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The Topeka state journal. [volume] (Topeka, Kansas) 1892-1980, November 21, 1905, LAST EDITION, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016014/1905-11-21/ed-1/seq-1/

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LAST EDITION.
TTTFiSDAY EVENING.
TOPEKA, KANSAS. NOVEMBER 21, 1905.
TUESDAY EVENING.
TWO CENTS.
&0UtU
STORY OFJIENDS.
Leland Roberts Confesses to the
Wetzel Murder.
Details of the Crime Are Brutal
and Revolting.
BEGGED FOR HIS LIFE.
Assailants Beat Him to Death
Despite Pleadings.
Two cf Men Implicated Members
ot Prominent Families.
Third Is a Negro Who Was Sot
Known.
Hill City, Kan., Nov. 21. In the Jail
in this city are Leland Roberts, Chas.
Keleher and Rolf Ross, the latter a
negro tramp, the former two young
men grown up in this city, charged
with the murder of Clarence Wetzel,
a murder so brutal, so revolting in its
details, as to cause a shudder to come
over the most hardened as he listens
to the story of Robert's confession.
Young Wetzel was born and reared
in the country just east of this city,
Wbc body wa -found .
OSpwtiere Vxlw killed.
X B-ndU of closing first s..n by S.cW
Scene of the Revolting Murder of
'the town of Bogue being the home ot
his earlier life. In 1903 his father,
Newton Wetzel, sold his large farm
and removed to this city where he en
gaged in the hardware business. Town
life held too much temptation for the
young boy and he speedily grew to be
Incorrigible. He was full of fun and
mischief and while not absolutely bad,
was unreliable and caused his father
much sorrow. He developed a mania
for money and was noted, among the
boys of his age, for always being, as
they termed, "well heeled." A team,
which had been given him, was sold
and the proceeds of the sale, about
two hundred dollars, was carried
about by him. This led to his murder.
Leland Roberts, the confessed mur
derer, is a youth of 20 years, son of
W. A. Roberts, an attorney of this
city. He has served a time In the re
form school and has been in the local
Jail several times and, at the time of
the murder, was under bond charged
with stealing a small sum of money
from the till in the office of a lumber
yard here. He has been suspected of
being implicated in more than one
serious misdemeanor. His parents
have had no control over him for
years.
Charles Keleher, implicated by Rob
erts, is the son of William Keleher, a
well known hotel man of this city. He
has been a wild youth and is a black
sheep in an estimable family. He has
been somewhat of a sport and while
his life has been a constant source of
trouble to his parents, it was never
thought that he would engage In an
act of the nature of the crime with
which he is now charged, and it Is
claimed by friends of the family that
he will have no difficulty in proving his
Innocence of being an accessory, or
accomplice, in the crime.
Rolf Ross, the negro, is considerable
of an unknown quantity. He drifted
into town some weeks ago In company
with a couple of negro women and when
these were made to move on Ross re
mained behind; he hung about a negro
dive and was regarded as a worthless
The confession made by Roberts.while
In the "sweat box" at Salina is a story,
told cooly, of a most villainous crime.
The confession, in substance. Is as fol
lows: The Confession of Roberts.
"I knew that Charley Wetzel had
about two hundred dollars and I made
up my mind some time ago that I would
get the money. At first I thought I
would steal it but then I thought thaj
he would tell on me and get me into
trouble and I made up my mind to kill
him and take the money and go away.
I spoke to Chas. Keleher and asked him
to go in with me and he said he would
do it. We planned to get Wetzel out
from town and told him that I could get
him a job as news agent on the railroad
at Salina if he would go there with me.
I told him that as I was under bond I
dared not go to the depot to take the
train but that we could so down the
road and catch the freight about a mile
east of town and he said he would go.
He said he would "Rave to go over to a
house. Mr. Thornton's, in the. north art
of town, to get some clothes and I told
him T would so there with him.
"I told Keleher that I thought we had
better get the nigger (meaning Rn
to go along to do ths killing and said
for him and the nigger to go down to the
cut east of town and that I would go
with Wetzel to Thornton's after his
clothes. We went and got the clothes
and then Wetzel and I walked down
through the pasture and met Keleher
and the nigger at the cut. We walked
around for a while and was 'raid to
tackle the boy because we knew he had
a gun. I found a wagon singletree and
said o Wetzel that I wished I could get
the clip off the stick. He said he co,uld
ret it off and I asked him to go down
fey the river, where there were some
trees and brush, and we would have
some fun with the singletree.
