Bates County News
Butler Weekly Times,
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1887
Several weeks ago the Times made mention that Joseph Harrold, living in Elkhart township had gone home from Butler drunk, deposited some powder in the coal scuddle and as a consequence the stove was demolished and his daughter burned. Mr. Harrold, verified by another gentleman, said this was a mistake, that it was a son who had purchased the powder and in filling his flask spilled a few crumbs in the coal bucket which blew off the lower door, with no other damage. The old gentleman was duly sober.
Our Grand Army Post and Sons of Veterans will have a public installation of officers on Tuesday evening, January 11, 1887, at the court house. The boys are determined to make the occasion a pleasant one, and have invited the following comrades to be present: Maj. Sweetser and W. J. Terrell, of Harrisonville, E. E. Kimball, of Nevada, John S. Ferguson, Dep’t Chaplain, of Jefferson City, and J. J. Speaker, Col. Mo. Division S. of V., of Independence. A special invitation is extended to ex-Confederates and their families.
Mrs. J. P. Willis gave a most excellent supper to her boarders and their lady friends on New Year’s evening. Mrs. Willis is well versed in the culinary art, as all who have been so fortunate as to partake of her hospitality can testify, and this did not prove the least of her many magnificent feasts. Those present were Dr. Wood and Miss Katie Glessner, E. T. Carrithers and Miss Montgomery, W. G. Rose and Miss Lassie Sims, J. M. Tucker, wife and sister Parrie, Rev. L. B. Noland and wife, J. D. Allen and wife, and Wm. O. Jackson.
What might have proven a disastrous fire but for the timely arrival of Don Kinney, C. C. Duke and some other gentlemen, occurred in that room of the opera house used as a school room on Monday morning. A pine petition had been erected, dividing the class rooms occupied by Miss Bell Davis from that of Miss Maggie Abell’s; through this petition a stovepipe runs. These dry boards took fire, causing a stampede among the children, but no serious harm was done. If it had gotten well under way it would have been impossible to have saved the building, as the water was all frozen up.
Mine Inspector John Whitehead and L. W. Beck, of New Home township, were in the city Friday and favored the Times. From them we learned the following sad accident. On Christmas morning Miss Moss, daughter of a miner, in a playful mood picked up a revolver and pointing it at her father pulled the trigger, instantly there was a report and Moss fell, shot through the breast. A physician was summoned who dressed his wound, and at last account he was resting easy. The young lady is nearly distracted with grief, and says she never dreamed that the pistol was loaded. They also informed us that Bill Smith, a miner at No. 10 shaft had his hand badly smashed between two cars which he was coupling.
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1887
Charley Raithel was called to Jefferson City on Wednesday last by a telegram that his mother was dangerously ill and not expected to live.
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1887
A Brutal Husband.
From a party who came in last evening from Sprague, we learn of the beastly conduct of one Neice, a farmer living two and one-half miles north of Sprague. The family consists of husband, wife and little son 14 years of age. Neice is evidently a fiend in human disguise, if reports of his treatment of the wife and son be true and we have no reason to believe otherwise. The neighbors say that he beats his wife and child unmercifully and misuses them in every conceivable shape. Upon one occasion he knocked his wife down and then poured a tub of water over her, and refused to allow her to go to bed, but compelled her to cower down in a corner of the room and pass the night as best she could. The little boy has been maltreated to such an extent that physicians assert that he will eventually die. It seems to us that the case should be looked into by the grand jury, and steps taken to bring this fiend to justice.
---Rich Hill Herald
A Farmer Disappears.
Considerably excitement was occasioned yesterday, when it was reported that W. R. Johnson of New Home township, was missing from his home. It appears that Johnson of late had become financially embarrassed, and his sudden disappearance, which took place Monday, is causing deep concern by his family and others interested. It is thought Mr. Johnson is at Ft. Scott. He was interested in the cattle business with a man by the name of Farah, and was thought to be doing a prosperous business, but it turns out, from the best information, that such is not the case. It is rumored that he is involved to the amount of about $4,000. Mr. Johnson did most of his trading in Rich Hill, but his banking business was done at Butler. He was in the city last week and paid off several small accounts, since which time he has not been heard from. We hope the gentleman will turn up all right.
