TREGO COUNTY, KANSAS

NEWSPAPER TIDBITS

W. F. PAGETT FALLS

While he was attempting to get into his buggy at the depo a few days ago, the team made a too sudden start, and threw W. F. Pagett to the ground with such violence as to sprain his left leg seriously. This is the one that was not broken last spring and Pagett has grabbed a cane. (Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885)

LEW MARXER DRAYMAN STANDS UP PRETTY WELL

Lew. Marxer, Ellsworth's drayman, stands up pretty well generally. The rule had its exception a few days ago, when he was handling lumber. He was blown several feet to the ground along with a big plank which he was attempting to handle. He was bruised pretty seriously, which fact has been reflected in his limping gait. (Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885)

DR. CONGER'S ALFALFA IS THRIFTY

Dr. Conger tells us that his three and a half acres of alfalfa which was sown last year at his ranch is as thrifty as it could well be. The doctor is delighted with the dimensions of the crop, and he will sow a new patch this spring. Alfalfa is excellent feed for hogs, as well as other stock. Our people should remember it in their planting. (Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885)

G. F. McKNIGHT RETURNS TO CLAY CENTER

We regret to have to announce that Mr. G. F. McKnight, the senior member of the McKnight land firm, has returned to Clay Center to remain. He will open a branch office in that city. W. R. will remain in charge of the business at this place. We have had dealings with quite a number of men in our time and aim to say that not one of them ever exceeded G. F. McKnight in patronizing the prinTer liberally or paying him uncomplainingly and promptly. We give only feeble vent to our feelings when we say that Mr. McKnight has our very best wishes for success in his business enterprises. (Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885)

TREGO COUNTY TRACINGS - APRIL 25, 1885

O. T. Birkeland expects his daughter, Mrs. Gunderson, and her aunt, of Chicago to visit them this summer.

H. S. Case of Davenport, Iowa, arrived on Friday evening's train. He has bought 160 acres of railroad land, a mile east of town.

Mr. Smith and family from Nebraska, have rented a house near town, until they can find desirable lands upon which to locate.

Peterson & Co. will this week establish a branch land office at Grainfield, Kans.; Mr. Jones, for a time taking charge of the business there.

B. O. Richards is hastening up the assessing of this township. Residents of the southern and southeastern portions will receive calls from him this week and next.

Geo. W. Kessler recently lost a valuable horse which he had of late purchased, from dropsy of the heart. A post-mortem examination disclosed a pailful and a half of water around that organ.

James Power has returned from another trip to Lane county. Mr. Power brought to this country with him a span of large mules and in the way of freighting they have proved themselves of great value as well as profit.

Much against the wishes of the members of the Woman's Relief Corps, Miss York resigned the position of secretary at the meeting last Saturday because of her numerous other duties. Miss Stickney was appoitned by the president to fill the vacancy.

Over 1,000 acres of railroad land were sold last week by Peterson & Co., to the following gentlemen; McIlvaine & Searles, land agents at Bushnell, Ill. Messrs. Griffith, Pratt, Henderson, Applegate, West, Lindley and another whose name was not ascertained.

Source: Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885

OGALLAH OOZINGS - April 22, 1885

A social dance at Mr. Cutler's Thursday evening of last week.

Wesley Marquand, Thomas Roberts, Ed. Morgan, Mr. Phillips and one other started for the plains Friday of last week. They ahve gone on a wild horse hunt. Success to them!

Rev. P. J. Berg, of the Swedish M. E. church of Denver, preached at the school house last Friday evening. Three children were christened by him. He will return the 12th of May and then wil preach to his people in their mother tongue. C. U. Later

Source: Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885

BANNER BUGLINGS - April 19, 1985

Mr. John Stewart lost a fine colt last week from eating loco.

It is reported that one of Mr. Hawk's children has the measles.

Mr. Dooling is building on section 26. He will also send for his family.

Mr. F. O. Taylor took the Collins claim on section 22 and has gone back to Nebraksa to make arrangements to move out.

Mr. James Fague, late of New York state, has taken the E. L. Drake place, and has his house about ready for occupancy. He will send for his family soon.

Mr. E. W. Arnold and family arrived last week from Wisconsin. Mr. Arnold comes back to Trego county, thinking he will be satisfied. He left this county about a year ago and went to Wisconsin to get rich. He says his family were sick most of the time since he left, and he has concluded he can get rich fast enough in Trego county.

