mr. Wilson, a resident of Wichita since 1913, left his home in Kent county, Indiana, when a lad of 17. He came to Kansas in company with Taylor Connell, now dead.

From a meager beginning Mr. Wilson, who was a keen trader, amassed large holdings in Reno, Harvey and Sedgwick counties.

He first settled in Decatur county, in the northwestern part of the state, but remained there less than a year, as the Indians banded together to drive ou the settlers.


Mr. Wilson then settled in Brown county, near Fairview, where he farmed for many years. Before coming to Wichita he resided in Dickinson county near Abilene.

He had been retured for a number of years. His passing marks the first death in the immediate family.

Mr. Wilson, who possessed a keen mind, was a firm believer in the stability of Kansas farm lands and never lost an opportunity to acquire new properties. A 200-acre farm he purchased on North Meridian some years ago was sold for $44,000.

He had been a member of the Masonic lodge for more than 50 years, holding a membership at Sabetha, Kan. He was married October 23, 1878.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, at home; five sons, J. T., cashier of the Prairie State bank, and Fred, both of Augusta, Paul, Wichita, Charles, Kansas City, Mo., and Bert, Hutchinson; one sister, Weltha Groll, St. Louis, Mo., and eight grandchildren.


Mr. Wilson divided his farm properties equally among his sons three years ago.

Funeral services will be held Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Downing mortuary with Rev. Earl A. Blackman, Kansas City, Mo., "the fighting parson" and a chaplain during the World war, officiating. Charles Wilson, a son, was in the same regiment with Blackman at Fort Sill, Okla. Burial will be in Old Mission mausoleum. The Dunsford mortuary of Augusta is in charge.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Sunday ~ July 5, 1936 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



The dead body of a boy was yesterday morning discovered in the river about 10 o'clock, just north of the Douglas avenue bridge. It was discovered by some boys who were playing in the vicinity and immediately reported to the authorities. Officer Burrows had the body removed to Dunbar's undertaking rooms where it was identified as the remains of Harvey DeCastro aged 12 years and the son of Paul DeCastro, a hack driver, familiarly known as Shorty. It seems the boy did not return home as usual on Monday night and a search was at once instituted, but no clue or tidings could be found until the ghastly discovery of his dead body. He was naked and had evidently drowned while in swimming. A piece of fishing line was wound around his neck as if he had become entangled in it and it may be that it was the cause of his drowning. Justice Mosely, as acting coroner, empanneled a jury as follows: Levi McLaughlin, N. E. Osborne, Wm. Skinner, H. L. Davis, A. J. Richmond and Elias Carnigan, and called the inquest at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Only a few witnesses were examined and the evidence tended to show that he had gone to the river for the purpose of going in swimming. He had declared that intention on leaving home and was last seen by a young lady leaving the neighborhood going toward the river. In a few moments the jury returned a verdict of accidental drowning. The funeral will take place this morning at 10 o'clock.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Sept. 5, 1889 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


John Robbins Drinks Two Ounces of Laudanum


Declared He Wouldn't be a Bother to Anybody Any Longer


Blind, He Sat on Corner of Market and Douglas

John Robbins, for twenty years a resident of Wichita, committed suicide Thursday night by drinking two ounces of laudanum. He took the fata poison in the morning about about 9 o'clock, and died at night, about half after nine. All day he slept while his daughter, Miss Nellie Robbins, sat by his bedside taking care of him, but not dreaming that her father would never wake again. At 8 o'clock she noticed, with a sudden fear, that he was getting white, although his respiration was regular and natural. She sent for a doctor, but when the physician got to the home, over 408 North Main street, Robbins was dead.

There are none that cannot recall having seen an old white man, with a red handkerchief of netting drawn partly over his face, sitting on the corner of Market street and Douglas avene, grinding a hand organ and sending out all the nationals aira in monotonous regularilty. This was John Robbins, 66 years old, who has been totally blind for ten years, and has sat on the streets of this city grinding out a small pittance for nearly as long. For twenty years he has been in this city, and before he became totally blind he drove a dray. When a young man he lost one of his eyes. The exposure to which he was subjected in driving in all kinds of weather caused him to lose his other eye. Through some unknown cause, an abcess formed on his breast and he has suffered terribly from this eating sore. It was because of this suffering that he took his own life.

