There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Joplin’s early Chinese community, although small, was tenacious despite being frequent targets of crime and racism. On a Saturday night in late January, 1916, a free-for-all erupted at the Low Shanghai restaurant after a patron refused to pay for his dinner. When confronted by Jung Toy, the owner of the restaurant, the man put on a pair of brass knuckles and hit Toy. Members of the Chinese wait staff rushed to the assistance of Toy which then induced a number of other diners to join the fray. Brass knuckles, a knife, and several chairs were used in the ensuing melee. Sixty year old Jung Ginn, who was also known as John Lee, was seriously injured when someone hit him over the right eye with a pair of brass knuckles. The attackers fled the restaurant, but G.H. Ritter, Thomas Hildreth, and Harvey B. Young were arrested a short time later.

Jung Toy had immigrated from Canton, China, possibly in 1882, and likely named his restaurant after the region’s greatest city. The attack did not dissuade Jung Toy from remaining in the restaurant business. A glance at the 1920 census reveals that Jung Toy remained in the business at least four more years. However, by 1930, Jung Toy’s life had taken a turn for the worse. If the same Jung Toy, he reappears in the census in Rexford, Montana, a widower (he had been married in Joplin) and reduced to a simple cook at a railroad restaurant.

To Cure Evils: The Joplin Automobile Club

The founding members of the Joplin Auto Club met at the meeting room of the Joplin Commercial Club located at the Club Theatre.

“To cure evils,” was the purpose of the establishment of the Joplin Automobile Club, a branch of the Southwest Missouri Association. In the February of 1911, the city of Joplin was faced with the new problems and dangers of a populace that increasingly turned toward motorized travel in the streets. In response, the city attorney, W.M. Andrews, oversaw a crack down on motor vehicle violations with a veritable flood of arrests and fines. Outrage was immediate. In the quarters of the city’s Commercial Club “bankers, doctors, lawyers and businessmen,” the elite who could afford automobile ownership, demanded answers from Andrews. Andrews, in turn, was blunt. Fourth Street, the city prosecutor decried, had turned into a race track and “only miracles have prevented deaths as a result of fast and reckless driving.”

At issue was a city ordinance which required illuminated numbers on cars to help Joplin’s police department identify and arrest offenders. A number of owners complained that the length of their car identification numbers made adherence an impracticality. Andrews, however, was undeterred and argued of the dangerous driving, “This must be stopped. If there are no numbers on the machines how can an office detect the guilty parties? Within the past two weeks there have been several people injured by autos, and in one instance a woman and two children were thrown from a buggy.” In compromise, Andrews stated that adherence within ten days would result in a dismissal of charges and fines. Unsurprisingly, this was well received.

Taken sometime after 1908, this photo reveals that at least 3 years before the creation of the Joplin Automobile Club, Main Street was still mainly a place of horse and buggy.

The car owners were not without a sense of responsibility for their machines of a new century. The Joplin Automobile Club was only part of a series of clubs created throughout Jasper County, with additional clubs associated with the other towns of the county. Approximately 100 men joined that February with the expectation that membership would grow as word and knowledge of its existence spread.

Two weeks later, the men gathered again to elect officers. Taylor Snapp was voted president, Fred Basom and Victor Young, vice-presidents, A.H. Waite treasurer and W.M. Pye, secretary. At the same meeting, the club voted to create reward money for the arrest and conviction of individuals who sought to ruin the enjoyment and lives of car owners. $100 for a car thief, $25 for someone stealing a part of a car, $10 for anyone who cut a tire or threw rocks at a car or its occupants. Interestingly, the club also voted to encourage a crack down on teamsters, who “persist in taking the entire road and who refuse to permit automobiles to pass” in violation of state law. It was Snapp, in this capacity as president who later spoke for the club after a car accident resulted in the creation of Joplin’s first motorcycle police officer. In short, however, the Joplin Automobile Club came into existence as a means for mostly wealthy men to protect their interests in the new and expensive world of car ownership. The distinction of car ownership would fade eventually with the production of cars affordable by all, such as the Ford Model T.

Who Killed “Joplin’s Poor Little Rich Girl”?

