December 31, 1908





Mrs. Setzer Was Married on Christ-
mas Eve -- Was Pledged Pre-
viously to Reese -- Her
Wound May Be Fatal.
Ray Reese and Mrs. Edna Setzer, Former Sweethearts Who Met A Violent End.

At the close of a week of festifities and hoy in the life of Mrs. Edna Setzer, 19 years old, a bride since Christmas eve, she was shot in her home, 621 Virginia avenue, Kansas City, Kas., about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Ray Reese, 23 years old, a former suitor. After shooting Mrs. Setzer, Reese, who is a car cleaner for the Union Pacific railway, and lives at 137 South First street, Argentine, sent a bullet into his brain and died instantly. Dr. A. J. Cannon, police surgeon, says Mrs. Setzer cannot live.

About nine months ago when Mrs. Setzer was Miss Edna Mecum, living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Mecum, at 1618 North Fifth street, Kansas City, Kas, she and Ray Reese met at a dance given by the Royal Highlander's lodge. According to report they became engaged and remained so for two or three months, when they quarreled and she broke off the engagement.

Reese seemed to treat the matter lightly, and he and his former fiance danced together several times afterwards when they met at lodge functions, and there was never a thought of danger in the future.


Chirstmas eve Edna Mecum became the bride of Clyde Setzer, a young man employed at the Kansas City Packing Box Company's plant in Armourdale. They went to live with the bride's sister, Mrs. N. C. Ladd, 621 Virginia avenue, where the tragedy was enacted last evening.

Tuesday evening Mrs. Ladd responded to a knock at her door and was surprised to find Reese standing there. He did not make himself known, but asked, "Is there a family by the name of Jones living in this neighborhood?" Told that there was none, he left, saying no more, and apparently believing himself unrecognized. Mrs. Ladd laughed at the incident and told the happy young couple of what had happened. Still nothing was suspected.

It was about 3:30 yesterday afternoon when Reese met Mrs. Mecum, mother of the bride, almost at the latter's gate.

"Just the person I need," he said, jovially. "Take me in so that I may congratulate the bride."


Mrs. Mecum and the man with murder in his heart entered the house together. Reese and Mrs. Setzer talked pleasantly for about fifteen minutes. He even then exhibited no signs of resentment or anger. He left with the bride's mother and at the door said to Mrs. Setzer, in tones of gentle concern: "I wish you a long and a very happy life."

It was only a few minutes before 5 o'clock when the door of the house opened and Mrs. Ladd, without looking up, said, "Well, there is that grocery boy at last." But it was Reese. He walked without a word past Mrs. Ladd to the front of the room where the girl whom he once pretended to love sat eating popcorn.

Drawing a photograph from his pocket and handing it to Mrs. Setzer, he said, "Here, I forgot to give you back this picture. I don't want to be carrying a married woman's picture around with me."

"Thank you," smiled the girl, accepting the picture and at the same time starting to rise.


Stepping back a pace Reese drew a revolver. Mrs. Ladd, who had just entered the room, fled screaming. Reese fired one shot into Mrs. Setzer's right breast, the ball penetrating the lung and going through the body. Taking one look at the prostrate, bleeding form of the girl, Reese walked into an inner room and placed the revolver to his right temple, fired a shot into his brain, which instantly ended his life.

Dr. a. J. Gannon, police surgeon, was immediately summoned and did all he could for Mrs. Setzer. She had been removed to a bed and was unconscious. In the doctor's opinion there is little hope for her. Reese's body was taken in charge by the coroner and sent to a morgue. Reese's purpose was so clear that it is not believed that an inquest will be necessary.

Reese's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Reese, with whom he lived, were greatly shocked over their son's double deed. They said they had no intimation of such a tragedy.


December 31, 1908


Inmates Escape Injury, but Front of
Building Is Wrecked -- Money
Had Been Demanded of
the Saloonkeeper.

Coming to the country twenty-one years ago, Tony Armenio prospered in business but gained the enmity of the Society of the Mafia, or Black Hand, members of which early yesterday morning attempted to kill Armenio and his wife and child by exploding a dynamite bomb in his living apartments. The Italian owns a saloon at 550 Gillis street and lives on the fourth floor above the dramshop.

Preceding the explosion yesterday morning Armenio on Monday received a letter, which was unsigned, demanding $5,900. If Armenio failed to give the money to "friends," the writer stated, his entire family would be killed. The Italian saloonkeeper did not heed the warning and thought but little of it, because he received a similar letter about a year ago.

A tenement house four stories high with storerooms occupying the ground floor, situated at 536 to 550 Gillis street, is owned by Armenio. Along the rear of the tenement is a porch, and it was upon this porch that the Black Hand arranged the bomb.


An explosion, the detonation of which was heard as far as Sheffield, occurred at 1:30 o'clock yesterday morning and wrecked the rear rooms of the apartments occupied by Armenio and his family. In the front room were Armenio and his wife, while in the room to the west was their daughter, Mary, 16 years old. The dining room is directly west of that in which the daughter was asleep. A window opens out onto the rear porch.

Just beneath the window ledge the Black Hand agent had removed a brick from the wall, and placing a bomb on the window ledge, balanced it with the brick. A fuse was attached and set off. The force of the explosion tore the window casing out and knocked bricks out of the wall, and caused the plaster to fall off the ceilings and walls of every room.

Mary Armenio was covered with debris and unable to get out of bed until her father and mother assisted her. The shock greatly frightened the Armenio family and the other inhabitants of the tenement house. Window panes were broken in houses a block away. As soon as the first excitement was over the Italian family joined the throng in the street below. Luckily none was injured by the flying debris.

The explosion played havoc with the tenement, but also performed many peculiar tricks. A two-by-four scaritling torn from the porch was driven through the door from the dining room leading into Mary Armenio's room. A bird cage, imprisoning a canary bird, was hanging to a window casing. All of the casings was blown away except a small part to which was attached the cage. The glass and plaster fell into the cage, but the bird was uninjured.


Nails were driven into the walls and door frames and the police believe that the bomb was composed of a beer bottle filled with nails and iron slugs.

As is always the case where trouble has occurred among the Italian inhabitants of Little Italy, the police are at a loss. When asked, the Italians invariably shake their heads and mutter: "I don't know." Never have the police been able to make the Italians say they believe a murder has been committed by members of the Black Hand, so powerful is the influence of the society.

The report of dynamite explosion was heard by practically every policeman on duty in Kansas City. Immediately afterwards the patrolman called up their various stations and reported. But not one of them was able to give definite information as to where the explosion occurred. At police headquarters at 2:45 o'clock they learned that the explosion occurred at 559 Gillis street. And it was 3 o'clock before they learned that it was caused by a dynamite bomb placed in the building with murderous intent.

CAN'T USE HIS BURIAL LOT. ~ J. A. Stout Seeks Injunction Against Forest Hill Cemetery Owners.

December 31, 1908

J. A. Stout Seeks Injunction Against
Forest Hill Cemetery Owners.

Because the cemetery company insists that none but Episcopalians can be buried in Forest Hill cemetery, an in junction suit was filed against it by John A. Stout in the circuit court yesterday. The plaintiff asks that the Troost Avenue Cemetery Company, which owns the burying ground, be compelled to permit the burial of the bodies of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Arthur Stout, and her child, in Forest Hill. He states that he bought a lot from the vestrymen of St. Mary's Episcopal church, but at the death of his relatives the cemetery company would not allow him to bury them in his lot because they had not been Episcopalians.

