June 7, 1908


As in All Cases, They Are Seeking
Evidence Against the Accused,
Only, and Not That Which
Would Free Him.

"The police will give no more information concerning the Wix case. I think we have given out too much of our side already. We do not intend to try the case in the newspapers."

So said Captain Walter Whitsett at police headquarters last night when asked if there was anything new in the case. By "Our side" he meant the prosecution. He said further that the publication of too much of "our information gives the other fellows a chance to get busy." In other words the police department, a public institution, is run solely to prosecute men. When a man is arrested, charged with a crime, it is a well known fact that the police set to work to get all they can against the man and seldom take notice of anything in the prisoner's favor.

If Clark Wix is convicted for the murder of John Mason as he now stands charged, it appears that it will have to be solely upon circumstantial evidence as, so far, the police have no positive evidence.

The man's watch found in pawn in Wix's name at Silverman's pawnshop, 1215 Grand avenue, and later identified by Mrs. Lizzie Mason, widow of the murdered man and Maude Wilson, was yesterday proved beyond a doubt to be the property of Wix. In his statement Wix said that the watch was his and the woman's watch was his wife's.

When J. B. Schmeltz, 1231 Grand avenue, was seen he said that Detective Fred Bailey called him up about the watch. His mark in the watch was 10232107. The 102 Schmeltz places in all his watches and the 32107 when separated means 3, 21, 07, or March 21, 1907, when the watch sold. The works number is 14160503 and the case 6219763. It is a Waltham, size 16.


When Silverman's pawnshop was visited it was learned that the watch pawned by Wix February 10 last bears exactly the same numbers. Schmeltz also said that he recalled Wix bringing a diamond stick pin to him to be set in a ring and said that he believed he sold him a small diamond ring within the last year, possibly the one Wix gave to Maud Wilson.

The numbers on the works of the woman's watch in pawn are 10437364 and the case 67074. That watch is claimed by Mrs. Mason, who said that her husband was carrying it when he disappeared. She said that the watch was brought second hand, so it would be hard to trace the numbers in that case. Wix says the watch is his wife's and she confirms him. Her description of the watch is identical with the one in pawn. Her nurse friends used to use it when she was a nurse at the general hospital, and they all describe it as a large-sized woman's wath, engraved case, with a diamond in the back. Captain Whitsett says that the watch is being held as evidence and no one not connected with the police or the prosecution shall be allowed to see it. Harry Way, Mrs. Wix's father, said yesterday:

"That watch was given to Harriet by her uncle, Cyrus Way, fifteen years ago. It was brought from Roscoe Smulk, a jeweler at Shelbina, Mo, who is now dead. An effort will be made to get the numbers there, but I don't think they keep them."

If the watch was ever cleaned or repaired by a jeweler here, the numbers will be found here, and the defense is working along those lines now.


Some of the new information received by the police yesterday that, twelve years ago, while hunting near Ottawa, Kas., with a man named Alvin Keller, the latter was supposed to have been accidentally shot by Wix, and that the belief was that it was not accidental. Wix is now 23 years old, so, if that is true, he was only 1 years old when the informant seems to cast suspicion upon him.

It was learned yesterday that on Sunday, January 26, when Mason disappeared, he was about the barn of W. A. Marshall, 1417 Walnut, during the morning. He took John Nevins out and drove him through Penn Valley park in an effort to sell him a horse. Nevins, who is a horseshoer, did not take the horse. Then Mason called up George Coleman, a liveryman, and tried to sell him the buggy and harness. He was turning all his property into cash, as his wife had sued him for divorce.

While Coleman was looking at the buggy Mason left the barn. That was about noon. About 2 p. m. he called Marshall and said:

"I will be over pretty soon with Clark Wix, and I want you to knock that trade with me."

"I asked him what he meant," said Marshall, yesterday, "In his broken German he had used knock for boost. I don't see how he could have been talking in the presence of Wix, to whom he wanted to sell a team."


Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent were assigned on the Mason case yesterday, and they took a new tack. They found out where Mason had often showed his money, that he did not choose his company well, and was often known to have shot craps with negroes. Any of that class may have known that Mason carried a large sum of money, and he might have been killed by them.

The police had several men in the office of Captain Whitsett last night, sweating them and taking their statements. Some of them are believed to have been men who worked for Wix at the time of Mason's disappearance. It is known that an old man named Barslow, a barn foreman, was told to be there at 8 p.m. One of the men who worked about there at the time and who knew Mason and his habits well is now being looked for by police with two different warrants for swindling transfer men and others for whom he worked. That is he collected C. O. D. money and decamped. That man's name is Gale Chaney, and his brother Tom also worked there. Another man now driving a newspaper wagon may be questioned by police.

Every person who ever knew Wix is now rallying to hi support in his hour of trouble. The verdict of many seen yesterday was, "He was the hardest worker I ever saw, and at the same time a man of jolly disposition. I can't conceive his committing such a crime and feel that he will come out all right."

Funeral services of John Mason, the murdered man, will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, 3015 Main street.

Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery.

Prosecutor I. B. Kimbrell and the grand jury were ready at 10:30 yesterday morning to examine Clark Wix and the evidence in the case against him, on which he is held in the county jail for the murder of John Mason, but Inspector M. E. Ryan telephoned that he did not have his evidence in shape to present. The grand jury then adjourned until Monday.