December 11, 1908




Offers No Resistance and Declares
He's Glad That His Fight Is
Over -- Abjures His "Faith."
City Hall Guarded.
James Sharp, Leader of Religious Fanatics
Religious Fanatic Who Styles Himself "Adam God."

After fifty hours' search by the local police and officers of nearby towns, James Sharp, who styles himself "Adam" and "King David," was captured three miles south of Zarah, Johnson county, Kas., yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock. It was James Sharp who started a riot at Fourth and Main streets Tuesday afternoon, resulting in the death of Patrolmen A. O. Dalbow and Michael Mullane; bystander A. J. Selsor; and Louis Pratt, one of the religious band, and his 14-year-old daughter, Lulu.

News of Sharp's arrest reached police yesterday afternoon about 5 o'clock and Chief of Police Daniel Ahern sent Captain Walter Whitsett and Inspector Charles Ryan to Olathe, Kas., after the prisoner.

A farmer named W. C. Brown living eight miles northwest of Olathe telephoned to J. S. Steed, sheriff of Johnson county, about 11 o'clock yesterday morning that a man resembling the description of the fanatic, James Sharp, had been seen in that neighborhood Wednesday night and yesterday morning. He said that the suspect had spent the night at the home of Joseph Beaver, a farmer living about two miles from him. Beaver, he said, was in Olathe and the sheriff could talk to him and get a good description of the man.

Sheriff Steed found Beaver and after having him describe the stranger who had stayed at his home decide that the man was Sharp and drove to the Brown farm, leaving Olathe about 1 o'clock yesterday. When he reached the Brown farm he deputized a young man who worked on a nearby farm, and the two men started a search for the mysterious stranger.


A large wood pasture was first gone over, and then the officers separated and searched the ravines for several miles. A straw stack in the middle of an old wheat field was seen by the sheriff's deputy and, going around it, he found a man sleeping under the straw.

When Sheriff Steed reached the straw stack the man was called and told to come out. As he rolled from under the stack the men noticed he kept his hands in his pockets, and when they made him take them out they saw that he was wounded in both hands. After being searched by the sheriff, Sharp was placed in a buggy without being handcuffed and driven to Olathe.

Sharp told his captors that he was praying and contemplating while he was in the haystack as to what he should do. Weary with the long tramp from Kansas City and exhausted for the want of food, Sharp welcomed arrest and surrendered without any show of making a fight.

He was taken into the office of the county jail and his wounds, which had not been treated, were washed and bandaged by Sheriff Steed. He was then given a supper, which he devoured with eagerness.


While he was eating his meal the police officers from Kansas City arrived. Sharp greeted them and said he was anxious to go back with them. After finishing eating he told of his trip from Kansas City to the place of his capture.

"I shot five times at the police and when I had emptied my revolver I went into the saloon there on the corner and gave my pistol to the bartender. I told him that I was through, that I was not sure of the Lord, and asked him to take me to a policeman.. The man seemed to be frightened and did not move. I then tried to load the gun, but my two hands were wounded, so I could not do it. The cylinder would not turn. I was going to put the barrel in my mouth and blow off the top of my head."

Sharp said he then walked outside and stood in the crowd and watched the police and citizens gathering around Pratt across the street. Continuing Sharp said, "God then directed my steps south on Main street to Fifth street, and west up Fifth street. I went on down Fifth street to the bottoms. When I reached a barber shop I went in and had my hair clipped. I told the barber that my hands were frozen. Leaving the shop the Lord's will seemed to take me farther away from the shooting scene and I walked and walked.


"I was losing faith in my religion because things had not come about as the revelation made it out. I continued walking all that night. In the morning I slept in the woods. That evening I went to a house and asked for something to eat and a place to sleep. The people gave me my supper, but said they did not have any place to put me for the night. They directed me to a house about 300 yards distant, to a cousin's. I stayed there all night and had my breakfast there.

"I could not use my hands and the man fed me. They asked me what was wrong with my hands, and I told them that I was paralyzed. I told them I was a peddler and that my partner had left me. I was afraid they would suspect that I was wanted in Kansas City and left as early in the morning as possible.

"After leaving that house, which was the Beaver farm, I went to that straw stack and hid. At first my only intention was to get away, to escape. Then I began to fear that I had done wrong and was debating whether I should go to some farmer and pay him to take me to a town and give me up. I had money to pay the man for my trouble.

"When the officer arrested me it seemed like I was going to heaven. I was so worried and had lost such a quantity of blood. I told the sheriff that I was glad he had me and the j ail would not be a bad place for me."


When the officers searched Sharp he had a number of cartridges in his pocket and a large knife, which he carried in his left hand and cut Sergeant Patrick Clark in the eye with. A large roll of bills containing $105 and a purse with $4.92 in it was also found in his pockets.

A large crowd of persons gathered in the jail yard at Olathe, and attempted to get into the room where the prisoner was. Everybody in the city wanted to see the man that caused so much grief by inciting his followers to murder and riot.

Captain Whitsett and Inspector Charles Ryan left Olathe and Sharp at 9 o'clock last night over the Frisco railroad, and arrived in Kansas City at 10 o'clock. The officers with their prisoner left the train at Rosedale and took a street car to Fourth and Wyandotte streets. They were afraid that friends of the dead and wounded officers who might have heard of Sharp's capture would attempt a demonstration against the prisoner. When the officers and prisoner got off the car he was placed between the two and hurried to police headquarters, where a large force of policemen and detectives were inside the station and also guarded the doors.