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D. Arthur Walker

All lawyers are crazy, and the craziest of the lot are the lawyers that are genuine country lawyers. It always provokes me a little to go into one of the real big law firms with about eighty or one hundred members and have one of the pink-cheeked, hotel-fed senior members refer to himself as a country lawyer. I look at him with inward disdain and I say to myself, “Oh brother, for many long years, I was piloting planes across the oceans and in the South Pacific, instead of staying home and tending to my law business.” But, as I said, all lawyers are crazy, and I’m going to try and tell a few incidents in a crazy, mixed-up legal career.
Before getting into my legal career and Air Force activities, I think it might be well to give a background of my childhood and early school days, then something about my college years. One can then better understand my legal experiences and perhaps what motivated me also, to have a career in the Air Force. So let us begin.
                                                 Family of D. Arthur Walker.
I was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, on July 28, 1898. My father was Daniel Uen Walker. Now the Uen was not Ewen, but Uen (I’ve always suspected that maybe some of his folks didn’t know how to spell too well, although it is quite possible that it was a name that I was not familiar with.) Be that as it may, my father, D. U. or Daniel Uen Walker was affectionately known as Rodney Walker by hundreds of people. He was a man about six feet in height, well built, and he was a kindly man with a ready smile. Everyone who knew him, loved and respected him. My mother was Rosa Ellen Walker. Her maiden name was Nash. My paternal grandfather, James Walker, was born in Tennessee and moved to Fannin County, Texas, where my father was born. Thereafter the family moved to Labette County, Kansas, and homesteaded a piece of land that later became a part of the town of Parsons, Kansas. My paternal grandmother was Rebecca Riley Walker. She also had been born in Tennessee.
My maternal grandfather was David Thomas Nash, usually referred to as D. T. Nash. He was born in Ohio, and as a young man, joined the Union Army and served for four years with the 4th Ohio Volunteers in the Civil War. When the war was over, he married and came to Kansas, and settled on a homestead in Allen County, near LaHarpe, Kansas. His wife, my maternal grandmother, was Louisa Elizabeth Gunn Nash of Licking County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Tyler Gunn and Jemima Root Gunn. David Thomas Nash was the son of Samuel Welding Nash and Mary Catherine Early Nash. Mary Catherine was related to the General Early of Confederate Army fame.
My father was a railroad man all of his life and was a conductor for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company almost fifty years.

My mother was a beautiful and brilliant woman. She earned her own way through school, including the State Normal School at Emporia, Kansas. [The name had changed to “Kansas State Teachers College” at the time D. Arthur Walker wrote Reflections.] She taught school until she married my father June 1, 1892, at the home of her parents near LaHarpe, Kansas. I had one sister, Verna, who was born May 19, 1893, at Conway Springs, Kansas, where my father was stationed for some time in connection with his railroad work. At various times we were transferred to Coffeyville, Conway Springs, and Arkansas City, where the railroad company required my father to work. I was about two years of age when my parents moved from Coffeyville to Arkansas City and we first lived in a house at the corner of First Street and Adams Avenue, where the First Presbyterian Church is now located.
I remember well three events that occurred while we lived at that location, even though I was quite small at the time.
I think my first recollection was wandering away from home, going some two blocks north and one block east; and after becoming completely lost, I was found in front of a hardware store near the corner of Summit Street and Fifth Avenue. At that location is a two-story building, which in later years I purchased, and made it my law office for a number of years. It has been known as the Walker Building for many years. Now the man who found me when I was lost was George Howard, who had a son named Harry V. Howard, who was until his death a lifelong friend of mine, and I shall refer to him in some incidents occurring in his life and mine a little later on.
A second thing I recall, while living at the location I just mentioned, was my parents getting me a pet rabbit. I took the rabbit to the second floor of the house, straddled his legs on each side of the bannister of the stair railing, and let him slide down with fatal results, for the poor little rabbit landed on his head and that was the end of my pet.
The third incident that remains with me was the time I decided, at three or four years of age, that it was time I learned to smoke. So one Sunday afternoon, I went out to the barn at the rear of our home and started puffing away at some buggy whip or other substance. Pretty soon I had the hay afire, I piled more hay on top trying to put it out, and soon the whole barn was a mass of flames. It burned up all the hay, it burned up the harness and the family carriage, and worst of all, it burned up my little pet goat that had been tied to the buggy wheel.
From this location we next moved to the home at 701 South A Street, and lived there a short while, until my parents bought a very nice home at 512 South B Street, where we lived from 1903 to 1911. About this time there was an electric interurban line installed between Winfield and Arkansas City, Kansas, and my parents had purchased an 80 acre farm outside of Arkansas City, which this interurban ran through. So about 1910 my parents built a fine country home about three miles north of Arkansas City. At that time people came from miles around to see this fine modern home that had a bathroom, running water, gas lights, sewer, hardwood floors, and all the things that brought about nice comfortable living. The interurban car would stop in front of our house to take on or discharge passengers.
For many years, on each New Year’s day, the WMIS, which stood for Women’s Mutual Improvement Society, would have a New Year’s dinner at this home and many people would make the trip by automobile, horse-drawn vehicles, or the interurban to enjoy the hospitality of our home.
The house had a large front porch, large front room with a fireplace, large dining room, large kitchen and a large pantry, and a medium sized sitting room. Upstairs were five bedrooms with closets, and bath facilities. There were toilet facilities downstairs also. There was a screened-in back porch and what we called the washhouse. Outside was a cave where we stored vegetables, and a concrete block chicken house. We had a garage and an apartment for the “help,” a large barn, and the usual out-buildings of a nice home of that period.

Shortly after we moved to this country home, we heard that a rock road was to be constructed between Arkansas City and Winfield. The location of the same would be determined by the number of people who signed petitions showing the route they desired the rock road to follow. Thereupon my sister, Verna, got busy, and obtained a lot of names on petitions; and as a consequence, the rock road was located coming north past our farm. One of the inducements that got the road placed there was that there was a stone quarry on our farm and our parents agreed to give, free of charge, the stone needed to build one mile of this road. In fact, about six or seven miles of the road was constructed with stone from the quarry at our place. This was the forerunner of United States highway 77, which, of course replaced the old rock road.
Also, a little later, electricity was made available, and our parents had our home wired; so with the interurban, the rock road, electricity and gas, we had a very comfortable and enjoyable home. This was my home until I married Maybin Gardner in 1925.
Shortly before our marriage, I had purchased the Northeast quarter of Section 12, Township 34, Range 3 east, Cowley County, Kansas. This was a 160 acre farm directly across the road west of my parents’ home. Maybin and I liked this location and before we were married, we sat there on the bald prairie and decided that that would be the spot where we would build our home.
After our marriage, we moved into our small house and named the place Maybinsyde. We put in gas lines, our own electric line and phone line, our water lines and sewer system. We built the roads, planted all the trees, dug the ponds, and made it a beautiful and comfortable home. Maybinsyde, throughout the years, has been the Polar star that drew our children back home again, and always, when I’m away, my thoughts turn to Maybinsyde and my feet speed to return.
While I was growing we had several temporary homes at various locations. My mother’s health was none too good, and one year, my mother, my sister, and I went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and I attended grade school there for a short while. Another time my father was transferred to Conway Springs, Kansas, so one year I went to Conway Springs High School; then later on I attended one year of high school at Winfield, Kansas, and part of one year of college at Southwestern College. I attended one year of college at Emporia, Kansas. My parents had a farm near Parsons, Kansas, and I spent part of one year in grade school at Altamont, Kansas, and part of a year at Parsons. One summer I attended Wisconsin University at Madison, Wisconsin.
As for my legal education, I went to law school at the University of Kansas from 1919 to 1922.
I don’t suppose that I had any more accidents than the average young boy or girl growing up, but I must confess as I look back over some of the accidents that I took part in, I’m surprised that I lived to be ten years of age. To begin with, when I was a very small baby— this was before I can recollect anything—I am informed that the neighborhood kids would put me in my baby carriage and start me down a hill. The baby buggy would run as far as it could, then would crash into something, and no doubt I must have bounced out and perhaps sustained serious injury to my head, which might account for some of my later activities.

Be that as it may, I’ve told you about burning down the family barn. Now I want to tell you about the time my family took me to St. Louis to visit relatives. They lived on the second floor and there was a stairway from the back of their apartment down to the alley. I had a little rocking chair which I moved right up against the stairway so that when I rocked, my left side hung over the steps. Of course, my parents told me not to do that; but I knew better, and I kept rocking, and of course you know I went tumbling and crashing down that flight of stairs, smashing the rocking chair and myself, so that I had to be stitched up a bit.
Then there was the time when I was in a swing with my boyhood friend, Harry Howard. We were seeing how high we could pump the swing. My feet slipped and I fell out of the swing. It came back and the board hit me in the mouth and cut my tongue practically in two. There was just a shred holding it together. My mother, of course, took me bleeding and screaming to a doctor who, in some marvelous manner, was able to stitch it all back together and today I have a rather unusual looking tongue.
My parents were pretty good about going to church each Sunday, and I would usually sit with them after going to Sunday School; but whenever possible, I would try to get out of sitting with the family and go out to play with the other kids. One Sunday, several of us were outside the church. One of these children was a very large girl, who was carrying a big stick covered with knots and thorns. I was talking to a little boy when she told me not to speak to that little boy again or she would hit me. I was astounded and couldn’t believe she meant what she said, so I started to talk to the little boy again; and at that time, first the lights went out, and then all the lights in the world came on—for that big strong girl had swung that club and hit me square in the face, cutting my face so that blood gushed out and I went screaming into the church with blood oozing from every pore on my face. I probably broke up the sermon for that day!
When I was about five years old, my father took me on a run over to Roper, Kansas, where we were to stay all night and return the next day. There was a sort of a good hotel in those days, I presume. It was built of wood with a long hallway on the second floor. At the end of the hall was a gas lamp that was pretty close to the ceiling. That night as my father took me down the hall to our room—the manager walking with us—my father said, “I think that gas lamp is too close to the ceiling.” The manager allowed as how it might be a little close, and someday he might do something about it so it wouldn’t start a fire. Well, sometime during the night, someone yelled “Fire!” and sure enough the hotel was in flames and my father and I had quite a hard time getting down the hallway past the flames that had been started by the gas light. By the time we got down to the lobby, they had attempted to save a piano or organ and got it stuck in the door. My father put me on top of the instrument and scooted me across into a freezing cold night. I remember I had on a little flannel nightgown and one sock; and there in my bare feet, I sat until daylight.

I think it was in that same year (1904) that they had the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Everyone was trying to go to St. Louis and see the World’s Fair. That summer my mother and father and sister, Verna, and I started for the Fair on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. When we got to Kansas City, Missouri, the train had picked up so many cars that it was a train of 16 or 20 coaches with the result that the train was divided into two parts with the baggage and mail cars as the first section (which went on ahead) and the second was the day coaches and Pullmans following. When we left Kansas City, my mother, father, sister, and I were in the very front seat of the very first coach immediately behind the engine. It was hot weather and the coach door was open. I can remember seeing the back of the engine bounce and bump along as the train was traveling about 60 or 65 miles an hour. My father went back to the Pullman cars. Being a railroad man he was able to talk the language; and as a result, he was able to obtain an upper and a lower berth for our family. After a bit, we went back to the Pullman sleeping car. Mother and father had the lower berth and they stuck Verna and I into the upper berth.
We had probably been back in the Pullman car for about 20 minutes when there was a terrific collision. It seemed that a westbound freight train had taken a siding somewhere between Kansas City and Sedalia, Missouri, and after seeing the first section of our train with the baggage and mail cars going east, pulled out onto the main line. About the time it had gotten up to its full speed, it collided head-on with the second section—the part in which we were riding. The cars were built of wood in those days, and the first coach in which we had been sitting was completely telescoped. We knew the people who had taken our seats, as it was a case of everybody from our part of the country being headed for the World’s Fair. All those who had taken our seats were killed—and some forty others were also immediately killed —in what is spoken of today as the “Warrensburg wreck.”
One summer my mother took my sister and me to a farm my parents owned near Parsons to spend the summer. We had a good driving horse, but he was a bit spooky. One day Mother and I were driving from Parsons to the farm when we came to a wooden bridge that must have been 15 or 20 feet above the creek bottom. The horse got about halfway across the bridge when something frightened him. He jumped sideways and both the horse and buggy landed on top of Mother and me in a heap at the bottom of this ravine. How we escaped from serious injury I shall never know!
Then I recall the time that grandfather Nash came to visit us for a few days, and I had just bought a repeating hammerless shotgun. I came in from hunting one afternoon and started to show it to my grandfather before it had been unloaded. Grandfather Nash (thinking it was unloaded) was trying to show me how the Civil War soldiers performed on sentry duty. He shoved the muzzle of that gun into my stomach; and I quickly shoved it away. The gun went off with a roar and blew a hole into and through the washhouse. There wasn’t a word spoken for a full three minutes!