Source: Western Kansas World, Wakeeney, Kansas, April 25, 1885

ARTHUR GAISFORD BROKE ARM

Arthur Gaisford whose parents reside about two miles southeast of town, was thrown from a horse Thursday afternoon, with the result of having the wrist and elbow of the right arm dislocated and the right arm fractured a short distance above the wrist. Arthur is six years old. (Western Kansas World, Saturday, May 2, 1885)

GUARD-PLOWER "BOB" HUTCHINSON

"Bob" Hutchinson, of Glencoe township is getting ready to plow the fire guards for the railroad company from Wilson, Kansas to Denver, Colo. There were several bids for the job, but Bob's prevailed. He will run five plows and will make a guard six feet wide on each side of the railroad. He will go west on the south side of the track and will return on the north. From 40 to 50 days will be required for the completion of the work. (Western Kansas World, Saturday, May 2, 1885)

LIST OF LETTERS - APRIL 24, 1885

Remaining in the post-office at WaKeeney, Kan., Friday, April 24, 1885

Biederman, Auton   Moore, Sallie
Acton, S. E.   Morgan, D.
Bemington, J. B. - 2   Ross, William
Beeler, A. L.   Spencer, John
Colby, J.   Towne, E. C.
Doetchman, John A.   Zickefoose, C. M
Hafner, John    
Source: Western Kansas World, Saturday, May 2, 1885

OLDEST SETTLER AGAIN MRS. C. C. COX

Mrs. C. C. Cox, of Ellis, was in town last Monday on business and paid this office a subscription call. In the course of a talk about the country, Mrs. Cox mentioned having called on the World more than five years ago. She also revived the claim which she then made, that she and her family are the oldest settlers in Trego county. On their now beautiful place in this county, four miles this side of Ellis, they settled twelve years ago last August. Members of various Indian tribes visted their place with great frequency in those days, but never did any damage beyond stealing to some extent. Mr. Cox has been dead for years, but Mrs. Cox is well situated in the matter of property and she she does not seem to regret her many sacrifices in maintaining a residence on the frontier. (Western Kansas World, Saturday, May 2, 1885)

BANNER BUGLINGS - APRIL 27, 1885

Preaching at the Banner school house last Sabbath morning and evning by Rev. Mr. dodge, of Lane county.

Mr. James Tayne, who has just finished his house on his homestead expects his family this week from New York.

Rev. Mr. Stayt and family have moved into the house in this place, which the Hodges family vacated the other day.

Source: Western Kansas World, Saturday, May 2, 1885

MICHAEL WINTERS TRIES TO FORD RIVER

Saturday morning, Michael Winters, who lives a few miles southwest of town, in attempting to ford the river near Mr. Atkins', had his large mule team and wagon swept away by the current. The mules were drowned, but the wagon and contents, harness, etc., were saved. This is a very serious loss to Mr. Winters. The attempt to ford was a foolhardy one. [Western Kansas world. (WaKeeney, Kan.), July 10, 1886 - Submitted by K. T.]

DISTRICT CLERK BLAIR WENT TO ABILENE

District Clerk Blair went to Abilene on Monday, and returned home Tuesday evening. He reports the country down that way in ever so much worse condition than this region. (Source: Trego County Tracings - Edited by the Western Kansas World's - Traveling Canvasser and Correspondent - Ogallah, Aug 5-8, 1887. Transcribed by Kathy Haggerty)

JESSE COCKRELL PURCHASED TEN-INCH GANG BREAKING PLOWS

Jesse Cockrell has recently purchased four ten-inch gang breaking plows which he expects to pull with an engine. He has tried it with horses with one plow off, on second breaking, and it worked like a charm. A trial was made the other day with all four plows and the engine, but something was the matter with the pumps. Mr. Cockrell has remedied that difficulty and now waits for a dry day to go to work. ["Western Kansas World, WaKeeney, May 12 1888 submitted by K. T.]

From "Western Kansas World", WaKeeney, May 12 1888:

Happy Hollow -- Mrs. Jane Lawson and son Lee are visiting at W. H. Summerville's.

Happy Hollow -- Miss Libbie Shorthill, of your city, is visiting old friends and neighbors.

Happy Hollow -- Miss Maggie Moseley is visiting in Independence, Mo. She is already home-sick for Kansas.

Submitted by K. T.

