February 11, 1910

Colonel Swope's Nephew by
Marriage Formally Accused
and Arrested.


Special Grand Jury Convenes
Saturday to Investigate
Swope Deaths.


By Dismissing Proceedings,
Dr. Hyde Avoids Giving

Dr. B. Clark Hyde, Charged with First Degree Murder.


Dr. B. Clark Hyde, whose wife is a niece of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope, was formally charged in a warrant issued yesterday afternoon by Justice of the Peace Loar at Independence, with having caused the death of Colonel Swope by poison.

Dr. Hyde was arrested in the office of Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 o'clock and an hour later gave bond in the sum of $50,000 before Justice Loar. The hearing is set for February 17.

The surties on the bond are M. D. Scruggs, vice president of the Kansas City Live Stock Commission Company; Fernando P. Neal, president of the Southwest National bank, and Herbert F. Hall, presiden tof the Hall-Baker Grain Company. Frank P. Walsh, John M. Cleary, John H. Lucas, attorneys for Dr. Hyde, and William McLaughlin joined in signing the bond, which was twice as large as was suggested by Prosecutor Conkling.


Two hours prior to the issuance of the warrant, Judge Ralph S. Latshaw of the riminal court ordered that a special grand jury be convened to examine into the deaths of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, Chrisman Swope and other members of the Swope family who died of typhoid fever, including Moss Hunton, who died suddenly in the Swope home.

Marshal Joel Mayes was busy yesterday selecting a list of names of men who will be asked to serve on this grand jury. The jury will be convened Saturday morning when Judge Latshaw will instruct them in their duties.

The refusal of Dr. Hyde to appear at the Reed offices yesterday morning so that his deposition could be taken in his libel suits for $600,000 against the Pulitzer Publishing Company and the dismissal by the attorneys of the suit when they learned that an attachment had been issued for Dr. Hyde, precipitated the criminal proceedings.

The information was sworn to by John G. Paxton of Independence, the executor of the Swope estate. On the reverse of the warrant was a request by Prosecutor Conkling for an immediate arrest.


The scenes of activity in the Swope case yesterday were kaleidoscopic. The legal sparring began in the morning when attemts to take depositions in the offices of Atwood, Reed, Yates, Mastin & Harvey on one hand and Frank P. Walsh on the other failed because the witnesses subpoenaed were not present.

Following the issuance of an attachment by the Reed forces came the dismissal of his suit for $600,000 damages.

The dismissal of the libel suit in which the Reed forces had obtained a prior right to taking depositions was not wholly a surprise, but it roused the attorneys for the Swope estate to activity. It was shortly after 10 o'clock a. m. when the attorneys and the women witnesses in the case gathered in the Reed offices. George H. Roberts, the notary, had failed to arrive and he was found in the court house. He had not expected the case to be called. Dr. Hyde had not arrived and it was determined to ask for an attachment. This was issued and a deputy sheriff began a search for Dr. Hyde.


It did not take long for this news to reach the Walsh offices and John M. Cleary was dispatched to Independence. There the suit alleging libel against the Pulitzer Publishing Company, John G. Paxton, Dr. E. L. Stewart and Frank G. Hall was dismissed. The sheriff was notified and recalled the deputy who had been unable to find Dr. Hyde. the latter was ensconced in a private apartment of Mr. Walsh's offices. The news of the dismissal of the suit did not sit well with the attorneys for the Swope estate. There was a conference between Reed, Atwood, Maston and Paxton. It terminated at the office of Prosecutor Conknling.

It was at this juncture that Judge Ralph S. Latshaw entered the case. He went into conference with the attorneys and a quarter of an hour later declared that he would convene a special grand jury on Saturday monrning.

In the meantime Mr. Paxton had gone to Mr. Walsh's office. He said that he was sorry that he had caused the attorneys any embarrassment, but that he had a great deal of private business to attend to. He would greatly appreciate the favor of being excused until 2:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh conferred with Judge Johnson, and returning to the room, told Mr. Paxton that they would excuse him until 2:30 p. m.

Then Mr. Paxton got busy. Mr. Reed arranged for an interview with County Prosecutor Virgil Conkling. It did not take the attorneys long to arrive at a decision. This was that Mr. Paxton should swear to the information and that Prosecuting Attorney Conkling would recommend an issuance of a warrant charging Dr. Hyde with murder.

Before Prosecuting Attorney Conkling departed for Independence he called up Mr. Walsh on the telephone and asked him to have Dr. Hyde in the office of County Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 p. m. as he desired to serve a warrant on him at that time. Mr. Walsh promised to have his client there at the appointed time.

Dr. Hyde was not at the Walsh offices when this message came and caught his attorneys somewhat by surprise. They were getting ready to take the deposition of Mr. Paxton. Dr. Hyde was notifed over the telephone to come to the Walsh offices and then Mr. Cleary was given the job of finding bondsmen for Mr. Hyde. He was only a few minutes later than 4 p. m. in getting the signatures of the three businessmen to the bond which was made out in blank.

