1904: Murder in a West Bottoms, Part 3: Through Peril in Gin Mills and …
December 13, 2014 - accent chair
The story so far: It’s early 1904. Officer Lafayette Tillman has small to go on in a prostitute’s murder solely a deceptive outline of a immature red-haired masculine wearing imagination shoes. Then a shoeless carrot-top is pulled from a Blue River with a bullion sequence a lady had been wearing. The police, and some-more importantly, Tom Pendergast, seem to wish a man’s box sealed as a suicide, nonetheless a remains had a decidedly non-suicidal stab wound on a back. Find a special display of a story here.
~ CHAPTER 8 ~
The shawl ragged by a aged Negro penetrate motorist to alleviate a punch of a harsh breeze was a saddle-thinned equine sweeping that someone during a clothing had tossed out as not good adequate for a horse.
Lafayette Tillman mostly got useful information from a fellow. For instance, a policeman was now training that Kansas City’s penetrate drivers would shortly be walking off a job, and any scabbing, generally around a depot, would certainly be met with violence.
The operative masculine of America was restless, it seemed. Wages were not gripping adult with inflation.
Tillman reached into his slot for something for silver-stubbled “Uncle” nonetheless got a shake of a head. “Naw. Jest buy me a mop during ’Lectric Park come summer.”
Tillman erupted with a low bellow of laughter. It was accepted that no Negroes were acquire during a Heim brothers’ twinkly entertainment consternation subsequent to their brewery in a East Bottoms. Just white folk got to lift a mop there in a splash garden or listen to John Philip Sousa in a bandstand.
Speaking of white folk, here came immature copper Jim Lillis, a collar of his municipal overcoat pulled high. Both organisation were off avocation and wanted to lift no courtesy with uniforms. That didn’t meant they didn’t have their badges, guns and white-ash billy clubs about them, though.
“1329 Ninth,” Lillis said, climbing into Tillman’s hansom. “Thorpe’s.”
“Knows it,” a motorist said. “Done been dere. Mostly railroader trash.”
Ignoring a driver’s rants about watered whiskey, Lillis sat behind and pronounced quietly. “We’re assembly a associate named Bruno Wedemeyer. He competence have some people with him, for protection. Union leaders are removing kick adult in Chicago, and now Abrams shows adult upheld here.”
Natan Abrams, like Wedemeyer, had been sent down from Chicago to assistance classify a approaching strike opposite a large beef plants. He was a final chairman famous to have been seen with Liddy Holden, a immature black lady with a gaping throat during Miss Dottie’s bordello 3 days ago.
“Did we tell him Abrams was stabbed?” Tillman asked.
“No, nonetheless us wantin’ to speak to ’im is a diminutive spirit a Jew’s genocide competence not be usually a unhappy coincidence.”
“Especially if he were killed in a Bottoms.”
“How do we figure?” Lillis asked.
“Well, we don’t know, nonetheless it does seem like someone’s left to some difficulty to make it demeanour like it’s not connected to a Bottoms. If Abrams was ostensible to demeanour like a drowning suicide, a Kaw was usually down a street. Why not usually burst in there?”
“When was a final time we crossed a Kaw, Lieutenant? It’s a sewer. I’d rather dive into a privy, meself.”
“I take your point. Anyway, what if a physique was ecstatic over to a Blue in a certain ice wagon?”
It was a burst in a dark, Tillman knew. Just since Little Willie Preau was seen nearby Dottie’s that night with his daddy’s ice automobile and afterwards left combined adult to roughly nothing, solely ….
“I don’t see Little Willie churned adult in any of this,” Lillis frowned. “Whad be a point?”
“Of course, a dive child isn’t a killer, nonetheless he still could be involved. He competence have borrowed his aged man’s rig.”
“What? That’s a bit of a reach, isn’t it?”
“Maybe,” concluded Tillman. “But a kid’s finally incited up.”
