December 22, 1908


The Girl Declares She Is 18, and That
Her Father Wants Her Single
So He Can Use
Her Land.

Young hopes were blighted and an elopement nipped in the bud late yesterday afternoon, when a telegram was received at Central police station from Sheriff L. S. Dallas of Mayes county, Okla., asking that Dora Fair, a quarter-blood Cherokee Indian lass, and Louis Rodgers, said to be part negro and part Indian, be held until further notice.

The couple were arrested by detectives in the Union depot the moment they alighted from the northbound train. The girl was dressed in a blue serge dress. Because of an extraordinary shortness of her skirt she appeared much younger than 18, which she gave as her age. She was pretty, too, and an abundance of dark hair hung below her waist. Rodgers also looked the typical half-breed Indian.

Miss Fair and her lover were taken to police headquarters, the girl being placed in the detention room, Rodgers getting an iron-bound den in the basement.

"It's all a mistake and it's cruel to keep us from getting married when we have gone to such trouble to get here where we supposed no one would look for us," sobbed Dora to Police Matron Joanna Moran last night. "I am sure it was my father who sent the telegram. He never wanted me to get married at all, he never did. My mother, who was a pure-blooded Cherokee, ran away from us when I was a baby and father married again. He always liked me. I own the land he farms, or tries to farm, near Pryor Creek.


"I have known Louis since I was a little girl and we had grown very fond of each other before he came back from the West this last time. He used to work for father, but they had a disagreement several months ago so Louis skipped out for Montana.

"Several times I told father I loved Louis and wanted to marry, but all I got for my pains was advice not to marry. He always tried to joke me out of the notion. When I saw he never would be serious about my relations to Louis, we packed up our duds and skipped.

"The plan was to come to Kansas City first, get married and then go to Montana to the beet fields where working men like Louis can get good wages, or about $75 a month. That would have been enough to support us with the rent off my farm and the $600 Louis had saved.

"But my father was very angry, as we knew he would be, when he heard about our running away. When he is out of patience he will say and do anything, so in order to stop us I guess he sent word to the officers here that Louis was a negro with kinky hair and I was only 16 years old, which is wrong. Louis is brother to my father's wife, or my step-mother, and there is no negro blood in him. I was 18 last January 15."


Before the Fair girl was taken to the detention room at the station she was kept for several hours at the Helping Hand institute. She cried continually and would not be pacified.

"I want to find Louis!" she kept crying. "We were to be married today and it is getting late. He must be waiting for me somewhere. What will he think!"

Rodgers was called from his cell to be examined by Police Captain Walter Whitsett last night. He told a straight story. corresponding in every particular to that of his sweetheart. When he was returned to the cell the captain said he thought the boy was a good worker and honest and intended to marry the girl all right and would have done so if left alone yesterday.

According to Rodgers his father and mother were both fullblooded Cherokee Indians.

Sheriff Dallas is expected to appear at Central police station sometime this afternoon. It is thought extradition papers will not be necessary.