Newspaper Page Text
FIFTY SEVENTH YEAR. NO. 75.
THE ARGUS. TUESDAY. JANUARY 14. 1908 TEN PAGE SI
PRICE TWO CENTS.
HUNDRED FIFTY BURNED
AND CRUSHED TO DEATH
IN PANIC AT THEATER
Gas Tank Explodes and Starts a Fearful .Catas
trophe at a Sunday School Entertain
ment at Boyertown, Pa.
LESS THAN HALF OF CROWD ESCAPE UNHURT
Building Burns to the Ground
and Many of the Bodies are
Boyertown, Pa., Jan. 14. At
o'clock this afternoon, the number
dead is officially given as about 150.
More than 50 bodies have been taken
out of the ruins and 100 men, women
and children are missing.
UL'T FEW lJlRi;i.
Estimates place the number killed
in last night's theater fire at from 125
to 160. Town officials think at least
150 lives were lost. Only a few were in
jured. The chief of the Pottstown fire de
partment who investigated the cause
of the disaster says the first rush to
wards the stage was caused by several
men and women becoming frightened
when the hose connecting the moving
picture machine and tank supplying
the light slipped off its connection and
made a slight noise. The tank itself
did not explode, he says, untii after
the flames reached it.
In going to the fire the Boyertown
company collided with a tree and one
of the firemen was thrown from the
apparatus and, landing heavily against
a tree, was instantly killed.
All saloons were ordered closed to
day as the rough element was becom
Boyertown, Pa., Jan. 14. When day.
light dawned today the full extent of
last night's fire, when the Rhoades
opera house burned, was apparent.
The list of dead is placed at 150 and
Injured at 75. Exactly how many
were killed may never be known, for
among the victims were a number of
visitors who may have no relatives to
trace their untimely fate.
LlHt of Known Dead.
The list of known dead follows:
MRS. JOHN BECKER AND TWO
DR. CHARLES MAYOR AND
CHILD OF REV. A. M. WEBER.
MISS ELM A ENCLE.
MRS. IRA SHOBER.
MRS. RICHARD TURNER.
MRS. DANIEL KRAUSE.
MRS. GEORGE ROMINE.
MR. AND MRS. HERBERT
herbert gotchal, jr.
blanche and mabel kochel.
MRS J. J. BECKER AND THREE
LOTTIE GRAVES AND SISTER.
CHARLES MOYER AND DAUGH
MORRIS ANDERSON AND TWO
JOHN ANDERSON. WIFE AND
- CHARLES MAURER.
MRS. MAGGIE LEFEVRE.
MRS. MARY LEINBACH.
MRS. ADAM MOYER.
MRS JOHN GLAZE.
MRS. REUBEN HOFFMAN AND
' "" Four Hundred In Houe.
It is estimated there were 400 per
sensv In the playhouse when the ex
plosion of the gas tank occurred. The
tank wa3 being used in connection
with pictures. An amateur perform
ance of the 'Scottish Reformation,'
for the benefit of St. John's Luthean
Sunday school was being produced
Instantly the explosion occurred
LOSS OF LIFE IN BIG
I. THE UNITED STATES. ,
Richmond, Va., theater, Dec. 26,
1821 ; 71
Brooklyn theater, Dec. 5, 1876.. 297
Central theater, Philadelphia, (
April 28, 1892 6
Front Street theater, Baltimore,
Dec. 28, 1895 22
Iroquois theater, Chicago,'' Dec,
30, 1903 59S
IX FOHEHiN COUNTRIES.
Lehman's theater, St. Petersburg,
Carlsruhe theater, St. Petersburg,
Ring trieater, Vienna, Dec. 8,
Exeter theater, England, Sept. 5,
Banquet theater, Oporto, March
21, 1888 .' 200
Opera Comique, Paris, May 25,
Barnsley, England, Jan. 11,1908. 16
some one yelled "Fire" and in almost
less time than it takes to tell it the
center of the opera house was a blaz
Oil l.nmpn lpset.
The rapidity with which the flames
spread was caused by the upsetting
of the coal oil lamps used as foot
lights by some persons on the stage
who endeavored to allay the frightened
children and quiet . the audience.
Mm Fight with Women.
