SUMNER COUNTY, KANSAS

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

 

ARREST OF HORSE THIEVES

Two young men answering to the names of Charlie King and Albert Haskins were brought to this place from Caldwell in irons this morning by Messrs. Jordan and Taylor. They were arrested at Caldwell last Tuesday by Messrs. Jordan, McClelland, Terrell and Nicholson on a charge of having stolen a team and wagon in Wintersett, Iowa, about four weeks ago. John S. Taylor had followed the thieves from Winterset Iowa, and though they had two weeks advantage in time, he succeeded in striking their trail in Missouri; tracked them into and through Nebraska, followed their devious wanderings through Northern Kansas, crossed the K. P. road at Russell and thence to Great Bend on the Arkansas River, never once losing the trail. From Great Bend the thieves followed pretty closely by. Mr. Taylor went to Medicine Lodge, from which place they started out on a buffalo hunt. Having accertained that his men were in Southwestern Kansas, Mr. Taylor made arrangements to intercept them at every point of egress, and was rewarded for his two weeks hard woke and 800 miles travel by securing his game at Caldwell as above stated. The young men freely admit their guilt and are disposed to make a joke of it. They left today for Iowa penitentiary via Wichita. (The Sumner County Press, Thursday, November 6, 1873)

Sumner County Press, December 22, 1881

THE BLOODY BORDER

The Glory Has Not Yet Departed From the Cow Boy’s Sceptre


The history of Caldwell dates back to the beginning of the cattle drive from Texas in the spring of 1871. Capt. Henry Stone’s log store, the first building erected on the town site, became the resort of the few bold pioneers, who ventured to settle upon a wild frontier. With the influx of Texas cattle came an army of reckless cow boys. These wild, frolicsome “sons of the border” may not be more quarrelsome than the generality of mankind; but their quarrels rarely end except in streaming blood and ebbing life. Situated, as it is, on the north line of the Indian Territory, Caldwell has ever been a favorite resort for the cow boy whether upon his periodical excursion from the cow-camp to the borders of civilization for supplies and a “hoorah,” or for a few days rest after the wearisome drive from Texas through the Territory. During these sojourns in town, the cow boy usually resorts to cards, to drinking and to exhibitions of his skill with his revolver, a brace of which every “thoroughbred” carries through life and parts with in death only. While in his cups, the cow boy is quarrelsome; but all his difficulties are adjusted at the revolver’s point. His victim is rarely a man from the “range” but usually a citizen or shark from the “states.”

July 3, 1871, George Peay, a young man from Cherokee county, who had settled near Caldwell, met a party of cow boys in Stone’s store. Being fond of the social glass, he joined them in a game of cards. Warmed by drink, he uttered a thoughtless word, half in jest, which provoked an answering taunt. His keen retort was cut short by the pistol’s flash and George Peay was laid away from mortal sight, as the first victim in Sumner county of the cow boy’s wrath.

Caldwell the Scene of Another Frontier Battle

Mike Meagher and George Spear Slain

Succeeding murders along the border have followed each other so rapidly since then, that many of them have never been chronicled. Years ago, when there was no law, the murderer did not consider it necessary to flee, but simply kept a sharp outlook for the “avenger of blood.” Of late years, however, there has been some effort made to enforce the laws, and these desperados have been more wary in their lawlessness. Yet the immediate causes of their depredations has never been removed. The large majority of brawls that have been terminated in murder, began in dance and bawdy houses. In every instance the murder’s brain has been fired by strong drink, very frequently sold in violation of law.

It is a notorious fact that the people and city government of Caldwell have permitted the existence of the vilest of vile dance houses and body houses in their midst. Moreover, those who have violated the state laws day by day, in the selling of intoxicants, have been screened and defended by the people of the town. Four or five saloons have been in full blast there for months. It has been argued that these institutions, even though they be unlawful, are essential to the prosperity of the town; that Caldwell’s prosperity depends upon stockmen and cow boys of the range; that they will not patronize a town where these “luxuries” cannot be obtained. The fallacy of these arguments is shown more forcibly by the events of last Saturday than by any reasoning that man can make. The growth and prosperity of any town is injured more by such occurrences as Caldwell witnessed last Saturday than “wine and women” could benefit them in a century.