“What? Where?” Lillis asked, afterwards added, “Aaaand?”
“Sam Moon’s drug basement over on Sixth. He wandered in with a $5 bullion square a morning after they found Liddy dead. So, where’d he get it? It bought him a lot of dope, and he burnt by it all. He’s been there for days, mostly out of his head…”
“He wants out of his misery, whiskey’s cheaper. So since go there?”
“Maybe it was a usually place his pappy wouldn’t hear of him and his bullion piece? Also, we hear Moon’s got a flattering daughter assisting keep a pipes filled.”
Torpey, a accessible Second Precinct patrolman, had sniffed out Preau’s hidey-hole. He was as crafty as he was fat, Tillman was realizing.
“The kid’s adult during headquarters. I’ll go see him tomorrow morning.”
“I’ll see if we can find my approach there, too, if that’s all right,” Lillis said.
Tillman appreciated a immature Irish cop’s enthusiasm. At first, perhaps, a comparison man’s major arrange in a Army had cut some ice with a former Corporal Lillis. But it was some-more than that now.
“I unequivocally appreciate we for all you’ve finished on this, son, nonetheless during some indicate you’re going to have burst clear, we know. This box can spin nauseous anytime, be improved off raiding a chief’s ‘chuck-a-luck’ game.”
Lillis smiled during a suspicion of an indignant Police Chief Hayes. “Me mom always said, ‘Two digest a road.’”
“Cut a Irish homilies. You know as good as we do that a Pendergasts competence be losing their reason on a military board. You could finish adult pushing a splash automobile tomorrow, so since are we doing this?”
“Well, first, there’s a whole garland of hicks on this force, and we ain’t one of them, Lieutenant. we like a approach we do things. Two, this is my initial murder. Interesting.
“And thirdly, I’ve got no argue with beer. But we could ask we since you’re still wrestlin’ this pig after Tom warned we to stay clear?”
“Tom don’t sequence a roost … yet,” Tillman said. “It was Big Jim that put this cranky on my back, and he’s a one to take it off.”
~ CHAPTER 9 ~
A gummy dilemma list during Thorpe’s reason a dual plainclothes policemen, Bruno Wedemeyer and a integrate of large fellas, bodyguards, he brought along. They hadn’t utterly wanted to be introduced nonetheless grudgingly surrendered final names, during smallest somebody’s final names: Johansen and Jenkins.
The kinship organisation had all laughed about how “dry” Kansas was and how they’d appreciated a event to come opposite a line for some Missouri brews.
So a second spin of Imperials was usually about gone. Feeling for nickels in his pocket, Tillman reckoned he’d have to buy a subsequent set, too. Of course, this usually seemed satisfactory to a kinship organisation as they were about to go on strike, and income would be short.
The policemen had fast schooled that Wedemeyer had no comfortable feelings for Abrams. He was seen as a pain in a boundary adult in a Chicago offices, spent too many of his time perplexing to get a kids out of a make-up plants.
“No genuine cutter, wouldn’t reason pork,” a plain-spoken German said. “Wot kind of grocer don’ cut pigs, eh? Gots hisself good pursuit off der floors.”
Wedemeyer also saw a Jew as a dandy; his acknowledgment that Abrams wore pearl-buttoned boots came with a proud call into his stein. Surprisingly, one of a bodyguards drawled that he suspicion they were “right purdy,” reckoned he competence get a span usually like them.
The labor organizer looked during a fellow, shrugged and continued responding questions: Yes, he’d visited Dottie’s review a integrate of times, never had no black girl. Tillman asked about a date Liddy was murdered.
“Didn’t know there been a murder,” Wedemeyer responded. “Tot this was all about der Jew.”
“They’re connected,” Tillman said. “Where were we that night?”
At first, Wedemeyer couldn’t recall, nonetheless afterwards he came adult with a poker diversion in a behind room of an Armourdale joint. No, he couldn’t remember that one. Johansen, a Swedish lug, picking adult on his cue, said: “Ya, we been dere, too.” But no, he couldn’t remember where a place was, either.
