Miami County Time Capsule

Miami County Time Capsule is compiled by Paul Branson, Sr., utilizing newspaper archives that date back more than 150 years.

100 Years Ago (1921)

Monday night, about 11 o’clock, Ralph Wilson, aged 39, janitor for the east school building in Osawatomie, was murdered in one of the coaches of the Patterson-Kline show, which was on a track near the depot in Osawatomie. Walter Hutchens, of La Cygne, Charles Cooper, of Kansas City, and Ed Pryor, of Paola, were arrested in connection with the shooting and are being held pending a preliminary hearing. The shooting took place in what is called the “privilege car” of the show. This car has a kitchen, dining room and club room. Tuesday Hutchens rented the coach from John C. Aughe, who has charge of the concessions of the show. The club room, where the shooting took place, is fitted with card tables. Wilson was seated at a table used for dice throwing when murdered. Tuesday evening a crap game was going on while the carnival was in progress. It was participated in by Osawatomie and Paola men not connected with the show. Hutchens was in charge of the game. Cooper was doorkeeper and Pryor was outside guard. The story told by the men in the car is that there was a knock and that three men with pistols entered. They commanded those in the car to put up their hands. Wilson was slow in complying. He was shot without a word, killing him instantly. The robbers took $250 it was reported. Hutchins was put under arrest. Pryor and Cooper drove to Paola, Pryor notified sheriff Lamm. He and Cooper were placed under arrest. Wednesday Coroner P. W. Robinson, Sheriff George Lamm and County Attorney Roy Lowe conducted an inquest at Osawatomie. The jurymen were W. H. Campbell, foreman, Charles Carrico, J. E. Colvin, L. W. Grant, N. B. Chambers and O. Newton. After hearing the story they brought in a verdict finding that Wilson came to his death by a bullet fired from a revolver in the hands of Walter Hutchens, Fred Cooper, Ed Pryor or unknown accomplices. Officials are working on every clue and are determined to shift the matter to the bottom. There are two theories. One is that the murder was committed by someone who had been in the car and that he is being shielded by the others. The second theory is that one of the men arrested keeps in touch with Kansas City criminals and informs them of a suitable time for holdups and steered holdup men to the game. About town the general verdict is that too many professional gamblers have been at work in both Osawatomie and Paola and that now is the time to clean them out. It has been current talk that their “big” game has attracted some of the worst thugs from Kansas City.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Trending Videos