I attended school at Conway Springs, Kansas, for a short time in 1914. Father and Mother had me drive a team with a lumber wagon over to Conway Springs to take over some things they wanted in their house. Then they decided, of course, that I should bring back the team and wagon to Arkansas City, where we had our farm, so that the animals could be furnished with a barn, water, and so forth. Some friends in Conway Springs by the name of Davis had a son about my age. They thought what a wonderful thing it would be if their son could ride back to Arkansas City with me in a lumber wagon. So, about four o’clock one morning, young Davis and I hitched up the team to the wagon, and although it was so foggy you couldn’t see your hand before your face, we set out. I felt that the team could follow the road. We got out about a half mile from Conway Springs and went up an incline over the railroad tracks, and then started down the incline. For some reason, the team couldn’t follow the road. We went off the embankment, which was quite steep. The team and wagon and Davis and I rolled over a time or two, landing in the ditch. We were pretty badly shaken up and skinned up. The harness was broken as the horses had kicked and flayed everything in sight. We got back to the Davis’ home just as his parents were sitting down to breakfast. I brought in their son, who was bloody. His clothes were torn and dirty. I announced that as soon as it was daylight we would start again. Davis’ parents went into a huddle. They then explained to me that they thought, since we would probably be late getting back the next day, that it would be best if their son did not try to make the trip with me. And that’s the way it was. I made the trip alone a little later.
The horse that had jumped off the bridge with Mother and me was named “Boy,” and he was one of the two horses of the team that had pulled the lumber wagon when Davis and I rolled down the embankment. I’ll tell you of one more experience I had with that horse.
It was August of 1914. I got on Boy to ride out into the pasture to look for a horse that my folks had bought for $5 and which had become lost. I was a pretty good rider, but rather reckless. I had Boy running wide open as we started down a slope that was perhaps 50 or 60 feet deep. The horse stumbled and over and over we rolled, down to the bottom of the slope. This time I was pretty badly scratched up and broke my collar bone. I was in pretty sad shape! I got to thinking that maybe the man upstairs was trying to tell me something about riding that horse. Most of the time that I rode Boy, I wound up in the bottom of a ravine.
As for the collar bone, my sister took me into the hospital. A doctor who had little experience took some adhesive tape and wrapped it around my entire body. He said that in a week or two, I would be as good as new. But in a week or ten days I had a serious infection in my right shoulder, and we had to get a surgeon, who was finally able to stop the infection. He sawed off the ends of the broken bones and put in a silver plate that held me together for several months. When I went back to have the plate removed, he was rather careless and dropped one of the screws back into the wound. To this day it still floats around in my system.
During my experience in the Air Force, where I was x-rayed from time to time for medical examinations, they would always come up and ask me, “What in the world are you doing with a screw floating around by your lung, (or your heart, or some other part of my internal anatomy), where the screw had lodged itself at that time!”
I was always reckless and foolhardy and I must say that I must have given the man upstairs a lot of gray hairs and a lot of extra work in looking after me. I don’t know (now that I look back) but what he would have been justified in just scratching me off the list.

Let me tell you of one experience where he must have had his hand on me all the way. In the back of our farm home, we had a large barn southeast of the house. On the south side of the barn was a window that could not be seen by my parents from the house. Across the road to the west and better than a quarter of a mile to the south was a farm house, but its doors and porch were on the south side of that house. Late in the middle of the summer of 1914, my parents were going to take a trip with my sister and me along. They wanted me to lock the barn up securely so that no one could get in and steal the harness, feed, seed, and so on. It must have been around five in the afternoon when I went to the barn. After locking it up, I decided to make my exit through the south window of the barn, which was about ten feet above the ground. I had a little stick that was holding the window up. I went out the window and started to lower myself to the ground. As my elbows came by the stick, they knocked it out and the window came down and caught me by the neck with my head inside the barn and the rest of me outside. At first, I wasn’t too much concerned because I felt that I could raise myself up and get my head loose and fall to the ground. But the more I fought and struggled, the more the window pinned me down. I screamed and hollered. All my screaming went into the inside of the barn, muffling my voice. Verna was playing the piano in the house, so no one in the house could hear me. I started kicking on the side of the barn. I must have done a pretty good job of thumping it because our neighbors, the Wilsons, who lived a quarter of a mile or better to the south and across the road, and who had a porch facing the south and away from our home, said they heard a commotion like they had never heard before, and they came over and rescued me just before I cashed in my chips.
I have always felt that the man upstairs must have looked at me and said, “Young man, when are you ever going to learn?”
It was about at that same time that I had the experience of going through a cyclone. It was in the spring of that year. I was in school in Arkansas City at that time. After school one day I was walking home when some farmer picked me up and gave me a ride to my house. My parents were away, and I set about doing the chores. It was an extremely hot, still, muggy evening and about half an hour after I got home, the temperature started getting quite cool. I would estimate that it dropped 30 or 35 degrees in just a few minutes. Then the wind came up and it became quite dark, and an ice cold rain hit. In just a few minutes things started moving all over the place—tin cans, hay, straw, lumber, boards, stock tanks—and it kept getting worse. I threw myself on the ground and got something over my head and escaped the moving objects. I lay there for several minutes, I imagine. Then I looked up: and saw the cyclone. It was about a half mile to the east and it looked like it was coming toward me. Actually, it had already gone by; but I thought it was coming toward me, so I jumped in the cave and remained there for about five or six minutes until everything was quiet again. The cyclone had hit the ground about a mile and a half west and then swirled around in an east and northeasterly direction, passing between our home and that of our neighbors, the Wilsons. On its way the cyclone destroyed homes and barns and sheds. It had even destroyed some haystacks and sheds on our place and pulled a pump out of a well. Some of our property, which was pulled loose, was found a mile and a half east. One of the interesting things to me, as a boy at the time, was to walk along the path taken by the cyclone, where I found hundreds of boards that had been split and then driven into the ground at an angle. I had heard stories of cyclones driving lumber into telephone poles and trees. I saw a few of those, but the thing that will always linger in my memory was going across the big pastures and seeing those boards that had been split and then driven into the ground with great force.
This is enough of stories about accidents and near catastrophes. I think I will go on and tell you about my school days, some of them happy, some not, but that’s what I’m going to tell you about next.
                                                             School Days.

The school system in Arkansas City, Kansas, was a rather well thought-out plan. They had a First Ward school in the northeast part of the city; the Second Ward school was in the southeast part of the city; Third Ward school was southwest; and Fourth Ward school was in the northwest section. Located almost in the center of these various schools was the High School building. Later on when I was about ready to enter high school, they built what was then called a Manual Training building about a block from the Arkansas City High School.
Our home at 512 South B Street was only half a block from the Second Ward School. Logically, that was where I should have attended school. My mother thought that the teacher of the First grade at the First Ward was much the superior teacher, so there was nothing to do but attend the First Ward school. That required me to walk more than a mile each way; and for the life of me, I can’t tell you if that teacher was superior to the one at Second Ward or not. All the school buildings I have mentioned were two-story buildings constructed of brick and stone.
There was a certain ritual that we went through that may be followed by some schools today, but I doubt it. The school yards were divided into two playgrounds: one for the girls and one for the boys. The students were not allowed to enter the school when they arrived, but had to stay outside until the signal came for them to go in to class. One did not just walk into the building. We had to form a line, two abreast, and then someone with a great deal of musical talent would beat on a triangle; or if there was some young man who could play a snare drum with a good beat, we would march into the schoolhouse to our respective rooms and take our respective seats. Once we were seated, the teacher would usually have a song and a prayer and usually would read one chapter of a book, and by that time we were ready to start in with our studies.
The studies were the usual ones like geography, spelling, simple arithmetic, and so forth, and I don’t suppose there was anything unusual about those. At recess we would go out onto the playground: the boys to play games on their side and the girls to play on theirs. Then we would all come back in again and carry on with school until noon. The boys and girls who lived close by would go home for their meals; but many of the kids came in from the country and of course there was me. I lived too far away to go home for lunch so I had my lunch with me. The country kids and myself would sit around and eat our lunch bucket lunches; and then we would go outside and play marbles, and have a pretty good time, until the other kids would come back for the afternoon session.
Once a month we would have a fire drill. Without any notice beforehand there would be a whistle blown or some other prearranged signal, and we would all get up from our desks, go to the door, and form a line of twos. Then one room after another would follow each other out of the schoolhouse. It usually took four or five minutes to get out of the building. I’ve often wondered whether we would have stood there patiently, in columns of two, had there been a lot of smoke and flames or an explosion or two!
As I now remember, I attended the First Ward school for my first grade work. The next year I attended Second Ward school, and stayed there until I finished the sixth grade. I liked the Second Ward school best, I think, mainly because most of the boys I played with and the ones I knew best all attended the Second Ward, and my buddy for a good many years, Harry V. Howard, attended the school also. I mentioned in the beginning that the first thing I could remember was being lost and rescued by George Howard near the corner of Summit and Fifth Avenue, and George Howard being the father of Harry V. Howard, my lifelong friend.

Harry Howard lived almost directly across the street from our home at 512 South B Street, and he and I were inseparable. He was a little larger than me. His hair was blonde; mine was brown. His eyes were blue; mine brown. He had a black pet dog named “Nig.” I had a water spaniel named “Mac.” We had one wagon between us and a few other simple little toys; and for most of our enjoyment, we had to dream up games to play. Harry had a pretty fertile mind, and I wasn’t too far behind, so we had some glorious times.
There was a widow lady who lived in our neighborhood. She didn’t like boys; and by the same token, the boys didn’t like her. So Harry Howard and I got a couple of pieces of rope and inasmuch as the lady had only a front door and a back door (both of which opened into the house), it didn’t take much brains to figure out that if you tied a rope to the door knob of each door, and then to the porch post, we would have the lady pretty well barricaded and it would require her to crawl through a window to get out and go about her chores.
There was another prominent family which lived nearby. Harry and I thought they were a bit snooty as they were having a big wedding for their daughter and Harry and I hadn’t been invited. (We were only about seven or eight years of age at the time.) Our feelings were hurt! So, during the course of the wedding, we marched through the house with the cans of milk used by the milkman when he made deliveries, shouting “Milk” at the top of our lungs, and otherwise creating the same kind of a disturbance that boys can create when they really try.
The two of us dreamed up a new idea about the game of “Hide and Seek.” We took a boy, whom we didn’t like, and asked him to stand in a corner and count to 100 while we hid. While he was counting, Harry and I hooked a hose on the fire hydrant and turned it loose. It just about washed him away with the water splashing against him in that tight corner. In those days everyone who amounted to anything had a horse and buggy, a privy, and most of them had a cow. They, of course, were on the alley. It was just standard procedure to go out on Halloween and turn all the privies over; and of course, if there was a cow, it was thought good form to take the cow and put her in the schoolhouse or better yet, to put her up on the steeple if there was enough manpower to do it.
My parents always had a fine driving horse and they also kept a cow. One time our cow gave birth to twin calves, so Harry and I rigged up a set of harness and put it on those calves and hooked them to a little wooden wagon that I had. We went all over town with those calves running and jumping—and they really made a pretty good team. We also used this same wagon in conducting the first law violation that I can remember. A man by the name of Lytal ran a fruit store; and outside the store, he had a bunch of bananas hanging on a rope. Harry and I learned that by getting in this wagon of ours and building up a pretty good speed, we could sail by that stalk of bananas and usually grab one or two as we went by. We also learned to use swindle and fraud upon an older boy that we thoroughly disliked. His name was Harlan Nelson. He had the best snare drum in town and was a pretty good drummer. But he was quite snooty, so Harry and I would steal his precious drumsticks and hide them; and then would tell Harlan that if he cared to give us a dime or a quarter, or whatever we needed at that time, we would tell him where his drumsticks were. If there was no money forthcoming, there would be no drumsticks.