'He would not go down to the river
but sat down on the bank, by the side
of the road and taking a clevis off the
singletree began to pound at the clip.
We stood around and were afraid to
jump on him for he still had the gun.
He was then on his knees and had the
clip almost off, his gun was heavy and
in his way and he took it out of his
pocket and laid It on his coat. When
the clip came off he laid the clevis down
and it started to roll down the bank. I
said to him, catch that clevis, and he
dropped the singletree a:.d dropped
down on his hand and reached out after
the clevis.
Pleaded for His lite.
"Then Ross grabbed the singletree and
struck Wetzel over the head, he fell
over and lay on his back and put up
his hands and begged us not to kill him
but we struck him and kicked him
again and again. When he laid still
Keleher and I went through his clothes
after the money and Ross took off his
shoes and got some money there. We
then dragged him about 40 feet to a
pile of loose dirt and partially covered
him up.
"We intended to bury him good but
before we had him buried we saw the
freight train coming in town from the
west and we ran away. I ran to ine
bank of the river and took off my over
alls which were all covered with blood
and ttiiew them into the river, I then
went back through the pasture and
came to the slaughter house. There
were several men there and I went on
to my home and went In and washed
and changed all my clothing. I had
part of the money we took from Wet
zel and I went to the store and bought
me a new suit and told my folks that I
had got a job at Plalnvllle and was go
ing there to work and I got up early
the rext morning and came down here
(Salina).
. .,
H"di mi "file!. Wd fc dljeovwj of Wt.
Clarence Wetzel at Hill City.
. "I don't know where Chas. Kelehher
and the nigger went from the place
where we killed Wetzel, I saw them up
town an hour or so afterwards and told
them that I was going to skip out."
BANKERS AT7 OTTAWA.
T. A. McNeal and Henry Allen Among
the Banquet Orators.
Ottawa, Nov. 21. The fourth an
nual meeting of group four of the
Kansas Bankers' association will be
called to order In the old opera house
this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. The
address of welcome will be delivered
by A. Dobson.
Among the most prominent bank
ers who have written accepting Chair
man G. C. Smith's invitation to attend
the meeting are John F. Downing,
president New England National bank
of Kansas City: T. B. Neal. vice nresi-
dent Union National bank of Kansas
City; C. L. Brokaw, cashier of Com
mercial National bank of Kansas Ctty
and president of the Kansas Bankers'
association: Thornton Cook, assistant
treasurer Fidelity Trust company, of
Kansas City; W. McHenricy, cashier
Interstate National bank of Kansas
City; C. S. Jobes, president American
National bank of Kansas City; A. E.
Lombard, cashier Corn Belt bank of
Kansas City; H. C. Schkitzgebel, sec
retary Pioneer Trust company of Kan
sas City; W. W. Bowman of Concordia,
secretary Kansas Bankers' association;
P. I. Bonebrake, president Central Na
tional bank of Topeka; C. Q. Chandler,
president Kansas National bank of
Wichita, and J. W. Morley, cashier
Oswego State bank and vice president
Kansas Bankers' association.
At the banquet to be given in the
evening about one hundred and fifteen
SOT1 will act as tftaRtmaatpr onH tnaata
will be responded to by Judge C. A.
Smart. T. W. McNeal and H. J. Allen.
The banquet will occur in the opera
house.
RESCUED FROM RIVER.
John Miller Found Clinging to Pier of
Street Railway Bridge.
John Miller, a laborer who has been
working near Elmont on a cut-off con
struction gang, took an Involuntary
bath in the frigid Kaw last night about
10 o'clock. Charles Snyder, a street
car motorman. and Conductor Leigh
ton saw the man clinging to one of the
piers of the street railway bridge near
the south end, and securing a rope and
assistance, jerked Miller out of the
river. They put him on the rear end
of the street car and started south
with him. meeting the patrol wagon
and making a transfer at Second
street.
At the police station Miller was
thawed out and given dry clothing,
but he was too badly saturated, both
with Kaw water and firewater, to make
any statement. When he was released
this morning he was able to talk, but
his memory was very faulty. He didn't
know how or where he tumbled into
the river, nor how long he had been
soaking when helped out by th
rescuers.
Torpedo Flotilla Ordered to Canton.