But even the men seemed to lose all
control of themselves and fought with
the women and children who composed
the greater part' of the audience, to
gain the street. In this manner many
women and children who might Other
wise have escaped the flames were
forced back and trampled upon. Par
ticularly was this the case with those
caught on the stairways.
Pandemonium reigned and the "mad
scramble for the exits was simply in
describable. The weaker ones were
brushed aside and in many instances
trampled to death. Scores of persons
on the second floor, seeing the awful
jam on the stairways, risked their
lives by jumping from the windows.
In this way several were badly injured.
They died before reaching any of the
numerous temporary hospitals.
Boyertown is a town of .about 2,500
people and there is scarcely a house
in the little place that was not afflicted
by last night's visitation of fire.
Stop Fire viUh Help.
The fire was not brought under con
trol until early this morning, after as
sistance had arrived from Reading and
Pottstown. Physicians and nurses also
were sent to Boyertown from Reading,
and aided materially in alleviating the
ksufferings of the injured.
Early today about 50 members of the
state constabulary, which is stationed
in this district, came from Reading on
a special train.
HoiHe I'nder Wreckage.
The work of removing the bodies
from the debris will be unusually tedi
ous and hazardous. When the rush
was at its height the floor gave way,
precipitating many persons to the base
ment, and the bodies of these are bur
ied beneath the charred timbers and
tons of brick from the ruined walls.
. Other Building Burned.
In addition to the opera house and
Farmers' National Bank, Erhan's hard
ware house and the dwellings . oi
George Rahn. Harry Pennypacker, and
Alfred Zashard burned. The mone
tary loss amounts .to $75,000.
Wireless Sends 1,900 Kilometers.
Paris, Jan. 14. A brief wireless dis
patch was received, here last night
at the Eiffel tower station from . the
war ship Kleber, which is lying at
Casa Blanca, a distance of 1,900 kilo
meters. This is the first time that
message has been sent so long a dis
tance under similar conditions.
Colonel Visscher Released on Bail.
Omaha. Neb.. Jan. 14. Colonel Will-
lam Visscher, writer and . humorist of
cnicago, who shot Policeman ;uiuon Hng Ml8s ingal Anderson this morn
Saturday ft-s yesterday reused t declared theprisoner would lead
on a bond of $1,500 signed by Victor" , -
Rosewater, editor of theBee. ian upright Uife. She assured Governor
FIGHTING BOB ILL
Rheumatisrr Keeps Command'
er of American Battleship
DAMPENS RIO'S RECEPTION
Plenty of Functions forOfficers and
Men Provided, However, by
Rio Janeiro, Jan. 14. Swinging laz
ily at their unchors, the American bat
tleships early yesterday seemed as if
they were enjoying a well earned resi.
after their run of 3,000 miles and more
from Trinidad. They lay under the
reen hills of Rio, in the shadow of
Mount Corcovado, and soon the streets
took on . a lively appearance as thous
ands made their way to the edge of
the water, where they could watch the
ships anrd launches dashing in and out.
A warm welcome awaited the fleet
from the moment the signal flags went
up announcing its approach, and from
the first landing of the "liberty" men
uuiii alienor is weignea again ruo nas
much in store for those who wish to
view its beauties and enjoy its bounty.
Entertainments have been arranged
. a. ... I III
for almost every hour of the day and
some of the hours of the night as well, j
but the fact thai Rear Admiral Evans. I
the commander of the fleet, is ill is
cause for the deepest regret.
Admiral Evans is suffering from
rheumatism and it is feared he will not
be able to be present at the entertain
ments. Admirals Emory, Thomas and Sper
ry, accompanied by the captains of the
battleships, yesterday paid a visit to
the minister of marine, Admiral Alen
con, who returned the visit on board
Admiral Evans' flagship Connecticut.
Later the American officers went to
Petropo'is, the home of the diplomatic
corps, some 22 miles distant from the
capital , to attend the reception of
President Perra and a T)anquet given
in their honor by the American am
bassador, Irving B. Dudley.
They were accompanied by many
high Brazilian officers and by repre
sentatives of the various legation".