“What about you?” Tillman asked a other muscle, Jenkins, a partner of imagination shoes. “Were we there during this puzzling label game?”
“Where we were ain’t nothing of yer business, colored boy,” he said, floating a spot of froth from his overhanging mustache.
No some-more splash for you, Tillman thought. He’d famous a accent from his singing days around a South. The cracker wore a derby screwed on so low it influenced a viewpoint of his ears; he also wore a smirk that contained a thousand tacit slurs.
Tillman was about to reframe a doubt when over Jenkins’ hunched shoulder, a black policeman beheld a baby-faced brunette, tipsy, event down a stairs. There was a everlasting faro diversion in a room above, he knew, nonetheless she’d substantially been personification a slots.
The well-dressed white lady was followed by a immature dark man, who apparently was no improved during holding his liquor. They found a list amid a cigar fume and masculine delight and sat. The masculine sagged immediately into his chair, put his conduct on his arms on a list and didn’t move. The lady shrugged, afterwards waved during a barkeeper and reason adult dual fingers and her embellished lips mouthed “gin.”
“Copy editors,” he listened her contend disgustedly. “Can’t reason their liquor.”
A integrate of organisation — sight conductors by their uniforms, Missouri Pacific boys, he suspicion — isolated themselves from a bar to lift adult chairs during a immature couple’s table. Then another assimilated them, a brakeman by a blank float on a right hand. Tillman could hear clearly his braying idea that she dump a dipsomaniac and go with them for some fun, a ruin dance, going on down a street.
The lady told them aloud that she was not meddlesome in “more fun,” nonetheless a organisation swarming closer to her. One put his palm on hers and would not let her lift it away.
She called to “David,” nonetheless her chaperon was unmoving.
Tillman suggested that a labor boys finish their beers and take off if they wanted to equivocate some unpleasantness. The Swede bodyguard wiped his gap-toothed mouth with his sleeve and remarkable that he didn’t mind unpleasantness. The lady was clearly apropos some-more panicked, and Lillis reached inside his cloak to giveaway his bar from his belt.
Wedemeyer, however, hissed that Chicago had not sent him to be thrown in some crappy cowtown military cell, during smallest before a labor movement got underway. He curtly told his guards to come with him and left. Despite himself, Tillman wished a thugs had stayed. He could use a numbers.
The dual coppers rose as one and approached list where a shocked lady was whispering, “don’t, greatfully don’t.” She was regulating her giveaway palm to deflect off a conductor’s groping high, unequivocally high, on her thigh. Lillis shifted around a group, giving any denote he was going to sequence some-more drinks during a bar.
“Why don’t we listen to a immature lady?” asked Tillman, pulling out his badge with one palm and regulating a other to squeeze a collar of a thigh-grabber and jerk him behind from a girl. He did not recover his reason and attempted to keep a changeable masculine in his chair. The other dual looked during this in amazement. One, commencement to arise with clenched fists, sputtered, “Who a bloody ruin are we talkin’ to, we black son of…”
That was when Lillis laid his bar orderly opposite his church from behind. The associate went down like a gunny pouch of rocks. The other jumped up, nonetheless Lillis shifted and orderly kicked his chair behind underneath his knees, causing him to tumble behind into it, and a white charcoal kissed his skull as well. His face slammed into a table, origination a steins and a sleeping kid’s conduct burst a bit, before he slid to a building with his mate.
Deft as a dancer during a Follies, Lillis spun to face a bar, where a integrate of inebriated engineers satisfied their friends were carrying a tough time. But they had usually gotten their feet off a bar’s rail when they saw a immature copper had out his military emanate .38. The bartender, reaching for a scattergun maybe, froze. When Lillis motioned putting a knock into a honour of a saloon, a outrageous counterpart behind a bar etched with exposed goddesses and nymphs, a server put his hands where they could be seen.