The warrant was issued at 3:30 o'clock on the application of J. G. Paxton in the office of Justice of the Peace Loar of Independence. Mr. Paxton was accompanied to the office of Justice Loar in the Jackson County Bank building by T. J. Mastin. Virgil Conkling indorsed the information. "I hereby approve of complaint and request that a warrant be issued," affixing his signature to the back of the document.

"I suggest that the bond be fixed at $25,000," said the prosecutor. "I believe that is sufficient in this case as there are certain contingencies which lead me to believe that a greater bond is not necessary." Justice Loar also was informed by the prosecutor that he could do as he pleased as to the amount of the bond, but that the state would be satisfied with that amount.


Justice Loar upon the receipt of complaint at once was given another paper by Virgil Conkling which proved to be a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Hyde. In the body of the warrant the wording was identical with that in the complaint, and after being signed by the justice of the peace, who ordered it delivered to the marshal of Jackson county, the prosecutor and Attorneys Mastin and Paxton left in an automobile for Kansas City with the warrant.

Prosecutor Conkling stated that he had placed in the warrant that the preliminary examination would be held February 17.

Justice Loar stated that if the defendant waived preliminary examination he would commit him to jail, but if not he would accept the bond which it was expected Dr. Hyde would give.

Shortly before 4 p. m. Mr. Walsh and Mr. Lucas took their client to the criminal court building. Dr. Hyde was smiling. They hastened to Mr. Conkling's office where they remained until they were told that Mr. Conkling and Mr. Paxton had returned from Independence and were in the marshal's office.

Prosecutor Conkling handed the warrant to Marshal Mayes and told him Dr. Hyde would be in the office in a few minutes.

"Is your name B. Clark Hyde?" inquired Marshal Mayes of Dr. Hyde a few monents later when he was brought into the office by Attorneys Walsh and Lucas.

Dr. Hyde nodded his head in reply.


"I have a warrant which I am directed to serve on you. Shall I read it?" Marshal Mayes inquired.

"We waive the reading of the warrant," spoke up Attorney Walsh and the party including Dr. Hyde smiled.

Dr. Hyde and Marshal Mayes entered into a conversation on temporal subjects. The afternoon was delightful, remarked the marshal.

Prosecuting Attorney Conkling and Attorneys Walsh and Lucas drew to one side of the room.

"I have recommended that Justice Loar take a bond of $25,000 for the appearance of Dr. Hyde at the preliminary hearing which has been set for a week from today," said Mr. Conkling.


"That is satisfactory to us," replied Mr. Walsh. "Mr. Cleary is out now and will be here very shortly with a bond that will be good for a million dollars if necessary.

"That is not necessary," replied Mr. Conkling. "I have suggested a bond which I deem sufficient."

Attorneys Conkling, Walsh and Lucas then withdrew to the outer office, leaving Dr. Hyde with Marshal Mayes.

"I am very much interested in knowing what they are going to do with me next," said Dr. Hyde to Marshal Mayes.

"Do we have to go to Independence, and will I have to stay there all night?" asked Dr. Hyde.

"If your attorneys are unable to get bond for you, you will remain with me tonight. If they do get bond, you will go to Independence with me and then go on home," said Marshal Mayes.

Dr. Hyde was inclined to be almost talkative while in the marshal's office. He talked on almost any subject not pertaining to the case, and his face, for the first time during the week, was wreathed in smiles.

About 4:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh suggested that the party depart for Independence, as he expected Mr. Cleary had already started there. Assistant Prosecutor Jost accompanied the party in the Walsh automobile, representing Mr. Conkling. A moment later they were on their way to Independence.

At 5:15 o'clock a large automobile glided up to the bank building at Independence. In it was the county marshal, having in custody Dr. Hyde. Accompanying the party were Frank P. Walsh, John Cleary and John H. Lucas. They immediately went to the office of Justice Loar.

Dr. Hyde followed his lawyers closely, and as soon as he entered stepped to one side, and motioning to a newsboy, bought an evening paper, scanning the headlines. Not once did he raise his eyes, but kept them riveted on the columns which contained the latest developments in his case. After reading the full account, he turned the paper over and reread it.


County Marshal Joel Mayes drew up his chair to the desk and signed the return, turning it over to the justice.

Dr. Hyde, who was standing near, found room on a window sill where he kept reading his paper, only looking up sufficiently long to buy another, which he read with as much eagerness as the first.

Frank Walsh left the court room, stating that he would be back in a short time. Upon his return he placed the bond before the justice of the peace for $50,000 instead of the $25,000 expected.

"I expected bond for $25,0000, but this is better still," said Justice Loar.

Mr. Walsh signed the document, then handed a pen to Dr. Hyde. Dr. Hyde wrote in a plain, bold hand, without a tremor, and his signature was affixed with as much indifference as if writing a prescription for a patient. After Dr. Hyde, John M. Cleary and John H. Lucas signed the bond.


After this preliminary Dr. Hyde, followed by his lawyers, went to their automobile and soon were out of sight.

"This is a good bond," said Justice Loar, after the crowd had left the office. "Mr. Neal is president of the Southwest National bank, and the others I am given to understand are stockyards men. I do not expet that there will be a preliminary examination here. I am confident that it will go to the criminal court at once.