Several suits are pending in the courts, based on the same contention.

The injunction is returnable at 9 o'clock this morning. In several instances the court has made similar injunctions permanent. Frank M. Lowe is attorney for Mr. Stout.

The bodies which the owner of the lot desires to have sepultured there are those of Mrs. Dora V. Stout and her 2-year-old son, wife and child of the Rev. Arthur Stout, former pastor of the Sheffield Christian church. Mrs. Stout died at the home of her father-in-law, John A. Stout, 2544 Wabash avenue, Tuesday night. The baby died in New Mexico several weeks ago.

JUDGE M'CUNE'S LAST DAY. ~ New Presiding Officer for Juvenile Court Must Be Chosen.

December 31, 1908

New Presiding Officer for Juvenile
Court Must Be Chosen.

For the last time, Judge H. L. McCune will hold juvenile court today. He has been at the head of this work for two years, and the history of the Kansas City child's court is the history of his tribunal, for there has been no other regular judge since the juvenile law went into effect. Judge McCune goes out of office the first of the year. His successor will be chosen by the circuit judges from among their number. Judges John G. Park, Republican, and E. E. Porterfield, Democrat, are most frequently spoken of for that place.

Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday completed his annual report, which will be handed to Judge McCune for approval today. The report shows that 1,155 cases were handled during the year in court and 851 settled out of court, making a total of 2,006. The report shows the disposition of those handled through the court. The register of the Detention home shows that 977 children have been booked there during the year.

As a general thing the report shows that children who have a father but no mother living are less in evidence in the juvenile court. Ninety living with the father were brought to the attention of the probation officers, while 131 who lived with the mother, the father being dead, were in court.

NEGRO EDUCATORS WOULD TEACH AGRICULTURE. ~ Want Money For Such a Department at the Lincoln State Normal School.

December 31, 1908

Want Money For Such a Department
at the Lincoln State Nor-
mal School.

The twenty-fourth annual session of the negro branch, Missouri State Teachers' Association, opened at the Lincoln high school, Nineteenth street and Tracy avenue, Tuesday morning. Several important papers were read and discussed that day.

Supplementary to the regular programme of yesterday was a lecture on the prevention of tuberculosis by Dr. W. J. Thompkins of this city. There were three meetings of the association yesterday and there will be only two today, morning and afternoon. This evening there will be a reception tendered the visiting teacakes by the local committee. That will close the session.

The most important work was done at the meeting yesterday afternoon. The matter under discussion was the establishment of an agricultural department in the Lincoln state normal school at Jefferson City. A committee was appointed to draft a petition to the incoming legislature, asking for an appropriation to that end.

"There are about 600 pupils in attendance at the state normal," said R. L. Logan of Columbia, Mo. "About forty to fifty of them are graduated each year, most all of them as teacakes. The field for negro teachers is small, and many of them regard it as a sacrifice, after spending four years at school, to go out into the rural districts and take schools which only pay from $25 to $45 per month.

"You would be surprised to know the number of men in this city, St. Louis and St. Joseph, all graduates of the state normal, who have gone to waiting tables in the best hotels. Why? Because they can earn more money at that. We feel that with an agricultural department at our state normal many a negro boy who comes there from the farm will be willing to go back there better equipped, as he will have learned practical farming. As it is, if they can't get schools, they drift to the cities and have to take what is offered to them. There are so few chances offered to the negro that we feel that the state ought to do this much to aid those who can and will profit by it. We know that the branch of the work, agriculture, will be taken up by many as soon as it is opened to them."

ITALIANS WILL HOLD A MASS MEETING SUNDAY. To Raise Money for Relief of Stricken People -- Many Have Relatives in Sicily.

December 30, 1908


To Raise Money for Relief of Stricken
People -- Many Have Rela-
tives in Sicily.

Local Little Italy, which might more specifically be called Lesser Sicily, since most of its residents come from that stricken island, received the news of the earthquake that killed scores of thousands with an expectant stoicism that utterly belies what books say about the volatile Italian nature. It was expectant, in that the Sicilians and Calabrians of Kansas City are bravely awaiting the horrible details which only days can bring forth. Accounts at best are but meager and the fate of the members of their families cannot be known for a fortnight.

They are not wringing their hands in anguish. Instead, they are occupied with a demonstration much more to the purpose.

"We must get together and raise some money for them," said Dr. L. Laurenzana of 522 East Fifth street, last night. With that he stepped to the telephone and called up the Italian consul, Pietro Isnardi. A business-like conversation in Italian ensued.


"A mass meeting of all Italians in Kansas City will be held at the hall adjoining the Church of the Holy Rosary at Missouri avenue and Campbell street, Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock," said the doctor as he turned away from the telephone. "We raised nearly $400 for the earthquake sufferers in Calabria, three years ago, and we ought to do better than that this time."

Dr. Laurenzana has a cousin, Anello Alfano by name, who is a railroad contractor at Pizzo on the Calabrian toe of the Italian boot, only four miles and a half from Reggio, where so many thousands were killed Monday.

Walter Randazzo of 104 East Fifth street, too, has a cousin, Cologero Randazzo, who held a government position at Messina, where 12,000 people are said to have lost their lives.

"I came from Palermo," said Mr.Randazzo, "and, as I understand it, the western part of the island, where the city is located, was not badly affected by the quake. Palermo is a long way from Messina. You leave there on the train at night and don't reach Messina until the next morning."


S. J. Tremonte, proprietor of the Italian Castle cafe at Fifth and Oak streets, comes from Gibbellins, a town of about 15,000 inhabitants, lying forty-four miles from Palermo. His parents and brothers still live there, but he is not apprehensive, as they are not in the affected district.

Pietro Berbiglia, who operates the Milano restaurant at 7 East Eighth street, has been in this country for ten years, and comes from Piggioreallia in Trapani province, not far from Palermo. He served in the Italian army and in 1898 was stationed at Catania, which is almost at the very foot of Mount Aetna, and which with Messina and Reggio suffered perhaps more heavily thatn any of the other cities.

"Catania is a beautiful place," he said last night, "and carries on a large shipping trade with Malta and other points on the Mediterranean. It has about 150,000 inhabitants and the Universita di Catania, with many students, is located there. It has a long and beautiful street which I think is more magnificent than anything even in Rome, called the Corso Garibaldi, running for about four miles along the seashore from Catania proper to Porto Garibaldi. There is also a large garden or park called the Villa Stema d'Italia, that is one of the prettiest in Italy."

BOULWARE WOULD BE CHIEF. ~ He Was Captain of Police When Speers Headed the Department.

December 30, 1908

He Was Captain of Police When
Speers Headed the Department.

T. S. Bouleware, formerly a captian of police, has started a petition in his own behalf for appointment as chief of police of Kansas City. Boulware was a patrolman under Chief Thomas Speers. He rose to the grade of captain, which he held at the time of his chief's dismissal. In the reorganization Captain Boulware was dropped from the force. He went into the secret service of the Rock Island railroad, quitting that two years ago to enter the employ of the gas company, in the sales department.

BELIEVED 10 YEARS WOULD DO. ~ Opium User Asked Long Sentence So He Might Be Cured.

December 30, 1908

Opium User Asked Long Sentence So He Might Be Cured.

Charles Lewis, who forged a check, yesterday asked to be sent to the penitentiary.

"For ten years I have been a user of opium and I believe a prison sentence would cure me of the habit," he told Judge R. S. Latshaw in the criminal court.

Lewis was given five years, the minimum penalty. With good behavior he will finish his time in three years and three months.