Manila, Nov. 21. The first tornedo
flotilla, now on the Asiatic station, has
been ordered to Canton. Only the tor
pedo boat destroyers Bainbridge and
Decatur are available now ant they
will leave here in a few days. Three
others will follow when repairs on them
are completed.
HIS SECOND DAY.
Senator Burton's Trial at St.
Louis Progresses Slowly.
IT. S. Attorney Dyer Reads the
Rialto Plans.
DID BURTON KXOW ?
Government Shows His Connec
tion With Company.
Prove Investigation Was Being
Made at That Time.
St. Louis, Nov. 21. United States
District Attorney Dyer continued read
ing to the jury literature issued by the
defunct Rialto Grain & Securities com
pany when the United States circuit
court opened today for the second ses
sion of the trial of United States Sena
tor Joseph Ralph Burton of Kansas,
indicted on charges of having agreed
to accept and having accepted com
pensation from the Rialto company
for using his influence, while a mem
ber of the United States senate, in cer
tain matters pending before the post
oflice department at Washington.
The pamphlets contain several
thousand words and have little bearing
on the case on trial. They are enclo
sures mentioned in letters offered in
evidence by the government to show
that there was an investigation of the
affairs of the Rialto company under
way by postofflce inspectors at the
time.
Senator Burton was engaged by the
Rialto company to act as its geVieral
counsel at a salary of $500 a month.
Counsel for the defense objected to
the introduction of the letters, but was
overruled by Judge Vandeventer and
then insisted that not only the letters
but the enclosures also be read to the
jury.
Colonel Dyer interrupted his reading
to introduce D. M. Ramsdell, sergeant
at arms of the United States senate.
wno uoionel Dyer said had important
umciai Dusiness in Washington and
that he wished to allow Mr. Ramsdell
to return as soon as possible.
Mr. Ramsdell was present under a
subpoena, requiring him to produce
certain telegrams. These were identi
fied by the witness and it was admitted
by the defense that they Had been
sent by Senator Burton to the persons
named in the dispatches. They were
not read in the evidence at this time.
being reserved until their proper place
in the trial. Mr. Ramsdell was then
excused.
EVIDENCE IN BURTON TRIAL.
Witnesses Testify to Alluring Offers of
Rialto Company.
Three women and one man testified
before the adjournment at 4:30 o'clock
Monday afternoon. The government
succeeded in introducing letters'through
these witnesses which gave the Jury a
clear idea of the manner and method of
doing business pursued by the Rialtp
Grain and Security company.
Miss Bell Evans of Albany, N. Y., tes
tified that she had sent the Rialto com
pany a draft for $30 and had never been
able to secure acknowledgment of its
receipt. She had then made complaint
to the postoffice department. Viss K. C.
Hough had written to the department
complaining that she had been swindled
out of $50. She had received a letter
from the Rialto company stating that
they would guarantee her 600 per cent
on her investment in sixty days.
In overruling the objection of Mr.
Lehmann to the introduction of this evi
dence. Judge Van Devanter said that the
jury must understand that these letters
were solely for the purpose of showing
that complaint had been made against
the Rialto company and that a case was
pending aginst it at the time Senator
Burton appeared before the postoffice
department.
In the same manner the testimony of
Arthur M. Allen, a custom Inspector in
New York, was received. The govern
ment did not offer to show that the let
ters written by Allen to the postmaster
general were known to Senator Burton
at the time he appeared, and for this
reason Mr. Lehmann insisted that his
testimony should not be accepted nor
the booklet which he had forwarded the
department as coming from the Rialto
company, go before the jury. The court
overruled him and Allen's letter as well
as the matter which the booklet con
tained were read to the jury by Colonel
Dyer and General Robb, who came to
each other's rescue as the voice of one
or the other gave out.
Alluring Promises.
The promises in this alluring booklet
lays the foundation which shows the
manner and method of the operations of
the Rialto company. "Golden Gains
From Golden Grains" is the alliterative
and alluring title. Following are some
of the things which the booklet sets
forth:
"Can you make $5,850 in two months?
If so, stop right here, for this terse tale
is not intended for you. Otherwise,
$5,850 Is a lot or a little money; it de
pends on how long and how hard you
work for it. May be you are clever
enough to save $1 a day. If so, in six
teen years you will have $5,850. Re
member, it is not what you make, but
what you save out of what you make.