Among . these, was., the Uarhft-ottfee
Japanese legation, who extended cor
dial greeting on behalf of his coun
Allen, Dominion, and Canadian Pacific
Steamship Companies Meet
Montreal, Jan. 14. Following the ac
tion of, the White Star and Cunard
lines in cutting rates, representatives
of the Allen, Dominion, and Canadian
Pacific steamship companies at a con
ference today decided yesterday to
make a cut of eastward rates in second
cabin and steerage to Liverpool and
Scandinavian points. The reductions
are from 25 to 30 per cent, second
rates to Liverpool being cut from
$42.50 to $30.
Washington, Jan. 14. Representa
tive Sabath of Chicago believes he set
the wheels in motion yesterday to pre
vent future marriages between Ameri
can girls and foreign noblemen. He
introduced a bill imposing a "tax upon
all dowries, gifts, settlements, or ad
vances ofTJroperty made in considera
tion of or in contemplation of marriage
by. citizens or subjects of the United
States of America to persons other
than citizens or subjects of the.United
States of America."
Tax la 25 Per Cent.
The tax Is fixed at 25 per cent of the
dowry, andithe secretary of the treas
ury is authorized to adopt and enforce
the rules and regulations for its col
lection. Mr. Sabath plumes himself
upon having done a good thing.
"I read In the newspapers the other
day," he said, "that during the last 12
or 14 years something like $900,000,000
had been, taken out of the country by
foreigners who married American girls
This is outrageous. The American
men are good enough for any girls
They rmike them happy, something the
COM ES FROM ALASKA TO PLEAD CASE
OF LOVER ACCUSED OF SWINDLING
Lincoln Neb.;' Jan. 14. At the hear-
J jng "of John Martin, convicted of swlnd
Thaw Family Physician
Tells of Taint of
UNCLE AN IMBECILE
Littleton's Opening Statement
Promises Startling Array
New York, Jan. 14. John T. Deeniar,
Thaw's family physician, was the first
witness called in the Thaw triifl today,
He had treated Thaw for St. Vitus
'dance and nieiis,es. He repeated this
testimony and told also of attending Senate Berry, Action, Helm, Dun
members of the Copely family, the lap, Hamilton, Lundberg, Cruikshank.
mother's branch of the defendant s an- House Chiperfield, Kittleman, Beh-
!cestrv - Deemar Eai(1 a brother of ,
itne cider Mrs. inaw Decame an mi-
Dr. C. G. Wagner of Binghampton,
:,N. Y., and Mrs.
Smith E!i Jelliffe, i
the defense, were"
two alienists of
present when court opened today.
Jerome'" Objection Suxtained.
Dr. Deemar was asked about the
present mental condition and wheb
abouts of John Ross, paternal cousin
of the defendant, but District Attorney
Jerome objected on the grounds that ;
the doctor obtained the information
while acting in a professional capacity
and it would require a waiver from
the client before he could testily. Jus
tice Dowling sustained the objection
over the protest of Littleton.
Never in Asylum.
On cross examination Attorney Jer
ome drew out the fact that Henry
Copely, while incapacitated for mental
work, was never confined.
Wife Anions Those Eieluded.
Evelyn Nesbit Thaw was excluded
from the court roo- yesterday. She
will not be allowed to enter until she
is called as a witness. At the last
trial she, her mother-in-law, Mrs. Wil
liam Thaw; her sister-in-law, the count
ess of Yarmouth, and Mrs. George Lau
der Carnegie, another sister-in-law, sat
in the court room from the beginning
of the trial to its end. .
Ituke Thaw's History for InMunity.
The prediction that nothing in the
life of Harry K. Thaw or his family
would be spared to save him from the
electric chair for killing Stanford
White was confirmed when Martin W.
Littleton outlined the defense. Thaw
was a man bereft of all reason when
he killed Stanford White Is the sub
stance of what Mr. Littleton says he
To substantiate this defense he will
produce testimony to show that on th
paternal and maternal side Thaw had
relatives who were insane, at least
one dying in an asylum; that Thaw
was born weak minded, and that on
I several occasions he was insane, at
least temporarily, and that once, while
TO STOP DRAIN OF
foreigners do not do, so rar as I know.
and the money is spent in the United
States, benefiting everybody here.
Gain by Foreign Laborers.
