Reporting Mainstreet

By Eddie J. Shaw

More about Perth, Mrs. (Bessie) C. F. Kingsley of Conway Springs sends us a note and newspaper clippings that tells about Perth when it was a prosperous town 55 years ago. The clipping tells about the McEachern settlement. In this family were the mother and three sons, Neil, Allen and Alex who were too young to take up claims. The family came from Scotland and the town of Perth was named from Perth, Scotland. The land that Perth was laid out on was the claim of the daughter, Katie. She was Katie McEachern Patton and the mother of Mrs. Frank C. Wright of Wellington. (Submitted by Pam McEachern)


Wellington, Kan., May 29 - Wellington's cyclone visitation has made it for the time the chief object of interest for all southern Kansas. No such crowds have visited this city before as those which since earliest day light have been pouring in on every railroad and highway. On all its four lines entering here the Santa Fe has been running excursions from as far north as Hutchinson, south from Arkansas City, and west from Medicine Lodge, while the Rock Island has been equally industrious in forwarding sight-seers to the stricken city. Division Passenger Agent Murdock of the Santa Fe, estimated the crowd at 15,000 which is an exceedingly conservative estimate. It is the common remark of those who have witnessed similar scenes that in the extent and completeness of the destruction it transcends anything in their experience. Other like calamities have been attended with a greater loss of life, but rarely has a picture of such utter desolation and ruin been presented than that seen in the devasted district.

The miracle of it all is that the loss of life was not fourfold greater. This is to be attributed to the fact that the churches and the school houses in the tornado's path were all empty and the business blocks practically deserted excepting the two hotels where eight of the casualties so far reported occurred. The death list remains at the figures given in the dispatches of yesterday, with all the injured ones in fair way to recover, except Mrs. Murphy, the aged lady who was taken from the burning ruins of the Cole-Robinson block and Jesse Brown, the colored barber.

Funeral of the Victims

The funerals of six of the cyclone's victims - Mrs. Sasher, her sister, Miss Kitrie Strahan; Leonard Adamson, Ida Jones, Horton Upson, and Professor James Mayer - took place this afternoon from the Methodist Church. James Hasty was buried during the day by the Odd Fellows, while the funeral of Ed Forsythe will take place tomorrow. The body of Thomas Cornwall had been forwarded to his home near Belle Plain and that of Frank Campbell to Williamsburg, Ky. The ruins have been diligently searched. Tomorrow the work of clearing away the wreck will be vigorously and systematically begun.

Notwithstanding the character of the day, since daylight carpenters, bricklayers and tinners have been busy making the partially wrecked buildings habitable. Temporary shelter has been provided for homeless unfortunates and a relief organization has been organized to raise the necessary funds to keep them from absolute destitution and want. The Presbyterian and Lutheran churches were well protected by cyclone policies and will be rebuilt at once. The twenty thousand dollar school house destroyed will in like manner be in part restored by the insurance companies. Of storm insurance or residence and business property there was to little as to be hardly worth mentioning. The absolute loss will be a quarter of a million of dollars. (Daily Inter Ocean, May 30, 1892)


Arkansas City, Kas., Sept. 6 – Lakin Herron, the pitcher of the base ball club of this city, fell dead yesterday afternoon while playing in a game with the Joplin, Mo., nine. The seventh inning was finished and, as Herron stepped out of the box, he fell lifeless. Over exercise brought on heart failure. (The Guthrie Daily Leader; Guthrie, OK; September 6, 1901 - Transcribed as Written by D. Donlon)


Arkansas City, Kan., Sept. 5 – A cattleman, who came up from the strip last night and is well acquainted with the Doolan-Dalton-Starr band of whisky peddlers, brought in the information that the body of Bill Doolan, the man who escaped from the Coffeville fight, was found five miles from Ingalls, shot through by one of the marshals. (The Guthrie Daily Leader; Guthrie, Oklahoma; September 6, 1893 - Transcribed as Written by D. Donlon)

High School Girl Killed In Bus Crash

Oxford, Kas. (IP)—Anna Marie Rice, 18-year-old student at the Oxford consolidated high school, was killed Tuesday in the collision of an automobile and a school bus in which she and 15 other children were riding two miles northwest of here.

Joyce Walker, 14 another student, suffered a broken clavicle and head injuries which were not regarded as critical.
(Hutchinson News ~ May 4, 1943)


Belle Plaine Murderer Commits Suicide


Showing He Lived Under an Assumed Name

"I never saw a more excited crowd than gathered around the jail in Wellington Thursday morning when it was learned that Christy, the man charged with murdering Ed. Pierce, had been found dead, suspended from a small rope in his cell." These are the words Mr. L. D. Hanaway, a Kansas City traveling man who was in the city yesterday and who was in Wellington on the morning of the suicide.