The Second Ward school, that I referred to, faced north on Madison Avenue at B Street. Madison Avenue ran east and west clear through Arkansas City. The bridge on the Arkansas River on the west side of the city and the bridge on the Walnut River on the east side of the city were on this Madison Avenue, which carried a lot of heavy traffic. In the early days there was a mule-drawn streetcar line in our city, and one of its branches ran east and west on Madison Avenue. About a mile east of the Second Ward school was the Walnut River, and just before crossing the river, there was a fine grove of trees. Each year they would have the Old Soldiers’ Reunion, and we little kids would go down and listen to Veterans of the Civil War tell of hair-raising experiences. It was quite interesting! The streetcar went to the grove, and people would be on the platform of the car, sitting on the edges and leaning out of the windows. The driver, whom we called “Charley,” was usually drunk—and no doubt many of his passengers were. When we got to the reunion, there was quite a carnival atmosphere.
Of course, there was a row of tents for the old soldiers, and there was a merry-go-round and games to play and fires going. The mayor would go down to speak; and on the big night, the Governor would come. There was lemonade and pop, and off to one corner there would be someone selling beer and whiskey, although it was against the law. But all in all, it was a great experience for a young boy.
At the corner of B Street and Madison Avenue, there was an electric arc light—most of the intersections had similar lights. The arc light was a lamp that had an electric current that arced between two pieces of carbon. It gave a pretty good light. It killed lots of bugs, and we could catch the toads that jumped out to get the bugs. It was a good meeting place for the kids to assemble and think up things to do. We would play “Run, Sheep, Run,” and have a few fist fights; and altogether, it was a great meeting place.

In those days the Santa Fe railroad did not use telephone service to call the various firemen, brakemen, engineers, and conductors, so, in order to notify the employees when they were ready to make a trip, they had what was known as “call boys.” Quite a few of these call boys rode ponies to deliver messages to these men that the railroad company wanted to get hold of, and some of the others used bicycles. Now Madison Avenue sloped to the east as it went by the Second Ward school, and the street was always dusty, and the boys who thought they were pretty good bicycle riders would start two blocks west of the school and would build up a pretty good speed by the time they got to the school. I remember one time I got to the corner of B Street and Madison Avenue. The sky was dark, and the other boys hadn’t shown up. As I was wondering what I could do to improve myself, I saw a call boy spinning down this grade heading toward the Santa Fe. I recognized him. He thought that he was quite a bicycle racer and a speed merchant. He built up his speed, and as he came by me, I reached down, got a handful of dirt and dust, and tossed it in his eyes. Well, in later years I was in aviation and I could do a pretty good snap-roll and a spin and a loop and a few other maneuvers, but I can honestly say that I never saw anyone who did acrobatics as good as this boy did there, soaring off into the darkness, riding that bicycle; but I can say this for him, he didn’t give up after he hit the ground and slid until his pants wore out. He got up and was ready for a fight. I knew he was ready for a fight and I knew if he ever caught me, he would kill me. I ran around the schoolhouse, figuring that maybe he would lose interest in chasing me around the school in the dark. But he didn’t lose interest, and around and around the schoolhouse we went. It seemed to me that I could just feel his hot breath on my neck and that I could almost feel his hand touch my back. I just dug in, and he just dug in, and we had a marathon around that building until we were both exhausted.
In those days I think boys had more fist fights than they do nowadays. Of course, in those days we didn’t have telephones, radios, televisions, pictures shows, or cars—and a good fist fight was entertainment for your friends and good exercise for the participants. Also, through the process of elimination, it determined who was “stud duck” of the school, and the boys fell into place a good deal like a regiment in a military place with the best fighter as colonel, then the lieutenant colonel, than his major, and that was the status you occupied by being a pugilist of sorts.
Our schools were never segregated, and we had lots of little colored boys and girls attending our school. One little fellow was tough as a boot. His name was Hobart Winchester. Later on he spent most of his life in penitentiaries; but then, when he was going to our school, he was as tough as a boot and would frequently come to school while in third or fourth grade, as drunk as a duke. I recall one time Hobart and Harry, my friend, were having a fight, and Hobart hit Harry in the pit of the stomach. Harry came over to me, pale as a ghost, pointing to his mouth. Finally it dawned on me that he had the wind knocked out of him, and that his stomach was partly paralyzed, so I gave him the first mouth-to-mouth resuscitation that had ever been seen on our playground.
There was another boy, named Earl Chadwell, who later became chief of police of Arkansas City. He was chunky and he was stout. He was speedy as well. Chadwell was one of our best fighters.
Then there was a boy by the name of Pinky Primm. Pinky was a great ice skater. He was very graceful and a very good skater. He was also very good with his fists.
Another boy was Milan Burch, who was a year or so older than the rest of us boys in the same grade. That makes quite a bit of difference when you’re a boy of eight or nine and another boy is ten or twelve. That is really a different world! I remember one time we were playing baseball. I think it was my turn to be the pitcher. Milan Burch came up and told me it was his turn to pitch, and for me to get out of the way. I protested that I had worked up from the outfield through the bases—it was my turn to pitch and I wanted to pitch. He told me that I had better get going or get lost. I was so furious that I hauled back and let loose a haymaker that caught Milan flush on the jaw, and he went down and out as cold as a fish. Now the proper thing for me to have done would have been to stand there as though I was ready to take on more gladiators; but somehow, when Burch hit the ground and passed out, the thought flashed through my mind, “I have decked the king, I have hit a man, and when he gets up he will kill me.” It frightened me so (to think that I had knocked down the champ) that I took to my heels and tore out.

It might have been a result of my fight (if you can call it that) with Milan Burch that brought on another fight with a boy by the name of Ed Wilkinson. Ed had been going to another school; but the class was too large (or something of that kind), and he was transferred to Second Ward. His folks ran a hotel and Ed was a nice chap, the same age, but more mature than the rest of us boys, having visited with many travelers. He was also taking boxing lessons from a professional pugilist named Frankie Adams. In those days every town had a boy who was the town pugilist or the town wrestler, and people would go to town to watch him perform. So the fact that Ed took lessons from such a person gave him a status of sort. Anyway, shortly after my affair with Milan Burch, Ed was transferred to Second Ward school, and one evening I was delivering milk. It was dark and I was walking along with a pail of milk to be delivered when a bicycle came up and Ed got off, and said in substance: “Now, Walker, I have been transferred to your school and I hear that you’re the toughest guy in this school. I was the toughest guy in my school and we may as well determine here and now who is the toughest guy in the Second Ward.”
Now the truth of the matter was that I wasn’t much of a fighter. I didn’t like to fight, and didn’t have too many fights with other boys; but the way Ed put it to me, I couldn’t see any other way except to fight. So I put down my milk can and took off my coat. He took off his coat and we started to fight. We would fight for ten or fifteen minutes; then, both exhausted, sit down for awhile and rest, and then we would start fighting again. Pretty soon, a neighbor lady who had heard the disturbance and had stood it as long as she could (or as long as she cared to) came out and put a stop to our fighting. Ed had a black eye and a few  bumps and lumps; but we decided it was a draw, and were friends thereafter for many years until we became fraternity brothers.
I said a little while ago that I had been delivering milk and that needs a little explanation. In this day and age, parents give their kids an allowance. Usually the kids do nothing: it’s just money that the kids sap off their parents.
But in those days, I had to make my own way and there was no allowance. I had to make my own money to buy my shoes, clothes, and school books, entertainment, and so forth. I always had (ever since I started in grade school and until I got ready to go to college) cows to milk, and then had to sell the milk, butter, or buttermilk. This was my one source of income. About the time I was going to Second Ward school, I bought a milk cow. She cost about $60, which was a tremendous price in those days. I made a deal to sell a gallon of milk a day to the Robertson Sanitarium, located at the corner of Summit Street and Chestnut Avenue. It had originally been constructed and known as the Gladstone Hotel; but the hotel had gone broke, and in those years was being operated as a sanitarium. Old Doc Robertson paid me 20 cents a gallon to deliver a gallon of milk each day.
Robertson had lots of people in the sanitarium, but I guess he was a kind of a faker. He would tell people that he would get rid of their gallstones. He had some knack of feeding them some kind of food, which would form some kind of little marbles in the intestines, then give them a big dose of his seven secret oils. The marbles would run out and he would say, “Well now I’ve eliminated your gallstones. Now you go home and you will feel much better,” and he sent away many satisfied customers.

I recall one summer my parents, my sister, and I went to Colorado and spent a little while at Manitou Springs. In order to make some spending money there, I would work nights in the mineral springs. I had a long wire bent so as to hold several glasses; and I would get down where it was damp and dip those several glasses into the water, set them out on the counter, and various people would drink the water. Sometimes I would get a tip of a nickel or a dime. Then in the daytime I would sell popcorn. I would buy popcorn, and then go out where the people were listening to the band concert, and sell the popcorn. That was pretty good money. But the best thing that happened to me was one evening when I was walking along the street in Manitou and saw a brass object. I picked it up and discovered that it was the hubcap off of one of the early day automobiles. Next day in the daylight, I walked up and down the street keeping my eyes peeled for a car without a hubcap: and pretty soon I found it. I waited for the owner, told him I had found his hubcap, and he was very happy. I remember distinctly that he gave me a half dollar, and my friends, that was quite a bit of money in those days. So between my work at the springs in the evening and selling popcorn, and finding a hubcap, I did very well financially.
School punishment was a different idea in those days. Up until the sixth grade, I recall if I violated some of the things that I should not do, the teachers would make me remain after school and write sentences on the blackboard or make me do some extra work; and occasionally, they would spank me. Sometimes they would pound on a student’s hand with a ruler; and once in awhile, they would use a switch on a student while that person was standing up.