On May 28, 1950, Joplin’s swanky Roanoke neighborhood was the scene of a vicious crime that remains unsolved to this day. The body of forty-nine-year-old Gwendolyn Creekmore was found brutally bludgeoned and burned in the home she shared with her mother, Hallie Creekmore, at 915 North Sergeant. She had been beaten repeatedly in the head with a meat hammer. Mercurochrome, a poison, was also found at the crime scene. An autopsy later revealed the poison was present in her stomach and kidneys, but it was unclear if she had willingly ingested it. It was, as one press account declared, “The strangest death case in the modern history of Jasper County.”

Gwendolyn Creekmore, dubbed “Joplin’s Poor Little Rich Girl,” by the Joplin press, was born Elizabeth Gwendolyn McCarthy. When her mother Hallie married businessman William J. Creekmore in 1901, he adopted the young girl, and she became Gwendolyn Creekmore. When she was an infant, she contracted an unknown illness that impaired her mobility and ability to speak. Despite her physical ailments, Gwendolyn grew up in relative comfort in a protective household.

Her adoptive father, William J. Creekmore, was a successful businessman. He owned cattle ranches in Missouri, Kansas, and Texas; successfully speculated on large amounts of real estate at Tulsa, Oklahoma; and purchased Joplin’s Milwaukee Beer Company, a large wholesale liquor distributor.

During Oklahoma’s oil boom, Creekmore capitalized on his wholesale liquor business in Joplin, selling spirits to thirsty wildcatters across the state line. He soon branched out and, according to one account, his “illicit distribution network expanded into nearly every county in Oklahoma.” Creekmore was dubbed the “King of the Oklahoma Bootleggers.” He funneled his wealth into real estate at Jay, Oklahoma, and in 1912, built a handsome residence in Joplin’s exclusive Roanoke neighborhood at 915 North Sergeant.

Success came at a price: Creekmore caught the unwanted attention of the federal government. He spent time in an Oklahoma jail, and, later, two years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for jury tampering. Although he swore that he was “out of the liquor business,” Creekmore was suspected of financially backing the region’s illicit liquor industry throughout Prohibition. In 1934, he died from complications from diabetes. Creekmore left his estate, estimated to be worth roughly $5 million in today’s money, to his wife. He was buried in the family plot in Lamar, Missouri.

Creekmore’s widow, Hallie, and adopted daughter, Gwendolyn, continued to live in the family’s Joplin residence after his death. By some accounts, Creekmore was overly protective of his adopted child, and reportedly did not allow Gwendolyn to date while he was alive. Shortly after his death, however, she married C.B. Farnahan. Farnahan stole the family’s sedan and left town, never to be seen again. Gwendolyn received a divorce in 1936 and subsequently married area resident Cliff Polston. The marriage lasted a year before the couple divorced. She was reportedly engaged to yet another suitor, but the relationship ended before the two married. Creekmore then began seeing Joplin resident Lee Moxley.

After Creekmore’s body was discovered, Moxley was brought in for questioning. Police also questioned her former husband Cliff Polston and the Creekmore family’s former yardman. Moxley claimed to have an alibi; insisting he had went to a family reunion, and then returned home. He later willingly went with Joplin detectives to Jefferson City to take a polygraph exam. Hallie Creekmore, who had been in ill health, insisted from her hospital bed at St. John’s Hospital that Moxley was supposed to bring her daughter by to see her at the hospital that evening. Moxley denied her statement.

Coroner Dr. W.W. Hurst stated that Gwendolyn Creekmore had been brutally murdered; that it was impossible she could have committed suicide. Police admitted that they were perplexed by the murder. They could not explain why a cocked .38 revolver belonging to the Creekmore family was found next to the telephone in the living room, why there was an old lamp cord in the middle of Creekmore’s bed, or why the basement door, generally kept locked, was found unlocked. Detectives were also puzzled that her expensive diamond jewelry was left undisturbed in the home. Despite a second polygraph, Lee Moxley continued to protest his innocence. A cab driver told the coroner’s jury that after he had picked Creekmore up from the hospital after she had finished visiting her mother, she had asked to stop by a pharmacy to buy poison. He refused and drove her home.

On June 5, as Joplin police officials continued to investigate Gwendolyn Creekmore’s murder, Mayor H. Chris Oltman ordered a departmental shake-up. Both Chief of Police Roy Isgrigg and the Detective Chief Luther Laster were demoted. Isgrigg, Laster, and special representative Everett Patrick were ordered to investigate Creekmore’s murder full-time. Mayor Oltman declared, “The Creekmore case is not going to be dropped.” He voiced his disgust that the police had failed to secure the crime scene, failed to take fingerprints, and had failed to prevent trespassers from entering the Creekmore residence. A month later, the police investigation failed to uncover any further leads, with authorities trying to decide whether or not it was a murder or a bizarre suicide. The case remains unsolved.