Every reader is familiar with the leading facts in connection with the Christy murder case. Ed Pierce conducted a hotel at Belle Plaine and on the 9th of June Christy, whose wife was living in the country near that town, engaged Pierce to drive him to her home. A few hours later Pierce was found dead in his buggy and Christy was not to be found. He was afterward captured and brought to this city and placed in the county jail for safe keeping. He was tried in Wellington the first of the week and Tuesday morning the jury brought in a verdict charging him with murder in the second degree.

Early Thursday morning his dead body was found by a fellow prisoner, at the end of a rope which had been tied to a heating pipe in the ceiling of the cell occupied by Christy. The rope had been taken from his cot. He doubled the rope over the heating pipe and then wound it through the bars of his cell. This did not enable him to get clear of the floor, and when found he was standing on his tip-toes with his heels off the floor, apparently having slowly choked himself to death. His features were only slightly distorted. His eyes were closed and he had the appearance of being asleep. His arms were by his side and his hands tightly closed. He wore the same clothing that he has worn since his trial but his coat was tightly buttoned and he presented a better appearance than usual. He had disturbed nothing in his cell, with the exception of the cot from which he took the rope that hanged him.

When his clothing was searched several letters were found, and in the following he inflicted a curse upon his wife and the jury that returned a verdit against him, stating that they are all directly guilty of murdering an innocent man:

"I wish to leave a word to my wife and the jury who brought in a verdict of guilty against me, that they are all directly guilty of murder, and that not one of them will ever prosper. I am entirely innocent of the crime charged in this case, and have not had a fair trial, so I do not care to live any longer. I leave my love and best wishes to all my people back east, and also to my wife's mother and my niece, Edna Muller, and hope they will come and see me. As for my wife, I said when I married her it would be till death do us part, and I will go into the vast unknown with her guilty face burning on my brain. Many thanks to Mr. Holliday, George McCleur and Mr. Fred --------, Caldwell marshal, for many little favors they have shown me. And hoping to meet you all in the world where money does not buy anything, I will say good-bye forever.


"Time alone will show that I am right in this. No one will ever know how I loved this woman, and I hope this will be a lesson to her that she will in the future lead an upright life, and I only hope she will never get another man to marry her."

After Christy's death it was discovered through an identification card which was found in his clothing that he has either been living under an assumed name, or has been in the past. In one of his pockets was found an accident policy, issued October 29, 1902, by the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance company of California for $1,000. It was issued to Edwin Wilson and contained a receipt for the premium of $25.50. It was made payable to his wife Rose.

Accompanying this policy was a card, one side of which read as follows:

"Identification card. My name is Edwin Wilson. Residence, Mulvane, Kansas. Employed by A. T. & S. F. Ry. Should I be killed or injured, notify Rose Wilson, my wife, address Mulvane, Kansas.

Christy was about 35 years of age and the evidence produced at the trial showed that he had led a wandering life. It was stated yesterday that when Mrs. Christy was notified of his death she refused to take charge of the body and that neither she nor her folks card to see him. The body was buried in the potter's field at Wellington yesterday.
(Wichita Daily Eagle ~ Saturday ~ September 19, 1903 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)



Well Known Wellington Man Ended His Life Last Night

A telephone message from Harry Woods of the Wellington News last night stated that Charles J. Humphrey, a man well known throughout southern Kansas, had committed suicide at his home at 6 o'clock. Death came from a pistol shot through the head.

Mr. Humphrey was one of Wellington's wealthiest and most highly respected citizens. He was about 40 years of age and graduated from Amherst college with the class of 1889 and came direct to Wellington, where he has since made his home. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Sumner County High School and attended a meeting of the board yesterday afternoon. He went home and asked his wife to go down and execute some legal papers preparatory to taking a trip to Hot Springs. When she returned it was to find her husband on a bed with a bullet home through his head and the pistol in his right hand.

For some time Mr. Humphrey has been despondent over his health, but his friends did not consider this a matter that would lead him to take his life. During the winter he suffered a severe attack of the grip and had not entirely recovered. For some days he has been straightening up his business matters preparatory to taking a rest and a trip for his health and expected to leave in a few days. It is said that for some time he has been telling his stenographer that he wanted to die, but they laughed at him. Yesterday he took a stenographer home with him to complete his business arrangements to leave and as she left the stenographer laughingly told him he had his affairs in such shape that he could die "any old time." He rebuked her for taking his illness so lightly, but she thought nothing more of the matter.

