Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1770-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS
Newspaper Page Text
AND TOPEKA TRIBUNE
8ft a Yffif TOPEKA, KANSAS, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1892. pSSniSStSfl Ih&b. HUMPHREY'S HUMBUG. Another Campaign Sensation Coming From the Land of Yidette and Dyna mite lame Another Prematura Explo sion. On August 30, the Kansas City Jour nal published Ave columns of dime novel rot purporting to be a history of the Frazer-Gibeon murders In Chautauqua and Elk counties, and the Incidents lead ing to the arrest of Frank Elnzey and Jerry Hutton, which occurred August 29 at Sedan. The article was illustrated to show the blood curdling manner In which the murders were committed, but a faithful perusal of the story fails to show the reader what the illustrations were drawn from, unless it was the re- po rV.n agination. This fake brought a broad grin to the faces of many of the newspaper frater nity, who saw that the sensation that had t'ws if V-b up to sell to newspapers had now been turned to political uses. The fraud Is best exposed by the following report In the Kansas City Timet of Au gust 31: "The arrest at Sedan yesterday of Frank Kinzey and Jerry Hutton, charged with the murder of John S. Frazer two years ago, has every appearance of being a frantic attempt by Gov. Humphrey and other republican office-seekers to create feeling against the farmers' alliance, and make capital for the republicans in the present campaign. The news of the ar rest was carefully guarded from the newspapers, with a single exception of a Kansas City republican organ, which this morning printed the story of the murder, unfolding the.detaila of the great conspi racy within the farmers' alliance, and imputing to that organization the full responsibility for the awful tragedy. This is given on the authority of an amateur detective, John T. T. Davis, who Is credited with having unravelled the mystery. "The story as printed in the Kansas City Journal this morning appeared almost verbatim in the New York Press several months ago, except that instead of Kinzey and Hutton being the names of the accused men fictitious names were used. Last November Detective Davis came to Topeka and informed Gov. Humphrey that he had, after a sleuth-like chase, found the trail of the murderers of Frazer, and had unearthed a vile con spiracy on the part of the farmers' alli ance. The governor became greatly Interested in the story, and promised Davis every assistance In his work. The detective returned to Sedan to continue his investigation, but before doing so thought he saw an opportunity to turn an honest penny by selling his information to a newspaper. He first went to the Topeka Capital, and outlining his story offered it to that paper exclusively, to be used only after the first arrest was made. The Capital did not want it, so Davis went to Kansas City and entered Into negotiations with the Journal. That paper paid him his price, and Davis un folded his tale, which was at once written up and put in type to be ready for use at a moment's notice. 44 Dummy" names were inserted in the article to be replaced by the real names of the alleged murder ers as soon as they should be arrested. 44 Davis then proceeded on his way to Chautauqua, and again took up his clue. For some reason the mystery did not un ravel as rapidly as he had hoped, and he was unable to secure enough evidence to warrant an arrest. 44 In the Journal office is a young man who corresponds for a number of eastern papers. He saw an opportunity to profit by Davis' story, so he had a number of copies of the proof -sheets printed and mailed to several newspapers, among others the New York Press, Instructing each to hold It until the arrests were made. The Press overlooked the Instruc tions, and published the story, dummy names and all, last December, thereby scoring a 44 scoop " on the Journal. 44 Gov. Humphrey is not In the city to day, but his private secretary, James Smith, said that the executive officer had dropped the matter sometime ago, and knew nothing of the work done by Davis for several months. Early In the Investi gation the governor employed Senator S. B. Klrkpatrick to represent the state In the matter, and sent Lewis Hanback to Chau tauqua county to unravel the mystery. Nothing came of this. In the meantime the republican papers in the Third dis trict were charging the crime to the Chautauqua county alliance, and much Political capital was made out of it 'eople's party papers likened these ac cusations to those made by the republi cans in regard to the dynamite explosion at CoffeyvUle In 1888. The Chautauqua county alliance employed Jeff Hudson, of Fredonla, now the democratic and Peo ple's party nominee for congress in the Third district, to Investigate the charges and disprove any connection of the alli ance with the crime. 44 It is reported here this afternoon on good authority that warrants will be sworn out for the arrest of every man who was a member of the Center town ship alliance at the time the murders were committed, charging them with complicity In the cnme. 44 It will be Impossible to keep the affair out of politics, and It bids fair to be as important a factor In this campaign as was the CoffeyvUle explosion in the cam paign of 1888." A CHAUTAUQUA HAH's STATEMENT. To the Editor of Thx Advocatk, The sensational article published in the Kansas City Journal of August 31, 1892, In regard to the murder of John S. Frazer, which occured in this county In June, 1890, is one of the most malicious, lying and scandalous libels upon a whole community that was ever conceived or published. In fact, there is Just suffi cient truth In the whole matter to make the lies all the more prominent What Is the truth? That John S. Frazer was most foully murdered we all believe. Who did the act? We don't know. Frank Kinzey and Jerry Hutton have been arrested, charged with the crime. When It became known that Messrs. Gibson and Frazer were Intending to ship a large number of Texas cattle into this county, they were waited upon by a committee composed of leading farmers in this county, and a conference had, In which the dangers to domestic cattle were