---Rich Hill Herald.
Mr. J. T. Butler informs us that his son Fred had his leg badly crushed by a fall in a well, which he was assisting his brother-in-law, Ike Fowler, living five miles east of Butler, to dig. It seems that Mr. Fowler was in the well, which had been dug to 17 feet, and Fred was standing on a plank placed across the mouth, which broke and let him fall. Mr. Fowler broke his fall otherwise he might have been killed.
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1887
Friday evening Ben Green and Ben Davis, two miners of No. 6 of the Rich Hill Coal Co.s works were badly hurt by the premature explosion of a blast. Green fared worst, having his right arm broken in two places.
On Tuesday eve of last week, Miss Kate Glessner entertained a number of her friends in a most agreeable and novel manner. The principal feature of the occasion was an old fashioned spelling match. Messrs. Carrithers and Francisco being chosen Captains.
After an interesting contest the first prize was awarded Mr. Burrow, while Mr. Francisco accepted with grace, an Eclectic Speller adorned with red ribbon. The evening enjoyment was replete with conversation, general amusements and music. The music was distinguished by a number of characteristic solos rendered by S. Francisco and Carrithers.
Refreshments having been nicely served, the guests departed at a late hour feeling indebted to Miss Glessner for an evening of rare enjoyment. The following persons were present: Judge Parkinson and wife, Misses Sarah and Maggie Abell, Lassie Sims, Myrtle McBride, Jesse Childs, Louella Scott, Minnise Frizell, Nellie Childs, Blanch Beagle, L. Montgomery, May and Ida Kennett, Mary Parkinson, Messrs. Carrithers, Blachert, Wood, Francisco, Rose, Sims, Steele, Burrows, Ludwick, Childs, Geo. Williams and E. Kipp.
A serious shooting scrape took place at Osceola Wednesday morning between Charles Schmidt, a hotel keeper, and a young barber named Wm. Robbins. It is said the trouble grew out of Robbins carrying notes to Schmidt’s girls against the wishes of their father. The two met on the streets and after a few words it is said Schmidt drew his pistol and fired one shot at Robbins, who in turn drew his revolver and shot Schmidt in the breast, the ball passing through the lung and liver. Schmidt will likely die.
A CLOSE SHAVE
Loyd Fletcher Shot Through the Cheek
Nightwatchman Davis Thought to Have Fired the Shot.
Butler was thrown into a fever of excitement on Saturday morning by a report that Leonard Davis, night-watch, had shot Loyd Fletcher, a young man about eighteen years of age, the night before.
The facts as near as a Times reporter could gather them, are as follows: A stable belonging to Mr. Fletcher had been mysteriously fired that morning and burnt to the ground, and some suspicious characters were reported to the Marshal hanging around town, so it was thought best to put on an extra force that night to guard against incendiarism. Davis was posted at the junction of Dacota and Savanah streets and Howard Trimble and Loyd Fletcher stationed farther south on Savanah, nearly opposite Mr. Jenkins’ residence. Trimble and Fletcher say they were sitting on the edge of the sidewalk engaged in low conversation when J. Owens came along and Howard threw a light from his dark lantern on him to discover who he was. Hardly had Owens passed on and the lantern closed when a bullet from a revolver passed between their faces, taking a piece out of Fletcher’s cheek. Joe Smith, who was stationed behind Kent’s livery stable, says he saw the flash of the revolver only a few feet from Davis’ post and thinking it was some one else shooting at Howard ran north through an alley to Dacota street to intercept him, and saw Davis shoot south again. He shouted at him when Davis broke into a run north, shouting for someone to halt and shooting three times more in rapid succession. When overtaken by Mr. Smith he was very much excited and declared some one else had fired the first two shots at him. When they returned to the Butler Hotel Mr. Smith requested Davis’ pistol, which he gave up and it was found to be empty, all five of the cartridges had been fired. Fletcher’s wound was but slight, and was dressed by Dr. Patton, but it was a close call for him for one-half inch to the left would have gone directly through his head.
It is claimed by those present that Davis was drinking and at the time was considerably under the influence of liquor. The best of feeling has not existed between the two night-watch, Davis and Trimble, for some time.