We had to go back to First Ward School to take our seventh and eight grade work. In one of those grades there was a teacher by the name of Elizabeth Fitzgerald. She must have been about six feet, three or four inches tall, a farm girl, and strong as an ox. She wasn’t fat, just a powerfully built woman, and she had an idea of punishment that really put the fear of God in most of her pupils. If you violated any of her rules or regulations, she would either chastise you on the spot, or she would keep you after school and chastise you then. The chastisement for the boys was like this: she would sit you down in a chair, put your hands behind you, and then take a long switch and whip you across your legs. (This teacher could have used a bullwhip to drive a team of oxen across the mountains!) Well, I guess the two boys who caused the most trouble were Ed Wilkinson and I. Ed would be punished two or three times a week. It seemed to me that he was getting to be quite popular as far as breaking rules and regulations, and he took his punishment without shedding a tear. I became jealous of him and the more I thought about it, I decided that I would get more whippings a week than Ed and see if I couldn’t dislodge him as the idol of the class. So, the first time Miss Fitzgerald whipped me, I couldn’t walk for several days. I decided that I would buy me a pair of corduroy pants, since they were of a little tougher material, and I wouldn’t be able to feel that switch. So I bought the corduroy pants and I got another whipping, and my legs were just a mass of bruises. So I decided I would wear heavy underwear on the days I was going to violate her instructions, and maybe that would absorb some of the punishment. So I put on my heavy underwear (even though the day was as hot as could be) and my heavy corduroy pants; but she flayed me, and again my legs were just cut to pieces. Then I hit on the idea of rolling up a handkerchief, and stuck that between my underwear and my legs. Even that protection didn’t help! I then took a ruler about a foot long, and put it under the handkerchief, underwear, and corduroy pants. By this time Ed was getting about four whippings a week. That meant that I would have to get one every day, and on some days two whippings—and my body was giving out. So, in desperation, I finally took my little paint box. (We used to have a little tin box about a foot long and a couple of inches wide with a bunch of tiny dabs of paint in little tin containers as well as a little brush with which we would water paint.) I shoved that paint box under my underwear to absorb some of the blow. Elizabeth Fitzgerald hauled off and started hitting me. That doggoned paint box started reverberating and the little paint tins began rattling around. She was a pretty smart girl and knew what was going on. She made me stand up, and she started working on the other end.
This happened many years ago, but I’m telling you now that Elizabeth Fitzgerald was the “swingingest” woman I have ever met before or since! She was a wonderful person and an excellent teacher.
Part of one year I went to country school in Labette County, Kansas, in a typical one-room country school. One teacher taught all the classes. Well, I wanted action of some kind. I looked around and noticed that outside the schoolhouse was the coal house. In it was kept the coal for the coal-burning stove that heated the schoolhouse. There was a bin that had corn cobs, and another bin that contained kindling with which to get the fire started before the coal was poured on. I found that a person could break a ten- or twelve-inch cob in two and make a wonderful thing to throw at somebody; and if you hit them, you didn’t injure them seriously: it just stunned them a bit! I got the boys together and said, “Why don’t we have a cob fight?” It seemed like a good idea, so we chose up sides, got the corn cobs, and when we would see a head come up from behind the schoolhouse, we would throw a cob at it and had great sport! The only trouble was that the teacher had to come there in the mornings in order to get the fire started—and she wasn’t a bit pleased with this game—so it was that “Brother Walker” had to stay late that evening and walk all over that school ground, pick up everyone of those cobs, and put them back in that coal shed. Well, that was bad enough, but when I got home, it was just beginning to get dark. We hadn’t taken a cow over to Labette County, so I had to walk about a mile, as I recall, to get milk and bring it home. My parents put the pennies and a nickel in a tin can, and sent me down this dark road to go and get the milk and lug it back home. As I walked down this dusty road, I heard coming toward me six or eight boys on horseback. They were the young bucks—the swingers of that day—and of course their transportation of that day was horses. I thought I’d have some fun, so I hid in the center of the road, covering the tin milk bucket with my body. Well, just as things would have it, the riders stopped about twenty feet from me for one of the boys to roll a cigarette. (In those days they didn’t have tailor mades!) The boys were talking to one another as the boy lighted up. I raised up out of that road, let out a bloody, ear piercing Indian war whoop, and shook that bucket with the coins in it. Those horses reared up on their hind legs and jumped around; and there were boys thrown around from their saddles, horses running away, and altogether, utter confusion. Some of those who had been thrown off their horses were not too happy about the situation. They decided to do something about it, and took after me. I took off across the field with the coins shaking in the milk bucket, which was a dead giveaway. I quickly figured that out, so I gave the milk bucket a big heave. They kept on running after me. I, too, kept on running. When I reached the timber, I laid down and hid. Later on when I got back home with no milk, no money, and no bucket, I got a whipping. All in all, it had been a bad day at Black Rock for “Brother Walker!”

During those years that we didn’t have any athletic directors at the small schools, we would play football out in the street. We played baseball in a vacant lot. Finally, we read in a magazine about organizing what was called “The Sons of Daniel Boone,” a sort of forerunner of the Boy Scouts. So we organized “The Sons of Daniel Boone” in someone’s barn. We elected officers and sent off money to get our Indian costumes. We got by-laws and our constitution and other books and paraphernalia, and we went out and learned to track a horse through mud and dust. We didn’t have any deer to track; but we found a cow and tracked her cloven hoofs all over, and had great sport with our “Sons of Daniel Boone.” About that time they came forth with the American Boy Scouts. We thought that would be a good idea, so we got a scoutmaster, mailed our money in, got our uniforms, and started in with the “American Boy Scouts” work.
It was only three or four months later that we found out that there had been a great contest between the two groups: “The American Boy Scouts” and “The Boy Scouts of America,” the present scouting organization. They ruled that “The American Boy Scouts” was an illegal organization, and that our uniforms were irregular and not in keeping. We had to change over to “The Boy Scouts of America,” and had to buy all new uniforms and paraphernalia. By this time I was getting too old to continue that kind of thing. For many years I tucked away in my closet my “Sons of Daniel Boone” uniform, my “American Boy Scouts” uniform, and my “Boy Scouts of America” uniform. My mother would say, “Get these things out of here, or let me give them away or something.” I would say to her, “No, someday I might want to use them.” Finally, the moths ate them up, and that was the end of my first fraternal work.
                                                         High School Days.
Three years of my high school work was at Arkansas City, Kansas; but one year, 1914, I attended the Conway Springs, Kansas, high school. As I look back, my high school years were very happy. My schedule at Arkansas City was as follows.
Each morning at 4:30 a.m., I had to arise, go find the cows in the pasture, drive them to the barn, milk them, bring the milk to the house, run it through the cream separator, and have that done before breakfast. Then I’d change my clothes to be ready to catch the interurban car, which went by our house, southbound, at 6:30 a.m. I’d arrive at Arkansas City about a quarter to seven, usually with milk, cream, or butter to deliver; then I would report at the Lesem’s store. I think it was better known as Lesem’s Ladies’ Ready-to-wear Store. It was at the corner of Washington Avenue and Summit Street. I would proceed to sweep the entire store (balcony, main floor, and basement). I’d be through in time for my classes at high school. At about 11 or 11:30 a.m., I’d get through with the school work, and would ride down to the Santa Fe yards and interview men to get material, for which I wrote a column for the local paper, the Arkansas City Daily Traveler, known as the “Santa Fe Notes.” I would usually get it done just before 1:30 p.m.. and return to high school for my afternoon classes. When I got out just before 4:00 p.m., as I now recall, I would return to the Lesem store, and make deliveries of ladies’ hats, dresses, and other clothing to various parts of the city. This would be done on my bicycle, and about 5:45 p.m., I would catch the interurban back to our home. Again, I would change my clothes, milk the cows, separate the cream and milk, and start in on my studies, getting things in shape for the following day. The Lesem’s paid me $4 per week; and I usually made about $3 or $4 from my newspaper work; and perhaps the same amount from the sale of butter and cream. It was with that money that I was able to buy my books, school clothes, some entertainment; and also save some money as I went along.

At Arkansas City I didn’t have time to go out for football; but I did take part in other activities and won medals and cups for extemporaneous speaking, was president of my class, and helped put out the high school annual. I was speaker at the Junior-Senior banquet and things of that sort. I pulled some dandy boneheads when I was in high school. One of them occurred when getting out the annual. I suppose the printing bill for putting out the annual would usually be about $1,000. When I became editor of the annual, I went to Wichita to see what they would charge to print it as compared to what it would cost in Arkansas City. I found that they would do it cheaper, so I told them that we would give them the work. When I came back and announced that we were giving the printing work to the Wichita publishing company, you would have thought that I had started the American Revolution! The local newspapers got hold of the school board and jumped on them, and the school board jumped on the teachers. The teachers got me, and jumped on me, with the result that I had to cancel the contract with the Wichita company and give it to the company in Arkansas City, which I should have had enough sense to give it to in the first place. Also, along in the spring of the year, I was either head of the junior or senior class—I’ve forgotten now which it was—we decided to have a strike! The entire class went on strike one afternoon. We went down to what was known as Paris Park, and to make the strike real classy, we decided to call the photographer down and have him take our picture. He took a picture of about 100 of us kids striking and developed the picture. The school board got hold of it, and knew the name of each striker. All they had to do was look at the picture and call us in, one by one, and give us our walking papers.
The year that I spent in high school at Conway Springs, I went out for the baseball team, and won a letter playing baseball for Conway Springs, There was one incident that occurred at Conway Springs that will always linger in my mind. The high school building was out at the very edge of town, and one evening after I was coming back from a picture show, I realized I had to get some studying done for the coming day, and that I had left my books at the school. So I walked out to the school, and of course the doors were locked. I decided that I would go up the fire escape, get in the schoolroom, and get my books. So I went up the fire escape, opened the window, and started to step in, when I found (standing in the dark and looking at me), the biggest, meanest, most ferocious looking man that I have ever seen, before or since. I don’t know who he was or where he came from or what he was there for, but he scared the very gizzard out of me. I went sliding down that fire escape and that was the end of my attempt to study that evening.

Of course, at Conway Springs we had to have a cow. So I took my cow that I had my worldly goods invested in over to Conway Springs to use as a milk cow. Sometime during that year of either 1914 or 1915, the hoof and mouth disease started spreading in the southern part of the United States and moved up into and eventually through Kansas. When we got word that the hoof and mouth disease was headed towards Conway Springs, my parents thought that I had better get the cow back to Arkansas City in order that it might perhaps escape getting ill and dying. I don’t know the exact distance from Arkansas City to Conway Springs, but it must be 60 or 70 miles. The only way for me to get that cow to Arkansas City was to lead her. So I started out early one morning (about 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m.) and by about 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon, that cow was completely worn out. She would take three or four steps and then just lie down. I had a little pocket knife and after she had lain there for a few minutes, I would kind of jab her with the pocket knife and get her up, and we would walk a little further. Finally we reached a little farm house, and the cow collapsed. I went into the house, and explained to the lady there what my difficulty was, and asked if I could stay there that night, that I was perfectly willing to sleep in the barn or anywhere. She said her husband would be home in a little bit and when he came, I discovered he was deaf and dumb. She carried on a conversation as an interpreter with her husband, who said he would be glad for me to stay, so we went out and got the cow up and put her in the barn. The house in which they resided was a little four-room country house consisting of a kitchen, sitting room, and two bedrooms. A little after 4:00 p.m., the children started coming home from school. There must have been nine or ten children. All told, there was the man and his wife, the nine or ten kids, and myself. After supper the deaf and dumb man and I played a game of checkers, and that was quite an experience for me. I slept in a bedroom with three or four other boys, and next morning about 5:00 a.m., everyone was up and I ate breakfast and started on my way to Arkansas City. That day the cow got about as far as Geuda Springs, when she gave out again. I left her at a farm and telephoned some people, who got me at Geuda Springs, and took me to stay with them that night. The next day I went and got my cow, and took her on home to Arkansas City.
I should have graduated from Arkansas City High School with the class of 1916; but in about my second year of high school, for some reason, my mother thought my health was bad and that I looked bad, so she insisted that I stay out of school for a year on the farm and rest up. I think all that was wrong with me was that I was working too hard. Anyway, I dropped out of school and lost a year, which made me a year late in graduating. I remember very well that, during the winter when I was staying alone in the big farm house north of Arkansas City, my sister had graduated and was teaching school out in Western Kansas, and my parents were in Conway Springs. It was pretty lonesome around the big house.
In those days you could buy a postcard for a penny, and mother would buy 100 postal cards at a time. One day I was looking through a “Popular Mechanics” magazine, and there were many advertisements where they said to send a postal card and they would send you a catalog or a free gift or a chance to make a million dollars, and so forth. I had nothing else to do so I answered a hundred ads with Mother’s postal cards. Now we were on a rural route and had one of the big, old-fashioned country mailboxes; but in about two weeks, there was so much correspondence coming that it couldn’t be put in the box by our postman. We got fish lures, articles on how to make cider, how to make your curly hair straight, how to make your straight hair curly, how to get rid of gall stones, how to raise Shetland ponies and collie dogs and make a fortune, how to burn wood. how to raise mushrooms, and I don’t know what all else. I do recall that about that time my mother came home and she couldn’t get her hand in the mailbox with all the free samples and stuff to sell. One outfit sent 100 little hearts with perfume inside; I was to go around and sell these. Mother couldn’t get into the mailbox and her 100 postal cards were gone. I was very unpopular with Mother for some time.