Or, may be you have a keen, comfortable
business that nets you a solid, substan
tial sum: not in a two months, but in a
twelve months. If so, you are worth
$97,000. Unfortunately some of us have
not $97,000 profitably or even unproflt
ably invested, and others of us just do
not want to wait sixteen long, craping,
suffering years."
In this manner the booklet rambles
along for several pages and then it
continues:
"With $100 s a beginning, $5,000
or $50,000 profits can be made if you
get in on the right thing at the right
time with the right kind of brains
behind it. There is not any guess
work, theory or supposition about this;
Just hard, cold-blooded facts." '
Then a lot of alleged facts are given
in the booklet. One of them is con
tained in the statements sworn to by
Charles H. Brooks, showing how a
client of the firm invested $100 in corn
for September delivery at a mfirgin
of two cents a bushels. The firm re
turned to the client $5,950 in two
months, or a profit of $5,850. There
were other letters, but notoody made a
larger profit than this particular client.
At the time of adjournment Frank
(Continued on Page Two.)
THEY FALL OUT.
Railroad Board Denies Carr
Taylor's Statement.
Has Not Refused to Subpoena
Witnesses.
ROBISON'S STATEMENT.
Has Been Policy to Furnish All
Help Possible.
Claims of Attorney Are Held Up
by Board.
Mr. Taylor Insists What He
Says Is True.
Things are getting Interesting with
the state board of railroad commission
ers ,and there are indications that open
conflict may break out between the mem
bers of the board and Carr Taylor, the
attorney.
J. W. Robison, chairman of the board",
this morning gave out an interview de
nying that the board has refused to is
sue subpoenas for witnesses needed by
Mr. Taylor; denying that Mr. Taylor is
paying for the services of a stenographer
out of his own pocket, and denying that
the board Is trying in any way to inter
fere with Mr. Taylor's prosecution of
the rate cases.
Mr. Taylor, however, affirms the re
port printed in the State Journal to the
effect that he was obliged to hire a spec
ial stenographer to handle hisvork, and
that he pays that stenographer out of
his own salary. He will likely ask the
next legislature to reimburse him.
The board is now holding up a number
of other bills contracted by Mr. Taylor
in securing evidence in the rate cases,
on the ground that the state auditor will
not allow them to pay such bills.
It is possible that Mr. Taylor may
try to force the board to pass favorably
upon his claims, and the auditor to pay
them. The claims in dispute are for the
services of stenographer while Mr. Tay
lor was taking testimony in Chicago and
other points.
Mr. Robison this morning gave out
this interview covering the board's side
of the case:
"It has been the policy of the board
to give Mr. Taylor all the assistance
possible, .But tne law aoes nui auow
us to use our contingent fund for hir
ing extra help for him, or for helping
him get up his evidence. He is sup
posed to do that himself. Mr. Taylor
himself told me that this stenographer.
whom he claims to be paying out of
his own pocket, is paid by the Wichita
Commercial club, aja.l the commercial
clubs of Kansas. We allowed Mr.
Tavlor to use the board's stenogra
pher, Mr. Shiner, until Mr. Shiner be
came so loaded down with work that
he could not carry it, and then we had
to shut down on that. Then was
when Mr. Taylor wanted us to give
him an extra stenographer. We were
willing to do so, but the auditor re
fused to allow the claim for her salary.
He held that the contingent fund could
not be used for that purpose. It was
about that time that Mr. Taylor told
me that the commercial clubs would
hire the stenographer for him.
"I suppose that under the law, we
are not allowed to give Mr. Taylor any
assistance whatever, so far as expenses
are concerned. He is hired to get up
this evidnce in the rate cass. But as
a matter of fact we have supplied him
with postage stamps, all the postage
stamps he needs. I have even allowed
Mr. Taylor to use my room for an of
fice; turned over the keys to him, and
told him to consider it his office. There
was no other place for him to go, and
I did not often need a private office.
Will Issne Subpoenas.
"The board did not refuse to issue
subpoenas in the salt rate ease; it
simply held up Mr. Taylor's request
until it could see whether or not the
case would be heard. Mr. Taylor sent
me the subpoenas by mail, and 1
signed them. We had some experi
ence with Mr. Taylor's subpoena busi
ness In the grain rate case. He wanted
to issue a lot of subpoenas In that
case, and we refused, on the ground
that the case was likely to be con
tinued. It was continued as we ex
pected, on Mr. Taylor's own request.