DROWNED

Wright Napue Sinks in Trego Creek


Last Sunday afternoon five colored persons---Wm. Brown, Jr., young Nathan Brown, John Wm. Brown, Willis Jackson and Wright Napue---started from town to a swimming hole in Trego creek, within the Hunter pasture. The four whose names are mentioned first started by themselves to the creek, and Napue fell in with them. The hole in which the drowning occurred is said to be about thirty-five feet wide, quite long and twelve feet deep. All except John Wm. Brown went into the water. Napue jumped in, and swam in "dog fashion" to the middle of the stream. He soon sank, across to the surface a time or two, but never uttered an audible sound. The crowd were paralyzed with fright, so that, beyond throwing a rope across the pond, in the hope that he could catch it, no attempt of any possible value was made to save him.

The four who lived came hurriedly to town, and a crowd went back to the pond. Willis Jackson and Lee Beem dove for the body. Beem found it, and brought it to the shore. The body was brought to town. In Napune's clothes $1.60 was found. Coroner Groft regarded it unnecessary to hold an inquest. He furnished a coffin a the expense of the county. The body was covered with ice until the next afternoon, when Blue Williams started with it to the home of Napue's mother, who lives near Kebar, in the eastern part of Graham county.
(Western Kansas World ~ July 7, 1888 ~ Submitted by Lori DeWinkler)

C. M. SCOTT VISITING ILL FATHER-IN-LAW IN NORTON COUNTY

Trego Center... Feb 28, 1893 -- C.M. Scott and family are visiting in Norton county - called there by the illness of his father-in-law. Western Kansas world. (WaKeeney, Kan.) 1885-current, March 04, 1893 - submitted by K. T.

REV. McCOY LEAVING WA-KEENEY

We are sorry that Rev. Mr. McCoy has found it advisable to make preparations for leaving Wa-Keeney. He and his family will go to Quincy, Ill., about the first of next month. This step is rendered necessary on the account of the ill health of Mrs. McCoy. Mr. McCoy is an able minister, and he will find no difficulty in finding a charge in the Quincy circuit. Rev. S.R. Ferguson, of Colby, will move here with his family about the first of October, and become pastor of the M.E. church Western Kansas world. (WaKeeney, Kan.), August 17, 1889 - submitted by K. T.

WAKEENEY BABY HURT (JANET YODER)

Janet Yoder, 6-months old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Yoder of WaKeeney, is a patient at St. Anthony's Hospital, where she is being treated for a fractured skull. The baby fell off a bed at the Yoder home on Christmas Eve but did not seem badly hurt. Later she developed symptoms which resulted in her being brought to the hospital yesterday (Tuesday). Her condition today was regarded as satisfactory. Hays News (Western Kansas World, January 5, 1950, page 1)

LIQUOR STORE ROBBER GETS A 15 YEAR SENTENCE

Stanley R. Brown, age 23 years, of Cushay, Ore., one of the three men who have plead guilty to the Collyer Liquor Store robbery was arraigned in district court Monday at WaKeeney.

Young Brown was sentenced by Judge Spencer to the State Reformatory at Hutchinson on two counts, burglary and grand larceny - ten years on count one and five years on count two to run consecutively.

Robert Forem and Elmer Maness, both of Oklahoma will be sentenced in the next few days. Both men have served previous penitentiary sentences and will be taken to Lansing. (Western Kansas World, May 11, 1950, page 1)

TORNADO KILLS 5 IN KANSAS

WAKEENEY, Kan.--A tornado slashed through this Western Kansas town today, killing five persons and injuring approximately 40.

The vicious winds turned a five-block residential area into a mass of splintered wood and brick.

Trees were uprooted, water mains broken, and power and communication lines damaged.

The dead were Mr. and Mrs. James Hladek, both about 65, and Dan Rohrbacher, 60.

Mr. and Mrs. Hladek died in the wreckage of their home.

Rohrbacher was blown from his house and his body found in the debris on the street. (Trenton Evening Times ~ June 27, 1951)

POSSE SEEKS PAIR WANTED IN SHOOTINGS

Wakeeny, Kan. - A search for a pair of young hitchhikers charged with murder intensified as darkness cloaked this northwest Kansas area Sunday night.

"We're really going to work now, because they knew they didn't dare show their heads during daylight," said County Atty, W. R. Hainline.

The hitchhikes killed Al Claycamp, 37, deputy sheriff and city marshal of Wakeeny, and wounded sheriff Chet McAtee, 55, Saturday night after the officers picked them up for questioning.

Murder warrants were issued Sunday naming Harry W. Bloomer, 24, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Shirley Nixon, 17 of Wilsonville, Neb.

About 200 men, three airplanes and some police dogs searched Satruday night and Sunday through the pasture and cropland area northeast of Wakeeney where the couple fled on foot.