Constable Tucker arrested Davis Saturday morning on a warrant charging him with shooting with intent to kill, and he was bound over by Squire Cannon in the sum of $500 to appear for trial to-day.
A Times reporter called on Mr. Davis at his house to get his statement in the matter. He was in bed sick and was not inclined to talk but being pressed said that he only shot three times, and then at a party running north, that he believes he had shot two of the cartridges a week or so before and never had replaced them, and he positively denied shooting at Mr. Trimble.
Carter Wallace of Charlotte township, informs us that his little son 2 years old got a brass button fastened in his throat New Year’s day, and it was not removed until last Saturday night week. The child was very sick and the doctors could not tell what ailed the little sufferer, thinking it was dipthera. Carter was greatly relieved when the child threw up the button, and is now well and hearty.
Mrs. Charley Sprague, who has been dangerously ill for several weeks, is some better, but not yet out of danger.
We are glad to note that George Jones, who has been quite sick with pneumonia, is so far recovered as to be able to be around again.
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1887
Last Saturday a stranger purchased a horse of James Austin, a colored farmer residing three miles northwest of Pleasanton, for $50. He gave in payment for the animal a $50 confederate bill. Mr. Austin supposed it was good money, as it very much resembles the U.S. silver certificates, and it was not till evening that he detected the fraud. Officers were at once sent out to capture the thief, but as yet he has not been apprehended.
Farmers if you want an honest job of blacksmith work done, go to Jack Gipson, proprietor of the Star Blacksmith shop, just east of the grange store. He is one of the most experienced workmen in the county and will give you satisfaction, both in quality of work and prices.
Ed. H. Meek, postal clerk on the M.K.&T. R.R., is in the city for a three day’s visit to family and friends. He has passed all of his examinations, standing first-class in each one, and is now sure of his permanent employment at the end of his six month’s probation. He informs us that he has a very nice run with agreeable companions, and is well satisfied with his position. His headquarters is at Sedalia.
Quite a serious wreck took place at the depot Thursday evening last. The north bound through freight came up the grade with a full head of steam and by some misunderstanding the switch had been thrown and run the engine off the main track onto the east switch on which several freight cars were standing. The engineer saw the danger ahead but could not stop his train and it crashed into the box cars making kindling wood of one them and doing considerable damage to the engine. Fortunately no one was hurt.
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1887
A Torpedo Explosion.
One day about a week ago, while workmen were repairing the railroad bridge over the Marias des Cygnes river, 7 miles south of Butler, they placed a torpedo on the track to warn a coming engine of the danger. One of the neighborhood boys, a lad of 7 or 8 years, happening along picked the torpedo up and carried it home with him. It was his intention at first to throw it in the stove, but changing his mind, he secured a hatchet and proceeded to demolish it, when it exploded, lacerating his hand so that two fingers and the thumb had to be amputated. We failed to learn the name of the boy.
A disgraceful row occurred in the opera house gallery last Thursday night, between John Medley, a young roustabout, and John Chinaman, the washee man. They stood at a prudent distance and threw chairs, much to the alarm of ladies in the dress circle. We do not know who started the fight, but we do know that the guilty party should be punished. If such things are allowed to go unpunished, it will not be long before ladies will hesitate to go to the opera house.
R. G. West has employed Gus. Dixon, of near Hume, as one of his assistants in the Recorder’s office. Mr. Dixon is a worthy young gentleman, fully competent, being a good penman, besides being a cripple, and can earn his living only by his hands, having lost the use of his feet when quite young. We commend Mr. West’s choice.
S. C. McCutchen sold his farm in Summit township, consisting of 320 acres, one day last week, to Judge Jas. E. Phillips, of St. Clair county, the consideration being $8,540. This is one of the prettiest and best farms in Bates county. Judge Phillips, it will be remembered, was the late presiding judge of the county court of St. Clair county, who consented to make the levy to pay the railroad bonds ordered by the Supreme Court, but the associate judges refused to make the levy. Judge Phillips will make an excellent citizen and we are always pleased to welcome such men to our
Another Bad Case.