Had we issued them we would have
wasted several hundred dollars.
"The board has decided that it will
not issue more than three subpoenas
for witnesses who will testify to the
same general facts. We don't want to
pile up a lot of evidence on the same
subject; there's no use in it.
"If Mr. Taylor would find out what
his witnesses are going to testify, and
subpoena the one he needs, he will
have no trouble. In that grocery
commodity case, he put Resing on the
stand, assuming that Resing's tables
were all right. The result was that
about two days' time was entirely
wasted.
"We propose to protect our contin
gent fund, and not draw on it unneces
sarily. It is rather a small fund to
beg with, and we must expend it ac
cording to law.
"Mr. Taylor now has a lot of bills
pending before the board for the ex
pense to which he went in taking depo
sitions up there in Chicago and other
places. I am informed that these depo
sitions are not in such shape that they
can be used in evidence, and yet Mr.
Taylor expects us to pay the expense
of getting them.
May Not Be a Candidate.
"I am trying to do the square thing
on this board, and I am not anxious
about re-election. Whether or not I am
a candidate depends entirely upon
mv constituents: if they are satisfied
j with me, I will be a candidate; if they
are not, I am ready to quit.
"I don't know -what the other mem
' bers of the board expect to do, though
i I understand that Mr. Walker is not a
candidate. Both Mr. Walker and Mr.
Wheatley are valuable members on this
board; they are lawyers, and have given
me much valuable Information. I have
never seen a thing to indicate that eith
er of them was disposed to do otherwise
than give everybody a square deal. I
believe that the board is doing its duty
as It sees It. In all our opinions we
have been unanimous, with the excep
tion of the Hockaday suit, and - this
Mr. Walker dissented because ' he
thought that it was an interstate com
merce proposition.
Blames the Railroads.
"What the legislature should have
done was to give the board a rate clerk,
and made it possible for Carr Taylor to
$10,000 A YEAR,
Equitable's Annual Contribution
to Campaign Fund
Of the Republican Organization
in New York.
PLATT TELLS OF IT.
Says He Was Expected to Head
Off Adverse Legislation
In Return for the Insurance
Company's Money.
Story of Blackmail Added to
Mass of Evidence.
New York. Nov. 21. United States
Senator Thomas C. Piatt testified as a
witness before the Insurance-investigating
committee today.
Senator Piatt said that the Equitable
society contributed $10,000 to the Repub
lican state campaign fund.
Senator Piatt said the contributions
were in cash and were sent by messen
ger to his office and he turned tem
over to the state committee. They were
unsolicited, he said.
Senator Piatt safa that $10,000 was
frequently paid as an annual contribu
tion to the state campaign fund, but
that it was not a regular thing and
that he could not remember the years
in which it was paid.
The New York Life Insurance com
pany, he said, also contributed, but not
nearly so much.
Senator Piatt said he was expected in
return for the contributions to influence
legislation when any measures were hos
tile to the insurance companies. He
added that he does not know Andrew
Hamilton nor anything about Hamil
ton's activity before the legislature. He
knew nothing about Andrew C. Fields,
who represented the Mutual Life Insur
ance company at Albany.
Senator Piatt said also that he had
received frequent contributions of $10,
000 each from the Mutual Life Insurance
company.
Story of Blackmail.
John A. Nichols, a lawyer and quar
antine commissioner of the port of
New York, from 1880 to 1892, who
wrote the letters to Senator Chauncey
M. Depew in behalf of his "friend who
.usually gets around at this time of the
year," and who he wrote was getting
"rambuctious" and needed help, was
the first witness before the insurance
investigating committee today.
Much interest had been aroused by
the reading of Nichols' letters to Sen
ator Depew on Friday. The senator
was not able to remember who Mr.
Nichols' friend was.: As shown by
vouchers under observation by the
committee on Friday, Mr. Nichols re
ceived retainers from the Equitable
Life Assurance society.
When he went before the committee
today he testified that he had been em
ployed by the Equitable society for 20
to 2 5 years under an annual retainer
of $1,000, and said he is atill under
that retainer. Recently he was em
ployed bv the Mutual Life Insurance
company. He was consulted by the
officers of the Equitable society on
matters not connected with the legis
lature in 1904.
One of the matters entrusted to hint
was that of W. S. Manning of Albany.
