Monday, October 21, 2013

"farmers, well armed, are watching the bridges...."


Exciting Manhunt In Kansas to Capture Escaped Convicts.


Farmers With Firearms on Lookout While Mounted Guards Are In Hot Pursuit--Convicts Seize Horses and Ride Like Gilpins.

   Leavenworth, Kan., Nov. 8. Mounted guards searched the country for a radius of five miles around the federal penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth for the 26 convicts who succeeded in escaping from the guards. The country is wild and rough and affords ample opportunity for escape and as all of the convicts are desperate men and armed, conflicts were anticipated. The result of the mutiny and the following fight with the guards was one convict killed and four guards shot or otherwise hurt. It is believed many of the fleeing convicts received wounds from bullets sent after them by pursuing guards.

   Quinn Fort, a desperate criminal from the Indian territory, who is believed to have been the ringleader of the outbreak, was killed outright. The wounded: Joseph B. Waldrupe, prison guard, shot in forehead and breast, condition serious; Arthur Trelford, captain of the guard, shot in leg, not serious; C. E. Burrows, shot in neck, slight; Andrew Leonard, guard, leg broken. It developed that the mutiny was planned several months ago, but the men never found favorable opportunity before to carry it into effect. The general plan was not new but it proved effective, because of the limited number of guards. As the better behaved prisoners are doing outside work the conspiracy was hatched by the inside gangs. The convicts chose the most favorable moment of the day, while many guards acting as foremen of construction of the new cell house were unarmed.

   As soon as the alarm was given guards were formed in marching order and mounted men, armed to the teeth were drawn up In front of the main entrance. Most of the guards were old plainsmen and the diversion of hunting down criminals stirred their blood as nothing else could have done. The escaped convicts were counted the most desperate criminals In the southwest, and the guards started out on their hunt in full realization of this fact.

   The alarm was sent In all directions, the officials of Kansas City. Atchison, St. Joseph, Topeka and Leavenworth being asked to keep the police on the lookout and in each of the cities, armed police and detectives patrolled the outskirts. Reports come from all directions of horses and vehicles, clothing and food stolen. As the report that the convicts were at large spread, citizens in the outlying districts became terror stricken and barred their homes. Friday an increased number of guards well armed and mounted was started out from the penitentiary and the day was spent In the most exciting man hunt experienced in this part of the country since the border days.

   It is believed that all the convicts will ultimately be captured if not overtaken by the guards and shot. Each prisoner has undergone an examination under the Bertillion system and these descriptions were mailed to every chief of police in the country.

   Warden R.W. McClaugnety was in Kansas City when the mutiny broke out arranging for the annual convention of the National Prison Reform association which is to convene there. He returned home and immediately set to work to recapture the convicts.

   Advices received at the penitentiary indicate that the convicts are making, for Indian Territory, 100 miles south, at breakneck speed. Warden McClaughry is making every effort to head them off before they reach the Kansas river. He telegraphed sheriffs and other officers to guard the bridges. Telegrams received from the neighborhood of Linwood, Kan., and several other points say farmers, well armed, are watching the bridges. The reports show that the convicts are seizing farmers' horses and running them at a high speed until the animals give out and then pressing in fresh horses whenever found. By making these relays they are trying to outride the officers to the territory. Nothing but guards and civil officers out for the $60,000 reward are now in the chase. The soldiers are keeping a watch over the reservation. No, prisoners were sent to the penitentiary site Friday. All work is suspended and the convicts are held in cells so that the guards can take up the hunt.

[The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Ky., Saturday, November 09, 1901. Volume XX. Number 299. Pg. 1]

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