For some time past, a party of roughs consisting of Jim Talbott, Tom Love, Bill Mankin, Bob Munson, Dick Eddleman, Jim Martin, Doug Hill, Bob Bigtree and Tom Delaney have been loafing around Caldwell. They had been, at one time or another, cow boys, but were resting for the time being.

Talbott, whose real name is Sherman, is a native of Buchanan county, Missouri and a cowardly desperado by instinct. It seams that he is a cousin to one Powell, whom Mike Meagher killed in 1876 while marshal of Wichita. Munson was one of Powell’s “pards” also. Besides, the whole crowd bore Meagher a grudge, because he endeavored to have Davis, who murdered George Woods on the 18th of last August, arrested.

Therefore, during their sprees they sought occasion to quarrel with Meagher and repeatedly threatened his life. For a week previous to the affray last Saturday, this party had been preparing to leave for the Territory. Consequently, they had been unusually boisterous and had been committing various depredations. The police authorities knew that an affray would be started on the least pretext and exercised unusual vigilance, hoping they would leave without any actual bloodshed.

Last Friday evening this crowd went to hear Uncle Tom’s Cabin, attended by their prostitutes. Their conversation was so loud and obscene as to disturb the whole house. Mr. Tell W. Walton, editor of the Caldwell Post, requested their leader, Jim Talbott, to desist from his obscenity. In return, Talbott cursed him and publicly declared that he would “fix him the next day.”

When the theater closed, the crowd gathered on the street and agreed to “fill up with whiskey and fix Meagher and that editor.” They spent the night carousing about the saloons. Meagher’s friends attempted to persuade him to go home, but he refused and spent the night about town. Several times during the night, he came into conflict with the cow boys, who threatened to kill him.

At daybreak, Meagher went to the residence of John Wilson, the city marshal, waked him up and informed him of the situation. By this time the desperados had commenced to shoot off their revolvers in the street, George Spear leading off in this performance. (George Spear was the former proprietor of the Red Light dance house and an elder brother of Dave Spear, the supposed murderer of Frank Hunt.)

When Wilson came downtown, he found Tom Love, Bill Mankin, alias Comanche Bill, Bob Munson and Dick Eddleman armed with Winchester rifles; Jim Martin with a revolver, and Jim Talbott with a needle gun. Love shot off his revolver in Moore’s saloon. Wilson disarmed and arrested him; but when he started to the caliboose (sic) with him, his comrades rushed to the rescue. Wilson called on Meagher to assist him, when the ruffians turned upon Meagher, knocked him down and threatened again to kill him. Wilson induced Meagher to take refuge up the opera house stairway, while he guarded the entrance. In the meantime Love had escaped. The crowd then scattered and things seemed to quiet down, although the authorities of the city were so apprehensive of a riotous trouble that they telegraphed for sheriff J. M. Thralls, who left on the noon train with a posse of twenty men. About one o’clock p.m., Jim Martin, who was armed with a revolver, was arrested for resisting an officer, taken before the Police Judge and fined. He offered to pay the fine if the Marshal would accompany him to York’s store. While crossing the street in charge of the assistant marshal, Talbott, Love, Munson and Eddleman rushed up to rescue the prisoner. The marshal came up, drew his revolver and ordered them to disperse. The crowd scattered and Martin escaped, but as Talbott retreated south, he fired three shots up the street and called on the others to get their guns.

Talbott, Bigtree, Munson and Hill ran to Talbott’s house, which was east of Main street, got their guns and started uptown. By this time, the marshal, Meagher and one or two others had followed them, passing between and through buildings to the rear of the lots on the east side of Main street. The officers and citizens sheltered themselves as well as they could and shot at the desperados, who hid between buildings and outhouses. Every building in that vicinity is riddled full of bullet holes. While his comrades were keeping the attention of the town to the east, Talbott slipped to the north and west and came in to the north of the rear end of the buildings so as to get a cross fire on their assailants. While in this position, Meagher stepped from behind the end of a building and a moment afterward a load from Talbott’s gun had passed through his chest. Meagher died in a few moments.

Having accomplished the primary object of the affray in the death of Meagher, the desperados, eight in number, went to Kalbfleisch’s livery barn in the north end of town, and compelled the attendants to saddle four horses for them. Mounting these, they rode south, beyond the “Red Light.” While there shooting west at the citizens, George Spear started from the dance house with his saddle to toward a lariated horse. Just as he raised the saddle to place it on the horse, he was shot through the heart by some one of the citizens.