discussed, and Gibson and Frazer notified that they were exposing their neighbors and friends to serious and irreparable loss In order to advance their own private Interests. Gibson and Fra zer answered all argument first by de claring their belief In no danger, and second by offering to pay all losses that might occur from Texas fever. There the conference ended without "ill" feel ing, as the Journal states, and one of the forties to this conference afterwards eased to Mr. Gibson a large pasture. The Journal Is "off" again when it says this conference took place after the cattle were landed. The conference was had quite a while before the cattle ever reached the state of Kansas. The Journal Is "off" again when It says the cattle were landed at Sedan. The cattle were landed in the Indian Terri tory, south of CoffeyvUle, and driven across the line into the state west of CoffeyvUle and thirty miles east of Se dan, February 28,1890. Wire fences were cut soon after the cattle were driven into Chautauqua county, not only around the Gibson & Frazer pastures, but around other pastures with which Gibson & Frazer had nothing to do, and which did not and never have had ahoof of Texas cattle in them. The Journal willfully lies when it produces what It pretends to be a note from one committee to another, as no such committees ever existed and the of ficers hate no such information, I know. The Journal again willfully lies when it speaks about members of the alliance forming Inner circles and meeting at a house near a certain cross-roads, the owner of which house has since gone crazy. No such thing has ever occurred In this county. The thing is a Ue out of whole cloth. The Journal again lies when It says that S. S. Kirkpatrick has been hired by Governor Humphrey to take charge of and prosecute the case. The facta are that Humphrey and all the rest of the clan like him, with the Journal, when this murder was committed rushed Into open declaration charging the crime and laying It at the door of the alliance, and seemed to be perfectly satisfied to let it remain there undisturbed, as none of them ever did anything to bring the criminals to justice until Davis and West (the detectives to whom the Jour nal ascribes so much honor), through the Freeman's Lance, a People's party paper at Sedan, charged "that the criminals were known to the officers and that they were permitted to go free in order that the republican papers and orators might charge this crime to the People's party (as they did), and thereby gain;" then it was that Humphrey showed some inter est in this matter, and then it was that the Journal also showed some interest in the matter, and some of its managers wrote some letters (which I can make oath to if Mr. Journal thinks I know not whereof I speak), and the only action that Humphrey then took was to insist on the county attorney commencing prose cution; and when It became known upon whom susploion most strongly rested, then these same gentlemen who were so very content to charge this crime to the alliance and let it rest at that these same men, I say, magnamlously publicly declared that they did not believe that any political party or organization had anything to do with the crime. Why had they so radically changed their minds? Was it another CoffeyvUle bomb? It was because the coroner who conducted the investigation or port mortem on Mr. Gibson's body and who took charge of the stomach, and who never allowed anyone but himself to analyze said stomach or the contents thereof, and who never mads the results of his analysis known, If he made any, was a republican. It was because every man who is under suspicion for the mur der of John S. Frazer and every man to whom the evidence points were republic cans, and were never at any time mem4 hereof the alliance. ,4 Mr. W. H. Gibson and his daughtfef Mahala, were on their way home and stopped in Moline to stay over night. Gibson retired apparently as well as usual, and was found dead the next morning. No cause was ever assigned, and the coroner's post viortem developed no Information and was practically sup pressed, as I have before stated. Gibson was on his way home, and not going away, as the Journal says. John S. Frazer was most foully mur dered, as It Is su pposed, about twomlles and a half northwest of Sedan, on June 28, 1800, and his body was found on Mon day following In a pool of water In Deer creek; the pool was about waist deep and about fifteen feet across. There were six stabs in his cheet, one of which pene trated to his heart; his throat was cut from ear to ear, his windpipe being sev ered; there was one stab also in his ab doman. Gibson and Frazer were good men and valuable citizens. Mr. Gibson's death Is a mystery. Frazer was mur dered, and this community and thia oounty deeply regret it, and we are doing everything In our power to ferrlt out the criminals and punish them. But the citizens here, without regard to party, color, or previous conditions of servitude, protest against such outrageous lies and libels upon a whoie community as that contained in the Journal. In conclusion, let me say that the alll ance and People's party are entirely out of the question in connection with this matter, aqd that some of the leaders have been most prominent In bringing about this prosecution, and have employed eminent counsel to assist the prosecution. I charge the Journal with not only wUl fullyand maliciously lying about this matter, but with suppressing the fact thai the alliance has been and is assist ing in this prosecution. I charge it with also having its libels, falsehoods and misrepresentations ready for print mora than three months ago, and was Induced to withhold the publication thereof only upon the promise that it would be first notified when the arrests were made. And there can be but two reasons why It published the stuff that it did: First, to make the paper extremely sensational In order to make it sell; and second, In the hopes of Injuring the People's party In Kansas where it hoped the truth might not become known. In each case the motive was most contemptible and shows a spirit of avarice or hatred blacker than the shades of hades. Dak M. Pilz. Sedan, Ejus., Sept. 2, 1802.