After the trustees' meeting he went to a hardware store to purchase a pistol, saying that the muskrats were doing considerable damage on his ranch and he was going hunting. He purchased a 38-calibre revolver in the store and on the street conversing with friends he seemed as rational as ever and no one thought he was contemplating death.

No reason can be assigned for the death except ill health. His business mattes are in the best of shape and an estate of some $60,000 is left a wife and baby.
(Wichita Eagle Daily ~ May 5, 1903 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


A Reign of Terror in Sumner County, Kans.---Four Men Shot, One Hung, and Two Wounded

Sumner county, one of the extreme southern counties in Kansas, has been disturbed very much of late by the horrible tragedy at Caldwell, in that county, where two men named Tulden and Anderson were murdered by a man named McCarty, who made his escape into the Indian Territory. The escape of McCarty created no small amount of bad feeling among the people of Sumner county. The result was a vigilance committe, or in plain language---a mob. The following particulars of the outrage are furnished by the Kansas City Times:

This party, according to the statement made by our informant, was composed of horse thieves, gamblers and the reckless roughs of the border, with a few respectable but hot headed citizens. They organized, mounted and passed over into the Indian Territory, and succeeded in finding McCarty, who promptly surrendered himself when called upon to do so. He was taken out into the prairie and shot, and his body left as food for the wolves.

After their return home a terrible shooting affair took place at Wellington, the county seat of Sumner. A reckless fellow, named Jack Lynch, became involved in a quarrel, during which a respectable citizen of Wellington was shot dead, it is said by accident. At the same time a man named Hopkins, and another named Lynch himself was shot and wounded in the legs and feet. Lynch was immediately arrested and confined in jail to await legal action.

Meanwhile the vigilantes, fresh from their trip into the Indian Territory, called their party together at Caldwell, and all marched over to Wellington, a distance of over twenty miles. By some means the Sheriff, or Constable, became apprised of the approach of the vigilantes, and escaped out of town with the prisoner and remained concealed out upon the prairie all night. The mob made a diligent search for their victim, but failed to find him or his guard. On the following night they made a sudden descent upon the town, and succeeded in capturing the wounded man, Lynch, and at once proceeded to hang him to a tree within sight of the town where he was captured.

The border is acquiring the reputation of lawlessness more rapidly than before and during the war.
(Quincy Whig ~ May 14, 1872 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


Yesterday afternoon the police arrested Thomas Jackson on a dispatch from the sheriff of Sumner county. Last night the sheriff arrived, handcuffed him and took him to Wellington. The charge against him, it seems, is bond jumping. He was accused of some minor criminal offense at Mulvane or Belle Plaine, and was released on bond to appear for trial on a certain day. He did not appear and his bond was forfeited.

Jackson is the man who became so notorious here, first as the spotter for the Law and Order League and afterwards for suing a received for the same on the plea that he was a creditor and the institution was insolvent. (The Wichita Daily Eagle, May 1, 1894)


A Belle Plaine Mother Kidnaps Her Own Child

Belle Plaine, Kan., Sept. 25 --- This part of Sumner county is considerably stirred up over an exciting contest for the possession of an adopted child. Mrs. Laura Decker, whose maiden name was Lambert, came here and hiring a livery team and driver, drove to Red Bud, Cowley county, to the home of Floyd D. Myers, where she took her 7-year-old daughter, Pearl, and returned to Belle Plaine.

She expected to leave for home, but before train time, Mr. Myers, who had adopted the child, came to town driving like mad, and had a warrant issued for her arrest on the charge of kidnapping. She was placed under arrest and arraigned before a justice, but before the trial, the case was dismissed. It seems the woman was ill at the county poor farm at the time her child was adopted and knew nothing about it, and now that she is able to take care of it, is anxious to regain possession of the girl. She has been allowed by Mr. Myers to keep her.
(Topeka Weekly Capital ~ Tuesday ~ September 28, 1897)


John Kucera, a farmer living near Bluff City in Souther Sumner County, came to Arkansas City in search of his wife and three grown sons, who left home without notifying him. The sons were all found and were persuaded to return to the farm. They said Mrs. Kucera had departed for St. Louis and her husband followed her. There was no quarrel previous to the breaking up of the family, the wife and sons only wanting to get away from the hard work on the farm.
(Sedan Lance ~ Friday ~ March 17, 1905)

Mrs. Eugene McKibben, living near Mayfield, jumped into a cistern and saved her baby, just big enough to begin to walk, from drowning. She stood in the water which was up to her armpits, holding the child until its father came from the field and drew them out with a rope.
(Sedan Lance ~ August 7, 1902)

A midnight fire at Hunnewell, Sumner county, literally wiped out the business part of the town.
(Colored Citizen ~ Topeka, KS ~ February 25, 1899)

The boomer's camp at Hunnewell was much excited last week over the killing of several horses and the hamstringing of several others by shiftless boomers, who claimed that no one had a right to the advantage which possession of a fast horse would prove in the race for land. Strong talk of lynching was indulged in if the crime could be properly located.

