December 20, 1909


James G. Pogue, Who Says He Left
Lansing Prison in 1906, Tells
How He Lifted the

Because he could not bear to have his only sister lose her home which had been morgaged to assist in his defense, James G. Pogue in 1906 escaped from the Kansas state prison at Lansing for the purpose of working and saving his money in an effort to lift the mortgage. Having accomplished his purpose, and realizing that he would never be able to make a home for himself or live in peace with the grim threat of recapture constantly before him, Pogue yesterday morning declared his identity to two Kansas City, Kas., policemen, and expressed his desire to return to prison and suffer whatever penalty might be exacted by the law.


During the three years and more of his precarious freedom, Pogue has wandered over almost the whole of the United States. A coal miner, and accustomed to the hardest kind of labor, he worked unceasingly with one object in view of saving the home for his widowed sister. From the harvest fields in South Dakota to bridge building in Arkansas, the hunted man has traveled, but will all his hardships and the difficulty encountered in securing work he has never failed to send his remittance to his sister, Mrs. Ada Tieufel, Fourth street and Marion avenue, Leavenworth. In all, the erring brother has contributed something in excess of $950.

Pogue was convicted in the district court at Leavenworth in November, 1903, on a charge of grand larceny and sentenced to seven years in the state's prison. According to h is story, he was made a trusty and effected his escape on January 15, 1906. A diligent search failed to locate him, and in the circulars sent out from the prison since that time will be found the name and description of James G. Pogue.


After making his escape Pogue went to Hutchings, S. D., where he worked for Clyde Carpenter, a sheepman. Later he went to Arkansas and was employed as a trackman on the Kansas City Southern railroad. He had assumed the name of Mike O'Brien, and in his travels about the country went by that name. Returning from Arkansas, he again went to Dakota and worked for a farmer by the name of Jerry Files, near Spencer, S. D.

Three months ago he went to Pine Bluff, Ark., and was employed as pump tender by the Missouri Valley Bridge Company. While working there he recognized among his fellow laborers a man who had known him years ago in Leavenworth. the haunting fear which had followed him at all times after his escape from prison prompted him to quit his job at Pine Bluff because he feared that his old associate would recognize him. The determination to give himself up came as a result of frequent discussions with his sister on the subject.


He knew his desire to take a claim and prove up on it could not be realized with safety so long as he was an escaped convict. Saturday morning he arrived in Kansas City and determined to make himself known. In former years he had lived at 225 North James street, Kansas City, Kas., and the thought came to him that he would deliver himself up to Kansas officers. Early yesterday morning he disclosed his identity to Robert Hooper and Pres Younger, Kansas City, Kas., policemen. He was taken to No. 2. police station and locked up while the prison authorities at Lansing were notified. He probably will be taken this morning to the prison where he will be compelled to serve the remainder of his term.

"I am anxious to make a man of myself," said Pogue last night, as he looked through the bars of his cell at the police station. "I kind of wanted to stay free until after Christmas time, but it would only be putting it off, and the sooner I begin serving my time the sooner I will be able to walk about the streets without hiding my face every time a man passes.


"I am glad I got away and helped my sister to save her home, even if I do have to suffer additional time for it. You see I would have been out by this time if I had stayed and now I will have to stay three years or more. I used to drink quite a bit before I went wrong, and I lay most of my trouble to that, but since I went into the prison in December, 1903, I have never taken a drink of liquor.

"I want to serve my time and then take out a claim somewhere and make a man of myself. You see I am only 32 years old now, and that ain't too old for a man to begin to live as he ought, do you think so?"

Pogue's manner and conversation left the impression of sincerity, and his face sh owed signs of pleasure as he talked of his future prospects.

J. K. Codding, warden at the Kansas state prison said last night that his records at the prison showed Pogue to have broken his parole, and John Higgins, parole officer of the institution, probably will go to Kansas City, Kas., this morning to return with the prisoner.

Pogue's wife and 10-year-old daughter are now living in Leavenworth. His father, David Pogue, a retired merchant, he says, is living in Topeka.