Jim Martin, Bob Munson, Doug Hill and Bob Bigtree were mounted on the four impressed horses. Dick Eddleman, when he found there was no horse for him, put down his gun in the stable and asked the boys not to give him away. When the firing was commenced with renewed vigor by the citizens after the death of Spear, Talbott jumped on behind one of the others and the party started east. Two of their horses had been wounded, and after they got beyond the railroad track, one horse was killed and his rider wounded. But this dismounted man climbed up behind a companion, and the five started out on three horses. The battle had been carried on in a hurry-skurry sort of a way for about forty-five minutes. The cow boys were armed with rifles while the officers and citizens had nothing but revolvers.

Just over the hill east of Caldwell, the fugitives met Moses H. Swaggart with a team leading a horse, which they took from him. Heading toward the Territory, they passed W. E. Campbell’s ranche, at the junction of Bluff and Fall creeks; one of their horses was so badly wounded that they could not get it out of the creek. Deserting this one, they impressed two others at Campbell’s ranche and struck out for the Territory well-mounted.

In the meantime, a posse, of citizens had organized and started in pursuit, and so closely did they press the refugees that about four p.m. they were forced to leave their horses and take shelter in a rocky and almost impregnable canyon on Deer creek near Dutcher’s ranch, ten miles from Caldwell. Here they fortified themselves and gave battle for at least an hour and a half without any results on either side. Just at dark, however, W. E. Campbell was crawling up to a particular point where he could get a cross-fire on the foe, when he was shot by one of their number, who seemed to be stationed some distance from the fort as a sort of lookout. The ball grazed Mr. Campbell’s groin and passed between the bones of his right wrist. About the same time young John Hall, who lives a few miles west of Caldwell, had a bullet sent through his hat. This convinced the citizens that they were laboring under great disadvantages, because they were on elevated ground and too often in view of the desperados in the dark defile.

Despairing of taking their fort by night, a guard was thrown out and maintained during the night; but when the morning came the cowboys had gone, leaving their overcoats and two hats. It is impossible to determine at what time the escape was made. Sheriff Thralls and his posse did not arrive until about nine o’clock, so that the guard was less perfect up to that time. But the night was so very dark and everything strange, that it was impossible for many of the guards to keep the direction of their beats. So, it is the general opinion that the prisoners crawled out after three o’clock in the morning.

Sunday morning, Tom Love, Dick Eddleman, Tom Delaney and Comanche Bill were arrested. Comanche Bill was released Tuesday morning, however, as it appeared that he had endeavored to quell all disturbances. It is believed that Love, Delaney and Eddleman are the three unsuccessful applicants for horses on Saturday.

Sunday night J. K. Harmon, his son Ed. and another freighter were camped on Pole Cat creek, not more than eight miles from the scene of Saturday’s battle when these desperados approached them. Two were bareheaded, one shot through the hand and another in the foot. They first helped themselves to all available eatables, next called for tobacco, then ammunition and firearms. Finally they appropriated Mr. Harmon’s four fine horses and one of his companions took their quilts, blankets and started south.

On Monday, Sheriff J. M. Thralls, accompanied by two or three picked men, left for the Territory. Tuesday a message was received stating that he had struck the trail of his men and asking for twenty armed and mounted men. So it seems probable that these lawbreakers will be captured yet, although it cannot be expected that they will be taken alive. They are desperate characters and left Caldwell with 2,000 cartridges. (Submitted by Della M. Shafer)

LAFAYETTE REED CONVICTED OF ROBBING THE MAILS

The following account of the trial and conviction of Lafayette Reed on the charge of robbing the mails in this city during the time he was acting as assistant postmaster we take from the Topeka Commonwealth of the 29th, ult.

Owing to the late arrival of the train from Atchison conveying Judge Foster on Monday, the trial of cases was not resumed at the time ordered. Yesterday morning the court proceeded with the trial of Lafayette Reed, late assistant postmaster at Wellington, Sumner County, indicted at the present term of cour for stealing and embezzling letters containing money and drafts.

The evidence proved that Reed opened and appropriated the contents of a letter containing a draft for $125, drawn by Streater bank, of Streater, Ill., upon the Third National bank of Chicago, Ill. The draft was in favor of W. Hunt who lived near Wellington and was sent by mail from Streater.