December 29, 1908




Wife, Who Is a Graduate of Swarth-
more College, Learned Gym-
nasatic Stunts in the Co-
Ed's Gymnasium.

But for the prompt arrival of Dr. R. A. Shiras from the Walnut street police station yesterday at noon the romance of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Bates, begun two years ago while plying in the musical comedy, "The Gingerbread Man," would have terminated fatally. The husband, dejected because the wife turned him away from her door on account of a domestic difference, had taken half an ounce of aconite in order to kill himself. Dr. Shiras gave him an antidote and the ambulance took the young man to Central police station, where he was locked up until he had fully recovered from the effects of the drug.

Bates, who is only 22 years old, handsome, athletic and well dressed, came from a good family in Philadelphia and graduated from a state normal school. While at college he learned to do tumbling stunts in the gymnasium and also devoted much time to amateur theatricals. When he left school he had an opportunity to join the company playing "The Gingerbread man," and seized upon it. With the same company was a pretty young actress who had also a gymnastic turn. Sometimes they used to work together. She was a graduate of Swarthmore college and had acquired her fondness for athletic stunts, while practicing in the co-ed's gym. Being persons from a similar station in life and both attractive, propinquity soon got in its work. They were married, and last year they started out on a vaudeville circuit in the South, doing a tumbling act. In the summer they returned to Philadelphia, where Bates became an agent for a horse and mule company.

"This year," said the young man, "we decided to give up the stage for good. After all the life of an actor must always be an unsatisfactory one and we thought we would settle down in Kansas City and raise a family."

They came here and Bates got a job with the Jones Dry Goods Company. They lived happily until differences began to arise about a month ago. Sunday night Bates went home and there was a lively quarrel, the husband finally leaving the house in anger. Yesterday morning he went back to see her, but she refused to open the door and would only speak to him through it. She told him to go away, that their paths must be thereafter separate. Bates went away and purchased and purchased some horse medicine from a druggist, including half an ounce of aconite. He then swallowed the drug.

"I am going to try to get my wife to make up with me," he said yesterday, "and then I'm going to take her back to Philadelphia, where our people live. Then I think we can be happy."

BULGER'S HEART WAS TOO BIG. ~ Refused to Prosecute Two Men That Robbed His Safe.

December 29, 1908

Refused to Prosecute Two Men That
Robbed His Safe.

"I didn't have the heart to do it," said Alderman Miles Bulger yesterday after telling the prosecuting attorney to turn loose the two men who had robbed the safe at Bulger & Woolf's "cement emporium."

"It was their first offense; they had been drinking, and it's a poor way of getting even by putting two human beings behind the bars for a term of years. Besides, it makes me feel better. I am sure I would be haunted forever with the thought that I had ruined two lives."

When the men were brought before the prosecuting attorney Mr. Bulger weakened.

"Will you take a pledge not to get drunk for another year?" he asked the weeping men.

"We'll never drink again," sobbed the prisoners.

"All right, get down on your knees and take this pledge," commanded the alderman.

The men did as directed, and Mr. Bulger had them repeat a pledge given by a total abstinence society of which he is a member.

"Here's a dollar for each of you," finished Mr. Bulger.

NO HONEYMOON IN A BALLOON. ~ Mr. and Mrs. Coey Will Go to California by Rail.

December 29, 1908

Mr. and Mrs. Coey Will Go to Cali-
fornia by Rail.

Charles A. Coey of Chicago and Miss Carrie Hume Lewis of 1809 Linwood boulevard, this city, will be married at the home of Miss Lewis's parents next Saturday night. Mr. Coey is prominent in Chicago automobile circles and an enthusiastic aeronaut. The latter fact caused some of Mr. Coey's friends, who believe in practical jokes, to spread the story that with his bride he would go on a honeymoon trip through the clouds, starting in a large balloon from Kansas City. One Chicago newspaper accepted the yarn as fact and solemnly published it.

"It was an absurd story," said Miss Lewis at her home last night. "Why, we had never even thought of such a thing. We will leave for Los Angeles next Sautrday night, and don't forget to state that we will go by rail. After two months we shall return to Chicago and be at home at the Auditorium Annes."

Miss Lewis is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Lewis.

THIEF ANSWERED TELEPHONE. ~ When Mrs. Anna Davis Called Up to Say She Was Coming.

December 29, 1908

When Mrs. Anna Davis Called Up to
Say She Was Coming.

When Mrs. Anna Davis, a widow, living at 142 Ruby avenue, Argentine, returned home yesterday from spending Christmas with relatives at Minneapolis, Kas., the first thing she thought of was to call up and let the other members of the household know that she had reached the city and was about to take a street car for home. The voice that answered at the other end of the 'phone did not seem familiar, but she took it as being that of one of her nephews and announced that she would be there just as soon as a street car would carry her.

The street car did its duty all right, but the nephew was absent when she entered the house, and instead of finding everything as she had supposed, the place was turned topsy-turvy. Every bureau drawer in the house had been ransacked and a thorough search made for valuables. Mrs. Davis, after talking with her relatives, arrived at the conclusion that it was the robber she was conversing with over the telephone. The police authorities were notified.

ST. ANTHONY'S HOME IN COURT. ~ Physicians Have Been Called to

December 28, 1908

Physicians Have Been Called to
Explain Complaints Lodged
Against Management.

Physicians will be called before the juvenile court this morning to tell the court what they know about the conduct of St. Anthony's Home for Infants. For some time there has been complaints lodged against the home by physicians and Humane agents.

Mrs. Mary Workman, matron, said last night that the hospital was conducted in a first-class manner and that no just complaint could be made against it. She admitted that the babies did not receive sufficient exercise, because of the lack of nurses to give them proper handling.

Physicians connected with the city health and hospital board have objected for a long time to the manner in which the death certificates were sent in by the hospital authorities. Other physicians who have been connected with the staff have resigned, their excuse for resigning being that the nurses at the hospital failed to follow instructions given regarding treatment of the children.

The investigation to be had before the juvenile court this morning is to compel a change in the management of the home. Mrs. Richard Keith, who is interested in the home, said last night that the home was conducted in a first-class manner and that she approved of the present management.

PLEASE REMOVE TOOTHPICKS. ~ Before Asking for Hotel Telephone Girl for a Number.

December 28, 1908

Before Asking for Hotel Telephone
Girl for a Number.

"There is a practice which I wish some men would cease," said a telephone girl at a public pay station yesterday. "That is of coming up to the desk, blowing a cloud of smoke in our faces and then asking for a number. Worse than the smoker, though, is the fellow who comes up with a toothpick in his mouth and asks for a number between picks. One fellow, the other day, had a quill pick. The way he picked and talked was not pleasing in the least. Yes, there are unpleaant occurrences even in our work."


December 27, 1908

More Presents From Mayor's
Christmas Tree.
It was announced in yesterday's Journal that about 700 children had failed to get a present at the mayor's Christmas tree in Convention hall on Christmas, and that tickets had been given them to return Saturday at 2 p. m., when sacks would be given them. About noon a telephone message was sent to police headquarters that over 2,500 boys were massed at the hall and police were asked for to keep order.

A great many of the policemen who were sent had been on duty there the day before and they recognized scores of boys whom they had seen get a package on Christmas day. When the kids were asked what they were doing there they answered, "We are after what we kin git that's what we're here fer." That class of repeaters were put out of line and only those who had tickets were admitted. With all of that care the little sharpers managed to get in on the second day's festivities.