Witness said that Mr. Manning, who
had been an actuary, was employed by
certain people to bring charges against
the Equitable society that the reserve
was not so large as it ought to be.
Manning was paid $450, Mr. Nichols
said, "so that he would be favorable
to the company."
His Memory Failed.
Vouchers dated October, 1888, for $6,714
and July 1, 1890, for $6,000, witness was
also unable to explain, but thought he
could remember later when he had re
freshed his memory. The letter of the
witness to Senator Depew dated Decem
ber, 1896, rlative to "our friend who gets
around at this time of the year," was
read to the witness and he said it re
ferred to Mr. Manning.
He wrote" to Senator Depew because
the senator was on the finaneeommit
tee of the Equitable society and that he
expected the senator to turn the lttr
over to the executive officers. The let
ter of December 4, 1902, rlative to "our
rambunctious friend from up the river"
witness also said referred to Mr. Man
ning. Mr. Manning he said, wanted to know
whether the arrau".Tient rvearly pay
ments by the Equitable society was to
be continued. Witness said Manning
went into this arrangement under his
(Nichols) persuasion.
Mr. Nichols said he induced Manning
to give up his business as an actuary
because Manning had been antagonistic.
Used False Names.
The names of Pierson, Brooker
Balderson and numerous others on
vouchers on which payments were
made, witness said were false names
used to protect Manning and keep his
name out of the matter.
During this same period witness was
employed by the Mutual Life Insur
ance company in looking after Man
ning, as Mr. Hughes termed it, and
paid Manning for the Mutual, sums
like those paid by the Equitable.
The same system of using false
names to protect Manning was follow
ed in his dealing with the Mutual.
Witness said he received $1,000 an
nually. For a time he received $1,000
also from the New York Life Insur
ance company, but they discontinued
it about 1899.
Wtness said Manning wanted to
follow up the New York Life" but he
"quieted him without the use of addi
tional money."
Nichols says he does not know
where Manning is now. He could not
recall that he had any business with
any of the three insurance companies
other than in the Manning matter.
Thomas Comas, who said he looked
after real estate and city complaints for
the Equitable society, was next called.
Mr Comas, a former alderman, said
he is" a member of Tammany Hall He
said he looked after getting the tax as-
have a fund to use in the prosecution
of cases. But the railroad knocked out
the provision for a rate clerk, for the
reason that they thought we were try
ing to make a place for H. L. Resing.
The railroads don't like Resing, but
they were mistaken in thinking that we
wanted him. We knew him better than
they thought we did."
sessments of the officers of the Equita
ble society reduced. At this point Sen
ator Piatt was called and Mr. Comal
was temporarily excused.
Piatt Makes a Stir.
Senator Piatt's entrance created a
stir in the committee. He walked slow
ly in on the arm of Robert C. Morris,
his counsel, and leaning heavily on a
cane. He took the witness chair and
was sworn. Mr. Morris started to ad
dress the committee, but stormed upon
Chairman Armstrong's explanation that
counsel are not heard formally by the
committee.
Piatt Was Carried Up.
Senator Piatt had been carried up
the stairs of the city hall to the door
of the committee in a chair. When he
was seated and sworn Mr. Morris said
that the senator would answer all
questions freely and frankly.
In reply to questions by Mr. Hughes,
Senator Piatt said that he had received
contributions more particularly from
the Equitable Life Assurance society
solely for the state campaign fund and
during a period of at least the last ten
years.
The contributions were of $10,000
each. He could not tell "when they
commenced but they continued every
year for some time.
He received no money from the
Equitable for the local campaigns nor
for the expenses of any candidates to
the legislature.
The money was divided as seemed
expedient. The packages of money, he
said, were sent over to his office by a
messenger and he immediately turned
them over to the chairman, secretary
or treasurer of the state committee.
They were' all cash contributions, all
came by messenger and all came vol
untarily. Senator Piatt said he could not re
member whether he made a request
for the contributions at the very be
ginning or that they were a fixed sum
of $10,000 a year.
Senator Piatt said he occasionally re
ceived contributions of $10,000 each from
the Mutual Life Insurance company but
that he could not tell In what year or
how often. These contributions did not
come annually but at different times
within the last ten years.
He turned the money over to the state
committee. The senator said h believd
that h had dealt with Prsident McCurdy
in receiving these contributions.
Asked for Money.
"I simply asked him at various times
when necessities were very urgent for
money and he said he would be glad to
subscribe," said the senator.