“Alright, lad, no need for a Gatlin,’” he suggested with a skinny smile.
Tillman and his serf were an vacant assembly to this. Then his masculine flailed an arm, pennyless a copper’s reason on his cloak and got to his feet, overhanging around during a black man. Tillman hardly blocked a awkward blow; thankfully a masculine had been off balance. The copper satisfied his left palm stupidly still reason a complicated star, so it was invalid unless he wanted to fragment his fingers throwing a punch with it.
He jerked back, jamming his badge into his slot and regulating his right to chuck a chair in a approach of a barbarous conductor. With his left giveaway for defense, he could use his right to lift his possess revolver.
And a illegitimate abandoned it, usually like he’d abandoned a badge, and kept coming. A spittoon clanged opposite a floor, emptying a contents. Tillman knew that if he shot a man, there’d be ruin to pay, of all sorts. Suddenly, a fist was rushing during him, nonetheless Tillman got his left adult and took usually a unpleasant graze opposite his ear. He was scarcely losing his balance in a tobacco extract now. He defensively swung his right and felt his revolver tub bond with a crunch.
His enemy finally halted with a howl. Before he lonesome his bloody face with his hands, it was transparent a nose was dejected during a bridge, nonetheless that would not have stopped him. No, from a curses, Tillman accepted that a pistol had also done strike with an eyeball.
He looked over during Lillis, who shrugged. Tillman unexpected felt he had mislaid some of a younger man’s honour with his awkward performance; he didn’t like a feeling.
More organisation were entrance into a room, and Tillman sensed they were MoPac crews, too. Three rushed to his assailant to give aid. Tillman retrieved a badge and waved it.
One of a organisation pulled his possess badge. “Missouri Pacific detective! What a ruin is going on? Henry, whad he do to ya?”
“Black sumbitch blinded me, Jack! Can’t see outta my eye!”
The room seemed to shrink.
Tillman corroborated to a list and hauled adult a girl. Lillis picked adult a splash and poured it down David’s collar. The child jerked adult his head. “David, arise up!” a lady screamed. Lillis grabbed a youth’s blond hair and pulled him out of his chair.
“White labour ring!” shouted Lillis, perplexing for confusion, motioning during a organisation during his feet. “These organisation are vampires! Let us through!”
He was now beside Tillman, who found himself sidling for a doorway — Sweet Jesus! More railroaders were entrance in? — with a brunette in one palm and fluttering a scarcely meaningless badge in another. Lillis’ arms was gripping everybody usually deferential enough, though. They were gaining momentum, until a lady slipped to a dirty floor. When Tillman got her adult again, he saw a Colt Standard had seemed in Jack’s fist. Hammer back, it forked solid as a highway pointer during Tillman’s privates.
“Henry ain’t no white slaver, and he ain’t no vampire,” a tyrannise longhorn barked to a room. “I ought to know good adequate my cousin from Maryville. But you, we we don’t know, colored boy. Where we goin’ with a girl?” And a room began to cringe again. Drunks were removing vocal; one muttered that a wire was indispensable here.
In America, a black masculine was extremely safer holding a illuminated hang of dynamite than a dipsomaniac white girl. Tillman had listened speak about some lynching in a West Bottoms in a ’80s, didn’t know a particulars. But he certain as ruin knew about Fred Alexander, burnt during a interest adult in Leavenworth usually 3 years ago.
Tillman was sweating profusely, his throat was drying up. “Let us pass. We wish no some-more trouble.”
“What we wish don’t many regard me, boy,” Jack retorted. “Henry, lift that lady divided from him,” he said, flicking a tub of a large revolver.
And afterwards a room rocked with a blast of Jack’s Colt before he sprawled in a soppy sawdust. Tillman was stunned, wondering if he somehow had taken a slug. In a Philippines, he’d seen a charging insurrecto strike with a bullet with no ostensible outcome until collapsing prolonged seconds after during a soldier’s feet.