Kansas City Bottoms: Part II

A portion of the Kansas City Bottoms was leveled to make way for the new Union Depot station (left side of photo).

As time passed and mining operations relocated across the area, the Kansas City Bottoms was transformed as “a few factories and mills” dotted the valley and its hillsides. Although there was talk that the Kansas City Southern Railway would build rail shops in the bottoms, the project never came to fruition.

This led to an effort to “more or less isolate the city’s riff-raff of humanity there. It became a sort of ‘red-light’ district, and flourished with gayety, containing gambling houses, saloons, dance halls, and rooming houses.” As Joplin continued to grow, the area grew more desolate, and “buildings were moved, burned, or fell in ruins.” The Kansas City Bottoms soon became a sprawling slum that doubled as a dumping ground. At the turn of the century, an angry mob descended upon the Bottoms and chased out a number of prostitutes who had taken up residence there. Soon the area became populated with African Americans, some of whom had been chased out of Pierce City in 1901, after a brutal race riot ended in the expulsion of Pierce City’s black residents.

A lifelong Joplin resident shared her memories of the Bottoms in a letter to the Joplin Globe:

“Where the [Union Depot] station is now and scattered throughout the valley were shanties occupied mostly by colored folk. This place was known as the Kansas City Bottoms. There was a footbridge over Joplin Creek near where the Union Station is now. Rather than walk around to Broadway, for four years I walked through the Bottoms and came onto Main Street at about A Street on my way to high school.”

“A girl or woman did not dare to cross the Bottoms without an escort. It was not even safe for a man,” the woman continued, “My boyfriend who later became my husband lived on the West side and he never crossed without a weapon. There were often holdups and sometimes murder in the Bottoms. There was no Broadway viaduct then.”

One former Joplin police officer claimed that “policemen were virtually given orders ‘not to bring any of the ‘bottomites’ out.’” This reportedly meant that a police officer should “shoot at the least provocation and shoot to kill.”

Burt Brannon, Joplin Police Officer

Officer Bert Brannon

Charles Sweeney, Joplin Police Officer

Charles Sweeney

These reputed orders presumably came after the death of Officers James Sweeney and Bert Brannon in 1901 after they were shot and mortally wounded after arresting a gang of vagrants in the Kansas City Southern rail yard and the death of Officer Theodore Leslie who was killed in 1903 while searching the rail yard for a burglary suspect. In 1909, work began on the Third Street viaduct, which spanned the Bottoms to connect East and West Joplin. (To Learn more about the Third Street Viaduct – click here) A year later, work began on the Joplin Union Depot, and a portion of the Kansas City Bottoms was leveled to make way for the expanded railyards and station. (To learn more about the leveling of the Bottoms for the Depot, click here)

By 1915, the condition of the Kansas City Bottoms was as close to a living hell as one could find in Joplin. One account painted a bleak picture of life in the bottoms: “Squatters, trash and garbage haulers, tramps and other transients” moved into the bottoms, living in shacks, shanties, broken down wagons, and tents. Men, women, and children lived in abject poverty. Few outsiders dared enter the bottoms as it had a reputation as, “a most dangerous place. It hardly was safe for a person to enter in daylight. After dark, entry into the hollow by an outsider was practically synonymous with suicide.”

That same year, however, the Kansas City Bottoms would experience a significant transformation for the first time since Sergeant first struck lead.

Opium Den Bust

In the past, Historic Joplin covered the story of “Cocaine Jimmy” Shannon, an unfortunate Joplin resident who succumbed to his love of the drug after repeated attempts to quit. Cocaine was not the only drug accessible to Joplinites. Opium, a drug that many often associated with Chinese immigrants, was also available in Joplin.

On a chilly morning in 1907, after week of surveillance confirmed their suspicions, Joplin Constable Dan Turnbull and Deputies Frank English, Lou Drane, Charles McDonald, and other officers burst into an opium den located at 102 North Main Street. Despite their belief that they would meet with opposition after breaching the door, no one inside the purported den attempted to resist the sudden intrusion.