When I was in high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as my life’s work, but I kind of thought I wanted to be a writer. I remember one time when I was in high school, I was invited to speak to the Chamber of Commerce. When I finished. a man by the name of Harry Collinson came up and said, “That was a good speech, Arthur. You should be a lawyer.” I had never thought about being a lawyer, and his remark didn’t make me change my mind about journalism; but it was the seed that was planted, and was one of the things that some years later motivated me to go into the law practice. To this day, it reminds me that we should be careful in what we say to young boys and girls because frequently I have had people come to me and tell me that years ago, I had told them to do something that succeeded or didn’t succeed, and many times I had forgotten that I had given them such advice. Be that as it may, a young boy or girl frequently takes words of advice (or just a conversation about some matter) deep into their heart and it will affect, or sometimes change, their entire life. I know the remark that Mr. Collinson made to me did, later on, change mine.
                                                            College Days.
I think for the average boy or girl, college days are the most pleasant days of their lives. There is excitement, adventure, and romance. When you are in college, you have all the answers, and you have the theories that are going to revolutionize the world!
A wise man once said that a theory is like a beautiful train that rides the rails of life exceedingly well until it hits the curve of experience.
When you are in college, your mind and your body are young; and you meet a new girl or a new boy. You go to new colleges and get new visions and new ideals and the world is, indeed, your oyster.
I think that my college years were some of the most pleasant of my life; and though I had many ups and downs, I am going to tell you about some of them.
I graduated from the Arkansas City High School in the spring of 1917; and in the summer of that year my sister, Verna, and I went to the University of Wisconsin. She took a summer course in music and some other subjects. I took a course in journalism, for at that time, I was still determined that I wanted to be a writer. In the fall of 1917, I didn’t have the money to go to college immediately; and Mr. Albert Denton, the president of the Home National Bank, asked me if I would like to go to work in the bank. So I started working in the Home National Bank as a teller. Now the average bank teller, at the close of his day’s work, usually has not more than one account to balance, and that is the amount of checks he has taken in and the amount of cash he has paid out. But I had a cage where I had twelve or thirteen accounts to balance every night. At my station we cashed checks and also took in the savings accounts. There was a Christmas savings account and we sold Liberty Bonds. I also handled the drafts and the collections and what not. I never was too good at figures so it took me quite awhile every evening to balance the books. The pay I was receiving was $40 a month, which was adequate pay for that time. However, I observed that bank workers who had been there for years and years, were only receiving $75 or $80 a month. I couldn’t see much future in the banking business unless one was rich and owned part of the bank.

Two events that happened while I was at this job helped me decide that I wasn’t cut out for the banking business. The first incident should have been humorous. One noon hour while I was out to lunch, someone came into my cage and accepted a deposit and opened what I thought to be a new account. The name of the new depositor looked to me like it was Goldie Tuffin. So I opened an account for Goldie Tuffin and about the first of the next month, another deposit came in for Goldie Tuffin and I put it in her account. Goldie didn’t seem to write many checks, and her account was growing very nicely, until one day there was a wail of anguish in the lobby of the bank! Mr. G. Alden Griffin was shouting to high heaven that there was some dirty work at the crossroads, some embezzlement, robbery, and highjacking. When the sparks stopped shooting and everyone had calmed down a bit, they all came back to brother Walker’s little cage, where we finally discovered that the money that G. Alden Griffin had been sending in for deposit, I had very carefully credited to Goldie Tuffin. Ordinarily, you would have gotten a chuckle; but G. Alden Griffin was highly insulted, and people looked at me with a considerable amount of disgust.
The other incident was connected with the Arkansas City Milling Company shipping a load of flour to one of their best and most trusted customers in South America. It was just before closing time when one of the milling company officials came back to my cage, left a bill with a sight draft attached, which I was to prepare and send on to a South American bank. Now there was a little place where you could make a check mark with a pen or pencil, which indicated whether the party in South America could unload the flour and make payment later in the usual run of events, or whether payment had to be made in ten days after the flour was unloaded, or whether you wanted payment made in full before an ounce of that flour was off the ship. I gave the matter serious consideration, and decided that the best way to protect the Arkansas City Milling Company, was to fill in the blank which required the purchaser to pay everything in full and in cash before the flour was unloaded. That’s exactly what occurred when the flour reached South America, and that’s what made that long-time customer quit the Arkansas City Milling Company, and that’s what made the Milling Company claim they were going to quit the Home National Bank. Well, I never got fired from the bank (and I could be there yet, I suppose); but around the first of the year, I had saved a little money, and I was ready to head for college, and off I went to the College of Emporia at Emporia, Kansas.
The College of Emporia was a Presbyterian school and, at that time, had less than a thousand students. I got there about the time basketball season got underway and, not having any chores to do, I went out for basketball, made the team, and had a number of enjoyable trips around the state playing other schools like Baker, Southwestern, Fairmount, St. Mary’s, Friends, and others. I rented a room in a private home about a half mile south of the State Teachers College. Of course, I walked to my college, and wouldn’t eat any breakfast. I would attend classes until noon, at which time I would walk downtown to the office of the Emporia Gazette, get a bite of lunch, and work on William Allen White’s newspaper for a couple of hours each day. In fact, I was taking journalism at the College of Emporia, and practicing the trade on the Emporia Gazette.

I had met William Allen White shortly after I arrived in Emporia, and I found him to be the fine, kindly man that he is known to be throughout the world. Of course, I became friendly with his family—young Bill and sister Mary, who was later killed in a riding accident, and William Allen White’s wonderful wife, Mrs. Mary White. I became a sort of sports editor for the Gazette, and would cover the basketball games and other sports activities of the college as well as the State Teachers College, which was a larger institution located nearby. The Gazette paid me so much an inch. I don’t really remember now, but I think it amounted to about a dollar a column. At the end of the week, I would take out the columns I had written, paste them in a long strip, take the strip in and get paid. That was my main source of income at Emporia.
While working for the Gazette, I was fortunate enough to meet Walt Mason, who at that time was the best known poet in the United States. His poems were syndicated throughout the entire country in newspapers. Mr. Mason took a liking to me, and wanted to know if I would like to be his chauffeur. I said I would, so he told me to come and move into his home. He had a beautiful home, and he fixed up the third floor for me. I moved in there and chauffeured his car. The car was an air-cooled Franklin.
One day he got his wife and their adopted daughter, Mary, in the car and told me to drive to some town that was twenty-five or thirty miles away. I think we’d gone about eight or ten miles on the journey, when suddenly the Franklin car stopped dead still, and I couldn’t get it started. Walt Mason didn’t know what was wrong, and I’m sure I didn’t; but I lifted up the hood and started looking. Pretty soon I found a little gasoline line that evidently had vibrated in two, so I got the ends together, took some adhesive tape, and wrapped them up. The car started and we made the trip without further incident. Walt Mason thought that was simply wonderful, and I recall that he paid me $4.
In those days the College of Emporia had a rather religious atmosphere. Of course, it was a Presbyterian college, and we had chapel service every morning at 10:30 a.m., when all the students assembled in the chapel room. The chancellor or president of the school (I believe he was called that then) would read a prayer, then some of the Scriptures, and deliver a lecture for perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes. It was rather a solemn affair. I well recall that at about the first one I attended, an incident occurred that aroused my admiration for the unknown person who had figured it out.
(Those of you who use alarm clocks that are not electric, are no doubt aware that on the back of the clock, there is a key that has to be turned around and around in order to wind the alarm, and of course when the alarm goes off, that key unwinds.) It seems that one of the senior students had taken an alarm clock and set it to go off at about 10:30 a.m., which would be about the time that the president would be in the midst of his prayer. This ingenious student placed the alarm clock up on the beams running from one side of the auditorium to the other, and had fixed a device so that when the alarm went off and the key turned, it would pull a string, which in turn would pull over a deck of playing cards, which fluttered down through the air and settled among the student body. I thought it was rather a clever idea because it went off with such precision that the ace of spades gently turned and twisted and finally landed in my lap. It was an incident that I would have been proud to have taken part in, but I assure you that I had nothing to do with it.

When school was out in the spring, Walt Mason asked me if I would like to go out to Colorado, and spend the summer chauffeuring for him at their home and around Estes Park in Colorado. I said I would. So we went to Topeka, Kansas, where there was an agency for his automobile. First of all, I discussed with the head mechanic what different ailments might arise during the summer season. He said the main thing to watch out for was the distributor. There was a little rachet that frequently would wear smooth and the distributor wouldn’t turn. So I said, “Well, give me one or two of those extra parts.” With some other advice he gave me, we started off merrily for Estes Park. Mrs. Mason was inclined to be a bit snooty. She really had no background that would justify it, but she insisted that I wear a uniform. So Walt Mason bought me a khaki uniform with a jaunty little cap that made me look like a chauffeur. It didn’t hurt my feelings any because I was short of clothes anyhow.
I well remember the first day when we left Emporia. There was a strong south wind and we got into Russell, Kansas, along in the evening. The Masons had friends there and we remained in Russell the first night. The south wind made that Franklin car very difficult to steer. It was a light car and illy balanced. You had to fight to keep the thing in the road and, of course in those days, the roads were dirt with a high crown in the middle. That evening in Russell my shoulders were so sore I could scarcely get to sleep. We got on to Estes Park without any incidents. The Masons had a very nice comfortable home there with a nice yard with the garage at the rear of the yard. One end of the garage was fixed up with a little room that was to be mine for the summer. I really enjoyed that summer. In the mornings I’d usually wash and polish the car while Walt Mason would walk down from the cottage to the postoffice, get his mail, come back, and then work a couple of hours getting out his daily poem. Then in the afternoon they would have me take them for a drive to the various nice places in Estes Park. On Sundays, particularly, we would drive someplace to one of the hotels and have a fine dinner.
The Masons were good to me and treated me as one of the family. Through them I met some interesting people that summer. I remember George Matthews Adams, who owned the syndicate that bought and distributed Walt Mason’s poems. He came out and spent some time in Estes Park and became so attached to it that he bought a lot and said that later on he intended to build a home there. Whether he did or not, I do not recall. Then William Allen White had a very fine and comfortable home up near Moraine Park, eight or ten miles from the Masons. We would drive over to the White’s frequently. Senator Arthur Capper came out and visited in Estes Park quite a while that summer and frequently I chauffeured Senator Capper, Walt Mason, and William Allen White around and they were three most interesting gentlemen. I remember one day I was chauffeuring those three gentlemen along one of the mountain roads when the Franklin car stopped dead still. I got out and looked, and this time there was no broken gasoline line. I could find nothing wrong. It was then that I remembered what the mechanic in Topeka had told me and about the little fishhook gadget I had bought to turn the distributor. I took off the old part of the distributor and inserted the new part. The car functioned perfectly, and away we went. I couldn’t help but hear Wal Mason in the back seat telling Senator Capper, “That young man is the finest mechanic and the best driver I ever had.” If he had only known that if there was anything else in God’s world had happened to that car, we would all have been sitting in Estes Park yet.
William Allen White had a son, Bill. He was about my age and we became very good friends that summer. We climbed Long’s Peak together and took numerous automobile trips together. I recall one time Bill was going to take the family (his mother and father and sister) and some friends to join him in a drive down Devil’s Canyon, which at that time was considered a rather dangerous drive as it was a very narrow, winding, treacherous mountain road. William Allen White said it was just fine for the rest of the family to make that trip but he commented, “I think I’d better stay at home for seed, just in case the rest of the Whites do not return.”