The Ladies Cemetery association of South Haven has taken advantage of the early rush of harvest hands to that section to have the cemetery fixed up. The men have come in a little too early for hearvest and some of them have signified a willingness to work at very reasonable wages until harvest begins. The grouns are being mowed and cleaned up and the old sunken graves filled. It would surprise the community to know the number of graves that have been discovered which had been entirely lost sight of, and also the number of sunken and neglected ones that have been filled up and properly cared for.
(Fair Play ~ Fort Scott, KS ~ Friday ~ July 1, 1898)


Wichita, Kan., October 30 --- A spark from a Santa Fe engine started a prairie fire near Argonia last night, which caused a large loss of property and the death of Mrs. Charles Twining, wife of a prominent farmer and politician of Sumner county. In the high winds the flames became uncontrollable and quickly spread over a wide scope of country, enveloping the farm on which the Twinings lived. The out buildings first caught fire and soon afterward the residence, in which Mrs. Twining had taken refuge, and before succor could reach the scene the building was a wreck and Mrs. Twining's body was buried in the ruins.

A large quantity of grain and hay and many head of stock are reported lost.
(Topeka Weekly Capital ~ Thursday ~ November 5, 1891)

The rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer, say the union labor folks but in spite of this, there is only one pauper in the Sumner county poor house and Sumner county has a population of 36,000
(Topeka State Journal ~ Tuesday ~ October 9, 1888 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)


John Ringling Purchases Interests of Former Wellingtonian

Sale of the five competitors of the Ringling group of circuses to John Ringling, announced Monday, has a local significance because of the fact that it probably removes for all time from the circus world Bert Bowers, a Wellington boy.

Bowers, who joined his first circus when a boy here, made his millions in the show business.  Afterwards, he added to his wealth thru wise investments, and for several years has been in the banking business at his present home in Indiana.

A number of years ago he purchased a home in Wichita for his father and mother, both of whom later died there.  His last visit to that city was last winter, when he came to see his mother at the time of her fatal illness.

During that last visit to this section of the country, negotiations were on for the purchase of the Sparks show by the American Circus Corporation, in which he was one of the heaviest stockholders.  The shows controlled by the American Circus Corporation, which were sold to Ringling this week, included the Sells-Floto, Hazenbeck and Wallace, John Robinson's and the Al G. Barnes wild animal show.

Charles B. Frederick, Wichita man who is spending his first season at home after having been connected with circus life for half a century, and life long friend of Bowers, is confident that the former Wellington youth is out of the circus business for good.

"Bert has so many other interests now that this in all probability means the end of his connection with the circus business for all time to come.  He has made his millions, and could just as well hae retired long ago, but it's hard to get away from the show life once one has gotten it into his system," said the veteran showman.  "He'll probably start out to take a trip around the world in an airplane or something like that."

Frederick expressed the opinion that several of the shows purchased by Ringling will be shelved before the next season opens, while others will be enlarged.  Some of the larger shows have failed to return any profits during the season now nearing a close, according to reports which reach Frederick thru friends in the business he has met during his first year away from the sawdust rings.

Associated with Bowers in the ownership of the five organizations just sold to Ringling were three or four of the leading circus men of the country.
(Wellington Daily News ~ September 11, 1929 ~ Submitted by Susie Cochran)


Some months ago John Harris, a well known colored man, left here to go to some point in Oklahoma for a short time.  He has not returned as he expected to and some of the colored people think he came back but was made way with.  We were told this morning that Gus Grimsley claims to have seen his ghost over on the hill a short distance of Charlie Elliott's home near an old well.  Dr. Spitler saw a srange light over that way a short time ago late in the night.  The theory of soe of the colored folks is that Harris was thrown into that old well.  Many are superstitious about it and Ed Dabney will not go near the fourth ward after night.
(Wellington Daily News ~ September 5, 1901 ~ Submitted by Jared Scheel)


Several years ago Tom Richardson was out in the western part of the state on business.  Sunday found him at Garden City, and he decided to go to church.  He had made the acquaintance of a man who lived in that city on the day before and as Tom went down the street towards the church, he happened to fall in with him.  They went in and were seated together.  Presently the choir came in.  It was a mixed quartette.  It occurred to Tom that the lady who sang alto was about the homeliest woman he had ever seen, and Tom had een many, many women.  He ventured to suggest to the friend next to him that the lady on the south in the choir was remarkably plain faced, to say the least of her.  "Yes," said the friend, "most of my sisters are plain faced."  It annoyed Tom terribly to think he should have gotten into such a scrape, but he is resourceful and promptly sought to recover himself.  "Well, now," said Tom, "perhaps I don't mean what I say, when I say on the south.  You see I always was turned around in this town, the lady I mean is sitting on the left."  "Well," said the friend, "I can't agree with you on that, at any rate I thought she was might pretty when I married her."