Marshal Logan last evening arrested John Higgins who lives on East Pine street, for mistreating his wife. A few nights since Higgins, with a hatchet, drove his wife with a babe in her arms, from the house, and compelled her to remain out in the cold for some time. Upon several occasions he has beaten her in a frightful manner and yesterday he was administering his usual whipping, when the Marshal was summoned. He went to the house, and after considerable delay, succeeded in placing the man under arrest, who was subsequently lodged in jail. Early this morning he made his escape and has not as yet been recaptured. The passage of the bill before the legislature for punishment of wife-beaters needs to be passed, and the Herald hopes to see the measure become a law.
---Rich Hill Herald.
From Judge D. C. Edwards who was in town Thursday we learn of a painful accident which happened John Roberts, living on the old Dewey place, in Shawnee township. Roberts was assisting Judge Edwards in sawing wood, when his hand came in contact with the saw, cutting it diagonally across, nearly severing the hand from the little finger to the thumb. Dr. Hudson, of Alton, was called and dressed the wound and the patient was resting easy when last heard from.
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 1887
L. O. Carlton is courting at Butler this week.
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1887
Mr. Jesse Pridgeon, aged 64 years, and one of the oldest settlers of Springfield township, has for several years suffered with a cancer on his left hand, which, being hurt last spring, assumed large proportions, and became very painful. A couple of months ago Dr. Holcomb was summoned and, after examining it carefully, advised an amputation of his arm below the elbow. Mr. Pridgeon protested and declared he would not suffer amputation, preferring to die; but the cancer became so malignant and so excruciatingly painful that the old gentleman consented to having the hand and wrist amputated, which was done Tuesday afternoon, the operation being performed by Dr. Holcomb, Dr. Robert Trevey assisting. The amputated member was brought to Clinton by the doctor, who has it in a state of preservation, and can be seen in the rear of his drug store. The hand, where the cancer had performed its terrible work, presents a ghastly and repulsive appearance. Dr. Holcomb says he has never yet seen a cancer in a more aggravated form.
Mr. Pridgeon is doing well and bears his misfortune bravely for an old man. He went through the Mexican war and is entitled to a pension, which will prove very acceptable in his declining years.
W. J. West, for the murder of S. K. Reynolds on the first day of last March, was tried at Lamar, Friday, and the jury gave him 25 years in the penitentiary.
The jury were just five minutes in making up their mind to discharge J. B. Saulsman, Monday evening. Saulsman was charged with assaulting Ike Kelley with a pistol a short time ago, in Jeffress’ saloon in Butler.
The old jail has seven occupants, as follows:
James Carrol, grand larceny, Seth Thomas, malpractice, David Lauderback, petty larceny, John Smith, petty larceny, John Brown, petty larceny, Fred Asher, burglary, Wiley McGuire, disturbing peace.
Our enterprising merchant, Lewis Hoffman, is doing a wholesale business in his line from the looks of things in his store room Monday. He has on hand at present over three thousand dollars worth of hides and furs, consisting of otter, beaver, wolf, fox, coon, mink, skunk, opossum, muskrat, and badger. The most of them were purchased by him in Kansas and the Indian Territory. It is by far the largest invoice ever in one store in Butler. Among the lot are about 800 coon, 500 skunk and 300 wolf skins. Mr. Hoffman is a rustling business man and deserves to make a good profit on his investment, which we hope he will do.
Wednesday, Mar. 2, 1887
Mr. John Shelton’s little child is not expected to live.
W. H. Caldwell, one of our most highly respected citizens, living four miles east of Butler, will sell his personal effects to-day, preparatory to leaving for Santa Rose, California, to make it his future home. The Times regrets to learn he has decided to leave the county and hopes his bright expectations may be met in the golden state. He sold his farm to Jos. M. Webb for $35 per acre, cash.
Among the criminal cases disposed of by our circuit court last week, we find that Wiley McGuire and W. M. Evans, charged with disturbing the peace of the family of John Higgins, in Rich Hill, by using loud, boisterous and indecent language, were fined as follows: McGuire, $40 and costs, and Evans $30 and costs. Neither could pay their fines and were sent to jail. Jas. Rall, arrested with them on the same charge was discharged.