The monev. the senator said, was al
ways sent to him by a messenger and
was intended for use in the state cam
paign. President McCurdy understood,
the senator said, that the senator was
not representing the national committee.
The Mutual Life, he said, made noepn
tributions to the local campaign nor in
the interest of any candidate for state of
fice other than by the general contribu
tions described. While testifying about
the gifts of the Mutual Life the senator
once replied that he understood that he
was talking about the New York Life In
surance company, but afterward said he
meant the Mutual. When he was asked
when he had received any funds from the
New York Life Insurance company, he
said he thought he had very seldom. He
had dealt with President John A. McCall.
Asked directly whether Mr. McCall gave
him any money, the senator replied:
"I can not say positively whether he
did or not. I can not remember."
"It has been suggested to me that you
had something to do with the collection
of funds for the Harrison campaign, the
raising of a fund of $140,000. Do you re
call that? asked Mr. Hughes.
' I do not," said the senator.
"Or any fund?"
"No. My memory could not tell me
whether it was the Harrison campaign
or what campaign it was."
'You are clear in your mind that y(Tu
never had any contributions made to you
for the purpose of national campaign?''
"Yes, sir. They nevor were given to
me for a national camoaigri, although I
sometimes in talking with gentlemen
about it said I thought It would be a good
thing for them to subscribe because of
the bearing of the national campaign on
a state campaign."
TO TAKE UP RATE BILL
The Senate Committee on Interstate
Commerce Meets.
Washington, Nov. 21. The senate
committee on interstate commerce met
today to begin the consideration of leg
islation relating to regulation of railway
rates. All of the members of the com
mittee were not present as some have
been detained by ill health or business
engagements. The meeting of the com
mittee two weeks in advance of the as
sembling of congress is to consider the
testimony taken last spring and also the
additional data which have been gathered
by experts since the commission ceased
its hearings.
It is well known that the committee
is divided on the main question in
volved, that of conferring upon the in
terstate commerce commission power to
order a change of railroad rates, but no
attempt has been made to poll the com
mittee to determine what kind of a bill
will be reported. It seems quite likely
that several different measures will be
presented as it is known that drafts of
bills have been prepared.
DIED AT HIS THROTTLE
Aged Big Fonr Engineer, Taken 111,
Refused to Leave Post.
Greencastle, ind., Nov. 21. Engineer
Harry Strickland, 70 years old, and who
has been in the employ of the Big Four
Railroad company for over 40 years,
died at his post yesterday just before
the train reached Delmar, while on his
regular passenger run between Indian
apolis and Mattoon, 111. Engineer
Strickland was taken ill near Danville,
but refused to leave his post and re
mained at the throttle until he died.
BULLS GO WILD.
Fight to Buy Cotton When Census
Bulletin Is Issued.
Washington, Nov. 21. The census bu
reau today issued a bulletin placing the
amount of cotton ginned to November
14, at 7,498,167 bales.
A BIG JUMP.
New York, Nov. 21. There was a
wild bull movement in cotton following
the giving out of the ginners' report.
The May option advanced 97 points or
almost a cent a pound in a few min
utes. There was a jump of 30 points
between two sales. There was an ex
cited scene on the fl- ' the exchange
as the brokers fought one another to
buy.
WcHther Indication.
Chicago, Nov. 21. Forecast for Kan
sas: Increasing cloudiness with showers
Wednesday and in southern portion to
night; warmer in northern portion to
night; increasing southeast winds.
MAY PAYJT BACK
Merchants National Bank Likely
to Be Called Upon.
Creditors of W. E. Thomas Want
Ninety-ionr Hundred Dollars.
IN A COMMON FUND.
Claim Payment Made in July
Was Preferred One.
Report Shows Thomas Liabilities
Far in Excess of Assets.
The creditors meeting in the involun
tary bankruptcy cases of W. E. Thoma
of Leavenworth and the Southwestern
Fuel company of Topeka, held at th
federal building today, developed on
thing primarily, namely that an effort
will probably be made to compel the
Merchants' National bank of Topeka to
pay back $9,400 which it received from
the Southwestern Fuel company the
latter part of July, because the other
creditors deemed it preferred payment.