It cost John four dollars for medical attendance before he got away from Garden City, and he has never dared to go back.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Monday ~ September 2, 1901 ~ Page 2 ~ Submitted by Jared Scheel)


When the early Santa Fe passenger arrived at the depot yesterday morning the trainmen informed the railroad officials that a man had been run over and killed about a mile west of the Slate creek bridge, but the body had been too badly mangled for them to bring in.  Coroner Hamilton was notified and summoning a jury immediately. proceeded to the scene of the accident.  The remains were found strewn along the track for some distance and were gathered up and taken to Luening's undertaking establishment while the jury adjourned to Squire Simmons office to hear the testimony of witnesses and hold an inquest.

The body was recognized as that of Wm. Weston, a deaf mute, commonly known as "Dummy."  The engineer Tom Banks testified that he first noticed him walking in the middle of the track while the engine was still nearly a quarter of a mile away.  Supposing the man would get off he paid him no special attention but as they came closer he observed that he was walking aong with his head down apparently oblivious of the danger.  He blew a warning blast on the whistle but his failing to attract his notice put on the air brakes.  It was on a down grade, the train was running about thirty miles an hour, and before its speed could be checked the doomed man had been struck by the pilot and thrown under the wheels.  His body was rolled along the ties till it was torn and beaten into an almost unrecognizable mass by the time the train was stopped.

Weston, it appears, was on his way out to the farm of Hannibal Smith, where he had been working for some time, to cut fodder.  A younger brother had usually been sent with him by way of precaution, but yesterday he was aone for some reason.  The unfortunate man was stone deaf and the accident could hardly have been avoided by the engineer, who, as well as the other railroad employees, was exonerted from all blame by the verdict of the coroner's jury.
(Wellington Monitor ~ August 31, 1888 ~ Subitted by Susie Cochran)


A Sixteen Year Old Boy Badly Cut Up by a Train at Oxford

On Saturday night, at 10:55 o'clock, as train number 77, on the Southern Kansas railroad, was pulling out of Oxford station, a boy about sixteen years of age, Willie Meagher, met with a very serious accident.  By some means or other he fell from the cars and was found upon the track immediately after the train left the station, with one foot cut off, one foot mashed and his left arm broken.  He was picked up and taken care of at that place, yesterday, by the persons who were drawn to the track by his screams, which were heard by people a half mile distant.  Drs. Maggard and Smith were called and amputated one of his limbs and gave him required attention that night and yesterday.  Last night he was brought to this city and conveyed to the county poor farm.

On Monday further amputation became necessary, and Dr. Breneman, assisted by Dr. Hynds, county physician, and Drs. Stone and Emerson, cut off both legs below the knees.  The unfortunate lad stood the operation well and it is said that he has a good chance for recovery.

The victim states that he was thrown from the train forcibly by one of the brakemen, and that he was enroute to Camp Supply, I.T., to see his widowed mother.

The boy is a stranger and, having no means, is necessarily a county charge, as the railroad officials disclaim any knowledge of his being a passenger or in any way in their charge at the time of the accident.

The trainmen, J. H. Pathour, conductor, and N. L. Johnson and George Hamlin, brakeman, claim that they did not know of the accident until yesterday forenoon, about 10 o'clock, when they went to the depot to take their run out to Humnewell.
(Sumner County Standard ~ Wellington, KS ~ June 14, 1888)


C. M. Dewitt of this city, formerly a conductor but not representing an insurance company for railroad employes, was held up in Newton last Friday night, and robbed of a diamond ring and $20.

Dewitt almost got the better of the masked highwayman, for when the robber was searching his clothes, Dewitt brought his hand down on the robber's pistol with such force that the gun flew out of his hand and was knocked several feet.  Dewitt then knocked the robber down.  He started for the gun, but when he turned the robber was on his feet and running.  Dewitt took four shots at him, but is not certain whether any of the bullets took effect.  Dewitt was walking along the street when accosted.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Monday ~ February 16, 1920 ~ Page 1)


Tabernacle Will Be Turned Into One of the Finest Basketball Courts In the State --- Will Stand Until Memorial Hall Is Built

At last!  Sumner can challenge the strongest teams in Kansas and Oklahoma with a clear conscience.  We will not be forced, in the future, to make any more apologies after games for our outlandish gymnasium.