Reed forged the endorsement of Hunt's name on the draft and sent it to the Third National Bank with a letter directing them to return the currency to him signing himself George Hale. The request was complied with.

The evidence also showed that en embezzled a second letter containing a draft for $500 drawn by First National Bank of Mount Vernon, Ohio on the Importers and Traders' national bank of New York. This draft was in favor of Abraham Horn who lived near Mount Vernon who endorsed it to the order of his son-in-law, Reason Lovett of Wellington, and sent it by mail to Lovett. Reed intercepted the letter, forged Lovett's name and sent the letter back by mistake to the bank that drew it instead of the bank that it was drawn upon requesting payment and signing himself Walter W. Stone. This draft the bank returned to him. Proof also showed that he embezzled two letters containing currency and addressed to W. J. Jenkins receiver in the land office at Wichita, containing $2.00 and another addressed to the editor of the St. Louis Democrat containing $2.50.

The testimony of a large number of experts, showed conclusively that the letters purporting to come from Geo. Hale and Walter W. Stone and the endorsements on the drafts were in the hands of Reed. The draft which led to his apprehension was one for $395, drawn by C. M. Johnson on the First National bank of Baltimore and made payable to Dr. A. D. F. Ewell of Chikaskia, Sumner County, Kansas. The draft was returned from Wichita with Ewell's name indorsed, and a letter (proven to be in Reed's handwriting) requesting that currency be returned. The drawer of the draft being called in, he advised against sending the money and the draft was very negligently returned. The only clue left then was the letter when being forwarded to the post office department and thence sent to Special Agent Crowell, who after a month's persistent effort, traced it to Reed and arrested him. This led to the discovery of the loss of the other drafts which we have described above. The jury was only out fifteen minutes and came in with a verdict of guilty on all the counts. The minimum time is ten years.

This same Lafayette Reed whose arrest was partly brought about by Dr. S. Mann, postmaster of this city, instigated by malice and the devil and in order to weaken the testimony which should go far to convict him, sought to implicate the doctor in the crimes with which he stood charged. This he did by swearing that Mann was a partner in the interception of the Hunt draft and the forgery of the subsequent endorsements. On this information he (Mann) was arrested by Major Crowell, taken before a U.S. Commissioner at Leavenworth and held under bonds to answer to the grand jury of the U.S. District Court at the late term. That the doctor was fully and completely exonerated, does not surprise any of his numerous friends in this city and country as no one believed him guilty and we take pleasure in publishing the following vindication of his character as an honest though much abused public official and private citizen.

Topeka, Ks., April 27, 1874

To whom it may concern: - I take pleasure in certifying that after a full examination of the charges against Dr. S. Mann, Postmaster at Wellington, Kansas, I am entirely satisfied that said charges are false, malicious and unfounded. They leave no stain upon his character.
Geo. R. Peck, U. S. Dist. Att'y

The facts above stated are substantially correct.

E. W. Ayers
Foreman Grand Jury, U. S. dist. Court,
April 28, 1874

(The Sumner County Press, Thursday, May 7, 1874)

KNOWLES,  BELLE  MARGUERITE

"SHE  LOVED  NOT  WISELY,  BUT  TOO  WELL" --- THE  GRANDDAUGHTER  OF  EX-GOV.  FENTON  OF  NEW  YORK,  TAKES  STRYCHNINE

The Family Highly Respected and Widely Known---Jilted by Her Lover, the Cause of the Rash Deed

(The following particulars of the sad death of Miss Knowles were furnished The News editor by Col. Knowles himself, and must be taken as the only true and reliable account of this gloomy affair.)

Last Monday evening the entire community was astounded on learning that Miss Belle Marguerite Knowles, the accomplished and talented daughter of Col. J. A. Knowles, had taken strychnine with suicidal intent and that she was successful.

Monday afternoon the young lady, who with her brother had returned from the fair on Saturday last, complained of sore throat.  Mrs. Knowles, as the men were employed at their bottom farm about a miles away, tought best to come to Belle Plaine after medicine.  She did so, getting some chlorate of potash.  It was while she and the rest of the family were away that she took the fatal dose.