After the packages fell short Christmas day -- on account of so many children from the outside which were not counted on -- Captain J. F. Pelletier, head of the purchasing committee,, went that evening and bought 1,000 more substantial toys and candy, nuts and fruit to go in the bags. Early yesterday morning, in response to a notice in The Journal, about twenty of the tired women who had worked so hard all week, reported at the hall and when the gifts arrived began work. All was in readiness at 3 p. m., but there was no crowding or jamming in the hall, as only those with tickets were admitted.

J. C. Chafin of the Franklin institute arrived at the hall soon after the long line of boys had been formed. As he walked up the line many of them ducked out, hid their faces and ran to the end of the line and got in again.

"Every child from my district was here yesterday," he said as he came in the hall. "They all got something, for I saw them. They are all outside again."

E. T. Bringham, superintendent of the Helping Hand institute, recognized many familiar faces from the North End which he had seen in the lines with sacks on Christmas day.

Many women came yesterday with one ticket and from two and a half dozen children. They wanted one ticket to admit them all. They swore that they had been overlooked, but when the little fellows were taken aside -- those little ones who know only the truth -- they would tell just what they had got when they were there the day before.

One woman with one little girl and one ticket was admitted. "I have four at home with the whooping cough. I want a bundle for them." She was given four extra bundles, appropriate for the sick ones and asked where she lived. "Over in Armourdale," she said, "and I want one of them whips for each one of them, and one of them tops that dance, and one of anything else you've got." She was given a street car ticket for her little girl and told to try and be satisfied with her five packages. She was mad and showed it by what she said in the most spiteful manner.

Two small boys who had succeeded in washing the stamp from their hands Christmas day in time to get back to the hall and get tickets of admission to yesterday's event, were heard to say after they examined their sacks, "Huh, dis is better'n we got yesterday, ain't it?"

Most of those who were admitted on tickets yesterday and who got sacks were of the very deserving kind. The were of the more timid ones who had been crowded out Christmas day and their joy was depicted in their faces as they marched happily away, bundles in arms. Between 500 and 700 packages were given out yesterday on tickets. The rest were put aside and will be sent out to the homes where there are sick children who could not get to the hall.


December 27, 1908


Prosecution Will Try to Show That
Woman Had Written Threatening
Letter to Husband Short Time
Before She Shot Him.

At the trial of Rose Peterson, the following letter purporting to be written by Mrs. Peterson to her husband will be introduced:

"It's a good thing you ran today or I would have got you. I would have got you anyway if so many people had not been around. Don't go any place where I may see you! I'll get you if I ever see you, no mater if it's ten years from now. If you ever try to get it I'll follow you, no matter where you go."

This letter was received by Fred Peterson two weeks ago. It was unsigned, but, it was alleged, was in Rose Peterson's handwriting and he showed it to his brother, Frank, saying that his wife had written it. Then Fred told how that very morning as he was passing Eighth and Cherry streets, Rose met him and pointed a revolver at him, but he dodged behind a corner so quickly that she had no opportunity to fire.


Mrs. Peterson was seen at the county jail last night and the letter alleged to have been written by her to Fred Peterson was red. "Did you write that letter?" she was asked.

"I don't know" she answered. "I don't remember whether I did or not."

"Did you and your husband ever have a quarrel about dry goods and did he accuse you with having unlawfully obtained them? Was that your first misunderstanding?"

"I don't know that, either," she said.

"Did you ever point a revolver at your husband on the street; in other words, did you ever attempt to shoot him?"

"You ain't talking to me, I guess."

"How did you happen to have a revolver on the night he was shot on the street? Was it your habit to carry a revolver when attending dances?"

"I won't talk to you. See my lawyer. He will tell you all I've got to say."

The Petersons were married three years ago, when he was 19 years old and she was 16. He was a plumber and earned $13 a week. They lived at the house of Peterson's mother and were apparently very happy until they had a dispute about some dry good that the wife had brought into the house and which the husband insisted that she ought to return. After being married nine months they separated and Peterson moved to California, where he remained until last September. Then he became sick and his mother hastened to his side and brought him back to this city. He got a job here and lived at the home of his mother.


Several months ago Rose Peterson came to the house and asked for her husband. They talked, and several times afterward they were seen in each other's company. Divorce proceedings were instituted by the woman, but after they had reached a certain stage she ceased to pay her lawyer his fees and Peterson, who was also anxious to get the divorce, paid the lawyer $15. At this time, says Frank Peterson, Rose had changed her mind and did not want to get the divorce. She begged her husband to contest the suit, and finally threatened to do him harm, the brother says. He knew that she carried a revolver. His brother said to him once:

"If Rose pulls that gun on you I want you to strike her." Fred replied: "No, I won't do that. I'm going to run."

He did run when she pointed the revolver at him at Eighth and Cherry streets, and after that he avoided her. On the night on which he was shot he had planned to do some Christmas shopping with his mother, but she was taken ill and he was forced to go alone. He was never seen alive again by any friends or family. Mrs. Peterson claims that on that night she went to a dance with her husband, and that he accompanied her home. She asserts that they quarreled on a street car. They left the car at Eighteenth and Askew and the quarrel was resumed on the street. The woman says the man slapped her; that then she drew a revolver and fired five shots, each of the five bullets lodging in his body and killing him instantly.

MADE POOR PEOPLE HAPPY. ~ Presents and Musical Cheer for County Farm Inmates.

December 27, 1908

Presents and Musical Cheer for Coun-
ty Farm Inmates.

The inmates of the county farm were given a Christmas tree yesterday afternoon by the Kansas City chapter of the International Sunshine Society, and 200 men and women were made happy by small gifts. Each one was given a box of candy, and the men received an additional present of a bandana handkerchief, while each woman was given an embroidered handkerchief and a bottle of perfume. The members of the Old Men's Quartet sang several of the old songs, and Miss Sarah Morrison gave recitations which pleased her hearers. Miss Nina Cushing also sang some of the old songs.

TREAT FOR JEWISH CHILDREN. ~ Lecture at Temple B'Nai Jehudah by Austrailian Traveler.

December 27, 1908

Lecture at Temple B'Nai Jehudah
by Austrailian Traveler.

The children of the B'Nai Jehudah congregation, Flora avenue and Linwood boulevard, were given a treat last night when they listened to a lecture by Alfred Foster of Australia, a traveler of note. The lecture was illustrated by stereopticon views, made from pictures taken by the lecturer in his travels, and included a trip from San Francisco through New Zealand, Tasmania, the Fiji islands and a portion of Australia. All the chief points of interest were illustrated and an entertaining description of the countries and people was given.

At the conclusion of the lecture, the ladies of the Temple Sisterhood distributed boxes of candy to each child present. More than 200 children enjoyed the entertainment.


December 26, 1908




Little Ones Came From Suburban
Places and Swelled the Throng
Beyond Expectation -- More
Toys Have Been Bought.

Was it a success, the first Mayor's Christmas tree in Kansas City? It was, even more than a success, and if the committee had counted on delegates from Kansas City, Kas., Armourdale, Argentine, Rosedale, Olathe, Kas., Independence, Holden and Pleasant Hill, Mo., and a few from Chicago, Ill., all would have gone off swimmingly. As it was there were more present than presents.

The women sacked and separated 5,000 bags for boys and girls, and 2,500 sacks lay on tables on each side of the hall. Besides those, about 700 Christmas bags had been prepared specially for children in hospitals and those who were ill at home and could not come to Convention hall. It was the intention to deliver them by wagons late yesterday afternoon.