The citizens of Wellington have, for some time, sympathized with the school, but until the tabernacle was built, they did not see any opportunity for helping us.

However, the townsmen have purchased the building now, and it has been turned over to the school to remodel into a first-class gym.  Wednesday afternoon a squad of fort boys moved in the west wing of the structure, to its original place.  Then they removed the center and side seats.  Seats will be built around the court.  The space where the floor will be laid, is in such a condition that it will not require a great deal of work to put it in first class shape.  Therefore, the court should be finished and ready for a game here with Blackwell Tuesday night.

Hurrah for Wellington!  Sumner thanks you from the bottom of her heart.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Monday ~ February 16, 1920 ~ Page 2)


N. W. England, Corner of Fourth and Blaine, Visited By Peeper Last Night---Knows Him

The night prowler, who was in the southwest part of the city last night, peeping in at the windows and causing much anxiety among the people of that community owes his life to N. W. England, who lives at the corner of Fourth and Blaine streets.

About 10:30 o'clock last night, as the Englands were getting ready to retire, Mr. England was sitting in the dining room.  There is a double door between the kitchen and the dining room and as Mr. England looked through this door towards one of the kitchen windows he saw a man standing directly in front of the window looking into the house.  Mr. England's first impulse was to shoot the man.  He stepped very quietly to the dresser and got his revolver.  He then returned to his chair in the dining room and he as still able to see the fellow looking in at the window.  He raised the revolver and took aim.  On second thought, he lowered the gun and thus the prowler still has his life.

Mr. England says that he believes he knows who the fellow was.  He wore a light shirt and dark trousers.  He was bare-headed and was a man of five feet eight or ten inches in height.

After deciding not to shoot the man down in his tracks, Mr. England went out of the house the front way and started around to the window where the fellow was peeping.  The prowler heard him coming and ran out the back way.

Mr. England said this morning that he resisted giving justice to the fellow last night, but if he ever comes again, he must come prepared to take his medicine.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Tuesday ~ June 13, 1911 ~ Page 1)

Jack Whitney, 12 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Whitney of Belle Plaine, accidentally shot his sister, Mary, age 7, yesterday afternoon with a Winchester 22 caliber rifle.  The bullet passed through one of the girl's arms then struck her in the side of the nose and coming out through the eyebrow.  The child is not dangerously injured.  The boy saw a bird in a tree near the house and in the absence of his parents who were at the house of a neighbor, he took the gun and started for the door.  The gun was discharged and the bullet struck the little girl who was lying on the floor.  C. A. Whitney is a traveling solicitor for the Beacon and formerly lived in Wichita.
(The Wichita Daily Eagle ~ April 21, 1875 ~ Submitted by Peggy Thompson)


An old rat got fastened in a rat hole in the back of Frambers & Brumley's grocery store on North Washington avenue last night and died there.  She was evidently the first of a large party of rats to feel tired and start home, for when she stopped up the entrance to Rodent boulevard there was quite a gathering of late revelers left on the floor of the store where a dance or wheat jubilee was being held.  Finding their way home blocked the rats deserted their conveyances and decided to make a night of it.  The musicians had all gone for when Lud Frambers reached the store this morning to open up, he was greeted with a rat chorus that would have done justice to the noisiest anvil chorus ever dreamed of.  "I'd Leave My Happy Home For You," "Who Threw Mush in Pappa's Eyes," "The Rats and the Mice Are Getting Mighty Bold," and other popular airs were rending the air.  Mr. Frambers heard a scurrying and scamper of feet such as he had never heard before.  He closed the door and ran back to ascertain what was the matter.  The sight which met his eyes was a novel one.

At least a hundred rats were scampering about the floor hunting a place of exit.  He sent for two dogs and in a short time business having been suspended in the meantime, over 30 rats had been killed and counted.  They came from behind potato bags, boxes of gloods flour sacks and everything in the store.  So fast did they appear that the dogs were unable to get all of them.  The hunters stepped on them and kicked them and struck them with clubs.

It was the rat killingest time on Washington avenue for a long time.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Saturday ~ October 5, 1901 ~ Page 2 ~ Submitted by Jared Scheel)


Two Young Men And One Woman From Wellington Victims of Crackup


Wife of Drive Is In Local Hospital In A Serious Condition

One of the most disastrous motor car accidents between Wellington and Wichita in several years took the lives of three prominent young local residents and injured another seriously shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday on Highway 81, just north of the Sumner/Sedgwick county line.