It seems from all the circumstances surrounding the case that the deceased calmly figured out that it would be better for him if he were dead. He was anything but morose, and instead of being despondent, he loved to talk. In the morning when he decided to suicide, he went down to a drug store on Main street and bougtht 15 cents worth of laudanum and drank it before he returned home. The bottle that contained the poison was found in his coat pocket, but that part of the label that had the drug store name on it had been cut off, evidently by the druggist, who knew well what he was doing in selling laudanum to the old man. Robbins got the money to buy the laudanum by selling his hand-orgran, his good friend, to a second-hand man. He had been in the habit of taking small doses of laudanum to allay the awful pain he endured from the abscess on his breast.

He leaves two married sons and a daughter twenty-two years old, who has been taking care of him in his sickness, but while he was well he needed no one, for he was very independent. He has taken many trips out of Wichita with his hand-organ and visited many cities in and out of the state, guiding himself by his stick as he has often been seen to do along the sidewalks of this city.

The reason with which he worked out his own destiny is extraordinary, for it shows without a doubt that he was perfectly sane and understood just exactly what he was doing. His daughter, Miss Nellie Robbins, whose mother died when she was but a little girl, tells of her father's untimely death to a reporter for the Eagle as follows:

"Father had been sick for the last week. He just got back from a trip up to Hutchinson a week ago, and took a cold while on the road. He had been wanting the city physician to send him to the hospital, but I guess they didn't want to, for he has been there two or three times before, and doesn't like to stay in the hospital very long. As soon as he was able to be up at all he struck right out. He has been talking of taking his own life for the last year, and has several times said he was going to but something averted it. He was not despondent, but very talkative, and whenever he took any laudanum and lay down on the bed, I always sat by him and at his request, talked to him.

"It was only last week that he wanted to end his life, and asked me to go and borrow a revolver for him. I told him I couldn't borrow one, and he didn't say any more about it.

"Yesterday morning he got up about 8 o'clock. While father was dressing he said in a sort of a determined voice: 'Well, I can't get them to take care of me, and so I will settle it this morning myself and won't be a bother to myself or to anybody.' He wanted some money and had me go down to the second-hand store and sell his hand-organ for him. I did so, but when he wanted me to go and get some laudanum for him, I refused. I stepped out a minute for something and when I came back he was gone. A little while later he came in and told me that he had bought 15 cents' worth of laudanum and some alcohol and had drank it all at the drug sgore or on the street. I don't know which. He laid down on the bed and went to sleep.

"I sat down beside him for a while and watched him. He slept very naturally, and I went on about my work. The lady who has the rooms in the front of the building says that while I was gone she heard him singing very pitiful songs. At noon I was back, and he became about half awake from the stupor. He called to me and wanted me to sit down and talk to him. When I did, he went back to sleep and slept so sound that I became a little worried and went down to see Dr. Jordan, the city physician. He promised to come up to look after my father's condition, but although I waited all afternoon, he did not come. It was about half-past eight last night that I saw father was growing very white. I had never seen him get that way before, and I went down and telephone for Dr. Jordan. He did not come, and I went down to the drug store and found Dr. St. John and Dr. Derrin. I went back for one of them told me that if he had taken laudanum in the morning it was too late to do anything, and moreover he did not think the whiteness meant anything serious, but that father would sleep it off. When I got back I found him still more death-like, and sent for the doctor. They came, but just got here after his death. He died without any struggle and as though asleep.

"Oh, it seems like there is nothing but trouble in this world for us. It is my brother, Ed Robbins, that you may have read about in the papers. He struck a man down near Corbin, with a shovel, and the man died. Ed is now in Lansing."
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Saturday ~ June 28, 1902 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Improvements Already Made---To Be One of the Finest Cemeteries in the State

Some time ago Messrs. A. A. Hyde and Geo. C. Strong decided to make a cemetery out of the land lying between the present city cemetery and the Frisco railroad. A company with a capital stock of $100,000 is being formed to take charge of it, each share calling for $100. The shares are being taken by the leading citizens of the city and it is expected that the ground can be dedicated to its purpose by next spring.