"Much of that land is in the soil bank and there is lots of cover," said Hainline, who is directing the search. (Dallas Morning News, June 16, 1962, page 1, section 1)

BLOOMER AND NIXON CAPTURED

WAKEENEY, KAN. - A Hitchhiking harvest hand and his teenage girlfriend were captured in a farm granary Tuesday after a three-day hunt.
They are charged with killing a police officer and wounding a sheriff. The man has a long record of crime , including kidnapping a babysitter.

A farmer spotted the girl's face as he moved objects around in the granary while searching for the pair. Knowing the fugitives were armed, he hurried outside and got the help of other searchers for the capture.

The hunted pair - Harry J. Bloomer, about 30, and Shirley Nixon, 17, gave up without resistance.

They had eluded searchers since Saturday night when the Wakeeney city marshal, Al Claycamp, 37, was shot to death and Chet McAtee, 53, sheriff of Trego county was wounded.

McAtee said he and Claycamp had picked up the couple for questioning about 10 miles east of town and were driving them toward Wakeeney. The couple was in the back seat and the two officers in front.

About five miles from town, McAtee said, the man drew a pistol and shot Claycamp.

The sheriff halted the car and began struggling with the man. He said that during the struggle the girl also pulled a pistol and he was shot three times, but he did not know which of the two shot him. The couple bolted from the car and ran.

They were captured only a mile and a half from the shooting scene. The area had been covered several times during the search, in which planes, horses, dogs and National Guardsmen were used.

Bloomer and the girl were jailed in Wakeeney.

A state highway patrolman, A. M. Scheibner, said neither had anything to say and the girl appeared upset. He said that upon command they came out of the granary with their hands up. Officers later found in the building a pistol believed to have been used in the shootings.

Bloomer complained he was very hungry. He was shirtless and covered with scratches and insect bites.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Bloomer grew up near Bloomsburg, Pa., and Benton, Pa., and at the age of 16 began a crime career that has included robbery, burglary, larceny, auto theft and kidnapping.

The FBI said Bloomer has been in and out of both state and federal institutions and received a discharge "other than honorable" from the Air Force, May 7, 1953. (Augusta Chronicle, July 18, 1962, page 3, section A)

2  KILLED  AT  WAKEENEY

WaKeeney --- Two members of a farm family were killed and a third was injured in a collision between their car and a loaded gravel truck about three miles from their home near WaKeeney Monday.

The dead were Linus Windholz, 35, and his 5-year-old daughter, Cherri.  A son, Glenn, 7, was taken to a hospital.  His condition was serious.

The truck driver, Vernon Blakesley, 53, of Plainville, wasn't hurt.  The crash occurred at a county road intersection.
(Hutchinson News ~ June 22, 1965)

FROM  CANADA  IN  A  WAGON

Wheat Farmer Finds Kansas Is The Best Place

WaKeeney, Kas. --- In 1928 Fred Stalbaum, a farmer, believed Canada offered a better opportunity to make a fortune than Kansas.  He loaded his belongings, a plow or two and tools in a lumber wagon and behind Meg and Maude set out for the promised land.

Behind Meg and Maude and in the same wagon he pulled into WaKeeney the other day.  He traveled 5,000 miles, he said, wore out one set of tires, before discovering he could farm just as well in Kansas.  Stalbaum is 60 years old.
(Kansas City Star ~ August 3, 1932)


WAKEENEY  WOMAN,  HUTCH  MAN  KILLED

Wichita --- A Hutchinson man and a WaKeeney woman were killed at the northwest edge of Wichita late Sunday in a wreck that injured five other persons.

Dead are Laurel Wilson Minor, 51, 1425 East 4th; and Mrs. Ray K. Brown, Jr., 30, WaKeeney.

Mrs. Brown's husband, 32, driver of one of the cars, was injured critically.  The other driver, Leslie Francis, 30, 1521 North Adams, suffered only minor injuries.

In critical condition in St. Francis Hospital, Wichita, are Robert Blazer, 28, 108-1/2 West 5th, Hutchinson.

Sedgwick county sheriff's officers said the crash occurred when the brakes on the Francis car failed.  Collision occurred at the intersection of 21st street and Andale Road in Wichita.

Also hurt were Anna Underwood, WaKeeney, and Troy Anderson, 20, Hutchinson.  Neither was hurt seriously.
(Hutchinson News Herald ~ July 5, 1955)

BROTHERS  DROWN  IN  ACCIDENT

WaKeeney -- The body of one of two Scott City brothers who drowned Sunday morning in the rough water of Cedar Bluff Reservoir southeast of here still had not been found Monday night.