 The first individual the officers saw was an African American woman lying on a bunk in a “comatose condition” with an African American man passed out beside her. A pipe and pills were located next to them, further confirming the belief that drugs were being used by the building’s inhabitants. It was not long before opium fumes began to overwhelm the officers. Moving quickly, Deputy Constable English questioned the woman nearest to him, asking, “Where is that pipe?” The woman replied, “Oh, there ain’t no pipe here. That’s just the smell of some liniment we were rubbing on the sick woman over there.” With her hand, she indicated the “sick woman” was the African American woman passed out on the bunk. Satisfied they had enough evidence, the officers arrested everyone in the room, and then went through the rest of the building and arrested ever “suspicious character found therein.”

 Altogether, fourteen African Americans were arrested and taken to jail. Charlie Jones, one of the men arrested, claimed he had arrived just a few days earlier from Texas. This bit of information led officers to believe that the opium may have been smuggled across the Mexican border and that Jones was possibly a member of a gang responsible for distributing the drug in the United States. Officers also seized a two foot long opium pipe, other miscellaneous smoking devices, and a large amount of opium that would have lasted the smokers “for weeks.” Harry Paskett, a man who allegedly “spent several years among the Chinese,” declared the pipe very valuable. Charlie Jones and Bertha Morris, two of the individuals arrested, were charged with operating an opium joint while the others would be charged with lewd conduct and disturbance.

Source: Joplin News-Herald

Titanic Thompson – A Joplin Hustler

For those interested in the seedier aspects of Joplin’s past, they might be interested in the newly released biography of Alvin Clarence Thomas, better known as “Titanic Thompson.”  Thompson, a native of nearby Rogers, Arkansas, spent some time in Joplin and had a reputation for literally betting on nearly anything.  It was in Joplin that Thompson purportedly earned the nickname Titanic, which came from “sinking” anyone he came across.  The new book, Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything, by Kevin Cook, a former editor of Sports Illustrated, published by W. W. & Norton Company, offers 284 pages on the life of the hustler.

Carthage Points Out Joplin’s Wrongs

In years past, Carthage and Joplin have had an unspoken rivalry. Sometimes this rivalry would manifest itself in spirited jibes published in the papers, but more often than not it was the Carthage Evening Press that took swipes at Joplin, rather than the Globe or News-Herald that tried to besmirch Carthage’s reputation. The following article is one of hundreds of news items that the Evening Press ran over the years about incompetent, lawless, wicked Joplin.

“Lawless at Joplin. Many Robberies Occur Between the two towns — Police Protection Needed.

‘Kid’ Holden, who runs a gambling device in the Barbee building [Note to Readers: House of Lords] and lives on the corner of north Mineral and Hill streets, East Joplin, was robbed on Broadway, between East and West Joplin, Saturday night, while on his way home. The robbers were secreted behind the bill-boards on Broadway, between Virginia and Pennsylvania avenues, and as Holden approached he was clubbed into unconsciousness — the robbers taking a gold watch and pocketbook which contained $7. It is reliably reported that an attempt was made to ‘hold-up’ Holden some time ago, but he ran his assailants away with a revolver.

This audacious robbery has occasioned much talk in East Joplin, and has brought out the fact that there have been upward of a dozen attempts at ‘hold-up’ and robbery between the two towns within the past two or three weeks. A citizen of East Joplin says: ‘Crooks are to be seen almost nightly between Main street, on the west side and the bridge and its vicinity on the east side, where they are either skulking about the lumberyard, railway crossing, hiding about freight cars, the dives or shanties in the vicinity, or the bill boards.

‘Not long since,’ he continued, ‘an east town lady, while purchasing groceries on the west side, displayed a rather full pocket book in her rounds, she had not gone far on her way home before a robber approached her. But just then a car came gliding down the hill. She at once ran toward it, and the thief made a hurried break in the opposite direction, and was almost instantly out of sight.’

‘It would be a very easy job to ‘pull’ these ‘crooks’ and break up the robbers roost between the two towns, but no attempt has yet been made to afford any relief whatever. The crooks are actually safer between the two towns than any other part of the city.[Editor’s Note: The area between the two towns probably refers to the area known as the Kansas City Bottoms.] The police, or its chief, evidently consider it the duty of the force to remain about the crowded streets, and protect the saloons, and ‘pull’ those who patronize those institutions ‘too freely,’ and thus swell the city’s funds while leaving the various outlying thoroughfares of the city of Joplin utterly unprotected.’