From a gentleman who was in Archie Saturday evening, we learn of a stranger who was badly maltreated in being ejected from a passenger train that morning, and possibly fatally injured. It seems he had paid the conductor his fare from Harrisonville to Archie, his destination being Butler, when the train reached that station the conductor and porter threw him from the train, and in falling down an embankment he fell with his side across his valice, breaking two ribs and injuring his spine. It is a good case for a damage suit and the conductor ought to be punished.
Wednesday, Mar. 9, 1887
Col. S. W. Sims of Rich Hill, was in the city yesterday. He is one of the old Mexican War veterans and was in town proving up his claims, as he is entitled to draw a pension under the law recently passed by congress.
Wednesday, Mar. 16, 1887
Judge Scott, of the St. Clair county court, appeared at Jefferson City Saturday for trial, and was fined $200 and sentenced to two months in jail constructively.
Wednesday, Mar. 23, 1887
Little Eddie Payton, six years of age, son of Scott Payton, living near Mulberry, while playing last Tuesday, fell and swallowed a ferrule off an umbrella. The child suffered terrible agony. On Sunday Dr. Boulware was called and upon examination discovered this ferrule lodged in the windpipe. On Monday, assisted by Drs. Renick and Mitchell, Dr. Boulware performed the delicate and dangerous operation of cutting into the child’s windpipe and removing the obstruction. At last accounts the little fellow was resting easy.
The statement is made in a Philadelphia paper that Edison, the inventor, has the voice of the late Mr. Beecher preserved in tin foil, and can reproduce it in his phonograph at pleasure. When he perfected this instrument, he secured the living utterances of a number of eminent persons, Mr. Beecher among them, and has them preserved in a cabinet. The speech of each person is expressed in little indentations on a sheet of tin foil, and when these are placed in the phonograph, the words with the actual sound of the voice that uttered them are repeated. There is something unearthly in this form of being dead and yet speaking.
Wednesday, Mar. 30, 1887
A little matinee, not exactly on the boards for Saturday night’s entertainment, took place back of Jeffres’ saloon. Two or three of the participants were a little disfigured but are still in the ring. The affair was very quietly conducted and did not disturb the peace and dignity of the city to any great extent.
About 11 o’clock Wednesday night the fire alarm was sounded in the west part of town and was located at the residence of Mrs. W. J. Smith. A bed had caught fire from the stove pipe in an upstairs room, and when discovered had burned one corner of the bedstead off and was in the feather bed. By prompt action a few buckets of water put the fire out. It was a close call, however, for had the family gone off to sleep without discovering the fire in a short time it would have gained headway and would have destroyed the building.
During the fire Wednesday, Geo. Phelps was driving Brough’s delivery down the street yelling fire at the top of his voice, when the horse took fright and ran away turning the wagon over, and catching George between the horse and wagon. Fortunately, the horse was stopped before George was hurt. It was a close call, however, and those who witnessed the accident trembled for his safety.
Wednesday, Apr. 6, 1887
Dan McConnell and family have gone to Oregon in search of a new home.
Wednesday, Apr. 13, 1887
Thursday Morning’s Fire.
The Most Terrible Conflagration
That Has Visited Butler For
Two Livery Stables and Four Business Houses Completely Destroyed.
Merchandise and Personal Property Go Up In The Fames.
Four Stallions, Three Jacks and Four Horses Roasted Alive.
What is, or could be sadder to contemplate than the smoking ruins of a burned district, where but a short time before had been life and bustle of a busy metropolis, to view among the ruins the charred and roasted carcasses of what had been living animals. Such was the spectacle that met the eyes of the citizens of Butler on Thursday morning, when nearly the whole of the southwest part of the square lay in ashes and blackened ruins.
The fire note was sounded about one o’clock, when men awoke from their slumbers to see angry flames leaping heavenward from their places of business. For a time pandemonium reigned. Men ran hither and thither, not knowing what to do, while the angry fire demon held high carnival. But not for long did this state of things exist before a few leaders, that always arise on occasions of great emergency, encouraged the men by deed and word, to a concentrated effort to stop the ravages of the flames, and how well they succeeded the finer brick buildings on the west side of the square bear ample testimony.