Chet MacAtee, sheriff of Trego County, and his officers searched the shoreline Sunday and Monday for Leonard Delveit, 40.

The body of Herbert Delveit, 50, was found under the pair's boat when it washed upon the bank at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.

No one saw the boat capsize.  The brothers were last seen leaving the shore two miles from where the boat was found at about 8 a.m.
(Hutchinson News ~ May 12, 1959)

GIVES  LIFE  FOR  OTHERS

Concern For Workmen Causes Foreman's Death

George Adams Briggs, head of Pole Gang, Fatally Hurt While Warning Men

Concern for th safety of six men working with him on a pole distributing job, caused the death Sunday of George Adam Briggs, 28, of Topeka, foreman for a Western Union pole gang.

Briggs died Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock in the Newman Memorial County Hospital as the result of injuries received Saturday while he was supervising the work of a gang of men east of Lang.  Briggs was working from a polo car, distributing poles two miles east of Lang Saturday afternoon, when at 2 o'clock, he was given the signal to move his cars onto a switch to allow the passing of a train.

As the pole train was running into the station, where it could be backed onto a switch, one of the corner stakes, holding the poles on the flat car, which was directly in front of the workmen's car, broke, and the poles were thrown to the ground by the motion of the train.  As they fell they bounded on end and slid toward the car behind.  Briggs was the first to see the stake give way and realizing the danger, returned to warn his men.  Four men fell flat on the floor of the car and escaped the falling poles.  J. A. Thomas, onf the workmen, attempted to jump, but was struck by a pole and injured slightly.  Carl Church, another workman, also jumped but received only slight scratches and bruises.

After Briggs had warned his men, he attempted to jump from the car but was caught by a pole which struck him on the base of the skull, causing the injury which resulted in his death.  One foot also was injured when it was struck by a falling pole.

Briggs was taken at once to the Newman Memorial County Hospital, but never regained consciousness.

"It all happened so quickly," Thomas said this morning, "that I can hardly remember how it did come about.  We had gone to Reading for dinner and had run back to Emporia about 10 miles when the accident happened.  Wwe were running in to a switch to let anothe rtrain pass and we had on a good bit of speed, when all a sudden Briggs, who was standing in the front of the car, turned to us and called "Look out for the poles, the stake is gone!"  I was sitting on the floor of the car with some of the men and when Briggs called I jumped up and that's all I remember.

"Those poles are 25 feet long and each one of them weighs 1,000 pounds.  It's a wondery any of us got out alive because 17 of the poles rolled back on our car."

Briggs' gang of pole workers was known as the "safety first" gang.  Briggs never took chances with his men and had experienced few accidents.

George Adam Briggs was born in 1897 in Collyer.  He was married in 1924 at Marion.  Mrs. Briggs survives.  Other surviving relatives are:  His father, John Henry Briggs, of Collyer; three sisters, Mrs. Nina Barnes, Miss Anna Briggs of Collyer, and Mrs. Madeline Murphy, of Augusta, and a brother, Ed Briggs, also of Collyer.

The body will be taken this afternoon to Collyer, where funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon in the First Baptist  church.  Interment will be in the Collyer cemetery.
(Emporia Gazette ~ August 3, 1925)

THE  MAYOR  OF  WAKEENEY  HAS  DECIDED  TO  RESIGN

Ouster Suit Plannted Against the Official in Trego County Court

Topeka, Kan., Nov. 22 -- H. F. Kline, mayor of WaKeeney, Kans., has resigned, according to a message received here.

Ouster proceedings against Mayor Kline, brought by the attorney general were pending in the Trego county district court.

Two counts were charged against Kline in the ouster proceedings.  On the first he was charged with having appeared in public places in an intoxicated condition, "produced by strong drink, voluntarily taken."

The second charge was that of having willfully displayed misconduct of his powers while in office and with issuing warrants and orders on the city treasurer in excess of the revenue of the city.
(Hutchinson News ~ November 22, 1922)

KANSAN,  A  CRIPPLE,  WILLS  HIS  FORTUNE  TO  THE  NEEDY

Wakeeney, Dec. 9 --- John Lemke, a cripple for 40 years, but who by his own industry and hard work, had acquired large Trego county land holdings, did not forget the other unfortunates.

Last Saturday Lemke, 85, died.