Mr. John Knowles was the first at the house after she had taken the poison.  He is a musician and began to practice on his horn, when he heard a groan upstairs.  Upon rushing upstairs he found his sister groaning and moaning.  To his question, "What's the matter?" she replied that she had taken strychnine.  He was terrified and rushed to where his father was at work a mile away.  they both hastened back and dispatched a messenger for Dr. J. D. Justice of this city.  The suffering girl was given all the emetics that could be secured, but a few minutes after seven o'clock, before the doctor arrived, she died.  Eye witnesses say that it was a terrible, terrible death.

The father of the dead girl who kindly furnished The News with all the information desired, says that a young Englishman by the name of Earnest A. Hardcastle is largely reponsible for her death.  It seems that Hardcastle five or six years ago was the teacher of the London school located near Mr. Knowles's.  He was smart, bright, intelligent, but considered by some a dangerous man, totally unfit to be the husband of a good, true girl like Miss Knowles.  However, the acquaintances then formed continued and on the girl's part at least, developed into a passionate fondness.  Miss Knowles thought so much of this man that a year or two ago she made a trip to Butte, Montana, to see him.  As far as the family knows he still lives in Butte.  He was engaged to this young girl with whom he corresponded until recently.  Though engaged he did not treat his affianced as he should.  The wedding day had been agreed upon when he became very lax and seemed to lose all the affection that he had or may have had for Miss Knowles.  This is no doubt one of the principal causes for the girl's act.

The only word left was a note addressed to "Ernest."  In this note she charges him (Hardcastle) with driving her mad by his cruel treatment and neglect.  She bids him a "last, long, forever farewell," says her only sin was in loving him too well, and bemoans the fact that he could treat his Marguerite so badly.  The note closes by quoting two stanzas from a story she had read that day.  Not one word of farewell did she leave for the rest of the family.  The father and mother together with the brothers are heart broken over this tragic death of an only daughter and sister.  They firmly believe that the act was committed while she was temporarily insane.  During one of these spells once before, two or three years ago, she tried to drown herself in New York city, and at another time she made the trip to Butte, Montana, while suffering under a mental aberration.

At first it looked as though the act was premeditated, as the family could not think where she had got the strychnine, unless it was while she was in Chicago, it would thus appear, but Mr. Knowles discovered differently Tuesday morning.  Twenty-five years ago in Illinois he had bought some of that poison to kill pests, but changed his mind and did not use it.  He put it away in an old box, in which old papers, valuable and otherwise, were kept.  It was this poison, so harmless for twenty-five years, that she used.  We are satisfied that Miss Knowles was temporarily insane, as she was subject to "queer" and at times melancholy feelings.

Miss Knowles was but a few months over 20 years of age, but a cultured, refined woman in every sense of the word.  The pet and idolized one not only of the family but of all who knew her.  Her people are above the average in intelligence, her mother being the eldest daughter of Ex-Gov. Fenton, the war governor of New York.  Mr. and Mrs. Knowles have spared nothing to aid their bright, talented daughter.  She was sent back to Massachusetts to school and last winter attended Garfield university in Wichita.  Her special forte was music, and as a vocalist she was highly spoken of by the daily papers of Wichita. She always made a fine personal appearance with her jet black hair and sparkling black eyes.

Will any sane man or woman say that a girl surrounded and blessed as this girl was would voluntarily do that that would cause her death?  It is a dreadful thing to take life, especially one's own.

The funeral services were held Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock at the house by Rev. Mr. Miller of Belle Plaine.  the interment was made in the Belle Plaine cemetery.

"One more unfortunate,
      Weary of breath,
Rashley importunate,
      Gone to her death."
(Belle Plaine News ~ Thursday ~ October 26, 1893 ~ Page 1 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

DROWNING OF A KANSAS JUDGE

Caldwell, Kas., June 6---While fishing last night at Bluff Creek, Judge J. M. Thomas of this city was drowned. He was one of the first settlers in Caldwell and has held many important positions.
(Kansas City Star ~ June 6, 1898)

KANSAS CLOUDBURST DROWNS FIVE PERSONS

Wellington, Kas., June 23--A cloudburst just before midnight Sunday caused the death of five persons and the destruction of $75,000 worth of property.

The dead, Mrs. Shirley Sherman, Mrs. Ed West, Albert Hughes, 4 years old, wife of George Jackson, a negro, Vene Borthers, a white farmer.