In one short hour every sack was gone, including the ones prepared for the hospitals, and many children were still in line. Over 700 tickets were given to them to come to the hall at 2 o'clock this afternoon when an effort will be made to supply them. Captain J. F. Pelletier of the purchasing committee bought toys, candies and nuts last night and a committee of tired women will be at the hall at 8 o'clock this morning to prepare them. It is estimated that fully 1,000 children who were last in line failed to get a Christmas sack.


It was stated that he doors to the main floor would be opened at 1 p. m. and that the distribution would begin at 2 o'clock. But the children began gathering at 10 o'clock, and as the wind was raw, they were admitted to the balconies of the hall.

Shortly after 1 o'clock some one gave the word "Ready" and the girls and boys rushed from the balconies and jammed into one living mass before the entrance to the arena. The wee ones were being smothered and, in order to save lives, the crowd had to be admitted to the floor.

On the right side was a big placard reading "BOYS" and on the left another reading "GIRLS." Instead of mingling about the hall and looking at the trees and watching the antics of the five Santa Clauses under the two great evergreens, the boys massed before the chute leading to their side and the girls did likewise on the other side.

Patrolmen William M. Meyers, Elvin Gray, T. L. Savidge, George H. Moseley and Thomas McNally, who were rigged in full regalia as the five Saints Nick did all they could to detract the attention of the children, but they had their eyes on those Christmas bags, and the lumbering antics didn't even win a grin.

There was nothing to do but start the ball, and start it they did. The first boy to get his goodies was George Cook, 11 years old, of 115 North Prospect avenue. A committeeman placed the imprint of a little Christmas tree on the back of George's left hand with a rubber stamp and indelible ink. He grabbed his sack, sailed through the chute and squatted immediately outside the door to see what he had. He was soon followed by a mob of other boys, just as curious, and soon the doorway had to be cleared by a policeman as there was a boy to every square foot.


At the head of the girls' line stood Ester Cronkhite, 11 years old, 1700 Fremont avenue. In her arms she carried her 2-year-old sister, Alice. Both were given appropriate sacks and, heavily laden, little Ester labored on. The children were given street car tickets home. One ticket entitled tow to a ride.

Most attention was paid to the boys, as it was believed that they -- the little scamps --- would do some duplicating. Soon after it was seen that their hands were being stamped several boys appeared in line with gloves on. And so did some of the girls. When the jam on the boys' side got beyond control Detective Thomas Hayde mounted a box and, in stentorian tones commanded, "Here, you kids, quit that pushing. Don't you see you're smothering these kids here in the front? Stand back there. Quit that."

"Hully chee," said one boy, "dere's de chief. Skedoo back kids and beehave er we won't git nuttin."

From that announcement there was a line formed out of the boys and there was little crowding. "De chief's here," went down the line. "See 'im hollerin' on de box dere." That settled it with them.


On the girls side there was nothing short of chaos. About nine stalwart coppers -- out of thirty detailed at the hall -- under Captain John Branham, could no t keep them in line. They actually shoved the police to one side. "O'm demmed, eh? Oi aint timpted tuh give 'em the loight schlap," said one policeman, who had been shoved about ten feet by the little girls, "but 'twudn't do, all being gerrels, ye know."

While the bulk of the eagle eyes were on the boys to see that they played no tricks and did no repeating, the girls did a rushing business on that very line. At the head of the line were bags for little girls, and the big ones got theirs further on. Many of the "mediums," which could pass for both, got both. One was seen to get a sack, hold it under her cloaK with one hand, while with the other hand she gratefully received another.

Still others would get their sack and immediately pass it over the chute to a waiting companion on the outside while she passed on and got a second present from another woman. Many of the sharp boys whose hands had been stamped and who could not get back in line were seen to do this same thing.


"Gimme 'nother for my little brother what's sick at home an' can't come. Gimme one fer my sister with th' mumps. Gimme one fer my little cousin what has fits an' can't come. Gimme 'nother one fer my half little brother what's visitin' an' won't be home 'till New Years. Gimme 'nother, please, fer a kid what lives by me an' sprained his leg so he can't git his shoes on any more this year."

The foregoing excuses were given by the boys and girls in line, and there were possibly a hundred others. No one could refuse them, as many cried to make the play strong.

Many little ones got lost from brothers and sisters, and the five Santa Clauses were kept busy carrying them about hunting for relatives and companions with whom they had come. All were crying. R. S. Crohn found a little fellow's brother for him three times, and when he got lost again turned him over to Santa Claus. Finally a room was set apart for the lost ones and by the time the festivities were over all lost children had been restored.


Mayor Thomas T. Crtittenden, Jr. , mistaken in the time he should have been there, arrived at Convention hall with Franklin Hudson, just as the last of the bags had been given out to the children. There was to have been an entertainment, with a speech by the mayor, but that had to be left out. Devaney's orchestra furnished music while the children were waiting.

"It's the happiest day of my life," said the mayor. "I wouldn't have missed the little I have seen for anything. We will know better how to proceed next year, however, and will begin earlier. Another thing we will know is just how many children will be here and just what sort of presents to put up for them. Other cities may profit by our example next y ear and relieve us of such an unfortunate incident as took place today. We have more money, however, will buy more toys, more nuts, candy and fruit, and will be ready for the leftovers Saturday at 2 p. m."

"It was more than what we bargained for," said Franklin Hudson, chairman of the executive committee. "We were counting on our own children only -- but what's the difference, they are all children anyway."

"I don't care if they came here from Europe," said Captain J. F. Pelletier. "We were not looking for 1,500 outsiders, but as they weere here we are glad of it. I wish all the kids on earth had been here. At one time I thought at least half of them were here.

Another large bundle of Santa Claus letters were received at the hall yesterday, some of them being handed in by the children who came. They will be classified by districts and an effort made as far as possible to give each child just hwat it asked for. It may take several days yet, but the committee says: "We are not going to do this thing by halves."


December 26, 1908


That, and a Trip to Church With a
Policeman as Guard, Filled the
Day for the Woman Who
Shot Her Husband.

Flowers from fellow employes at a printing plant, where she had worked for some time, greeted Mrs. Rose Peterson when she returned to the county jail yesterday from church. She is charged with killing her husband.

On Thursday Mrs. Peterson asked for permission to to to church and this was granted by Judge R. S. Latshaw of the criminal court. Patrolman John Coughlin took her to 8:30 o'clock mass at St. Patrick's, Eighth and Cherry. She had never missed church a single Christmas in her life.

"And to think that he was in citizen's clothes and not in uniform," said Mrs. Peterson afterwards. "We did not attract a bit of attention and I had been so afraid that the officer would wear a uniform." This bit of consideration seemed the best gift of all to the child wife.

"Since I was 14 I have been at work feeding presses," said Mrs. Peterson. "I married at 16. I can't tell why. Yes, it was young. I am only 19 now. Do you know, over at the police station they measured me -- I'm five feet one and one-half inch in my stocking feet. I weigh 123 pounds. And they measured my arms and my fingers and took finger prints and everything. Did you get my picture out of the rogues' gallery for the paper? Because the pictures they printed of me looked awful. I saw Aggie Myers's picture there."


"This morning they left the doors open and I walked around to see the gallows where they hanged Bud Taylor. Maybe I'll leave my tracks on that scaffold some time," she smiled.