This week his will, filed for probate, disclosed these bequests to organizations caring for the sick, the crippled and the needy:

$50,000 for erection of a hospital in Wakeeney to be known as "The Lemke Memorial Hospital," with the balance over that amount from the sale of certain real estate to be used "in equipping and opearting said hospital."

$5,000 to the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children.

$5,000 for the Salvation Army operating in Topeka, and

$5,000 for the Kansas branch of the American Red Cross.

PROVIDES  HOSPITAL  SITE

Ground for the hospital site also is provided.

Lemke, who was born in Holstein, Germany, landed in America when a small boy and in 1878 came to Trego county where he homesteaded along the Saline river and continued to reside there until nine years ago when he retired and moved into Wakeeney.

Lamke was a prominent farmer and stock-raised and often added to his real estate holdings until at his death he was one of the largest landholders in Trego county.

CRIPPLED  40  YEARS

Forty years ago he suffered an accident, which left him a cripple for life, but his own misfortune only seemed to make him think more of the misfortunes of others, which he expressed in his will, providing for the needs of hundreds of others from his own wealth.

Lemke is survived by a brother, William, of Siloam, Ark., and by 11 nephews and nieces.

C. R. hille, C. E. Howatt, J. H. Heckman, C. M. Hutchinson and Fran B. Walker were named as hospital trustees and Heckman, Hutchinson and Walker as executors.
(Emporia Gazette ~ December 9, 1939)

TREGO  COUNTY  RANCHER  IS  BADLY  BURNED

Hays --- D. K. North, a Trego county ranchman, was brought to Hadley hospital here with a badly seared left leg, victim of a gasoline explosion. 

North and his son, Harley, 13, were thawing out a frozen pump on the ranch, using gasoline to heat it.  The can of gasoline exploded.  Harley was hurled ten feet from the pump, but was unhurt.  He saw his father running with his trousers on fire.  The boy caught him and helped him get the burning garments off.
(Hutchinson News Herald ~ December 14, 1944)

TREGO  LAND  OWNERS  GIVEN  MORE  MONEY

Topeka --- A fedearl district court jury ruled two Trego county land owners are entitled to $89,000 for 2,720 acres of land condemned by the bureau of reclamation for the Cedar Bluff dam and reservoir project.

The land owners, J. R. Elmore and G. E. Ryan, appealed from a figure fixed by court-appointed appraisers.

Attorneys said the jury award was $1,950 more than had been allowed by the appraisers for the land itself.  The appraisal totaled $95,630, including growing crops which belonged to tenants.
(Hutchinson News Herald ~ May 6, 1949) 

JUMPED  AGAIN,  LOST  LEGS

Frightened Youth Victim of Accident at WaKeeney Saturday Night

Young North Carolinian Thought the Gang Still Pursued Him---Now In Hospital At Hays

Imagining that the gang still pursued him, Merritt Fore, who jumped from a Union Pacific train here Friday night, jumped once too often.  At WaKeeney, Kansas, on Saturday night, the young man left the train again, this time to be dragged under the wheels.  Both his legs were cut off just below the knee.  He was taken to a hospital at Hays, Kansas.

This was the third attempt of Fore, a young man from the hills of North Carolina, to escape a gang of men whom he imagined were pursuing him.  It seems that a couple of travelers had made some sort of threatening remakrs, merely in fun perhaps, but which were taken seriously by the inexperienced mountaineer, causing him to fear for his life.  He jumped from the train here Friday, but later was persuaded that these men meant no harm and he was started on West again.  At Topeka he repeated his jumping stunt, but was again assured that he was perfectly safe and given another start toward Idaho.  The tragedy occurred a few hours afterward at WaKeeney.
(Lawrence Journal-World ~ April 13, 1914 ~ Page 1)

A  TALE  OF  WOE

This morning's Topeka Capital prints the following story concerning Miss Jessie Carter, who formerly lived in Emporia:

Because, she claims, James H. Rinker, a wealthy farmer and stockman of Trego county, made love to her, became engaged to marry her, beguiled her into holding illicit relations with him for a period of several months, and finally abandoned her, and because during the entire period of time covered in her complaint he was a married man, having his home with a wife on his Trego county farm, Miss Jessie Carter, of 1306 Olive street, Kansas City, Mo., yesterday filed a suit in the United States circuit court at Topeka for $50,000.