The dead are:  Max Cummins, 24, killed outright, Miss Jeanette McGeorge, 27, who died enroute to St. Luke's Hospital and W. E. King, 24, driver of the car, who died at St. Luke's Hospital at 8:40 a.m. Sunday of his injuries.

Mrs. King, 25, the former Marian Holefelder, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Holefelder of this city is in St. Luke's Hospital in a serious condition, but is said to stand a good chance to recover.  She suffered a fractured jaw and a broken leg.  Hospital attendants said today her condition was as good as could be expected.

The accident occured about 200 feet north of the county line in Sedgwick County as the couples were returning home from a dance at the Blue Moon.  It had been raining hard and a light rain was still falling at the time the car struck the culvert.  No one saw the accident, but from evidence on the scene it was believed that car went off the highway onto a soft shoulder.

Dr. Lang Bowman, Sedgwick county coroner, who together with officers from the Sedgwick county sheriff's department were called to the scene, stated the car traveled about 150 feet before striking the culvert where it was demolished.

First to stop at the accident was a car of two other couples who had been a part of the group in Wichita for the dance.  The driver was Jack Holefelder, a brother of Mrs. King.  Others in this car were Jay Lee Carter, Misses Carolyn Kessinger and Bethel Jo Adair.  The car passed the wreck, with the occupants barely seeing it in the darkness and mist and not recognizing it.  They stopped down the road, however, and went back.

All four of the occupants were in the wreckage.  Mrs. King was the first to be removed by her brother.  She and Miss McGeorge were placed in passing cars and brought to Wellington.  Miss McGeorge wa dead before reaching the hospital.  Cummins, who was said to have suffered a compound fracture of the skull and brain lacerations, was dead.

King was alive, but wedged in the wreckage so tightly it took almost an hour to get him out.  He was then taken to St. Luke's Hospital by his brother-in-law.  King died a few hours later of a crushed chest.  He also suffered a broken left leg.  He never regained consciousness.

Cummins is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl B. Cummins, long-time, well-known residents of Wellington, who live at 1224 South Washington.  He was born in Wellington on March 5, 1922 and had lived here all of his life.  He served in the Army Air Corp during the war and was employed by the Bryan Packard Motor Co. as parts salesman.  He is survived by his parents and one brother, Lawrene, of Oklahoma City.

Miss McGeorge is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack McGeorge of this city.  She had been taking nurses training in New Orleans and was home on a visit.  She was formerly employed in the City Water and Light Department at the City Hall.

Mr. King is the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. J. King of Springfield, Mass.  He was also a veteran of World War II and prior to his time in the service he was employed in Washington, D.C., by the F.B.I. in the Expert techincal finger-print department.  Besides his wife, and 11 months old son, Michael Edward, he is survived by his parent and a sister, Mrs. Murray Wernick, of Washington, D. C.  He was employed at the Frigidmist Company in Wellington.

Funeral arrangements are in charge of the Deweese Funeral Home, but were not complete today.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Monday ~ August 19, 1946)


Funeral services for W. E. King who died of injuries suffered early Sunday morning in a motor car accident will be held at the St. Anthony's Catholic church on Thursday morning at 9 o'clock with Rev. Francis Maguire, pastor, officiating.

There will be a recitation of the Holy Rosary tonight at the Deweese Funeral home and the body will be taken to the Holefelder residence tomorrow where it will lie in state for friends.

Pallbearers will be Howard Utz, Bob Hadhorn, Jay Lee Carter, Marvin McDonald, Max Kissell, Floyd Davis, Ted Davis and Jack Glamann.

Burial will be in Prairie Lawn cemetery.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Tuesday ~ August 20, 1946)


Mrs. James Hanley and Three Children Drown


Family Formerly Made Home in Wichita

Fred Bell, of this city, received a telephone message from Milan yesterday morning, stating that his brother-in-law, James Hanley, the latter's wife and four children were drowned Sunday night, about 6 o'clock, while attempting to ford the Chikackia river, between Milan and Argonia.  Mr. Bell left immediately for that place, and last night telephoned to the Eagle the story of the terrible accident.

Correct details of the drowning do not make the tragedy quite so bad as at first told, although they are, indeed, terrible.  Instead of the entire family drowning, but the mother and three children met death in the water.  The father and a small son escaped, after a terrible experience.

James Hanley, with his family, were on their way home Sunday evening, about 6 o'clock, from attending church.  They attempted to cross the river at what is known as George Summer's ford.  The water had risen considerably since the family crossed the ford earlier in the morning, and a strong undercurrent caught the spring wagon and it began to turn over.