But no, it was Henry screaming again. In a space where Jack had usually loomed was a far-reaching copper’s uniform, a copper’s pistol that had usually dejected down onto Jack’s hat, and a copper’s fat face with a intense nose and smiling eyes.
“Torpey!” Tillman exhaled. Lillis was barging toward a doorway with a stumbling boy. Tillman hitched adult his reason on a lady and fast followed, slapping Torpey tough on a shoulder as he went by. The masculine was apropos indispensable.
Tillman glanced behind into a tavern one some-more time before a doorway closed. Henry apparently had held cousin Jack’s erring knock in his knee.
Bad night for Henry. There’d be some explaining to do adult in Maryville. He’d substantially contend 10 black foundrymen had held him in an alley. And he’d have to contend he’d whupped them, of course.
~ CHAPTER 10 ~
The hack’s equine clattered adult a prolonged carriage expostulate and stopped during a residence a lady had given.
Now she non-stop her eyes and moaned, possibly from a splash in her stomach or from realizing she had awakened behind in a rough fiefdom of Baron Bill Nelson, her father and publisher of The Kansas City Evening Star and The Times.
Not all a solitaire had remained in her swell on a ride. Grateful for a uninformed air, Tillman got out and rang a bell. Sadly it did not drown out a muttering of a indignant motorist who’d have to purify out his supply tonight. A few moments upheld before a doorway non-stop and a doubtful face looked out during him.
“Whatever we want, we need to go around back,” he said.
“Is that what we always tell Miss Nelson?”
The houseboy’s eyes widened and afterwards he leaped to assistance as Tillman pulled a scarcely glass form of a publisher’s daughter out of a cab.
“Was we and her … did we … was she…?” he stuttered in a panic.
“No, we did not go out together. We usually ran into any other in a place her father would not wish to know she’s been.”
Between a dual of them they got a woozy lady into a front sitting room and stretched out on a adore seat. Closing a oak-grained slot doors on a scene, a menial shook his head. “Lord, what we gonna do with that girl?”
“Sure we don’t know,” Tillman said. “Listen, we don’t have a gangling change to expostulate damsels home during night when their daddies are rich. Pay a hackman, would you, so we can get home … and give him a good tip?”
At that moment, a doorway non-stop down a gymnasium and a arrogant aged bullfrog pressed into a too-tight waistcoat strode down a hall. His legs were infrequently brief for a mass they carried.
“Who is this, Ole?” he demanded.
“He brought Miss Laura home, Colonel,” a menial answered, nodding toward a sealed room. Nelson looked in, slid a doorway close and incited to Tillman, his face induction offend and anger. And a flush of a few whiskeys, too.
Tillman motionless adequate was enough. He pulled his badge out of his municipal coat. “I’m Patrolman Tillman, and we was on an assignment when we came opposite your daughter on Ninth Street in a Bottoms.”
“Ninth? Laura was in a Bottoms? She was going uptown to a Willis Wood, to see a ‘Sultan of Sulu,’ she told me … wait, who was she with?”
“She was escorted, Colonel, by a fine-looking immature gentleman.… Oh yes, he was white, nonetheless we didn’t get his name.” Tillman had motionless to let a duplicate editor keep his pursuit for now. “He was indisposed so we took a autocracy of origination certain Miss Nelson got behind to Oak Hall safely.”
“And we wish money?”
“Nope, usually cab fare.”
Nelson squinted during him. “A policeman. Then we contingency be a associate a First Ward’s renter got commissioned on a force final year, am we correct?”
Tillman nodded as Nelson’s face altered again. “So do a Pendergasts possess we like a rest of a police?”
“Big Jim owns a First, yes, nonetheless he does not possess me, Colonel.”
The glower barometer carried slightly.