The petition filed by Miss Carter is sensational.  It covers eight or ten typewritten pages, and recites a shocking story.  She says that she is a young woman 32 years old and that Rinker is a man past 50.  She says they first met in January, 1907, and that from the first he paid her marked attention and made love to her.  About the middle of February, 1907, they were engaged to be married.  He represented himself to be a wealthy widower, his children all grown.  He told her, she says, that as soon as they were married, he would sell his Trego county properties, and they would buy a home in Kansas City.  She believed him implicitly and returned his affection.  He took her to places of amusement and came often to her home to visit with her.  He wrote her ardent letters whenever he was away from Kansas City, at Trego county or elsewhere, often writing every day.  He called her "wife" and "sweetheart", and other endaring names and led her in every way to believe that he was deeply in love with her and intended to marry her.

She says he represented himself to be, and was, the possessor of a large amount of land stocked with horses, cattle and implements, and was also possessed of much money.  To have married a single man so fixed in life would materially have enhanced her welfare, says Miss Carter, who offers this showing as to his financial standing for the purpose of convincing the court that he is able to pay the large amount of damages claimed.

Some time after their relations were firmly established, Miss Carter learned of Rinker's bieng a married man.  The next time he came to see her she at once taxed him with being married and told him their relations must stop at once.  He protested his great love for her and said he intended to get a divorce from his present wife so as to marry her.  She firmly objected, she states, and he then threatened, if she did not continued their relations, to expose her to shame by telling people.  This threat and the promise that he would get a divorce and marry her, she says, induced her to resume the former relations, which continued until some time in the winter of 1908, when he abandoned her completely.

Miss Carter says she became sick from worry and was under the care of doctors for several months.  She lost her position in society, and all her friends ceased recognizing her or having anything to do with her, thus making her a social outcast.  She says these friends were the best people in Kansas City, and that their friendship was valuable to her.  For all her suffering and mistreatment, Miss Carter asks $25,000 actual and $25,000 exemplary damages from Rinker.

The only paper filed in court thus far is the petition of Miss Carter, and from this petition all the foregoing statements are taken.

Rinker was four years ago a candidate for the legislature in Trego county, and it is said that he was defeated by a "woman story" circulated about him, as he was then under indictment for writing a suggestive letter to a woman and was finally fined $500 and costs, amounting to about $5,000.  A. F. Farrar, Miss Carter's principal attorney in this case, was Rinker's lawyer at that time.  Associated with Farrar in this latest case is the firm of Hale, Dean & Higgins.
(Emporia Gazette ~ Thursday ~ February 25, 1909 ~ Page 8)

SERIES  OF  BIG  DRUG  BUSTS  ON  I-70  PUTS  A  SQUEEZE ON  TINY  TREGO  COUNTY

COUNTY  ATTORNEY  IS  OPPOSED  TO  PLEA  BARGAINS,  DIVERSION

TREGO  COUNTY --- The biggest cocaine bust in Kansas history happened here Dec. 10 when state troopers found 485 pounds of the narcotizing powder in a vehicle tooling down Interstate 70.

Two days before that 100 pounds of marijuana were seized from another I-70 traveler in Trego County.  But that wasn't much compared to the 650 pounds of pot confiscated here after a July traffic stop.

In recent months there have been several spectacular drug busts in Trego County, which has a population of about 3,700, most of it in WaKeeney, the county seat.

"We've had 10 drug cases that have gone federal since July," said Trego County Attorney Bernard Giefe.  "That's a substantial number from a county our size."

I-70 is the heaviest traveled east-west highway in the state.  Uncounted tons of commercial traffic, legal and illegal, traverse it daily.  The road bisects at least 14 Kansas counties between Denver and Kansas City, offering several hundred miles worth of rolling opportunity for drug interdicting state troopers.  Why is so much of their flashiest work done in Trego County, the bucolic boyhood home of legendary automaker Walter P. Chrysler?

Giefer is at least part of the answer to that question.  He is perhaps the most zealous prosecutor in the state.  He says he is philosophically opposed to the plea bargains and diversion programs that other prosecutors routinely use to expedite cases, ease court loads, or save money.  It is Giefer's opinion that there is too much wrist slapping going on and not enough spine in the American justice system and he's not playing along.  He doesn't care if the charged culprit is a truck driver caught speeding to a delivery or a drug courier muling crack.

"When it comes to drug interdiction," Giefer said, "there is no person from the Highway Patrol stationed in Trego County.  They come to Trego County because they know I'll prosecute the cases.  I have officers coming from outside Trego county to do their work and one factor is my propensity to charge people.  I'm reluctant to say that because I get accused of not using discretion.  But I have never diverted anything, a traffic ticket or a criminal case."

Giefer's toughness, which delights the Highway Patrol, the DEA, and others in law enforcement is costing somebody money.  The somebody is Trego County taxpayers.