I saw a statement that the recent
financial panic was, in part, precipita
ted by the savings which the foreign
born laborers, returning to Europe,
were taking with them. I have done a
little figuring. I find that these for
eigners took $20,000,000. During the
last year 1,200,000 immigrants 'arrived".
Each of them wa3 required, under the
law, to have $25 in his possession. So
the foreigners brought in $30,000,000.
Here is a positive gala Instead of a
"Now; In the case of' American girls
marrying foreigners, there is no gain,
either for the country or the girl. The
former lose money and the latter hap-
piness, with an empty title as her only
Mr. Sabath grew so enthused over
the subject that he made a stump
speech hr the corridor of the capitol
on the inestimable value" of American
Sheldon she would start Martin in
' Miss Anderson came from Alaska to
plead the case of her sweetheart. The
governor took the question of Martin's
pardbn under advisement.
RESUME THE GRIND
Illinois Legislators fettle Them
seJves Again to Task off
Framing Primary Law.
JOINT COMMITTEE MEETS
House Passes Resolution for a Com
mittee Investigation of State
Springfield, 111., Jan. 14. (Argus Spe
cial.) The Illinois legislature conven
ed today after a recess which has vir
tually lasted since before the holidays.
Main, interest was centered in the
meeting of the conference committee
on the primary election law which
took up the consideration of the
The house passed a resolution pro
viding for the appointment of a com
mittee to investigate state charitable
Sherman Naincit Committer.
Lieutenant Governor Sherman ap
pointed the senate part of the joint
conference committee last night. The
entire body when it assembles" con
sists of: ' '
reus, Fogue, Shanahan, Browne, Daugh-
The seven men selected by Snerman
are all republicans. Senator Crulk-
shank was put on at the request of
Congressman Lorimer, and to even it
up the lieutenant governor put on Sen
ator Lundberg from the Deneen dis
trict, although the governor made no
request. As Sherman and others view
the situation, the expectations of the
leaders are that the Joint conference
committee will not be able to come to
an agreement on the Oglesby bill and
a compromise measure will then be
put in in the shape of a "simple" di
rect primary bill.
suffering from melancholia, he tried to
SubMtanee of Reply.
tlcten to the case of the prosecution, '
which was presented in four hours.
Only four witnesses' were brought
forth to show, as Assistant District At
torney GaryanamiQunced in JheppeivJ
ing of the people s tfa1se,tnaTTna w j
committed a deliberate, premeditated,
The chief witness presented by the
prosecution was James Clinch Smith,
White's brother-in-law, who did not ap
pear in the direct case at the last trial.
Uttletoa Outlines Defense.
Littleton dug deep into the history
of Thaw and his family, saying it
wasn't a pleasapt task to pull aside
the curtain that shut out the history
of that family.
He named relatives of Thaw who
were insane or wno naa a meniai
weakness of one kind or another.
There surely was a taint in the Thaw
family and Thaw couldn't escape it.
The fever that burned his blood when
he was born would burn until he died.
was thewy Mr. Littleton expressed it.
He was an erratic child, subject to
convulsions and St. Vitus dance. When
he was C yeurs old he couldn't talk
at least he couldn't talk in a language
that a school teacher could understand.
Wild and Erratic.
He went to schools and was wild and
erratic. He oscillated between bril
liancy and madness 'since he was a boy,
according to Mr. Littleton's descrip
tion. Witnesses he had brought from
London, Paris and Monte Carlo would
show Thaw was insane, Mr., Littleton
said. This country had been combed
over for witnesses to bear out the de
fense, and after hearing Mr. Littleton
name the measures that had been tak
en to build up the defense, no one
could doubt .that a good sized fortune
has been disposed of to save Thaw.
Crona Madhouse Bridge Later.
Mr. Littleton" when he got through
was asked how he expected to keep
Thaw out of the1 madhouse, if he pro
duced all the evidence he said he
"We'll cross that bridge when we
come to it," he said.
UPTON HAS NOT CHALLENGED
English Yachtsman Denies He Has De
cided to Try Again for Cup.
New York, Jan. 14. The Associated
Press has received the following cable-
gram from Sir Thomas Lipton:
Salve. Island of Ceylon. Jan. 14.
Associated Press New York: Untrue.
Have not challenged. Too early. Sizo
of boat no objects (Signed) LIPTON.
