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 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.
The facts above stated are substantially correct.
E. W. Ayers
(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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.—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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.