Men who were on the streets shortly before the occurrences declare that a wall of water six feet high swept down a revine in the bottoms and carried everyting before it. Twenty houses were swept from their foundations and carried from two to four blocks by the rush of the water.

It is supposed that the deluge was caused by a cloudburst at Cicero, six miles north of Wellington.

On the opposite side of the town, Hargis Creek, swollen by a partial cloudburst at Riverdale, overflowed its banks and joined the river in the bottoms.
(Montgomery Adviser ~ June 30, 1908)

KANSAN TRIES TO SAVE GIRL, DROWNS

MULVANE, Kas., Aug 11---Lester Pennick, 17 years old, was drowned in the Arkansas River, west of here, last night when he tried to rescue a girl swimmer who had stepped into a 25-foot sand hole. He was not a good swimmer and sank when others rescued the girl. His body was found today.
(Kansas City Star ~ August 11, 1916)

CONFESSES MURDER HELD

BLACKSMITH CONFESSES SLAYING THREE IN 1912

Conscience Stricken Man's Story Clears Mystery Surrounding Death of Family in Tent

Hannibal, Mo., Feb. 23---John Kidwell, a blacksmith, who was arrested here, confessed that he murdered the McKnelly family at Wellington, Kan., on Sept. 12, 1912. He confessed to Robert Merrick, a railroad detective, who roomed at the same hotel.

Sheriff Lingfelter and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney H. W. Herrick of Wellington, Kan., who witnessed the confession, took Kidwell to Kansas. Kidwell, who is a widower, 43 years old, declared his guilty conscience made him confess.

Kidwell implicated another person in the crime.

Wellington, Kan., Feb. 23---The murder of Theodore McKnelly, his wife and 18-year-old daughter, was onen of the most brutal in the history of Kansas crimes. The father and daughter were beaten to death with a baseball bat, while the assailant shot Mrs. McKnelly, after he had beaten her into unconsciousness.

The McKnelly's were slain in their tent, near here, the night of Sept. 24, 1912. Otto McKnelly, aged 21, a son, was arrested at the time, but was freed at a preliminary hearing.

McKnelly, who was 52 years old, was a car repairer. Ill health caused the family to decide to take up tent life. The murder occurred the first night the family spent in its outdoor home.
(Belleville News Democrat ~ February 23, 1914)

USE OF NAME RILED HIM (HENRY BUSSARD)

Wellington, Kan.—Because he believed the preacher was referring to his family when he spoke of buzzards in a slighting manner, Henry Bussard, a young farmer, struck the Rev. J. A. Taylor, an evangelist, at Atgonla Thursday night, rendering him unconscious for six hours. (Alma, Wabaunsee County, Kansas, October 2, 1908, page 2, submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

WELLINGTON, KAN. HAS THREE FIRES

Wellington, Kan.—Three fires since 3:30 o'clock Monday morning, which consumed barns and outbuildings, the third Wednesday night in a $10,000 double barn which was totally destroyed, has led to the belief that an Incendiary is at work here. He was seen leaving the scene of his last fire, but was not recognized. Coal oil has been utilized to start each fire. (Alma, Wabaunsee County, Kansas, October 2, 1908, page 2, submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer)

NINE PERSONS INJURED IN RAILROAD ACCIDENT

Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Passenger Train Derailed Near Milton, Kansas

WICHITA, Kan., May 14---Nine persons were seriously injured when Kansas City, Mexico and Orient passenger train No. 2 was wrecked tonight near Milton, Kan., 30 miles southwest of here.

The injured are: A. C. Burbanks, Wichita, express passenger; S. Frolechstein, St. Louis; T. W. Vandeveer, Wichita; M. Hansberger, mail clerk, Wichita; -------- Rigby, Wichita; J. D. Workman, Wichita; O. G. Kellerman, Lambert, Okla.; F. H. Madison, Wichita, and Dr. Avery, Eldorado, Kan.

The wreck was caused by spreading rails. The engine did not leave the track by the tender was thrown bottom up, and baggage car was burned, the bottom torn out of the smoker and the chair car left the track. The sleeper remained on the rails.

