Consequences of a deadly prank

The Examiner

From The Examiner during the week of Nov. 23-28, 1970:

• ”4 HELD IN RAYTOWN TRAIN CRASH” – Four youths are being held in connection with the October train crash here that took one life and caused damage in excess of one-half million dollars. Three of the youths are 15, the fourth has just turned 17. 

An ad from 100 years ago this week in The Independence Examiner.

Police Chief Marion Beeler said the four were questioned extensively by Raytown police and railroad detectives. He said they orally admitted tampering with a switchbox at the scene of the accident. The Rock Island trains collided when a northbound freight train rammed another train waiting on a siding in the Wildwood Lakes area. 

“‘HEADSHOP’ SETS GRAND OPENING” – Leather goods, jewelry, candles, and incense will be among a variety of handmade products offered at J.C. Warthog’s, Independence’s first “headshop,” at 130 E. Maple. John McLean, the shop owner, said he was convinced that a youth market exists in Independence for the products, which will be made on consignment by high school and college students in Independence and Kansas City. The shop also will offer posters, albums, vests, jackets, belts, wristbands, headbands, ecology and peace symbol flags, and some ceramics.

From The Independence Examiner during the week of Nov. 22-27, 1920:

• “TRYING TO FIX WATER.” – A.N. Gossett, president of the Independence Waterworks Company, at a meeting at Mayor McCoy’s office, said he wanted the Independence public to know that the company had been and is now exerting every effort to give the city good service and that it will continue to do so and thinks that it will now be only a matter of a few weeks until a recurrence of the oiled water will be made impossible. He said he wanted to thank the public for their patience and indulgence.

George H. Moffett of the Standard Oil Company said the company would do one of two things either of which should cure the situation as far as the company was concerned. One was to build a line from the plant to a point below the waterworks intake of sufficient size to take care of the objectionable discharge. The other was to connect the Independence Waterworks company with the Standard Oil intake and furnish all the water necessary for the use of Independence. 

Mayor McCoy and Councilman Scott said the city was looking to the water company for a good, wholesome and abundant supply and that it was up to the company to furnish it city suggesting or selecting a method.

• “MERGER IS NOW MADE” – At exactly 9:10 o’clock Saturday night the merger of the Bell and Home telephones took place and everybody has been living happily ever since.

“Everything is running as smoothly as possible,” M.L. Baker, acting manager of the merged company, said this morning. “No employee of either system lost a job by the change. We now have forty-five operators at the switch board. Saturday afternoon we delivered 3,500 new directories, the Boy Scouts acting as carriers here in Independence. We also had three trucks on the job and used the mails also.”

“It is very important that subscribers consult the new directory before calling a number. All the Home numbers have been changed and many of the Bell numbers so it won’t do to call from memory, you will cause delay and be likely to get that unwelcome answer ‘Wrong number.’ A look will set everything right.”

• LOOKED AFTER THE HUNTERS” – Charles Kemper, of this city, deputy state game and fish warden, spent Thursday in southern Jackson County looking after the hunters. He declared this morning more hunters were in the field on Thanksgiving Day than there were rabbits in all the county.

At night he went to the Kansas City union depot to look after the hundreds of hunters going back home to the city on the various trains. Each man was required to produce his hunter’s license or if he had none, immediately to make application for one. The contents of the gamebags of many of the hunters also were inspected.

– Compiled by Jeff Fox