THIS MAN CALLED THE POLICE. ~ Sherman Short, an Evangelist, pears at Headquarters and Tells How the Trouble Began.

December 11, 1908

Sherman Short, an Evangelist, Ap-
pears at Headquarters and Tells
How the Trouble Began.

Ever since the riot of fanatics Tuesday afternoon the police have been searching for the man who, greatly excited, ran into the station just after George M. Holt and told his story and cried, "Some of you had better come out here and see to these people. There are a lot of men and women over there on the corner, crazy as loons and all have guns. Even the children have guns. Somebody will be killed, sure. Hurry.

It was just at that juncture that Sergeant Patrick Clark said to A. O. Dalbow, "shortstop" at headquarters, "Go out there, 'Dol,' and see what's the matter." With a smile on his face Dalbow followed the excited man out of the door. Three minutes later he staggered into the door of the emergency hospital, fell on the steps as his revolver dropped from his nerveless grasp. He spoke but once and died. Then followed the bloody fight in which Michael Mullane lost his life and Sergeant Clark was so dangerously wounded.

Yesterday afternoon the much sought for man walked calmly into headquarters and announced that he had been a witness of the affair from its beginning at the Poor Man's mission, 309 Main street. John W. Hogan, an assistant prosecutor, was at the station and he took the man's statement.


The witness, who is an evangelist, gave the name of Sherman Short. His home is now near Clarence, Mo., but he once lived here. His statement follows:

Tuesday afternoon I happened to be at Fifth and Main streets. There I saw Mrs. Sharp and Pratt's children holding a street meeting. She seemed frantic about something, fanatical, in fact. I heard her say, "If any one can convince us that we are not right we'd like to have them do it for we are awfully in earnest."

Then Mrs. Sharp said something about adjourning to the mission where the prophet would speak. I was interested and wanted to see this man spoken of as a prophet so I went on ahead, knowing where the mission was she had spoken of. When I got there I introduced myself to the prophet, who proved to be Sharp. He was talking to J. C. Creighton, who ran the mission.

When he began to talk to me he said, "My earthly name is Sharp. I am King David in the spirit -- the Lord of the vineyard. The spirit of King David is in me. Should it prove that I am the Lord of the vineyard I am going to reorganize things on this old earth."

Just then the woman and children came in. The children spoke to a man standing by the stove -- Pratt I learned later -- called him "Pa" and said "the Humane officer is after us." Right then Mr. Holt came to the door and addressing Sharp said, "Are you the father of these children?" He said, "I am," and Mr. Holt asked why they were not in school and added, "You'll have to keep these children off the streets anyway."


Sharp then began another harangue about being King David, the lord of the vineyard. Mr. Holt paid little attention to him but said, "If you don't properly care for these children we will have to do it." While Mr. Holt was talking Mr. Pratt and his children stuck their tongues out at him and called him names, at the same time saying "Amen" to everything Sharp would say.

Holt showed Sharp his star, at which the fanatic said, "I don't pay attention to such as that. God's got no policemen, no jails, no officers." Then Sharp began to curse in the vilest language at Mr. Holt, shoved him towards the door and said he'd fix him for that. There was some excitement in there and I did not see him strike Mr. Holt. I heard him declare that he'd preach right in front of the station and no one could stop him.

When Mr. Holt had gone Sharp took out a big knife and gun, flourished them and said, "Come on children; we'll show 'em what we'll do." The women and larger girls drew guns as they went out the door and marched toward police headquarters. He announced that he would hold a meeting with the children right in front of the station and would not be stopped either.


Mr. Short then told of the riot, saying that Pratt was the first man to fire a shot. His account differs little from that of other eye witnesses. Short said he had known J. C. Creighton and wife, who conducted the Poor Man's mission for eight years. Eight years ago, he said, he was in a meeting at Fourteenth and Baltimore which Creighton was conducting. "The night I speak of Creighton went into a trance, or appeared to do so, and scared a whole lot of people. He was taken to police headquarters and treated. He has always been a visionary man."