The tract of land to be devoted to the purpose consists of sixty acres and in fact for some years Mr. Hyde has been of the opinion that it was a suitable site for a cemetery. As a result he has been giving the subject some consideration while in other cities, looking over the plan of cemeteries. The one which suggested itself as being of the best is the Spring Grove, at Cincinnati. From it he gained a number of ideas, as well as from Mt. Muncie cemetery at Leavenworth.

At present thirty acres on the west side of the tract has been plowed, sown in blue grass and over two miles of drives made. Receiving a general idea from the owners the drives were laid out and work superintended by Mr. Albert Ellis, of Keene, new Hampshire, who come to the city some months ago with the best of recommendations as a landscape gardener. He had charge of the laying out fo Mark Twain's place and many other similar contracts in New England. Since his arrival in this city he has secured the contract for doing the landscape gardening for the premises of Mr. B. W. Aldrich, G. C. Strong, J. O. Davidson and others. Adjoining the cemetery, Mr. Ellis will conduct a green house and keep flowers for city and cemetery use.

At the southwest corner of the tract will be the only entrance. The entrance way will be of massive stone. A tasty office will be erected near the entrance. A lot one hundred by one hundred and fifty feet is reserved on the plat as a commanding site for a chapel. A vault near it will also be constructed in order that funerals could be conducted with comfort in stormy weather.

The driveways are all of easy circles, there being no short angles or straight lines. At the intersection of driveways a small plot is reserved for ornamentation. The burial ground is divided into lots of various sizes, ellipse in shape. A few sections have been set apart for the burial ground of children whose parents do not own lots. Near the center will be a monument at at each grave a single stone, all of uniform size and shape.

It is stated that some one shall have general supervision of the cemetery and that uniformity throughout shall prevail. No one will be allowed to put walls or fences around graves but it will be the object to make it in appearance equal to anything in the state.

The grading is almost completed and by spring several hundred dollars will be expended in improvements. Telephone accommodations will be given the city from a general office to the office at the cemetery.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Thursday ~ December 1, 1887)


CHENEY, KAS., July 25, 1885

A horrible accident occurred today at the farm of Mr. McCurley. His hired girl named Sievers, about fourteen years old, used coal oil to start a fire which was nearly gone out, the can exploded, scattering the oil all over her clothing and burning her terribly. Mr. McC. tried to tear the burning cloth off her, but the poor, frightened girl run, thus making it worse. With the use of a couple of blankets the flames were finally subdued, but the girl was so fearfully burned that there was no help for her. She died early this evening suffering untold agonies, in spit of all the relief medical aid could give. The funeral will take place this afternoon.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ July 28, 1885 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



The body of the late James Fleshman (drowned at Derby, last Friday) was found at Oxford Monday afternoon. It was brought to Derby and interred Tuesday morning.
(Wichita Eagle ~ June 8, 1887)

Mr. Fleshman, a stock shipper at Derby, had driven some hogs across the bridge, and some of them run back after getting some distance across the river, and ran into the water and got onto a small island some little distance from the shore. Mr. Fleshman removed his clothes and took a short rope in his hand and started to swim to the little island; but after leaving the shore he concluded the current was too strong and turned to swim back to the shore. A young man, William High, who was helping to drive the hogs, seeing Mr. Fleshman struggling in the water, picked up a long pole that lay on the bank and extended it toward him. Mr. Fleshman caught the end of the pole, but lost his hold and sank in the water and was drowned.
(Wichita Eagle ~ June 18, 1887)


Coroner J. W. Wingard yesterday said that Mrs. M. Keach, a widow, living near Sunnydale, Union township, this county, committed suicide the 2nd of this month. She was found hanging by a rope from the limb of a tree in her own yard. There was no particular cause assigned for the rash deed. She made an attempt to take her life about two weeks before but was detected before she could carry out her plans of self-destruction. She was the widow of a soldier in the late war and had been several years a pensioner upon the government. She leaves two children.
(Wichita Eagle ~ June 8, 1887 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



At his home at 1225 South Lawrence avenue, at 3:20 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, Dr. H. F. Sewell, aged 40 years.

This announcement will be a great surprise to the numerous friends of the deceased extant, inasmuch as he was in his usual state of health at 10 o'clock Friday night. The affection that removed him so suddenly was pronounced by the attending physician to be paralysis of the heart.