I recall another humorous remark he made many years later. It was following World War II while Maybin and I were driving through Emporia late one afternoon. I said, “Maybin, let’s swing by the White home. I’d like to say hello to Mr. and Mrs. White.” We expected to be there for just a moment, but they persuaded us to stay for supper and they showed us around their home and the yard, and pointed out a couple of stone angels on the front porch. Now these stone figures were about four and one-half feet tall, and Mr. White explained that they had formerly been on the roof of the House of Commons. During the bombing by the Germans during the war, they had become loosened and some had fallen off. The remaining ones had been removed and put in a room in the House of Commons. When Mr. White had been on a trip to England, he had been shown this room full of the figures of the angels and he remarked that if the British Government ever decided that they wanted to dispose of them, he would like to have a couple. They made no promises, but a couple of months later two of them arrived at the White’s home. He was very proud of them for they were unusual, attractive figures. I asked him why he had asked for two. He answered, “Well, Mrs. White and I are getting on in years. I thought if we got a little boy angel and a little girl angel, maybe they could raise some angels for the White home.”
                                                 My First Military Training.
Although I should have been happy chauffeuring Mr. Mason’s automobile in Estes Park in the summer of 1918, I was unhappy about one thing: my inability to get into the army. World War I was coming to a climax as far as this country was concerned in 1918, and I wanted to be a part of it. I had tried to get into the National Guard, but couldn’t get my parents’ consent and I had tried to get into the balloon school at Omaha, Nebraska, which would be somewhat close to aviation activities, but I was unsuccessful. My shoulder and collarbone had not entirely healed because the doctor had left a screw in the wound when he had removed a silverplate almost three years before. So when I was at Estes Park, I went down to Denver and signed up for the draft, thinking maybe I would be drafted. When that didn’t occur, I joined the Colorado National Guard and started summer training with one of their units which was stationed at Estes Park. Although this period of training was relatively short, I learned something about squads right and left and company management and how to do the manual of arms and other basic things that every soldier has to learn. That was good because later on it started me on the road to get a commission, which I failed to get because of the conclusion of World War One.
About September 1918 the Masons had me drive them from Estes Park back to Emporia and we said goodbye. I set about finding out how I could get into the army. I learned of a program called the “Student’s Army Training Corps,” that had been set up for students who could theoretically take military training and at the same time attend college. I learned that those who showed any particular desire and aptitude could be sent to Camp Sheridan in Illinois for 90 days officer training and receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the army. Well, it seemed to me that was the best avenue I could work out so I checked at Kansas University and didn’t like the situation there and I came down to Southwestern College at Winfield, Kansas. They had a first lieutenant and a couple of new second lieutenants trying to handle a company of about 120 young men. I had had some experience and could act as a sergeant.

So they fixed an opening and I started training and drilling with men and in the meantime I played football for Southwestern College. About the first week of November 1918 my name was sent on to Camp Sheridan, Illinois, as a candidate for training for an officer’s commission. As you know, the war ended November 11, 1918, and I didn’t get a chance to proceed to Camp Sheridan for officer’s training. It was one of the great disappointments of my life that I didn’t get overseas and it might be interesting to know that the night I had received word that the armistice had been signed and the war was over, I lay on my bunk and cried because they had been able to get the job done without my assistance.
During the time that I was at Southwestern, I recall a few incidents that I probably should mention. The first one was the fact that the men in the barracks had to walk a couple of miles to buy cigarettes and candy. A friend of mine suggested that we set up a little canteen and sell cigarettes and candy which we would buy at wholesale and maybe earn a little spending money. At that time we could buy candy bars for two cents and sell them for a nickel. I’ve forgotten the price of cigarettes. Anyway, we were able to double our money. Off that canteen, we made enough spending money to get by.
The other incident that lingers in my mind was the terrible flue epidemic of 1918. Out of about 120 men, I think myself and three others were the only ones who escaped having the flu. I remember the men started getting quite ill, and were separated. Some were taken to hospitals, some were taken to another barracks, and about fifty were left in the large room that I occupied. For want of something better to do to help the sick, I remembered that my mother had said to take coal oil and mix it with lard and rub it on the chest of a person who had a bad cold and keep him covered with a woolen cloth. So that was the treatment I gave to some fifty men. It was probably purely a coincidence; but those men that I treated in such a manner recovered. None of them died. Sixty other men were taken elsewhere—good, strong husky lads—and at least three of them died with the flu.
                                   My Experience as an Automobile Mechanic.
At the conclusion of World War I, there was no reason for me to remain longer at Southwestern College and I didn’t have the money to go to a large university and continue my training in journalism, so I looked around for a job to make some money during the second semester in order that I might start to school in the fall of 1919.
I found a job at the Hill-Howard Motor Company at Arkansas City as a mechanic. Hill-Howard had the agency for the Haines, Studebaker, and Maxwell cars (and maybe some others), but those were the main ones that they sold and that we worked upon as mechanics. I was the lowest man on the totem pole and was making $10 per week while the experienced head mechanics were making $25 a week.
But it was a valuable experience and training, and I learned a great deal about the repair of cars and what made them tick. That experience gained at Hill-Howard with automobiles served me well later on in the Air Force flying airplanes.

I had one interesting experience that I shall always remember while working for Hill-Howard. It seems that they had sold a Studebaker roadster to an oil field worker who had moved from Kansas to Muskogee, Oklahoma, and he had not only got behind in his payments but simply refused to send any payments at all. So Mr. Howard suggested that Louie Repenhagen, assistant foreman at the shop, and myself should go down to Muskogee and get the Studebaker car, willingly if we could, and if we could not, to get it replevined and bring it home.
The Hill-Howard garage had a Studebaker pickup which had a big six cylinder engine and the body was useful in carrying parts, tools, and so forth. Louie Repenhagen said that the springs were so stout that if we were going to drive to Muskogee, he wanted to put a bunch of bricks in the back to make it better balanced. So he put perhaps a hundred bricks in the back of the pickup. One morning I put on some old clothes and crawled into the Studebaker pickup with Louie driving, and we started out for Muskogee, Oklahoma.
You will, no doubt, be surprised to know that at that time all the roads were dirt roads and many of the streams and rivers had to be forded to travel in this part of the country. Repenhagen was a wild and reckless driver, and we hadn’t gone more than twenty miles when, going around a blind curve at 60 or 70 miles an hour, we met a party coming from the opposite direction. We had to plow out onto a field to avoid a head-on collision. The ground was so rough and bumpy that that Studebaker pickup started jumping up and down and throwing those bricks in the air. They came down on the cab in which I was riding and about scared me to death. At any rate, Repenhagen got the pickup back on the road and again we were headed toward Tulsa when again he was headed around a curve driving with the thing wide open, and the car skidded off into the ditch and snapped one of the front axles. Louie left me in the truck and caught a ride into Tulsa and got a new front axle. It was the wrong size, but we jacked up the front of the pickup, put on the axle that was the wrong size, filed it down, put the threads on, got the front wheel on, and were able to proceed on to Tulsa by the end of the first day.
We stayed at the Hotel Tulsa that night. At that time this hotel was quite an elaborate place and my eyes bugged out to see how the other half lived. The next day we reached Muskogee and found the address of this oil field worker who had the Studebaker car. We went to the house and found that the man was away at work, but his wife was a home. She was a large, heavy-set, red-faced woman. When we told her we had come to pick up the Studebaker roadster, she reached around the door, got a shotgun, and looked right at me. There I stood, wearing an army uniform. I shall never forget her statement to me. “Young man, you may have been in France, you may have been in Germany but, young man, you will be in hell if you even touch that Studebaker roadster.” Something about her attitude seemed to convince both Repenhagen and me that she wasn’t happy that we had paid her a visit.
So we went back down town in Muskogee, got a room at a rooming house, and Repenhagen went over to Western Union and sent a telegram to Hill-Howard in Arkansas City to tell them we had arrived in Muskogee, had gone out and made a demand for the car, and the lady had refused to give the car over to us. He asked for instructions as to what we should do next.

The next day we waited for a telegram from Mr. Howard and none came, so we spent a second night in Muskogee. The third day we went to the telegraph office. Still no reply. We spent the third night in Muskogee and went back to the telegraph office early in the morning of the fourth day and still they had no reply. Repenhagen insisted that they see what had happened to his wire and they found that through some mistake his telegram had never been sent. It was lying in one of the various baskets. They speedily got the message off to the Hill-Howard company. Later on that day we got word to remain there and that Mr. Albert Faulconer, a lawyer from Arkansas City who did the work for Hill-Howard, was on his way to Muskogee to institute a replevin proceeding to gain possession of the Studebaker car. The next day Mr. Faulconer arrived. He got in touch with a lawyer in Muskogee and together they filed a replevin suit. We waited twenty-four hours. The oil man and his wife failed to put up a re-delivery bond, and the sheriff said to go ahead and take the Studebaker roadster. With the sheriff standing by to see that I didn’t get killed, I bravely got into the Studebaker and pushed the starter. Nothing happened!
I went around, lifted up the hood, and lo and behold, there was no engine in that Studebaker roadster! That man had taken that engine out at some time and there was only a great big vacancy under that hood. Of course, our plan had been that Repenhagen and I would drive down in the truck, we would get the Studebaker roadster, and I would drive it back following Repenhagen in the truck. Now here we had a car with no engine. We bought a piece of heavy rope, tied the Studebaker behind the truck, and Repenhagen planned to tow me home, a trip I certainly didn’t look forward to with pleasure because in addition to the fact that Repenhagen was as wild as an untutored Indian, the roads were heavy with dust and it would be just riding from Muskogee to Arkansas City in a cloud of dust all the way.
However, there was nothing else we could do, so we started out from Muskogee. When we had gone about fifty miles, I remember, we had to ford a river. Repenhagen, with the Studebaker truck, plowed across the water and started up the bank, pulling me and the Studebaker roadster. The bank was so steep and Repenhagen was so reckless that he jerked and jolted and shifted gears so violently on the truck that he stripped the gears out of the truck and there we sat on the river bank, with a tow car with no rear end gears and a roadster with no engine.
We sat there for some time, studying the predicament we were in; and then we discovered that the tow truck and the roadster had the same kind of a rear end. So there on the bank of the creek we took out the entire end of the roadster and installed it in the tow truck and proceeded on our way home. I don’t know how many days we were gone; but when we arrived back at Hill-Howard, my car (the Studebaker roadster) was just covered with mud and dust. Mr. Howard came out. I told him to lift the hood and he did; and of course, there was no engine! I told him to look at the rear end; and of course, there was no transmission or gears! He made a very sage remark, to wit: “Why in the hell did you bring this thing back?”
(For those of a technical mind, let me say that the Studebaker cars at the time I mentioned had both the transmission and the differential at the rear end of the car. They were combined, and the job of changing one of them to another on a creek bank with a few small hand tools was no small job.)
While I was working at Hill-Howard, I made up my mind that I should go back to school and study law. How that came about was in this way.
During the days that I lay on the floor, cold and dirty, looking up at the bottoms of automobiles, I decided that the job of mechanic was not the best job in the world, and if ever I got the chance to go back to school, I was going to apply myself.