Mr. Hanley placed one of his sons on the back of one of the horses and assisted his wife and the three others in a like position on the other, after which he cut the tugs with the intention of allowing the horses to swim to the bank.  The animals had gone but a short distance when they became fastened in quicksand.  As the horses sank deeper and deeper all had to shift for themselves.  The water washed all six into the stream.  That was the last Mr. Hanley saw of his family with the exception of one small son, who Mr. Hanley took on his back and, after a struggle lasting some time, he succeeded in swimming to the bank.  He was almost overcome by his fight against the high waters with the boy on his back, and it was some time before he recovered sufficiently to institute a search for the remainder of his family and to go for assistance.

After Mr. Hanley became lost from the remaining members of the family it seems that his wife and the three children caught hold of the bed of the wagon.  It had been washed from the remainder of the vehicle and was floating down stream.  Neighbors who searched for the family found Mrs. Hanley and two baby girls about one-quarter of a mile down the stream.  The bodies were found floating on some debris.

Late yesterday afternoon the body of a child, supposed to be that of one son, the remaining member of the family who is missing, was seen floating down stream a distance of eleven miles from  where the accident happened.  A farmer and his son were near the river bank when the boy shouted to this father to look.  The boy told his parents that he saw the body of some one floating in the river.  Both watched and in a moment the arm of a human body arose to view.  Only for a moment, however, when it again sank and passed entirely out of sight.  Both watched for some time, but the body did not re-appear.

Mr. and Mrs. Hanley are both well known in Wichita, they having lived here for three or four years prior to a short time ago.  Of late they had been living on a farm, four miles from Argonia.  Mrs. Hanley was a sister of Mrs. Bell.  Her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John Lucas, also reside in Wichita.

The boy who escaped with his father was Earl, age six years.  He was the second oldest child.  The body still missing is that of the eldest child, who is 11 years of age.  One of the girls found with the body of the mother was Myrtle, aged three, while the other was a baby girl, about one year old.

Funeral services over the bodies that were recovered yesterday will be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock at Milan.  Interment will be in the Milan cemetery.
(NOTE:  The Hanley family are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, in Sedgwick County, Kansas. ~~ Lori DeWinkler)
(Wichita Eagle ~ Friday ~ May 13, 1904 ~ Page 5)

Frank Norvill, of Falls township, has been released from jail where he has been confined for a year for refusing to support an illegitimate child.  The statutes release a man after one year's continuous confinement on a case.
(People's Voice ~ Wellington, KS ~ Friday ~ December 2, 1892 ~ Page 5)

The fourteen-year-old son of George R. Fultz has been placed in the State Reform school by request of his father.  Family complications were the cause of his being taken there.  The boy is real shrewd and will, no doubt, return an exemplary young man.
(People's Voice ~ Wellington, KS ~ Friday ~ December 2, 1892 ~ Page 5)

A Kansan Attempts Suicide

Chicago, June 4 – C. R. Person, formerly a banker of Belle Plaine, Kan., attempted to commit suicide this afternoon by taking poison in a room in the Grand Central passenger station hotel. He was found in an unconscious condition and physicians announced that he was suffering from the effects of poison. He was removed to the county hospital. (The Guthrie Daily Leader, Guthrie, Okla., Saturday, June 5, 1897, front page)

Rev. J. D. Knox Acquitted

The Preacher-Banker Found Not Guilty of Charges Against Him

St. Joseph, Mo., June 4 – The ecclesiastical trial of Rev. John D. Knox of Topeka, Kan., on charges of hypocrisy and fraud, was concluded here last night and resulted in acquittal. Mr. Knox appears to have been sustained on every point which he set up in his defense. The finding of the Manhattan trial was declared to be unjust. He will return to Topeka at once and make a strong fight for appointment as consul to Mexico. (The Guthrie Daily Leader, Guthrie, Okla., Saturday, June 5, 1897, front page)


It was only reasonable to expect that something would drop in the case of Wardrop vs. Wardrop.  Mrs. Wardrop claimed that Mr. Wardrop abused her and said all manner of mean things to her and grossly neglected his duty to her by failing to properly provide food and clothing.  She wanted the custody of the minor children.  Mr. Wardrop denied that he had ever said bad things to her but insisted that she was hard to live with and often had mad spells and would not get his meals for him.  He considered her unfit to have the custody of minor children.  Upon these issues the war of the Wardrops began in district court this morning.

After all the evidence had been introduced Judge Swarts decided that the plaintiff was not entitled to a divorce and taxed the costs up to her.
(Wellington Daily News ~ Tuesday ~ July 14, 1903 ~ Page 2)

  Back to Index Page
Copyright © to Kansas Genealogy Trails' Sumner County host & all Contributors
  All rights reserved