Dr. Sewell had been a resident of this city only since July 1 last, at which time he assumed pastoral charge of the Lincoln Street Presbyterian church, vice S. L. Hamilton, resigned. In this brief time, however, Dr. Sewell had endeared himself to his congregation and community by his faithful, conscientious discharge of duty.

The ministerial association of the city, of which Dr. Sewell was a member, will have charge of the funeral services, which will be announced later.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ September 20, 1891 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Henry Bolte, one of the first settlers of Wichita, committed suicide by shooting himself.
(The Globe-Republican ~ November 19, 1896 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Was Finished Yesterday and Cars are Running to Hospital

In spite of the rain yesterday morning the street railway company finished up the new bridge across the big river and the cars are now running to within 200 feet of the corner of Douglas and Seneca. The bridge is not yet completed, as the company intend to equip it with both guard and safety rails. These guard rails will be placed one foot outside of the regular rails and the safety rails will one foot on the inside and are for the purpose of keeping the cars from running off the bridge in case they should jump the track.

The ground is still so moist that it is doubtful if any work can be done today. Whenever they can get to work at it, the company expect to finish the West Side line in about two days and a half. The park line will probably be the next one finished and this work is expected to last for about a week.

The Fairmount car ran regularly all day yesterday. It was expected that the first heavy rain would soften up the ground so that the track would spread in many places, but the track must have concluded to play a pratical joke on the management.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ June 2, 1900 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Louie Segerman, One of Wichita's Pioneers, Commits Suicide at St. Louis

Louis Segerman who was known by everybody in the southern frontier committed suicide at St. Louis last week after being released cured from the Jacksonville asylum where he was sent from Oklahoma after killing his wife.

Louis Segerman was one of the pioneers of Wichita. He went to Wellington from the railroad, thence to Caldwell, from there to Harper and finally back to Wichita again about three years ago. He remained here only three months the last time and then pulled out for Oklahoma where he killed his wife.

The following is what the St. Louis Globe-Democrat said of his suicide:

"Some time between Monday night at 10 o'clock and 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon Louis Segerman, a baker, aged 55 years, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor and a case knife in his room at Eugenia street.

"About a month ago Segerman applied to the house where he committed suicide, which is occupied by the family of H. A. Piat, an engineer, for a furnished room. He was accommodated. At the time he told Mrs. Piat that he had recently been released from the Jacksonville (Ill.) insane asylum where he had been the preceeding eighteen months. After he had roomed in the house a few months he found work with a baker on Chouteau avenue. He gave up his room then and was not seen by the Piat family until the middle of last week, when he returned with his month's wages. He then rented a small store room on Twentieth street opposite the Union station, and started a restaurant. He did litlte business, as he could not compete with the free lunch of a saloon next door. He became despondent over his failure, and after several unsuccesful attempts to borrow money he is supposed to have again become insane and took his own life.

When Mr. Piat returned home from his work yesterday evening his wife told him that she believed something was wrong as Segerman had not been out of his room all day, and that the door was locked and no response was made to her calls. Mr. Piat secured a step ladder, and he saw the dead baker lying on the blood-soaked bed, his throat cut nearly all the way around and his arms clasping the lamp. When the door was broken open, a razor and a case knife were found in the bed; both were covered with blood. The evidences of the room showed that it was probable that Segerman had first prepared himself for bed and then, before extinguishing the lamp, took the razor from the washstand drawer, and, after sharpening it on a strap, stretched himself on the bed and gave an awful slash across his throat. It is tought, that after lying still a few minutes, he concluded his object was not accomplished, and, as the case knife was nearest, he used that. With that he sawed away at his neck until the jugular vein was severed and his throat was hacked in a dozen places. After dropping the knife he reached over to the little table near the bed and grabbed the lighted lamp and put his arms about it, pressing it close to his chest. The flame just have been smothered almost immediately, as only a small spot on his underclothes showed evidences of being burned. In that position he died and it was that way in which he was found.

"Mr. Piat called Officer O'Brien in, and the body was taken to the morgue. Sixty cents in change was found in one of his pockets.

Nothing is definitely known in St. Louis about his relatives. All that any one heard him say about his family was when he told Mr. Piat that a married daughter and most of his relatives live in or near Kansas City."
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ August 24, 1895 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

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