Archive for Sunday, September 18, 2011

100 years ago: Lawrence woman turns tables on mysterious attacker

September 18, 2011


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 18, 1911:

  • "This morning a woman got in a cab and went to a certain house in Lawrence. There she called for a well known young woman and before that person could reply the stranger, who said she was from Kansas City, pulled out a small whip and attempted to strike the Lawrence girl. The latter, however, was too quick, and seizing the whip she began giving the other a forcible punishment. The stranger had left the cab at the corner and started to run for it, but not before the Lawrence girl had used the whip on her severely. The Lawrence girl still has the whip. What was the cause of the attack the Lawrence girl can not imagine as the woman did not explain further than she was from Kansas City. After the cab disappeared no trace of the woman could be found in town today. If the Lawrence girl can find out who the woman is she will prosecute her."
  • "It is no staff of amateurs that will publish the University Kansan, the college newspaper, this year, for the young men who make up the staff on the paper are all students with real experience at the game. All summer of the United States the University of Kansas has been represented by her students who have made good on the staffs of some of the best known papers in this country."


Sarah St. John 6 years, 7 months ago

Regarding the first story -- there was a follow-up story a day or two later. I won't be using it, but I thought you might want to see it -- so here it is!

(I think I will have to break this up into two parts at least.)

"A despatch received here late this afternoon from Kansas City states that inquiries made at the home revealed the fact that Mrs. Houtz was at home all day yesterday. This appears as if someone is trying to get 'Mrs. Houtz in bad.' The Journal-World's information comes from the police here who state that a man giving the name of H. C. Houtz called them yesterday from Kansas City giving his telephone number and stating that his wife had come here to make trouble.

"'Has my wife been arrested up there today?' came a call to the police station here yesterday afternoon from a man in Kansas City, Kansas. He related to Desk Sergeant Prentice that his wife had left home yesterday morning and he thought that she had come to Lawrence as he supposed to make trouble. There is a 'woman in the case' added the anxious husband and if there is any trouble please call me in Kansas City.

"He gave his name as H. C. Houtz of Kansas City, Kans., and gave his phone number for the officers here to call him if there was any trouble.

"The police informed him that his wife had not been arrested here and that they did not know of any trouble that she had been in. However, the police promised to look after the erring wife and tell the anxious husband if there were any developments.

"Then came another report to the police headquarters of a horse whipping affair on the east side. The man evidently was right and his wife had had her trouble. "


Sarah St. John 6 years, 7 months ago

(Part 2)

"A strange woman arrived in Lawrence yesterday forenoon, engaged a cab and instructed the driver to take her to a certain residence in east Lawrence. The cabman did as she asked and when they reached this number the woman left the cab and told the driver to wait for her at the corner. Then she proceeded with her errand.

"Going up to the door he knocked and asked for a girl living there. The girl appeared at the door a moment later. It is said the visitor then drew a whip from where she had had it concealed in her clothing and struck the girl. The girl who had been attacked grabbed hold of the whip and after quite a tussle succeeded in taking it from her. Unarmed the visitor fled from the house and rushed down the street toward her waiting cab but not until after she had been struck several times, according to the story of the girl from here.

"The woman stepped into her cab and asked the driver to take her to the depot immediately. The cabman took her over to the Union Pacific where he says that she purchased a ticket and boarded the train for Kansas City.

"There will probably be no further developments in the case as the girl here does not want to press a prosecution. The woman has returned to Kansas City and her husband and the girl here was not injured by the intended horse whipper. The episode is causing considerable comment and a certain amount of scandal but that is probably the extent of it.

"When seen this morning the Lawrence girl said that she did not know who the woman was, as she had never seen her before.

"'She came up and asked for me saying that she had a message for me,' said the girl. 'She asked me to come down towards the gate as she did not want my mother to hear the message. Then she accused me of keeping company with her husband and she wanted me to promise her that I would never return to Kansas City. I told her that I would not do it. Then she pulled out her whip and struck at me.

"'I do not know who she is or who her husband is. I may have been with him in Kansas City, as I was with several men, but I don't know whether one of them was this woman's husband or not.'

"When reporters in Kansas City interviewed Mr. Houtz he denied knowing anything about the affair. He stated that his wife had not been out of town, that he had never telephoned to the Lawrence police and that his wife had never attempted to horsewhip anybody."

And what, dear commenters, do you think of THAT?! :-)

JS82 6 years, 7 months ago

She must have been pretty sure of her information to come to Lawrence. That would have been quite a trip in 1911 and probably expensive.

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