"You want to know why I got married at 16? I don't know myself. We separated after a year. It will be three years next march since we were married. After the wedding I kept right on feeding the presses. My husband kept bothering me and for a long time I have been carrying a revolver." Her husband slapped her and she shot him.

"Did we run away to get married?" repeated the blue-eyed Irish girl, who seems hardly over 17. "Really, I can't remember." Which was only another way of saying that she did not want to remember.


"If I ever get out of here I'll never get married again, never, never. A woman is a man's slave after she is married. I don't believe in marriage. It hurts me to see my sister growing up and to think that she may fall in love with someone. Oh, I am going to talk her out of it if I can. There is nothing in marriage."

While Mrs. Peterson was talking, Mrs. James Sharp, one of the band of fanatics and a cellmate, walked across the room and stood behind the girl's chair.

"Ask Mrs. Sharp," was suggested.

"Do you believe in marriage?" the childwife asked.

"Yes, of course I do," said Mrs. Sharp, as she stroked the girl's brown hair. "Of course I do," s he repeated with a smile that flashed for a moment, a memory of her former attractiveness. Mrs. Sharp is a native Missourian.

"Last Christmas I was in Minnesota," added the elder woman quietly, with a touch of reminiscence in her tone.

Mrs. Peterson had stopped talking. Her brother and sister had come to see the little member of Press Assistant's Union No 20, who wants to be a linotype operator if she gains her liberty.

M'CUNE HOME BOYS HAPPY. ~ Received Many Gifts and Had a Big Dinner Yesterday.

December 26, 1908

Received Many Gifts and Had a Big
Dinner Yesterday.

Gifts were distributed at the McCune home, seven miles northeast of Independence, yesterday. Candy and boxes from kansas City and Independence went to the farm, the gifts including a graphophone, a present from the county court and Judge McCune. The matron served turkey to the boys.

There was a dinner at the county farm, under the direction of Superintendent Jackson.

In Independence wagons were sent over the city conveying substantial Christmas gifts to those who did not expect it and were worthy of it.

A DRESS OF WAR MEMORIES. ~ Interesting History of the Costume Worn by Harry Lauder.

December 26, 1908

Interesting History of the Costume
Worn by Harry Lauder.

There is an interesting story connected with the big fur shako or Schotch bonnet which is worn by Harry Lauder, the Scotch comedian, who will be at Convention hall Sunday and Monday. this bonnet is worn by Mr. Lauder as a part of his makeup while singing, "When I Get Back Again to Bonnie Scotland," the song which King Edward requested him to sing at a recent "Command."

The bonnet was presented to Lauder by Private Alexander Dow, who is one of the survivors of the "Noble Six Hundred," who fought and bled for England's glory at Balaklava. Private Dow, who is now almost 80 years of age, was one of the brave Ninety-third Highlanders who formed the "Thin Red Line," who were only distinguised from their red-coated fellow fighters by the small blue hackle which adorned their bonnets.

The rest of Mr. Lauder's costume when singing this song was presented to him by the First battalion of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, and constitutes their full dress regimentals -- all save the tiny dagger or skean, which peeps out of the right stocking. This little weapon, which is also of historical and sentimental value, was a gift from Pip Major MacKay of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanderrs, and was obtained by him on the battlefield of Mager-Fontein during the Boer war.

This blood-stained little souvenir of carnage was found clasped in the hand of an officer of the "Black Watch" -- the Forty-second Highlanders -- who evidently had used it well in the defense of the life he could not save, in a hand-to-hand conflict with some Boer warrior enemy.

CALLS HER HUSBAND "GRANDPA." ~ Nineteen-Year-Old Susan Vauhn Marries 74-Year-Old Man.

December 25, 1908

Nineteen-Year-Old Susan Vauhn
Marries 74-Year-Old Man.

Groom, aged 74; bride, aged 19 -- such was a marriage solemnized at Independence Wednesday afternoon, Justice L. P. Anderson officiating. Benjamin Sellers, the groom, is sprightly and well preserved. His bride, who was Miss Susan Vaughn, a comely lass with red hair, is a picture of robust health. Her father is W. M. Vaughn of Sheffield. Mr. Sellers is an Englishman. In 1857 he entered the em ploy of General Tom Thumb as valet, with whom he traveled for fifteen years. He still has an old suit of clothes which belonged to the famous dwarf.

When seen yesterday at their home, 427 East Fifth street, Mr. and Mrs. Sellers were very happy. "I know it is something out of the ordinary," said Mrs. Sellers, "but it is no one's business but our own. Grandpa -- that is, my husband -- has been very good to me ever since I have known him. I am satisfied with him as a husband."

"Yes," said Mr. Sellers, "Susan, who has been my housekeeper since last May, has been a good one. I believe she will be a good wife. The reason? Well, you see, I am getting a little too old, and tho ught I ought to have someone to take care of me."

This is Mr. Sellers's second marriage. His first wife, whome he married when he was 32, died about three years ago. He has three sons and a daughter living at Wakeeney, Kas. He is a well-to-do man.

On New Year's day the couple will start out on a honeymoon tour. They expect to spend about three months in California and the West, after which they will return to Kansas City and purchase a home.

BUSINESS WORRIES DROVE HOTEL WOMAN TO SUICIDE. ~ Mrs. Alvina Morrell, of the Mondamin, Left a Note Saying, "I Am So Tired."

December 25, 1908

Mrs. Alvina Morrell, of the Mon-
damin, Left a Note Saying,
"I Am So Tired."

Worry because her business was losing money caused Mrs. Alvina Morrell, 38 years old, the owner of the Mondamin hotel at Twelfth and Washington streets, to commit suicide last night by taking bichloride of mercury. Mrs. Morrell came here last August and assumed charge of the hotel, and had been losing money steadily ever since.

A note hastily scribbled on a piece of cardboard, probably after the poison had been swallowed, read as follows:

"Let me sleep. I am so tired. Give all I have to mother. Lillie, by-by, I am sick. ALVINA."

The Lillie referred to is her sister, who lives in St. Louis. A telegram from her was received in the afternoon my Mrs. Morrell, saying that the former could not come to this city for Christmas, but would be here the next day. Mrs. Morrell's mother also lives in St. Louis and is very ill. Mrs. Morrell was a widow.

Deputy Coroner Harry Czarlinsky was summoned and made an examination. The body was removed to O'Donnell's undertaking rooms.


December 25, 1908


Dropping Down the Vista of Years,
a Decade at a Time, the Festal
Day Is Reviewed - A
Mayor's Charity.

Kansas City is notable for its Christmas weather. The records show that it is ten to one there will be clear skies on Christmas day. In 1858, a half a century ago, the day was a duplicate of today, "though," says the Journal of 1858, known then as the "Western Journal of Commerce," the weather sometimes froze at night and thawed at daytime, and then sometimes it was vice versa."

Kansas City was not much of a town in 1858, for The Journal had some important city news that Christmas morning. It announced that Delaware street had been "filled" from Third "all the way to Commercial street." That morning there was a fight on the hill. The hill was Third and Main. As the city proper lay along the river front, the hill was quite on the outskirts and just the sort of a place for the hoodlums to mix it up.

Others "mixed it up" besides the hoodlum. The Leavenworth Journal took a nasty fling at this place when it said in its current issue:

"The people of Kansas City are so dirty the assessor classifies them as real estate and they have to pay taxes."

The editor of the Kansas City Journal was on his metal in a minute.

"If the assessor of Leavenworth," was said in the Journal of Christmas day, 1858, "has yet waited upon the editor of the Leavenworth Journal, we would like to know what he estimates asses at."