‘It is claimed that if three picked men were taken off the police force, the remainder would not be worth a snap of the fingers. The force is the most incompetent in the history of the city. The recent east town shooting affair — when two policemen in attempting the arrest of an unarmed crippled boy over a twenty-five cent game of cards in a saloon, shot him down at close range — is an illustration.”

Source: Carthage Evening Press

Cocaine Jimmy

When one thinks of cocaine, they may think of the 1980s, Nancy Reagan, and the War on Drugs. Cocaine, however, was in Joplin long before tv commercials showed eggs frying in a skillet while a voice somberly intoned, “This is your brain…This is your brain on drugs.”

Cocaine Jimmy aka Daniel Shannon

A sketch of Daniel "Cocaine Jimmy" Shannon

Perhaps the most infamous cocaine user in Joplin was Daniel “Cocaine Jimmy” Shannon. One day, Shannon was found passed out behind the House of Lords by members of the Joplin police department in what one physician thought was “the last stage of drug poisoning.” He was taken to the city jail to spend the night and was transferred the next day to the Jasper County Poor Farm in Carthage. One doctor remarked, “He can hardly survive this attack, and at the poor farm the drug will be taken away from him altogether. He is too far gone to be benefited by that treatment, and I am inclined to think that his days are numbered.”

Cocaine Jimmy granted an interview following his near fatal drug overdose. He told a reporter, “I have been a drug fiend for 18 years. The average life of the cocaine or morphine fiend is five years. I think the Lord must have let me live this long in order that I may be cured and live to do some good in this world.”

Jimmy, it turned out, had not always lived on the edge. As a young man, he attended the Chester Military Academy in Chester, Pennsylvania, and then attended a music conservatory in Philadelphia. This fact, the reporter noted, “many of the people of Joplin are ready to believe, for they have heard him play at the music stores. When under the influence of the deadly drug to which he is addicted and at just the right state, he has shown himself many times to be a brilliant performer upon the piano.”

According to Jimmy, his father was wealthy, and even played host to President James Buchanan at the family home in Pennsylvania. But after becoming addicted to cocaine, Jimmy left behind a career as a lawyer, and instead spent his time working on and off as a janitor at the Sergeant building at the corner of Fifth and Main. The reporter observed that Jimmy talked little of his past. One lawyer who doubted Jimmy’s former occupation as a lawyer was stunned when Jimmy began quoting sections from Blackstone’s law almost verbatim. In manners, he was always extraordinarily polite, always thanking anyone who helped him and making sure to say hello to others.

The paper remarked, “Those who knew Shannon in his brighter moments and could see what the man had been and what he might have been, will hope ‘Cocaine Jimmy’ himself that after all the Lord will see to it that he is cured; that he may live to accomplish something in this world.”

A few years later, Jimmy was still alive, and granted another interview to a Joplin reporter. Jimmy was described as a, “little, old appearing man, with a wrinkled face and a tinge of gray in his air, and although he is only 40 years old, his beard, when not closely shaven, is as white as snow.” His cheeks were hollow and there were “great hollows under his eyes.”

Although the moniker “Cocaine” was understandable, there was no explanation as to why he was called “Jimmy” when his given name was Daniel. His friends had pooled enough money to put Jimmy through an unspecified treatment program which seemed to be working until he suffered a painful bout of inflammatory rheumatism and relapsed.

Jimmy told the reporter he first used cocaine while receiving medical treatment at a hospital in the Dakotas. He used small amounts at first so that it was not readily apparent that he was using the drug. He “began the use of cocaine by dipping the needle in it when I wanted to take a ‘shot’ of morphine in order to keep the needle from hurting me. The desire for cocaine grew on me until I now use the two drugs equally mixed.”

He did not like practicing law, so his father set Jimmy up in the musical instrument business. He enjoyed teaching music and soon took “one of the prettiest little women there was” as his wife. Jimmy’s love of cocaine, however, was stronger and he began to abuse cocaine at a greater rate. He abandoned teaching, left his wife, and took all of his money out of the bank. Jimmy proclaimed, “There is not an hour in the day when I do not wish I could be cured of the terrible habit and straighten up and be a man.”

Jimmy told the reporter, “I cannot understand why any young man or young woman will begin the use of cocaine or morphine. My body from head to foot is a complete mass of scars which have been made by the hypodermic syringe.” The craving for the drug was so bad, he said, “there is nothing short of murder that will prevent him from getting it.” On average, he used fifty to seventy-five cents worth of cocaine per day. He then gave a lengthy description of the hellish existence of a cocaine user, described the multiple ways one could use the drug, and then sadly said, “My one ambition is to get enough money to take the cure and if I can get thoroughly cured of the habit I feel that I would never again touch a drop either of cocaine or morphine.”