“A decent associate in his possess way, we suppose, no boodler,” a publisher conceded of a councilman. “So you’re not Big Jim’s … man. And we pronounced your name was, what again, Tillman? we usually listened of we a day or so ago, nonetheless insincere we were white. One of my reporters has come opposite a gossip that a Tillman was looking into something sinister in a Bottoms. So that would be you?”
“Ole, repair me another Dutchman,” Nelson ordered, gripping his flicker on Tillman’s face.
“A Negress, a prostitute killed … and somehow connected to Jim. we know Tom plays around with some of a tavern girls, nonetheless Jim’s presumably a happily married man. You know anything about that? It’d be utterly a story.”
“No story there, distant as we can see, sir,” Tillman replied. “Am we going to get that penetrate transport or not?”
“And we also were seen over on a Blue looking during a physique of a labor man. Did he drown?”
“You’d have to ask a detectives that, sir.”
“Ah, right, you’re not a detective, are you? No, they’d never concede that.”
Tillman looked during him levelly, afterwards began to spin for a door. Hack transport be damned. But Nelson wasn’t through.
“I listened he was stabbed, nonetheless a military are observant he drowned. How do we explain that?”
Tillman hesitated. Nelson was distant too good sensitive for his taste.
“And a ‘official’ means of a girl’s genocide was listed as consumption. Why was that, do we think?”
Tillman approaching to hear subsequent how his mother had bound his eggs that morning.
“Two murders lonesome up? And we contend that’s not a story? Well, review about it in tomorrow afternoon’s paper, and tell me afterwards that it’s not. And yes, Big Jim and you, too, will be featured in it.”
He paused to sip from a clear Ole had fetched.
“Sure we don’t have anything to speak about?”
Tillman had to blink during how fast Nelson had slipped a knot over his neck, not usually figuratively. If his name were related to such a story in a Star or Times, he would not be protected in this town.
He gazed around during a abounding ash furnishings, perplexing to think, and listened a girl’s blubber behind a door. And Tillman breathed again.
“Perhaps we offer we a improved story, Colonel. A bad small abounding lady goes to a theater. Somehow she ends adult in a Ninth Street joint, dipsomaniac with a garland of pawing railmen.”
The smallest flinch.
“Oh yes, a masculine ends adult removing shot over her. And she leaves with a Negro fella, too. Lots of witnesses.”
The glower had incited inclement again. But fear slipped out from underneath a hooded eyes.
“Not a story we wish to print?” Tillman asked. “Perhaps, then, we could take it to a Journal?”
“That won’t be necessary, Officer. we know you.”
“Glad of it. Guess both papers will have to fill that dull space with some some-more pieces origination all us colored folk demeanour foolish or criminal. I’ll leave now, but, really, subsequent time your daughter can find her possess approach home.”
Nelson reached into a pocket, pulled some china and gave it to Ole, who brisk outside.
“You’re not like all Negroes, are you?” he said, and incited to mountain a home’s grand stairs.
“Don’t know all Negroes,” Tillman pronounced to his back.
Fragments of genuine life in 1904 Kansas City
▪ Electric Park, built subsequent doorway to a Heims’ brewery in a East Bottoms, was extravagantly popular, generally with a Heim brothers’ 3-mile electric trolley line joining it with uptown. The name came from a hundreds of light bulbs, a rather new innovation, strung around — even in a fountain. The park featured a 2,500-seat theater, drum coaster, H2O flume, bowling alley and a German Village with a splash garden to that a brewery’s lager was creatively piped.
In 1907, a Heims would pierce a park to an even bigger and brighter plcae during 45th Street and a Paseo. While this time city fathers did not concede splash to be served, this stretched chronicle was a impulse for a certain other entertainment park, according to Walt Disney, who spent his infirm years in Kansas City. The city’s African-Americans were criminialized from a park, so their possess “Electric Park” after operated during 20th Street and Woodland Avenue.
▪ In a summer of 1904, in a vexed economy, workers for a “Big Seven” beef packers would strike in 9 cities underneath a rather random care of a Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen. The packers offering 16.5 cents an hour for a common “knifeman.” The normal salary in a United States was 22 cents an hour. This strike, mentioned in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” was dejected by September.