There was a customer who came to the garage quite frequently: the same Albert Faulconer I mentioned who came down to Muskogee to replevin the Studebaker roadster. Mr. Faulconer had a big Premier Car, which had an electric gear shift—simply a bunch of buttons that you pressed to change gears. It was a large car and had a 40-gallon gas tank, which is larger than the cars of today. One time this gas tank of his sprang a leak and while I spent some time repairing it, I had a chance to observe how a lawyer lived. That rather appealed to me.
However, the real thing that made up my mind for sure was the advice of one of my lifelong friends. As I have mentioned before, Harry V. Howard was one of the first persons that I can remember setting eyes on and he and I were chums throughout his life. He had started out at Kansas University, taking a law course, and when he was hone on Easter vacation he came around to the garage to visit with me. He told me what a glorious thing the law practice was and, in fact, he wanted me to start at Kansas University in the fall of 1919 and study law. He said he would help me get started and after he told me all the fine things about the practice of law, it was then and there that I made up my mind what I was going to do.
While I worked at Hill-Howard, my father and mother bought a Maxwell car. My father drove it out home and later in the day they decided to drive into Arkansas City to show it to their friends. About a mile north of town there was a very steep hill with a deep ditch on either side, probably eight or ten feet in depth. Well, father was driving the Maxwell car down the hill when he suddenly discovered that the manufacturing company had not put a bolt in the steering gear and there was no way to steer the car when it began veering off to the right side of the road. Father set the emergency brake and by the time it reached the side of the road, it had slowed down to about 8 or 10 miles an hour and father opened the car door on the left side and stepped out. The car proceeded a little farther and went down into the ditch and rolled over, ending up on its right side. Mother was sitting on the right side; and while she was not physically injured, she had her feelings hurt and was mad as a hornet at my father. She told him in no uncertain terms that no gentleman would step out of a car and let it proceed into a ditch with a lady. My father scratched his head and always complained that he couldn’t see for the life of him where there was anything ungentlemanly about stepping out of a car that was going into a ditch and he didn’t see any reason why he had to go into the ditch just because it was taking mother there!
                                  The Summer of 1919 at Estes Park, Colorado.
In the spring of 1919 I decided I would leave Hill-Howard and go out to Estes Park again and work there during the summer. I didn’t know what kind of a job I would find; but I was only making $10 a week there at Hill-Howard and I knew I could find a job in Estes Park as a chauffeur or mechanic or working at a food stand, in a hotel, or something of that sort.

I told my sister, Verna, of my plans, and she said she would like to go spend the summer in Estes Park. The result was that she and I went to Estes Park together. We had no jobs in sight, but we got work in the beginning at Long’s Peak Inn, which is near the base of the famous Long’s Peak and we both worked at Long’s Peak Inn for Enos Mills. Now, Enos Mills, at that time was a well-known writer and was considered quite a naturalist. He had a rather large operation there, the main hotel and a number of cabins scattered around. The place was famous for its food, and each day, particularly on Sundays, many people would drive there for dinner and on holidays there would be a tremendous crowd.
But we found Enos Mills a very difficult man to work for; in fact, he was rather a tyrant. He had perhaps twenty or thirty college students working for him as dishwashers, waiters, waitresses, bell-hops, chambermaids, and so forth. Our accommodations for sleeping were terrible and the food was the poorest and the skimpiest that one could imagine. In fact, most of those who worked as waiters or waitresses would sustain themselves by taking a little food off the plates of the patrons as they passed through the pantry that had a couple of swinging doors, which would conceal them for a moment from the searching eyes of Mr. Mills.
I recall one humorous incident that occurred one Sunday while I worked there. Mr. Mills had regimented the work and my duty was to serve soup to the patrons as they came in and sat down at the table. I think he charged a dollar and a half or perhaps two dollars for a Sunday meal and hundreds of people would be there. I would walk around the large dining room and if I saw someone sitting with nothing before them, I would give them a plate of soup; then someone else would give them a plate of salad; and pretty soon some other student would give them bread, then the water, and so on. Well, a gentleman came in and I served him some soup after which I served perhaps thirty or forty other people. In the meantime, someone else had removed this gentleman’s soup plate and as I swung around with an armful of dishes of soup, I gave him a second plate of soup and went about my business. Pretty soon I saw a gentleman sitting with nothing before him, so I gave him a plate of soup. This time he let out a squawk, “For God’s sake, young man, don’t I get anything for my money here except soup?”
A great many people came and stayed at Long’s Peak Inn who had no automobile; they would arrive there at the main building, and then go and register. It was the custom in those days to have trunks. Many people would have several trunks and a number of grips and valises, perhaps golf clubs, fishing gear, and so forth; and it would be the duty of the bell-hop to carry the trunks, grips, clubs, and gear to whatever cabin had been assigned to these patrons. Enos Mills had a strict rule against anyone accepting tips. Some of the boys and girls who lugged that stuff up the side of the mountain to those cabins, almost wearing themselves out, would feel that they deserved a tip—and many people would practically force a tip upon a boy. I remember one lad who accepted a tip of a quarter or half-dollar for several hours of hard work, and it came to the attention of Enos Mills. He called all the help in and conducted a sort of congressional investigation and raised unmitigated Hell. This was about a week after Verna and I had been there, and it made us so mad we decided to quit that job and go down into the village of Estes Park and see what we could find to do.

As I remember, the first day we were in Estes Park Village, Verna found a job with a real estate firm, answering the phone, typing out forms and such. I went around and tried out for a job as chauffeur for the Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Company. I secured a job driving one of their so-called hot-shot cars; and I got paid $100 a month plus living expenses. In those days that was a pretty good wage and job. The Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Company was an old established outfit and they ran big buses several times a day round-trip from Denver to Estes Park, carrying a great many passengers. When they arrived in Estes Park from Denver, they had smaller White cars and drivers who met passengers from the buses, who would drive the people to their respective hotels and would also take them on certain tours. In addition, they had one car, a King, an eight cylinder car, assigned to take parties (maybe a man and his family) to Denver, Cheyenne, or elsewhere on emergency trips when they learned someone was ill, or that a friend had died, or perhaps had become ill themselves, necessitating a trip to Denver or somewhere for medical treatment. It was my job to handle this hot-shot King 8 special car. It was stationed for operation at the Hewes-Kirkwood Inn, which was even higher up in the mountains past Long’s Peak Inn, perhaps two miles further up on the foot of Long’s Peak.
Now the Hewes-Kirkwood Inn was owned and operated by the Hewes brothers. Charley Hewes was a most delightful gentleman. He was very religious and he always had a fine smile and a kind word. During the summer months he operated the hotel; then in the winter, being snowed in, he was quite a writer. He was a wonderful gentleman! The usual procedure was that the office of the Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Company at Estes Park Village would telephone up to Hewes-Kirkwood Inn at night and tell me of the various places I was to stop the next morning to pick up passengers and get them down the mountain in time to catch the seven o’clock bus leaving for Denver. So I would leave Hewes-Kirkwood at perhaps 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, making my first stop at Long’s Peak Inn, then on to Baldpate Inn, and from there I would proceed down the side of the mountain to other hotels, picking up passengers, and take them to the office of the transportation company at Estes Park Village. I would then wait until patrons arrived from Denver or elsewhere who wanted to be taken up to various hotels on the mountain. It was interesting work and I met a number of very interesting people, some of whom I made friends with that have lasted to this day.
About Labor Day I quit working for the Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Company and went back home to get ready to go to Kansas University that fall. I had saved my money that summer and I think I had $200 or $250 laid aside to help me get along with the start of my law course at K. U.
                                                        Kansas University.
When I went to K. U. in the fall of 1919, it seemed that the first thing I had to do was to select a fraternity. I was rushed by several fraternities, but my old friend, Harry V. Howard, was a member of Kappa Sigma and it will come as no surprise that I selected and was pledged to Kappa Sigma. Kansas University at that time was a far different school than it is today. The number of students was probably around five thousand and hundreds of them were young men who had just returned from the army—full of vim, vigor, adventure, and excitement. We had very few rules and regulations. If a group wanted to put on a dance, they simply put on a dance; they didn’t have to ask permission of any dean, or get any permits. It was the same with parades. We had shirttail parades at two in the morning and we had bonfires to celebrate victories, all without asking permission from anyone.

Henry Allen was governor of Kansas at that time and in the late fall of 1919 he was having a bitter fight with organized labor, which at that time was controlled by Alexander Howett, who had called a strike of the strip miners operating the strip coal mines around Pittsburg, Kansas. Now Henry Allen was a pretty clever politician and when Howett called this strike of the miners, Allen hit upon what he considered a very clever idea to combat him. Henry Allen, of course, in addition to being governor, controlled the Wichita Beacon at Wichita, Kansas; in fact, I think he owned it. He was a close friend of William Allen White, Arthur Capper, and many others. He got the newspapers to go along with him. They printed articles about little children freezing to death; of patients in hospitals who died because there was no heat to keep their rooms warm; of schools that were closed; and old ladies and old men in rest homes who were dying of colds and influenza. The newspapers made it appear that the only loyal and patriotic thing to do was to get those mines reopened so as to have coal to keep the people warm that winter. The Governor called upon the colleges and universities of Kansas to send students down to the coal mining districts to help run the mines and produce enough coal to keep the schools, hospitals, and public institutions going. Now my father had been a union man for many years and the last thing in the world that he would have wanted was for his son to be a strike breaker. But when Henry Allen called upon the colleges and universities to send men, there were about one thousand young men at Kansas University who signed up to go down and help operate those mines to save people from freezing to death, and I was among that number.
A special train of ten or fifteen coaches hauled us down to Pittsburg; and from the railroad station we were marched across the street to a big hall on the second floor of a big building. The hall was about half a block long and perhaps fifty or seventy-five feet wide. It was an interesting sight to see the goings on there. At one or two o’clock in the morning there would be a crap game over in one corner; in another, a card game; in another corner a preacher would be trying to save souls from gambling and sin. There must have been about twelve hundred men crowded into that hall. We lay around for four or five days when small pox started breaking out. When this occurred, I started making inquiries as to how to get out of there. I learned that if I wanted to be assigned to a mine and start drawing wages of $5.00 a day, I would not be sent out as an individual but as part of an organized crew. So I passed around a slip of paper and got men to sign up who claimed they could operate steam shovels and others who claimed they could handle explosives or teams. I gave that crew list to the man who was in charge of the big hall. On the following morning they called off our names as a crew and we went to the railroad station. A National Guard outfit from Kansas City, Kansas, got on the train with us. We bounced out of Pittsburg a few miles and were dumped out on the prairie at a place called Drywood—probably because there was no wood; neither was it dry. It was a damp, cold, snowy, late afternoon when we were shoved off the train.
Well, the National Guard unit started putting up their tents, stoves, and other gear while we K. U. boys just sat out there like birds and were slowly freezing to death. I went over to the captain of the National Guard company and said, “Captain, who is in charge of this outfit?” He reached in his pocket, pulled out a piece of paper, and said, “The man in charge of this entire operation is D. Arthur Walker.” I responded, “Who?” He said, “D. Arthur Walker is in charge of the whole thing, see him.” I said, “I will, sir.” I was then in charge of my first coal mine!

We got some tents from the National Guard, pitched them out on the prairie, and we got some government stoves, and altogether by late that evening we had some sort of habitation to protect us from the storm. It was bitter cold and ice froze some ten or twelve inches thick on the streams. The strip coal mines had been flooded by the striking miners and there was thick ice on that water that they had put in to flood the mines. At night, the miners who were out on strike at this particular mine would assemble about three or four blocks distant from us and for amusement, would shoot revolvers and I think some 22 rifles, at our camp. The bullets would come zinging in; but I don’t think they wanted to kill anybody, they just wanted to keep us alert and let us know they hadn’t forgotten us.
Now, the wage scale was to be $5 a day for the average unskilled laboring man; but for those who could run steam shovels and other mechanized equipment, it was either $20 or $25 a day. The result was that the smart winos and boomers from Kansas City, Missouri, had heard about the opportunity and everyone claimed to be an expert steam shovel operator and they had come down to our camp. Well, I put them out to run a steam shovel. If they didn’t know a thing about it, I’d fire one and send for another. I think I ran about a half doze of them through the mill before I finally got a man who was actually competent enough to operate that kind of machinery. In the meantime, I found that most of these students didn’t have warm clothing. In particular, we didn’t have good heavy boots to wade around in the ice and water at the strip mine. I went down to the company store and asked if they would sell us boots and warm clothing. The man in the store was very agreeable, so he outfitted us and simply charged it to the State of Kansas; and in due time, he received payment.
We finally got the pipes laid, got the strip mine drained of water, and with explosives we blew up the ice and crushed it and got it out; and finally, we got a crew working and we really did start mining coal. It was not a huge success and it must have been pretty expensive coal; but we thought we were doing a great job for humanity while we were there.
Before I left Lawrence to go down to Pittsburg, I didn’t want my father and mother to know where I was, so I had written about half a dozen letters to my mother and left them at the fraternity house with my friend, Harry Howard, who did not go to Pittsburg with us. I told him that every time a letter came from my mother, he was to mail one of my pre-written letters back home. Of course, my mother would write inquiring what day I would come home for Christmas vacation, and would I bring a friend with me and what did I want to do on Christmas, and so forth. And she would get a letter in return that answered none of her questions. As Harry Howard put it later: “I just could not send any more of your letters, Arthur. It was like talking to a man in a well.”
At that time, in the normal operation of a strip mine, a steam shovel would go along and clear some eight or ten feet of dirt from the top of a vein of coal, which was ordinarily two feet thick, so that holes could be drilled for explosives. The mine we were working belonged to the Mengheni family. They were fine people who lived at Frontenac, I believe. One afternoon, Mr. Mengheni came out to the mine he owned to see the extent of destruction, no doubt, that these novice miners had caused. It just so happened that as he arrived, some young fellow who was just too lazy to drill a hole clear through the vein of coal, had drilled about halfway through, put in the powder and dynamite, and then laid a “rail spreader” on top of the hole, thinking it would hold the charge down. As Mr. Mengheni walked up, the explosion occurred, and he saw his rail spreader (which cost two or three hundred dollars) rise majestically up into the air where it circled slowly round and round, and then dropped to the frozen ground, where it disintegrated into many pieces. It seemed to me that as he turned away, I could see a tear in his eye.