Implement Dealers Meet; '
''Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 14. the' an
nual convention of the Western Retail
Implement and 'Vehicle Dealers asso
ciation opened a three, days' session
here today. Sixteen hundred delegates
from ' the west and southwest were
present. . , . .......
Governor Deneen Down with Grip.
Springfield, 111., Jan. 14. Governr?
Deneen has been forced to give up hla
campaign by a severe attack .of grip.
He was taken' ill at Pontlac and re
turned to his residence here Saturday
JAPANESE CABINET LOSES
TWO LEADING MEMBERS
and since that time has been com
pelled to stay in bed. His condition
is not serious, however, and his phy
sician says he can take up his work
by Wednesday unless a relapse oc
curs. ask cheaper fare
on Sleeping cars
Senator La Follette and George E. Lof
tis File Petition with the Interstate
Washington, Jan. 14. George E.
Loftis of St. Paul, accompanied by
Senator La Follette, filed with the in
terstate commerce commission yester
day a petition asking for a reduction
of 25 per cent in the lower berth rates
of the Pullman company and the fixing
of the rate for upper berths at one-
half of that of the lower berth rate.
The reduction is asked on all Inter
state business throughout the country.
Mr. Loftis represents the Minnesota
The petition avers that each car, ac
cepting the company's estimate of its
cost, pays for itself every two years
"Because ot" the unreasonable rates
charged and the abnormal revenue re
sulting the Pullman company is so
powerful that it now controls the
sleeping car business of the United
States, and is so arrogant that it de
nies the right and power to inquire
into its earnings or regulate its busi
UPHOLDS SUNDAY BASEBALL
Cincinnati Clergyman Says He Would
Not Stop Games if He Was Mayor.
Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 14. "The
preachers have a right to preach that
it is wicked to play ball on Sunday.
They have no right to apply their ser
mons with a policeman's club."
This was one of the statements
made by Rev. Herbert S. Bigelow in a
sermon in favor of the proposed bill to
legalize Sunday baseball in the Vine
Street Congregational church Sunday.
He said it was not the duty of the
mayor to enforce a law asainst Sunday
Isffre1iaTTrgnatft3rt' lPniT't1 rVg!5y(ff oH
the city he would not try to enforce it.
EXPOSITION REMAINS CLOSED,
Decided There Will Be No Reopening
at Jamestown Next Summer.
Norfolk, Va.. Jan. 14. That there
will be no official reopening of the
Jamestown exposition for the season J
of 1908 was determined yesterday by
the reply of Chairman George H. Ad
ams of the exposition reopening com
mittee -to a communication from Alvah
H. Martin, chairman of the receivers
for the exposition company. The only
chance left for reopening would be the
purchase of the property for this pur
pose by private interests. The exposi
tion receivers wilN today file with the
court their first report.
RAISUL1 WITH MULAI HAND
Bandit Refuses to Release Caid Mc
Lean Except on Order of His Ally.
Paris, Jan. 14. A dispatch from Tan
gier says Raisuli, the bandit, has join
ed Mulai Hafid and that he stiil per
sists in his refusal to give up Caid Sir
Harry McLean except by order of his
Advices from Rabat sfate that Abd-
el-Aziz's court is terror stricken by
the news that Mulai Hafid has been
The Matin declares the recent con
ferences between Premier Clemenceau
nd the French representatives at Ber
lin and Tanglr make it practically cer
tain that It will be unnecessary to
modify the French policy in Morocco.
YESTERDAY IN CONGRESS
Washington, Jan. 14. Following aw?
in brief, the proceedings of the two
houses of congress yesterday as taken
from the official records:
SENATE The recent Issuo of bonds
by the secretary of the treasury was
the occasion of an animated debate in
the senate. The discussion was pre
cipitated by an inquiry by Senator Cul
berson ana wti participated tti by sen
ators Aldrich.. Tillman and Bailey. It
resulted in an agreement to postpone
further controversy until k statement
can be received from Secretary Cortel-
you. Mr. Tillman s resolutions direct
ing the noance committee to inquire
into the operations of the treasury de
partment was rererrea, witn nis con
sent, to the committee. The unfinished
business in the form of a- bill to codify
the criminal lawn of the I nited fatates
was placed before the senate and the
reading: of the hill was begun. At 3:22
the senate adjourned until today.