The injured were taken to a hotel in Milton where physicians were summoned.
(Gazette-Telegraph ~ May 15, 1910)

MEEKER FAMILY

WELLINGTON, KS., Nov. 22---Last evening, Levi Meeker, his wife and 8-year-old daughter were found dead on the Southern Kansas railroad track by his son. It supposed they were struck while crossing the track in a wagon by a passenger train.
(Wisconsin State Journal ~ November 23, 1888)

A KANSAS YARDMASTER SLAIN

Shots from A Box Car Were Fatal to A Hutchinson Man

Wellington, Kas., June 2 - John P. Cates, depot master, and yard watchman here for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, was shot and killed early this morning in the division yards. The bullet came from the top of a boxcar. Cates was making his usual round shortly after midnight when he was surprised by a shot, which he returned. Six shots were exchanged and Cates received two wounds one in the arm and the other grazing his heart.

When a friend reached him and asked who did it, he said, "there were three or four of them," then became unconscious. He died about twenty minutes after reaching home. Two men were arrested near the yards and are in jail but are not believed to be implicated. The car from which the shooting was done came from the West last night. Clothes hangers thrown away near the car and wire for making them which was found today on top of the car lead the officers to believe some peddler did the shooting.

The murdered man who came here from Guthrie two years ago leaves a widow and four children. (Kansas City Star, June 2, 1911, page 1)

A PECULIAR CASE OF WHITE SLAVERY

Caldwell, Kan., Oct. 15---One of the most peculiar cases ever tried in a Caldwell Court was heard yesterday before Police Judge D. U. Ball, when Thomas Austin was given a preliminary hearing on a charge of white slavery.

The particulars of the case are about as follows: Last Friday a young married couple by the name of Venable arrived in Caldwell from Hydro, Ok. The young couple were clean and honest appearing, but on Saturday night the young woman allowed herself to be enticed to the room of Austin. Venable learned of his wife's whereabouts and went to the room and attempted to kick the door in, but hearing no sound within the room, concluded that the occupants had left. On Sunday, Austin had Venable arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace and charged Venable with white slavery, thinking perhaps that he and the woman with him were not married. In the police court trial of Venable Monday morning it was brought out that he and the young woman were really husband and wife and they produced a marriage certificate to prove it. Venable went to trial before the police court without an attorney and F. A. Dinsmoor learned the particulars of the case, he had no trouble securing his client's acquittal, and a warrant was issued at once for Austin on a charge of white slavery.

In the preliminary yesterday, it was shown that Austin had given the woman money, and had bought her about $9 worth of new clothes, and had attempted to induce her to leave her husband and go with Austin to Louisiana. Austin was bound over to the District Court, his bond being placed at $500, which he had not secured up to last night.

Venable and his wife are both about 19 years of age and appear to be very unsophisticated. They claim that they were on their way to Missouri, but stopped here to look for employment on account of having run short of funds.
(Wichita Beacon ~ Friday ~ October 15, 1915)

BROTHER FOUND DEAD

Tom Graves of Wichita was found dead Friday afternoon on the bank of the Shale creek near Wellington. He had gone fishing Thursday and it was believed he died Thursday of a heart attack. The body was found by his brother-in-law, George Peek of Wichita. Mr. Graves was the brother of Mrs. Ray L. Smith of the Lily Lake community.
(Augusta Daily Gazette ~ Monday ~ March 14, 1955)

SHOOTING VICTIM AT SCHOOL IS HELD IN BURGLARY CASE

Arrested After He Begs For Drink Upon Emerging From Hide-Out; Also Is Charged With Assault

WELLINGTON, Sept. 7---Charges of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon were filed today against George Baker, 30 years old, Weatherford, Okla., alleged to have been ambushed and shot when, with three companions, he entered the Meeker district school in Sumner county Tuesday night.

His clothing riddled with buckshot and soaked with blood, Baker was found in a wheat field near Riverdale by road workers whom he had asked for a drink of water. They informed Sheriff John Favor, who arrested the man. He is expected to recover from his wounds.

Baker was said by Favor to have admitted he was shot at the school house by W. P. Hamilton, E. L. Conklin and A. G. Hunt, members of the school board, who had concealed themselves outside the building following reported burglaries. He denied entering the building, however.

The school board members said they fired at two men who left an automobile and entered the building.

One man dropped to the ground but was carried to the automobile by his companion and a third man who had remained in the car.

The trio then escaped.
(Wichita Eagle ~ Sunday ~ September 8, 1929 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


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