"The curtain at the theater at Independence dropped sine die last night," is a local item. Independence never got over the closing of its theater. It, and Westport, had scoffed at Westport Landing, and laughed outright when it took on the high falutin' name of City of Kansas. But the City of Kansas opened up an opera house of its own and the one at Independence had to turn the lights out, and the janitor with them.


"We find it difficult," said The Journal that same Christmas morning, "to convince our readers that we are really in receipt of dispatches of the day previous from St. Louis and the East, but we are, and shortly we will be in telegraphic touch with all parts of the United States," and later on in the report has it that wire was expected by every steamboat for the opening of a telegraph office in Kansas City.

Having no telegraph wires, and certainly no trains, the city had to depend upon the overland stages and river boats for the mails. That morning the mails arrived from Salt Lake, after a phenomenally good winter run. They had left Salt Lake November 29. The trip had been without incident, though a large party of Cheyenne Indians had been passed.

Christmas day ten years later, 1868, saw Kansas City quite prosperous. It had eleven trains in and out every day. President Johnson the day before proclaimed full amnesty to all who had taken part in the war of the rebellion, whether they had been indicted or not. "It is supposed to be issued to enable the supreme court to dodge trying Jeff Davis," was the comment of The Journal, and the editor did not like the prospect a bit. He wanted Mr. Davis tried for treason.


Showing how the town was growing, one of the most important local stories was of an improvement:

"Cassidy Brothers have a new bus for their Westport line. It is one of the gaudiest institutions of the city."

The fame of that bus lasted until the father of Walton H. and Conway F. Holmes started tram cars, by building a suburban line to couple Kansas City with Westport.

For the first time The Journal made note of the festivities in the churches. The Grand Avenue M. E. church, known as the mother of churches, was reported as having been crowded with members of the Sunday school and congregation to watch the unloading of a Christmas tree. At Westport the Rev. W. W. Duncan had a tree in his church, too.

Besides Christmas trees there were "oceans of egg nog" in town, according to the report that day, and a grand dinner was given at the Sheridan house, "A. C. Dawes, agent of the Hannibal & St. Joseph," being one of the guests, they had "whisky a la smash up," among other things. Ex-Governor Miller attended that dinner and made a speech. At the dinner it was announced that the steamboat Hattie Weller had brought 500 fine hogs up "for the packing houses in the West Bottoms."

D. L. Shouse, father of Manager Louis Shouse of Convention hall, was publicly presented with a gold badge, because of his great services in the Mechanics' bank.


Dr. G. W. Fitzpatrick may have forgotten all about it, but The Journal of thirty years ago yesterday announced his having gone to St. Joseph for the day. In late years, Dr. Fitzpatrick has lived a retired life, but he was quite a figure in local affairs in his day. He always led the parades. An abstemious man himself, he always started his parades from Sixth and Broadway "because," so he used to say, "it is the only point in the city where there is a saloon on each corner."

It was very cold that Christmas. "The hydra gyrum dropped to 8 degrees below zero," so The Journal tells. Trains were from half a day to all day late and the storm was all over the North and Northwest. Great attention was paid by The Journal to the railroad construction work, and an item appearing that morning, Christmas, 1878, is interesting now because it says that the M. K. & T. had agreed to build from Paola to Ottawa if the people would raise$50,000 bonus and grant a free right-of-way.


George M. Shelley, at present assessor and collector of water rates, was mayor, and as mayor in 1878 he did what Mayor T. T. Crittenden, Jr., is doing today. He distributed gifts to the poor. To ninety-one families in the First ward, fifty-four in the Second, fifty-nine in the Third, twenty-nine in the Fourth, fifty-five in the Fifth and thirty-four in the Sixth his honor gave orders for provision. Three hundred and sixty-seven individuals and firms -- names all printed in The Journal -- donated money or groceries, and by this means the poor were taken care of.

One man, traveling through the city, told Mayor Shelley he was comfortably provided for but for the moment without money. He was anxious to do something for some poor fellow so he turned his $25 overcoat over to the may or, and his honor soon had it on the back of a man who needed it. The generous traveler refused to give his name to Mayor Shelley.

Kansas City, Kas., was Wyandotte in those days, and Christmas was celebrated there evidently, for an item from that place reads:

"The colored Society of the Daughters of Rebecca had a festival in Dunnings's hall yesterday. Two hens got in a fight. A knife was flourished, but no blood was drawn."


At Grace Episcopal, Washington Street Tabernacle, the First Congregational and the Grand Avenue M. E. church there were Christmas trees and festivities.

Christmas day, 1888, saw Father Glennon preaching at special services at the Catholic cathedral. Father Lillis officiating at St. Patricks, and the Rev. Cameron Mann in the chancel at Grace church. Since then all these clergymen have been elevated. Dr. Mann and Father Lillis to be bishops, and Father Glennon to be archbishop; Bishop Talbot, that same day, preached at Trinity, of which church his brother, Robert, is the rector. Dr. Robert Talbot would have been a high bishop himself by this time only for the fact that Episcopalians think one bishop in a family is enough.

That Christmas day was a dreary one. It rained most of the time, at night the downpour turning to sleet. Over 100 telegraph poles were broken down, and almost every wire in the city snapped under the weight of the ice.

SHE'D SHOOT ANY MAN THAT WOULD SLAP HER. ~ Mrs. Rose Peterson, Who Killed Her Husband, Expresses No Regret for the Deed.

December 24, 1908

Mrs. Rose Peterson, Who Killed Her
Husband, Expresses No Re-
gret for the Deed.

Instead of enjoying Christmas day as she expected, Mrs. Rose Peterson, who shot and killed her husband, Frederick L. Peterson, early Wednesday morning, will occupy a cell in the county jail. Her husband accused her of going to a theater with a young man Saturday evening, but the 19-year-old widow says she was arranging Christmas presents at her home.

Mrs. Peterson told Captain Walter Whitsett yesterday that she shot her husband because he slapped her. Two weeks ago she said she threatened to shoot her husband when he slapped her at Eighteenth and Cherry streets. Peterson at that time ran.

She said they were married in St. Joseph, March 31, 1907, and that her husband deserted her in November, 1907. After they were married, Mrs. Peterson told Captain Whitsett, her husband compelled her to work, although she wanted to keep house on what he was earning. His income was $13 a week and she earned $7 and paid all of the living expenses out of it. He often slapped and mistreated her and she decided not to ever stand for it again.

Her husband had taken her to a dance at the Eagles ball room Tuesday night, and the two spent a pleasant evening. Going home on the car about midnight, she said her husband quarreled with her and accused her of seeing other men too often. After leaving the car at Eighteenth street and Askew avenue, he slapped her, and Mrs. Peterson said she then drew her revolver and fired five times.

Mrs. Peterson had sued her husband for divorce, and yesterday she told the police that she had paid her attorney $18 toward his fee.

She sat in the matron's room yesterday and refused to talk about her act, except to Captain Whitsett. With him she was defiant in her answers and declared that she would again shoot any man that slapped her.

She was taken to Justice James. B. Shoemaker's court at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon for arraignment, but the justice had gone. She will be arraigned this morning.


December 24, 1908


All the Children Need Do Tomorrow
Is Apply at Convention Hall.
There's Plenty for

Convention hall yesterday resembled many lines of business. In one section where all the bananas and oranges were being placed into sacks, it looked something like a fruit packing establishment. Another section resembled candy packers at work, while still another had to do with the sorting and arranging of toys. It had the appearance of one great combined establishment where every line of goods was handled and everybody was busy.

