Archive for Monday, July 26, 2010

100 years ago: Alarming number of robberies occurring

July 26, 2010


From the Lawrence Daily World for July 26, 1910:

“The alarming number of robberies within the last few days has aroused the authorities to an active state of vigilance. Four burglaries within as many days has provoked an order from headquarters to watch all transients closely. The flood of wandering wheat harvesters is believed to be responsible for the numerous thefts reported over town.... May Knope, the 15-year-old daughter of Albert Knope, had gone to her father’s barn to assist in unloading hay. In some unaccountable manner her hand became entangled in the rope and she was jerked to the top of the loft, a distance of eight feet, by a patent hoisting device. No one saw the accident, and the heavy rope was kept grinding cruelly into her bleeding hand until her screams attracted attention, and the team could be stopped and the men in the party could climb into the loft and release her. She was hurried to town and given medical attention. The physician feared that blood poisoning would set in, owing to the hot weather, but it is believed that this danger is past and that no amputation will prove necessary. The hand is cruelly twisted and mangled and will likely be left permanently stiff.”


LadyJ 7 years, 3 months ago

" Four burglaries within as many days has provoked an order from headquarters to watch all transients closely" LOL, try issuing an official order like that today and getting away with it.

LadyJ 7 years, 3 months ago

So transients have been a problem for 100 yrs and we are no closer to solving the problem.

Sarah St. John 7 years, 3 months ago

I checked in, thinking I'd be hearing from some folks about the second item. (I was afraid it might be too gory for some folks, especially if they were reading it during lunch, so for that reason and also for reasons of space, I did not include all the graphic details. Suffice it to say that the original article went into a little more detail about the effects of having the weight of her body suspended by her one hand, which was still entangled in the rope, which was still going through the automatic pulley system.) Farm work was certainly fraught with peril in 1910.....

Regarding the first item, yes, this is not the first time the 1910 paper has pointed the finger of blame at "transient harvesters" or other itinerant workers when it came to crime in Lawrence. How much of it was true and how much just speculation from the officials who did not have any handy suspects? Interesting food for thought....

workinghard 7 years, 3 months ago

Sarah, you have the best job ever. It must be great to be able to read those old stories.

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