HOI SK vigorous dcrense or states
rle-hts in dealing with violations of
civil rights or with special state elec
tions where troops nave neen cane.i
Into service served to .enliven the de
bate in the house In connection with
the bill to codify the penal laws of the
J'nited States. A number of democrats.
qiostly from the southern states, stren
uously sought by amendment to reserve
to the states themselves the discretion
as to the -qualifications of voters, and
OI persons lo perve on junea emu iu i
limit the powers of federal judges on
certain cases; but every attempt failed.
The republicans presented a solid front,
and the votes all were on party lines.
The bill was still under consideration
when, at 5:02 p. m., the house adjourn
ed until today. , .
Ministers of Justice and
denly Resign., j
ROWOVtR THE BUDGET
Retrenchment Policies do Not
Meet With Favor Emper
or Keeps Saionji.
Tokio, Jan. 11. Yoshiro SakatanI,
minister of finance, and Issaburo Ya
magta, minister of communications,
have resigned from the cabinet. The
resignations have been accepted. The
resignation of Marquis Saionji, prime
minister, has been refused. It is un
derstood differences exist over the bud
yet, which are irreconciliable.
Combine the Duties.
Nasahisa Matsuda, minister of jus
tice, will combine the portfolio of fi
nance and Keihar, minister of the in
terior, will combine that of minister
of communication. This leaves the
cabinet without any new elements and
removes the disputants who have been
disturbing factors for some time past.
May ('hnnice Budget.
The whole matter is now believed
settled. There nrobablv will be some
changes of items in the budget and
probably the government may decide
not to increase taxation but instead
reduce the appropriations for the army
and navv. It is rmssihln it mnv h
I decided to issue a loan to cover the
Han Aroused Opposition.
Cable dispatches received from
Tokio during the past month have in
dicated that the Saionji ministry was
meeting with, growing w position
- rtmreghrmt tm7-cmintry,-particulariy
because of reductions made by its ap
propriations for development purposes.
Trying to Stir Sentiment.
Elections in Japan are approaching .
and the opposition has been endeavor
ing to arouse a strong sentiment
against the cabinet by a newspaper
campaign, attacking principally the
government's policy of increasing tax
ation. The financial program was for
mally settled at a meeting of the coun
cil of elder statesmen held Dec. 17.
It was one of retrenchment and in
volved a reduction of expenses for the
army and navy for the next six years.
whereby the government will save
Prepared for Fight.
As soon as this program became
known' the opposition made vigorous
preparations to fight it in the diet.
Other reports declared there was a
miscalculation of $20,000,000 in the
budget and aroused widespread dis
trust in the financial policy of the
Saionji ministry and three days ago
there was serious difficulty in the
cabinet because of the reduction of
the- appropriation for railroad con
struction. HOLDS REUNION DANGEROUS
Meetmg of Blue and Gray Might Re
Savannah, Ca., Jan. 14. General
Stephen D. Lee, commander in chief
of the United Confederate Veterans,
yesterday declared he was -opposed to
the proposed reunion of the "blue and
gray" at Washington in 1909. "SHCh
a reunion," he said, "would bring toj
gether veterans who- might be impru
dent enough in bearing and language
to give offense and bring bitterness
"where there is now good feeling. We
should let well enough alone."
SHOE FACTORY FEEDS FIRE
Loss of $100,000 Caused by Blaze at
St. Louis, Jan. 14. The five story
factory building occupied by the Car-ruthers-Jones
Shoe company and other
firms, at 2640 Locust street, was de
stroyed by fire this mornlug.. The
loss is $100,000. . -
Northwestern to Grow Own Ties.
. Appletoh, Wis.. Jan. 14. The Chi
cago and Northwestern: Railway com
pany has withdrawn all' of Its tim
bered land in Wisconsin and northern
Michigan from the - market and will
use It for the growth or tie and bridge
timber fotits 7,500 miles of track.
Dutch Trcops Slay Rebels.
The Hague, Jan. 14. Dutch troops.
- after a severe fight on the island' of
Flores, Malay archipelago, haye captur
ed the rebel stronghold. One hundred
thirty natives were killed and most of
the chiefs surrendered.- The Dutch
losses were Insignificant.