▪ Police Chief John Hayes was indicted of privately safeguarding certain gambling operations, nonetheless a military commissioners vindicated him. Chuck-a-luck is played with 3 die.
▪ Thorpe’s was a genuine place, one of some-more than 500 saloons in a 1904 Kansas City directory.
▪ Yes, Sam Moon did work an drug basement during 125 W. Sixth St. He spasmodic would be fined and released.
▪ “Vampires” was jargon for pimps, who in renouned parlance came out during night to chase on women.
▪ A black masculine named Harrington was lynched Apr 3, 1882, from a Fifth Street wire automobile overpass after a murdering of a policeman. Harrington was innocent, carrying found a officer’s physique on St. Louis Avenue usually mins after a deadly shot. He was seized from a patrol of 6 policemen perplexing to get him to headquarters. Two of a policemen attempted to cut a wire unresolved a struggling man, nonetheless one of a host disposition off a overpass shot a plant in a tip of a skull.
▪ The Jan 1901 Leavenworth lynching, fanned by a internal Kansas newspapers, concerned a host estimated in a thousands. The accused, Fred Alexander, was taken from his cell, bleeding with a hatchet, mutilated, dripping from a Standard Oil kerosene automobile and burnt during a stake. Pieces of his burnt physique allegedly were taken as mementos. Later, many concluded he was trusting of a allegations of rape and murder of a white woman.
▪ At age 11, Laura Nelson had been shipped off to Boston finishing schools. Miserable, she was forced to stay there solely for 1896 to 1898, when she attended Barstow School, afterwards during Westport Road and Main Street. By this indicate in a story, she would have been behind in Kansas City for a year. By 1910, she had married Irwin Kirkwood, a genuine estate masculine from Baltimore, opposite her father’s wishes. He did not attend a wedding. After Nelson’s death, she and her father destined The Star for a dozen years, during that she introduced comics and photographs — formerly criminialized by her father — and combined this Sunday magazine. An alcoholic, she died in 1926 alone in a Baltimore hotel room. She was 43.
▪ A boodler was one who sole his vote. As alderman, Jim Pendergast upheld Nelson’s pull for parks and even advocated a railroads’ pierce ascending to Union Station, as good as a Sunday shutting of saloons, nonetheless both harm his interests in a West Bottoms.
▪ At this time, Nelson ran The Star and The Times (purchased in 1901 to act as a company’s morning editions) from a offices during 11th Street and Grand Boulevard. Like many distinguished organisation of a time, he was called Colonel Nelson. “Not that he was ever a colonel of anything,” explained William Allen White, an editorial author then. “He was usually coloneliferous.”
▪ Nelson also was called “Baron Bill,” in partial for his despotic demeanour and in partial since of his origination of a Brush Creek area subsequent his hilltop estate. Oak Hall, Nelson’s always expanding palace where Tillman’s fictitious assembly with Nelson took place, was ripped down to make approach for what is now a Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
About this series
After a Central Library displayed aged organisation photographs of Kansas City policemen, longtime Star editor Darryl Levings beheld a few African-American officers. One of a initial was Lafayette Alonzo Tillman, who certainly got his pursuit from a West Bottom’s domestic boss, Big Jim Pendergast. To improved support a story with a turn-of-the-century atmosphere and secular inequities, Tillman is presented by a four-part sequence poser that paints in genuine locations, people and events. While a crimes and tract lines are fictitious, many of a sum are true, as evidenced in a concomitant fact box.
This is a third of a four-part series. Look for a final installment of “1904” in subsequent week’s Star Magazine. Visit projects.kansascity.com/2014/tillman for tools one and two.
Darryl Levings, author of “Saddle a Pale Horse,” a retelling of a Battle of Westport, can be reached during email@example.com or 816-234-4689.