That is a problem that Giefer and members of the Trego County Commission are acutely aware of.  They've asked for legislation this year that they say would help defray the county's cost of being the drug busters' place of choice in western Kansas.

For example, the Highway Patrol arrests some flunky for the Modellin Cartel and locks him up in the Trego County jail.  That costs Trego County taxpayers $30 a night.  And that is just for starters, Giefer said.  Even when the busts are headline grabbers and the feds take charge of the prosecution, relieving Giefer of the responsibility, it stil costs Trego County.

"We had a recent case where federal prisoners spent 10 days in our county jail," Geifer said.  "We had to pay, but we didn't get compensated.  It appears that Trego County may be bearing an inordinate cost of the drug interdiction effort.  In a small county, it doesn't that too many expensive drug cases to make the cost rather prohibitive.  I suppose that is my delimma as a prosecutor.  How heavily do I weigh the cosst to the county in the prosecution of drug activity?  Rightly or wrongly, I usually don't let the money decide.  In some cases, I've paid the court transcript costs out of my own pocket."

Last week, State Rep. Gayle Mollenkamp, R-Russell Springs, introduced legislation at the request of Trego County.  Under current law, local officials get to keep 15 percent of the money and property forfeited under civil law when they are thought to be linked to criminal drug cases made by the Highway Patrol.  The patrol keeps 85 percent.  The 85-15 split is made after the civil court costs related to the forfeitures have been paid.  The new legislation would allow the split after all costs, criminal and civil, related to a drug bust have been paid.  In other words, Trego County would get more money from property and cash seizures because the legal definition of their overhead costs would be expanded.
(Hays Daily News ~ January 22, 1995)

There is a regular family reunion going on at the Steve Kite home southwest of WaKeeney this week.  Those in the gathering besides Tom Kite and Steve and his family is their brother, Will, from Omaha, Nebraska, James from Junction City, and his daughter, Mrs. Pearl Casey, of Iowa, Mrs. Teter, their sister, from North Carolina, and it is expected that Joe Kite will come over from Scott City.  By this gathering all of their line of the Kite family which are in the United States will be together in a family reunion.
(Western Kansas World ~ August 26, 1920 ~ Page 5)

REV.  NAYLOR  RESIGNS  PASTORATE

The friends of the Rev. Naylor in WaKeeney and especially those who are connected with the Baptist church, regret very much that he has found it necessary to resign the pastorate of the Baptist church in this city.  Rev. Naylor has been here for about one year, but in that time he has made a showing for the good of the community and for the upbuilding of the church.  He is an enthusiastic and untiring worker for the good cause which he is representing.  He has accepted a call to the Baptist church at Wamego, Kansas, and is to be there about the middle of November.  Several old friends and associates of Rev. Naylor are connected with the Wamego church and it is through them and their influence that he has accepted the call.  He also expects his father to come to Kansas and live with him the coming winter.  Parts of the resignation as read before the church congregation are interesting to the general public and we present them herewith:

September 12, 1920

To the Baptist Church in WaKeeney:

Brothers and sisters in Christ and co-laborers with the Master in the vineyard here in WaKeeney:

It is no easy task for me to place my resignation before the membership of this church to take effect at the end of two months according to the terms of the call, closing my work the middle of November, my last Sunday being Sunday, the 14th, or if your candidate should be ready to take up the work with the 1st of Noember, closing my work the last day of October.

The Baptist church in Wamego, Kansas, is hearty and unanimous in its repeated calls for me to take up the work there and it impresses me that the field in that place offers excellent opportunities for service.

During my brief pastorate sixteen have been added to our church, thirteen by baptism, one of these a candi-in waiting left by Bro. Kelly.  Financially the church has surprised almost everybody, even many of our members.  All obligations have been promptly met.  Our congregations have been unusually large considering our membership and now in the few weeks that are left for us to work together as pastor and people, let us labor for the upbuilding and encouragement of this branch of God's Zion and may you always look back on the year that we will have spent together as one in which the vision of this church, sacred in hollowed memories has been broadened and its faith increased.

The presenting of the splendid gift, received by me last Sunday evening through the church and by the citizens of WaKeeney and the local Post Moore of the American Legion makes it doubly difficult for me to take this action but I believe it to be the Lord's leading.  May a great blessing rest upon this church and through this church upon this entire community is my prayer.

Yours in the Master's Service,
J. E. Naylor, pastor
(Western Kansas World ~ September 16, 1920 ~ Page 5)

 

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