The meetings today were adjourned
for the third successive time, to De
cember 19, when all of the minor Devlin
corporations will gather In Topeka to
file claims. Two reasons for the post
ponement can be named, the absence of
W. E. Thomas, and the fearfully en
tangled status of the two cases. A
physician's statement that Mr. Thomas
is still too ill to appear and meet his
creditors was presented.
At the last meeting, Haskins & Sells,
expert accountants, were employed to
investigate both Mr. Thomas' and the
Southwestern Fuel company's affairs,
and they made a report today, which
they said was compromised as to ac
curacy, by reason of certain lack of
balances in the books, and some agree
ments, the validity of which would
have to be determined by the pres
ence of Mr. Thomas. One of these is
that P. J. Monaghan, manager of the
Southwestern Fuel company, stated to
Frank Lewis, the receiver, that an
agreement has existed between him
self and Mr. Thomas for the past five
years that he was to receive one-third
of the profits of the company.
The matter of the Merchants' Na
tional bank of Topeka having received
$9,400 as a preferred payment on
claims against the Southwestern Fuel
company was also brought out. Ac
cording to a statement made, the
Southwestern Fuel company kept de
positing money in the Merchants' Na
tional bank after the Devlin failure.
It owed the bank quite a considerable
sum, and the bank in an agreement
with the company deducted from the
deposit what was coming to it
Ed Carroll, owner of the Leaven- .
worth National bank, was present at
the meeting this morning. He holds
considerable Thomas paper. The Mer
chants' National bank matter caught
his attention at once and he wanted it
looked into immediately.
"I want Mr. Thomas here," he declar
ed. "Here are a whole lot of matters
that need immediate attention and the
victims have a right to know about
them. There are some very peculiar
actions which I want sifted out."
Eugene Hagan the attorney for Mr.
Thomas said that the latter was unable
to come, a statement to that effect hav
ing been made to him by the doctor.
Referee Slonecker suggested that Mr.
Carroll employ a physician of his own
to see Mr. Thomas. This may be done.
"What will you do about he Mer
chants' National bank matter?" was
asked of Mr. Carroll.
"We will get busy all right, after
while," was his significant reply.
An inkling of what will be done in the
big creditors' meeting set for December
19 was liinteJ at pretty strongly by Frank
H Woods of Lincoln, Neb., who said
when the matter of electing a trustee,
came up: "I think we had Just better
wait until that meeting and not elect a
trustee now. I think at the meeting of
December 19 everything will just be
thrown into one pot and we will take our
chances at pot-luck."
The Haskins-Sells report showed the
Thomas liabilities to be about $4S0,000 and
the assets S175.000. In the Southwestern
case the liabilities are $953,031.64. with
floating paper assets covering that
amount. Th actual cash on hand now,
however, is only $5,200.
CABINET DID NOT MEET
Everybody Attended the Marriage of
Hitchcock's Daughter.
Washington, Nov. 21. With the Presi
dent and Mrs. Roosevelt, the vice pres
ident and Mrs. Fairbanks. v" ambas
sadors from Great Britain, France,
Russia and Brazil and the members of
the cabinet as witnesses, Miss Anna
Hitchcock.daughter of Secretary Hitch
cock and Lieutenant Commander Will
iam S. Simms, U. S. N., were married "
at noon today in St. John's church The
church was crowded with friends of the
bridal couple. After the ceremony, the
bridal party, the president and vice
president, the ambassadors and a few
friends and relatives were invited to the
residence of Secretary and Mrs. Hitch
cock to a wedding breakfast.
Right Rev. Henry y. Satterlee, bish
op of Washington, and Rev. Roland
Cotton Smith, rector of St. John's
church of this city officiated.
The session of the cabinet scheduled
for today was omitted in order that 13
members might attend the wedding.
onlyTbTowout.
Farmers Thought Pipe Line Had Ex
ploded East of Topeka.
A report was circulated about this
morning that a natural gas explosion
had taken place on the pipe line a
mile southeast of the city.
The manager of the gas company,
P. J. Dielmann, claimed that he had
no knowledge of the explosion and
that if anything had taken place it was
probably a portion of the pipe line
being blown out in order to free it
from foreign particles.
"I haven't heard anything about
any explosion," said C. K. Holliday.
Temperatures of Large Cities.
Chicago, Nov. 21. 7 a. m. tempera
tures: New York, 30; Boston, 32; Phil
adelphia, 32; Washington, 28; Chicago.
34; Minneapolis, 30; Cincinnati, 30; St.
Louis 24.
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