August 27, 1909


Joseph Monroe and Edward Sanford
Found in vicinity of New South
Side Apartment House --
Stories Conflict.

In the arrest of two suspicious characters at Thirty-sixth street and Broadway about 10 o'clock last night the police believe they averted what was intended to be by far the biggest, most costly and most destructive job of dynamiting ever pulled off in Kansas City or vicinity.

Shortly after 10 o'clock Patrolman E. C. Krister and D. B. Harrison, plain clothes men working out of the Westport police station, saw two men at the corner of Thirty-sixth street and Broadway. One was lighting a cigarette and the officers noticed a small suit case in the hands of the other. When they began to close up the men began to accelerate their speed and only the command "Halt or we'll shoot," stopped them.

The officers did not know what they had until they got the men to the station house and Lieutenant O. T. Wofford carelessly opened the small, cheap suit case. What he believed to be a wire sticking through a hole in the end of the case attracted his attention. When the package was opened it was found to contain forty six-inch sticks of dynamite. Each was marked 40 per cent nitroglycerin -- Hercules No. 2. The "wire" proved to be a fuse and it was attached to two of the sticks of the explosive, in the center, with a cap imbedded deeply into each stick.


The men gave the names of Joseph Monroe and Edward Sanford. The latter had in his possession a 44-caliber Derringer pistol, loaded. Monroe said he was a lineman and Sanford insisted that he was a common laborer.

The stories of the prisoners, who were separated by Lieutenant Wofford and questioned soon after their arrival, differ in many respects as to how they came to be in that neighborhood with such a package. While Lieutenant Wofford was in a room alone with Sanford he turned his head to answer a telephone call. Hearing a noise Wofford looked up and the prisoner had all but reached the club of Sergeant Harry Moulder which hung on an opposite wall. Wofford dropped the telephone and grappled with the man. Sergeant Moulder then entered the room and no further trouble occurred. A door was only a few feet away and had he succeeded in clubbing the lieutenant Sanford could have easily escaped.

When Monroe was questioned he said he, Sanford and a man named Charles Hogan had "bummed" their way from Denver. He claimed they arrived Tuesday morning, while Sanford said Sunday morning. Monroe said that last night he and his partner were walking down Grand avenue when they came upon Hogan at Thirteenth street.

"Do you want to make a piece of money?" Monroe says Hogan asked.

"We told him yes," Monroe went on. "We were both broke, hungry and dry. He then introduced us to a man named Anderson, Charles, I believe he said his first name was. He said he would give us $5 to carry a grip out on the Westport car line. We were to stay on the car until it made the second turn to the left. Then we were to get off and meet Anderson or some man who would be there waiting for us. We got off and had walked down the street a little ways when we were arrested. Anderson said to be careful that there was an explosive in the suitcase . That's all I know and I'm innocent of any wrong."


Sanford, who tried to escape, said they arrived with Hogan two days earlier than Monroe stated.

"We went to the Stag hotel opposite the city hall," he said, "and this morning we met Hogan there. He asked us if we wanted to make a piece of coin and told us to meet him on Grand avenue this evening. He introduced us to Anderson and he was gone a long time after the grip. We met there about 7 o'clock."

"What was the dynamite for?" asked Lieutenant Wofford quickly.

"He said it was to blow up a scab job. No, we were not to do it. That was for the fellow who was to meet us, I guess. Yes, I knew there was an explosive in the grip and I knew I was doing wrong."

Sanford also said, when asked later, that he was to give the derringer to the stranger -- or Anderson -- who was to meet him. Both described the mysterious Anderson after they had been locked up within talking distance as "a man 35 years old, six feet tall, weighing 170 pounds. He wore a black mustache and had black hair and a dark complexion. He was dressed i a dark suite, black derby hat and black shoes."


Sergeant Moulder also said he learned from inquiry along Westport avenue, that there had been much talk among the union men about the big apartment being a "scab job," and "a rat job." There appeared to be much discontent on account of the immense job being done by an "open shop," he said he gathered from talks with saloonkeepers.

Experts who were called in to examine the package of dynamite said that, properly placed, there was enough to wreck any skyscraper in the city and damage buildings for blocks around.

After the men were locked up they were in a position to talk to each other. William Hicks, a patrolman, sat near the door and heard Monroe upbraid Sanford for being such a dunce as to get his dates mixed on the time of their arrival here and their final meeting with Hogan and the mysterious Anderson. The men are being held for investigation.