The fire was first discovered in the rear of the frame livery stable owned by Dr. W. J. Lansdown and occupied by Lisle & Colyer. So rapidly did it burn that George Phelps, who was sleeping in the stable barely awoke in time to get out, somewhat scorched. Everything was burned, including about 9 head of fine horses and 2 jacks. Fortunately for Joe Smith, some of the boys were up late, discussing politics, and at the first cry of fire rushed to the livery stable and released all his horses and got them all out except one which was burned up. His buggies were mostly saved, but he lost a number of robes, whips, and harness, besides a quantity of feed.
The flames whipped around the old Olive House and caught in the rear of the brick building occupied by the Bankers Loan & Title Company and Charley Lewis’ restaurant, then spread to the frame building on the north, occupied by VanCamp’s restaurant and Mrs. Kennett’s millinery store thence to Brugler’s building, occupied by E. O. Hayes, the upstairs as a residence, and the lower part as a retail notion store, except one room as an office by Mr. Brugler. Here the men made a desperate fight at the fire proof wall of Dr. Morris, the room being occupied by Brough’s grocery store, and succeeded in stopping the progress of the fire. A fight was then made for the old Olive House, which had already caught fire, and succeeded in saving it. The following are the losses and insurance.
Joe T. Smith, no insurance on stock, loss about $500.
J. P. Willis, stable valued at $4,000, insured for $3,000.
W. J. Lansdown, stable valued at $1,000, no insurance.
Lisle & Colyer had no insurance on their stock, probable loss $2,500. D. A. Colyer lost two fine stallions, valued at $1,500 though he would not have
taken much more for them.
J. W. Henry had just shipped in two fine jacks and one stallion from Mt. Sterling, Ky., which had arrived the day before, valued at $1,800, no insurance.
Dr. Everingham’s building with his office fixtures and surgical instruments, a total loss, valued at $3,000.
The Bankers Loan & Title Co. on the ground floor of the Eveningham building, saved nearly all the office furniture, books and papers.
Charley Lewis’ brick, valued at $3,000, insured for $2,500. Household goods insured for $600. His bakery stock and restaurant: fixtures were nearly all a total loss with no insurance. Loss, probably $1,500.
VanCamp removed nearly all his goods, but in a damaged condition. No insurance, loss probably $300.
Most of Mrs. Kennett’s millinery stock was saved but in a badly damaged condition. Insurance $600.
E. O. Hayes’ stock and household goods a total loss. Insured for $1,200.
J. K. Brugler’s building, frame probably worth $600. No insurance. Office furniture saved.
Laclede hotel badly damaged from heat, front blistered and boards warped, fully insured.
The large plate glass in front of the Opera House was nearly all cracked, the cornice and guttering melted off. Damages probably $1,500, fully insured.
Jas. Brough lost his delivery horse in Colver’s barn, valued at $125.
Messrs. Chas. Conklin and Wesley Warnock, of Mound township, and W. J. Bard, of Homer township, were expected in Butler Thursday to buy the two jacks of Mr. Henry’s at $800 a piece.
The total loss of the fire will foot up near $30,000. Insurance about $10,000.
Wednesday, Apr. 20, 1887
Verily the curse of the fire is being changed into a blessing to Butler. Preparations are being made to replace the whole of the burned district with finer brick or stone buildings. The building boom has struck Butler at last and it is not of the mushroom nature, but substantial and will steadily increase. Already Butler real estate is on the rise and before many moons it will have reached somewhere in the neighborhood of what it is actually worth. Now is the time to invest money in Butler property, for it is now at its lowest ebb and Butler has a promising future before her.
Four prisoners broke jail at Lamar Thursday night by sawing a hole through the floor. John West was incarcerated for the murder of S. K. Reynolds and was awaiting stay of execution in a sentence of 25 years to the penitentiary. W. H. Turner was immured for swindling in the sale of a patent right on a gas stove, while the two Prewitts were charged with persistent stealing, one of them having been tried a few days since, fined $20 and given twenty days in jail.
Yesterday about one o’clock J. C. Grooves, of Montrose, was driving his team near the railroad track with a loaded wagon. A freight train was passing and his horses took fright and turned short, throwing him to the ground in front of the wheels, two of which passed over his abdomen. He was carried home in an unconscious condition and medical aid summoned.
After careful examination the doctors pronounced the injury a serious one, and that the chances of his recovery are few, he having received internal injuries.