Sadly, Daniel “Cocaine Jimmy” Shannon did not live much longer. He was discovered unconscious behind Ferguson’s Saloon by members of the Joplin Police Department who carried him to the Joplin City Jail. He was remembered for his daily plea of, “Give me a nickel.” Although he “was a well known character upon the streets, he never figured conspicuously in police court, and was but seldom arrested.” When arrested, it was for begging or for passing out on the street. In his obituary, it was noted that he “was an expert pianist and during his career in Joplin frequently was employed by proprietors of beer gardens and north resorts as a pianist.” Despite three desperate attempts to be cured of his habit, Jimmy died, and his body was held at the Joplin Undertaking Company until family members claimed the body. Where he was laid to rest is unknown, but one wonders if his ghost still lingers on the streets of Joplin, still looking for one last fix.

Source: Joplin Newspapers

A Changing of the Police Guard

An early ritual of the Joplin Police Department concerned the changing of the guard between new officers and old upon the assumption of a new police chief into office.  One of the powers of the chief was the appointment of selected officers, a relic of the days of political patronage.  In April, 1911, such a changing of the guard occurred and was described in a city paper.

“At midnight tonight the forces of the police will change from the present “bulls” to the new assignment which Chief Myers has selected.  At that time every prisoner in the city jail that is not held on a state warrant will be released so that the new force may enter with a clean slate.”

The preparation involved in this change concerned snipping brass buttons from coats and polishing the stars that the policemen wore to mark their station.  These two things, plus revolvers, were to be handed over by the old guard to the new upon the stroke of midnight.  The newspaper noted that most of the police force was to be dismissed with only a few experienced veterans retained.  Those who were about to lose their jobs were expected to go into mining, many of which who claimed they intended to prospect rather than go into the earth for others.

The dramatic signal to bring all the police to the station was to turn on every red traffic light across the city.  After the policemen had returned to the headquarters for the exchange of stars, buttons, and pistols, it was estimated 30 prisoners would be released.  The recently freed criminals would not have long to play upon the streets of Joplin without oversight, as beats were already assigned to the new officers who would immediately take them up as soon as they assumed their new duties.

Source: Joplin News Herald

He Pulled A Gun

Downtown Joplin is fairly quiet compared to what it was like on a Saturday night one hundred years ago.   At that time the Worth Block sat at the corner of Fourth and Main where a small park, once famous more for its vagrant population than the namesake statue of a miner, now sits. The Worth Block was owned by the eccentric James “Jimmy” H. Worth, a native of Indiana who married well, and lived life fast.   In the future we’ll write about “Colonel” Worth, but for now will focus on yet another scrap on the streets of Joplin.

Busy corner of Fourth and Main

A daylight view of the busy intersection of Fourth and Main

“Last night about 11 o’clock a little excitement was created at the corner of Fourth and Main streets by a hair brained individual with a gun who made a public exhibition of himself and then gun in hand fled before the righteous wrath of an unarmed man.  This spectacle also created much amusement.  Chas. Allen is a driver of carriage No. 5, of Finch Bros. line.  At the hour named last night his carriage stood at the southwest corner of Fourth and Main streets.  He was about to drive to the Gulf depot when Richard Risdon, formerly a driver of Watson’s line, but now of Webb City, came along and asked Allen if he was going to the depot.  Allen answered in the affirmative and Risdon swung himself up to a seat on the box.  With an oath Allen jumped to the pavement pulling from his pocket a revolver as he jumped.

He presented his gun at Risdon as though he intended to fire, but Risdon had nerve and alighting from the box advanced upon the warlike Allen, asking him why he didn’t shoot.  Allen weakened, and turning in the face of his unarmed adversary fled across the street, pocketing his revolver as he flew, ran through Kinsella’s saloon and disappeared.  Risdon is well known in Joplin as a gentlemanly young man and a man of nerve and by his action last night bore out his reputation.

It seems that the driver, Allen, had a private grudge against Risdon and that they had had some trouble before. Risdon returned to his home in Webb City last night, but up to the present writing Allen has not been apprehended.”

Source: Joplin Morning Herald, 1892