October 17, 1907


Wanee Ward Was Lonesome in
Keytesville and Deserted Her
Father's People -- Mother Will
Reward Her Fidelity.
Wanee Ward, Runaway from Keytesville, Mo.

Running through muddy fields and hiding in corn and behind trees for cover in order to keep out of the hands of officers, and finally managing to safely secure herself in a seat in a passenger train bound for Kansas City, Wanee Ward, a little 14-year-old girl, came here late Tuesday night and now enjoys the care and attention of her mother, whom she had not seen for years.

Her mother is Mrs. Luttie Ward, of 1429 Harrrison street. She secured a divorce shortly after the little girl was born and, according to her statement was given the custody of her five children. For some reason the little girl was at that time left with the relatives of Clarke Ward, Mrs. Ward's husband.

Mrs. Ward never made an effort to have her daughter sent to her , and knew noting of the child's dissatisfaction with her home in the little town of Keytesville, Mo., until a few weeks ago, when Mrs. Ward received a letter from the girl begging her to come after her. Mrs. Ward said she refused to do this in order to avoid a family row.

Although she had become dissatisfied with her home in Keyesville, Wanee Ward would say noting to her relatives about her intentions of coming to Kansas City. Three weeks ago she started to plan her escape and at that time told a schoolmate of her intentions. She saved what pennies and nickels she could get and Tuesday morning had $1.35. In the afternoon she ran away from school and found her way through corn fields and woods to the railroad station, which is two miles from the school house.

When she reached the depot, there was no passenger train in sight and she hid in a corn field to wait for one to appear. A train stopped at the station early in the evening, and she boarded it on the opposite side from the depot in order to avoid detection. The little girl hid in a seat until the train departed for Kansas City.

Wanee had but $1.45 and the fare to this city is $2.02. This did not worry her, however, as when the conductor called for her ticket she handed him $1, telling him that was all the money she had. The conductor accepted the money and the child finally found her mother.

Yesterday, the sheriff of Keytesville inquired of the authorities in this city as to the little girl's whereabouts, and it is thought that Mr. Ward's family will try to have the child taken back to Keytesville, but Mrs. Ward says she will use every effort to retain custody of her daughter.

This is the second one of the Ward children to run away from the Ward relatives, a son, George, having come to his mother in this city two years ago.