"OLD TIMERS" GIVE EARLY DAY HISTORY.
Meeting of Old Men's Association Is Like Story Book of Youth.
Yesterday was "old times" day with a score or more members of the Old Men's Association at the Y. M. C. A. building. The Kansas City of today was forgotten while pioneers sat and spoke of times when they were boys. It hardly seems possible that there was ever a time when Kansas was not Kansas and there was not even a Ninth street in Kansas City, Mo., and people crossed the Missouri river in boats and the boat landing was the busiest place in town. But this was all so and to hear these white-haired historians to reminisce brings it all down to the modern crowd in the year of our Lord 1916 -- and Billy Sunday.
To these pioneers any man who is under 40 is a child and any one between that age and 60 is in his prime. People are just beginning to "get on a little bit" when they get old enough to become members of the Old Men's Association. And when they are that old, they are qualified to discuss old times and tare then doubly eligible.
O. P. Allen, who came to Kansas City in 1850, told of crossing the Missouri river in a boat. There was no bridge. In fact there wasn't much else here but the boat landing and a few log cabins. He has literally seen the city grow from a log settlement to a metropolis. Mr. Allen is 74 years old.
An interesting speaker was J. A. Bachman, retired merchant, who came to Kansas City in 1857. He was a clerk on the levee and intimately connected with the enormous river trade the little settlement carried on then. He daily checked in and assigned sixty-five boats that touched at the Kansas City wharf. The only way to northern markets for Mexican products was through Kansas City.
In those days, murder was not the strictly unlawful and rapidly punished crime that it is now. Of course, it depended on who was being murdered. But the Rev. John Arthur, chaplain, told his audience yesterday that Kansas City was no exception in the matter of possessing bad men. The main thing was not to get these same bad men unduly interested in one's self. And the safest way to accomplish this was to let them strictly alone. When they commenced to shine up their gun barrels and look surly, they were given wide berth and when a murder up country was reported there were no questions asked. Dr. Arthur is 90 years old and was born in Clay county.
"And out of the state of Missouri was out of the United States for us then," said W. M. Johnson, president of the association. "It literally was in a sense, as there was no Kansas then. It was Indian Territory. I can not register in my association as being born in Kansas although I was born in Wyandotte county 71 years ago. My father came to Kansas in 1828."
The meeting June 12 will be given to discussing plans for the July rally in Excelsior Springs. John Emmke, proprietor of the Elms hotel in Excelsior Springs, has invited the entire association to be his guests on July 10. They will make it a picnic affair if the weather permits.