There was a rumor out yesterday that the gifts were to be only for white children. This is wrong, as the committee says the color line will not be drawn. Poor negro children are to be made happy, too, and they are all invited.

At the close of the evening the first 2,500 bags to be given out on Christmas day to the children who attend the mayor's Christmas tree, were well filled, sorted for boys and girls and placed in position. The other 2,500 will be packed today. Women from the different charitable organizations were doing most of the work.

It was discovered when it came to placing the trees in position that five would take up too much room and that the decorating of them would take up entirely too much time -- in fact that it would be an imposition on the Squires Electrical Company, which his donating the labor. Something had to be done on the spur of the moment, so the committee in charge decided that two large trees would be sufficient, as no presents are to be placed on the trees anyway. The two large evergreens were placed in position in the center of the hall about noon yesterday and by evening the men from the electrical company had finished stringing the colored lights. They were tested just after dark and found to be in perfect working order. Today the tinsel and other decorations will be strung under the supervision of the women who have the matter in charge.


Some of the toys bought by the committee are really expensive and of fine workmanship. There will be enough to place a good and a cheap toy in each bag.

Among the toys are several mechanical banks where a coin is placed in the mouth of an animal, which immediately devours it. A carpenter connected with the hall tried one of them Tuesday night with a dime -- the last coin he had, too, by the way. It was swallowed and the carpenter walked home. Several others were caught on the same trick yesterday, and some poor child -- no one knows who it will be -- will find some news in his bank.

A large wagon load of toys and useful things such as baby carriages, bicycles, wagons, etc., arrived yesterday from Montgomery Wart & Co. They will be distributed in homes where they are most needed the day after Christmas.

The Long Bros. Grocery Company sent two dozen big dressed dolls. They will also be given out at the homes, as will 200 pairs of baby stockings donated by The Baby Shop, 202 Lillis building. The wholesale dry goods merchants, besides other donations, sent two large boxes of boys' and girls' socks, stockings, gloves and mittens to the hall yesterday, and the Faxon & Gallagher Drug Company sent three big boxes of toys.


Grocery stores are still responding liberally, and one room which has been set aside at the hall looks like a general store. Among the donations are bunches of fresh celery and a lot of onions. Several big jack rabbits were also received. The George B. Peck Dry Goods Company sent a lot of fancy toys and two caddies of assorted candy. The Loose-Wiles Candy and Cracker Company's wagon arrived with six caddies of assorted candies. The Coal Dealers' Association donated $150 in cash and many of its members said they stood ready to deliver coal to families where it was most needed.

Two women waited on the outside of the hall for a long while yesterday morning. They seemed to want something, but were afraid to go in and ask. Finally Steve Sedweek approached them and asked if they wanted anything.

"Yes, we do," said one of them. "We are poor and have nothing for Christmas. We read in The Journal where all poor children would be welcomed here. I have seven and this woman has five. We want to know how to get them in h ere, and if all can come."

"Just you bring all you have and all you can find in the neighborhood, or in any other neighborhood," instructed Mr. Sedweek. "Bring them right here to the hall and they will be given tickets and admitted."

"And I know of others, too," said the first woman who had spoken.

"That's what it is for," they were told, "bring fifty if you can find them, and each one will be made happy.


Many children flocked about the hall yesterday asking where they could get tickets that would admit them to the mayor's Christmas tree. They were told to be there Christmas afternoon -- with all their playmates -- and that tickets would be given them. Many of them stole timidly into the rotunda of the hall and took a peek through the cracks at what was going on. They would run away ever time any of the grown ups put in an appearance, afraid they would be corrected for it. But they had seen a little of the glories that are to come, anyway, and they left happy.

The work of distributing groceries, clothing and toys to the homes will take place Saturday, and even on Monday, if it is not completed. Letters asking aid are arriving fast.

CHANCE FOR A DETECTIVE. ~ Maybe He Can Find Out Who Buncoed the City Detective Force.

December 24, 1908

Maybe He Can Find Out Who Bun-
coed the City Detective Force.

Consternation reigns among about ten detectives at police headquarters. They have work to do, detective work, and each one is keeping from the other his course of action. They are all searching for a clue to the wag who so kindly made them each a present of a substantial check -- all of which turned out to be bogus. Each of the detectives received a letter containing a check, worded as follows:

"Dear Blank: Inclosed please find my check for $10 which please accept for past favors. Merry Xmas, W. D. Blank.

One guardian of the peace immediately set out and paid his grocery bill with his check. Another indorsed his and banked it. Still another, in need of some ready cash, saw Captain Frank F. Snow, property clerk, who was accommodating enough to cash the paper for him.

It is not for everybody to know, but one of them is said to have paid a little saloon bill with his, while one did a very unusual thing -- he paid his doctor bill. This little detective wanted to surprise his physician, and he did, as the doctor indorsed the check to another, to whom he has not got to make good.

It was not until yesterday morning that the ten detectives, who had been so especially remembered "for past favors" this Christmas, began to get together and talk through their noses to one another about the matter. Then they began to take notes by way of comparing the letters. All are in the same handwriting, which is poor and the spelling bad. But the detectives never noticed that. All they saw were the checks.

MRS. MORASCH ASKS NEW TRIAL. ~ Attorney Declares He Has Found Evidence to Clear Her.

December 24, 1908

Attorney Declares He Has Found
Evidence to Clear Her.

After hearing arguments on the application for a new trial in the Sarah Morasch murder case yesterday morning Judge McCabe Moore of the district court, Kansas City, Kas., announced that he would withhold his decision for a few days. Mrs. Morasch is the woman who was convicted of sending a box of poisoned candy to the home of Charles Miller on Cheyenne avenue, Kansas City, Kas., which resulted in the death of Ruth Miller, a 4-year-old girl.

The jury that tried her returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. Her attorney, Daniel Maher, asked for a new trial on the grounds that he had found new evidence which he argued was sufficient to clear her.

"LIKE RIDING HORSEBACK FOR AMERICANS." ~ Japanese Juggler Also Gives Views About Women.

December 24, 1908

Japanese Juggler Also Gives
Views About Women.

It is just as natural for Japanese to juggle each other and heavy objects with their feet as it is for an American to ride horseback, according to the Kitabanzai troupe, which does seemingly wonderful work of that character at the Orpheum theater this week. The group is made up of members from four different families and range in age from very tender years to middle age.

"Ever since we have been children we have practiced juggling with our feet of heavy articles and now it is natural, like riding horseback is for the Americans," said one of the troupe last night. "We never knew that horses are to be ridden until we saw an American circus in our country. Instead of riding all the time we practiced this work until we got to be almost perfect in it and then we came to this country and on the stage."

All of the costumes and stage settings carried by the troupe are handmade and the work done in Japan. The back drop alone, which is designed as an ocean scene with huge battleships in the foreground, kept thirty men busy for four months.

When asked why there are so few Japanese women on the stage the young Japanese replied: "They, too, soon pick up the ways of American women and so dress like them and lose their ability to do gymnastic acts. We carried women with us a long time ago for a while and h ad to send them back. They grew no good. They can not act like emotion and when they became like American girl they can not act tumbling or juggling."

The work of the six Japanese at the theater this week is creating much wonder and comment. Never before has anything like it been seen in this city, but the acrobats themselves take their work as a matter of course. They are here to make a large sum of money and then they will return to their native home.

"Everybody likes his home the best and he will go back there some day," remarked the Japanese boy last night.