May 31, 1908


Came Here With Honors of Gradua-
tion Fresh Upon Him and Began
His Eventful Career.

Since it has been charged that, through the influence of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn, the police force in Kansas City has been governed "in a quiet way" ever since Governor Joseph W. Folk's "rigid investigation" nearly one year ago, it might be interesting who Mickey O'Hearn is.

When signed to a legal paper the alderman's name is Michael J. O'Hearn, but to "the boys" he has for years been known as plain "Mickey." Mickey was born in St. Louis, Mo., and lived there until about 25 years old. In St Louis he learned the horseshoeing trade three years ago the present alderman opened another place, at 1205 Walnut streets, where he is still. He then put trade under the private tutelage of that smooth politician, Edward Butler. From Butler it is said that Mickey probably got his first lessons in how to use a copper when you need him; also how to put the kibosh on a cop that you can't use.

It was about twenty years ago when O'Hearn first landed in Kansas City with the intention of making it his home. While he was a horseshoer by trade, and an expert at the business, it is said that he worked at his trade but a short time. Mickey soon found that in those days when the town was "wide open" there were too many soft things floating about for a man of his talents to waste his energies on labor.

When he left his trade Mickey worked at many places as bartender and that gave him an opportunity to "meet the boys." It was not long before he was identified with some of the biggest crap games in town. He is known to have dealt craps on Missouri avenue near Main, and later on Main street, between Ninth and Tenth streets. It beat hanging onto the hind leg of a Missouri mule all hollow.


Mickey O'Hearn was, and still is, a man to be feared when in his cups. The horseshoeing trade gave him solid bone and tough sinew, and he at one time had the reputation of striking the hardest blow with his fist of any man in Kansas City.

"Whenever he hit a guy it meant the hospital or the Morgue," said a close friend yesterday. "But Mickey always would take the part of the under dog. If he came along the street and saw a big guy cleanin' a little one, that fight had to stop or Mickey would take a hand and put the big one to sleep. I never knew him to start a fight on his own accord, except on election day, when lots of fellows are apt to get too fresh."

In the breast of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn is said to beat a kindly heart if touched in the right place. He is said to be charitable and ready with his money if he can relieve suffering. Being a man who has affiliated a great deal with the sporting fraternity, he, like the many others of that ilk, is superstitious. It is said of him that he will not pass an aged organ grinder, especially a woman, without giving a coin. Again it is said that when he "feels lucky" and intends to take a chance at cards, dice or the races, he will walk blocks to rub a hump-backed man or a bald-headed negro. "It gives me luck," they say.

Many years ago Mickey ran the Pike's Peak saloon at Twelfth street and Baltimore avenue. In the day s of the wine room agitation by the board of police commissioners the place was closed. After that he is said to have been interested in a road house at Thirtieth street and Southwest boulevard. That house was closed by many previous boards and by the present one as a disorderly place. O'Hearn then tended bar for Robert Murdock at 1128 Walnut street, and was there several years. When Murdock died, O'Hearn ran the place in his own name, but was said to have belonged to the estate. The board of police commissioners refused to give Mickey another license, giving as the reason that it as not going to allow another saloon at that place. When he was out, however, the place was opened by George Schuri, who is there now.


The saloon business suited Mickey's fancy, so his next venture was a saloon on the southwest corner of Twelfth and McGee streets, in partnership with Jack O'Flaherty, a brother-in-law, by the way, of the present chief of police, Daniel Ahern.

When Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., was inducted into office, Mickey succeeded in landing the job of superintendent of the workhouse for his brother, Paddy, and the job of matron for Mrs. Paddy O'Hearn. He is also said to have placed some of his most valuable lieutenants with Paddy as guards at the works.

While the reputation of Alderman Mickey O'Hearn would not have admitted him to membership at the recent Presbyterian general assembly, it an be said in his favor that he has never been arrested in Kansas City or charged with a serious offense. He has always been a "friend" to the police, especially those who handle the police.