One of the boomers who had rolled in from Kansas City, Missouri, claiming that he could run the steam shovel, was an old character that we nicknamed “Old Dave.” After we learned that he could not run the shovel, I fired him, but he didn’t leave. He hung around saying that he wanted work, so I said, “Dave, I can give you a job loading coal down there in the cars.” He responded, “I can’t do that, I’ve got a bad back.” So I said, “Well, Dave, how about going up on the tipple? You can help with that work.” He said, “I just can’t work above ground; I might get dizzy and fall off.” I said, “Dave, how about going down there with the boys who are handling the explosives?” He answered, “Well, I couldn’t do that. Any shooting or explosions make me nervous and when I get nervous, I get awful sick.” I asked, “For God’s Sake, Dave, what can you do?” He replied, “Well, if you will just get me in a poker game and sit on my left, I can deal you any hand you want.” One of my good friends, Virgil Hall of Winfield, was down there at the mines with me, so I told Virgil about Dave’s comment. Several evenings later Virgil and I sat on the left of old Dave, and I’ll say this, old Dave may not have known how to run a steam shovel and maybe he couldn’t dig coal and maybe he had a bad back; but one thing Dave could do, if you sat on his left, he could deal you any hand you needed!
One more story should be told about this coal mine strike. As I mentioned before, the real fight was between Henry Allen and Alexander Howett; but Governor Allen had the State of Kansas seize these mines under the guise that it was necessary for the state to seize and operate them to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Kansas. Along about Christmas time, the parties who owned the mines wanted to get them back and start their own operations since the strike was over. Two or three mine owners got together and hired a lawyer by the name of Campbell, who was a brother of our congressman at that time, Phil Campbell. These two or three small mine owners met in Kansas City, Missouri, one evening with Mr. Campbell; and they agreed that if they had to, they would pay the state of Kansas $25,000 to get their mines back. They started off with an offer of a bare minimum of $20,000 to Governor Allen to see if that would induce him to release their particular mines. Now one of these mine owners was so intent on getting his mine back and in operation that he went to Topeka immediately after the meeting in Kansas City. He told Governor Allen that the mine owners and Mr. Campbell would be in Topeka on the following day; and that Mr. Campbell would offer $20,000, but all had agreed that they would go as high as $25,000. This individual told Governor Allen that by all means they wanted their mines back.

Well, the next day, Lawyer Campbell (who knew nothing of the meeting of his client with the governor) went over to the governor’s office with the three mine owners. They all sat down and Lawyer Campbell told Governor Allen that the owners wanted their mines back, that the state had abused them, coming down without their invitation and taking over those mines, tearing up a lot of machinery and costing the owners a lot of money and expense. He stated that the taxes and insurance had gone on and that really, they didn’t owe the state of Kansas anything; and that they would be willing to pay the state $20,000 to get the mines released. Governor Allen looked at Mr. Campbell for a while and twiddled his watch charm. He then asked, “Now, Mr. Campbell, is $20,000 your best offer?” Mr. Campbell said, “Yes, Governor Allen, that’s our best offer. We really don’t owe you a penny.” Governor Allen swung around and looked out the window for a bit, then turned back, twiddled his watch charm a bit more, and then asked, “Now, Mr. Campbell, is $20,000 your very best and highest offer?” Campbell answered, “Yes, Governor, as I said before, it’s an outrage to have to pay you a penny, but we’ll pay that much blood money and no more, to get our mines back.” Once again Governor Allen turned and looked out the window at the statehouse grounds. Then, still whirling his watch charm and smiling, he swung around and faced Mr. Campbell. “Now, Mr. Campbell, do I understand that $20,000 is your very best, your highest, your maximum and final offer?” At this moment, Campbell smelled a rat! He replied, “No, Governor, by God, $25,000 is our highest, best, and maximum offer. Somebody has squawked!”
After the Christmas holidays in 1919, I returned to Kansas University to stay there for the last of the first semester and the completion of the second. During this time I started doing work to bring in a little extra money to pay my expenses. I held down a variety of jobs during the time I was at K. U. Many of them were unique and unusual and some were a world of laughs. I’ll have to tell you about several of them. I won’t relate these jobs to you in the same sequence in which I performed them; but that makes no difference, and I hope you enjoy the relating of some of them.
At this time, the famous Phog Allen had just come to Kansas University as basketball coach. K. U. was building up quite a reputation for being a basketball center. So some of us fellows who couldn’t make the first team of basketball devised the idea of forming what would be called the “Lawrence Athletic Club.” We would take some basketball players and go around to various towns and communities and play whatever team they dared to put on the floor. The first game we had scheduled was with a packing house team on the outskirts of Kansas City, Kansas, down in the Argentine region. We anticipated that the gate receipts would make us about $100. That money (divided among the players, a couple of substitutes, and a few other “hangers-on”) would give each of us around $8 or $10 apiece, which wouldn’t be bad pay for an evening’s work at that time. In order to get a good man to play center, we had to go out to the Haskell Indian School, where we made arrangements with the authorities there to borrow an Indian student by the name of Longbone. He was a pretty good center and was delighted to get away from the Haskell Institute for an evening; and he went downtown and bought himself a suitcase in which to carry his togs to the game. While the suitcase looked like leather, it was actually made of heavily pressed paper, painted brown. About six o’clock in the evening, our team, including Longbone, got on the interurban which went from Lawrence to Kansas City, Missouri. We were on the way to Argentine or Armourdale, and Longbone put his brand new suitcase—which was his pride and joy—in the aisle. As the interurban car started up, it threw some big fellow off balance. He fell backwards and ran a foot right through Longbone’s new $3.50 suitcase. Longbone was pretty dejected; but we tried to cheer him up and pretty soon we got off the car and went over to the gymnasium in the packing-house district where we were to play our game. It was the toughest looking bunch of people you ever saw. The women were big, strong, husky, and tough as men, and a number of them were smoking cigars.

We warmed up for a few minutes, the referee blew his whistle for the game to start, and Longbone got in the center. The ball was thrown up. Up in the air went Longbone and as he was coming down, the rival center was going up and hit Longbone square in the mouth, knocking out two of his front teeth. Poor old Longbone not only had a lot of pain and suffering, but he was bleeding like a stuck hog. We had to put him on the bench and proceed without him.
I’ve forgotten whether we won or lost the game; but this I do remember. After the game, poor Longbone was feeling pretty bad with a busted suitcase and two missing teeth. We took him into a restaurant to buy him a piece of pie. He wanted pumpkin pie as he thought that he could handle it even with his bad teeth and sore lips. When that Indian bit into the pie—not having any front teeth—pumpkin pie squirted across the counter like it had been ejected from a gun! Everybody laughed and thought it was a good joke; that is everybody laughed but Longbone. Well, we got him back to Lawrence and back to Haskell late that night. On the following day we went out to Haskell to ask the coach if we could borrow Longbone for another game that was coming up. The coach told us that Longbone’s new dental job was going to cost the Haskell authorities more than a little money and that Longbone was discouraged about the loss of his suitcase; he also said that he would rather we didn’t borrow any more of his star players.
For a short time I pressed clothes for the boys at the fraternity house. I think they paid me twenty-five cents for a suit. That was a slow way to make a living and really, you can’t press a suit very well without steam, so I didn’t mind much giving up that job.

Then I had a brilliant idea. I learned that many of the merchants who sold shoes and clothing and dresses and what-not to the students and charged the account to the students, never got paid. Sometimes students couldn’t pay; sometimes they spent the money their parents sent to them and neglected to pay their bills; and sometimes students died. All in all, the merchants always had a loss on their credit accounts. I came up with the wonderful idea of having a card printed with the names of twelve or fifteen merchants on the card. A student could then buy a card for, say, $5.00. During that school year the student could go to any of the merchants whose name was on the card, buy a dress or a suit or a pair of shoes; and by paying cash, receive a 10% discount. Also, by working on the other end of the line, it seemed to me that the merchants should pay something to get their names on the card. It struck me that $100 would not be unreasonable. The merchant who sold shoes, for example, would be the only shoe man on the card. He would tend to get more business and the discount would not hurt him. (At that time prices were pretty high and if a man sold a $75 suit of clothes and gave a discount of $7.50, he would still be way ahead.) I felt pretty sure that I would have no trouble selling the tickets to the students, so I thought I’d better approach the merchants first. I went up and down the streets of Lawrence and picked out various merchants. I had worked on it eight or ten days and had about ten merchants signed up and agreeable to go with my plan. Then the roof fell in on me! It seemed that the merchants whose names were not going to be on the card had an angry protest meeting, met with the Chamber of Commerce, and claimed that this idea of Mr. Walker’s was going to bring destruction to a lot of them. They passed some resolutions and asked the chancellor of the university to intercede and stop this new idea of Walker’s from going into effect. The chancellor called me in and said that while he could not stop me, he would appreciate it very much if I didn’t go ahead with my plan because it was going to antagonize the merchants and keep him in hot water. Very gracefully, but with considerable sadness, I abandoned the idea. But to this day I think it would have been a very good plan and would have brought me enough income to keep me from the hard labor that I had to perform.
At that time there was a brick and tile company in the north end of Lawrence. I was determined to keep in good shape for athletics. Hearing that there were some jobs open at the brick plant, I went out and they signed me up to do extra work. The work they gave me was a “dilly.” In making bricks, they put them inside a great big bee-hive built of tile. Inside this bee-hive they have a fire going at an extremely high temperature which, in fact, bakes the bricks. When the bricks have been baked long enough, this kiln (or bee-hive) is opened and someone goes inside to toss out the bricks, which are just as hot as Hell ever was. Well, it was my job to get into the kiln and toss out the brick and other products which they put into the kiln for baking. You don’t stay very long at that kind of work. It’s close inside one of those things, it’s hot, and it’s heavy work; but it is excellent for anyone who wants to become an athlete and wants to get rid of superfluous fat. Well, after I worked for the brickyard in the kiln for a while, they decided to give me work that would take a little brains as well as brawn. Most of you have no doubt seen sewer tile that comes in sections three or three and one-feet long. Perhaps it never occurred to you that that tile is just coming out in one continuous stream and that a man stands there with a thing that looks like an old fashioned buck-saw. You raise it up and down, and it has a piece of wire that cuts through the tile, making each piece the right length. As soon as you cut through it, the tile is taken off the form. You must pick it up pretty carefully and put it on the truck which heads for the kilns where it is baked. Well, I was just doing fine, and I know I was on my way to a great future when all of a sudden, one afternoon, the whistle blew and everything stopped. I looked around and not a soul was in motion. It developed that the employees had a union and I was not in the union. So they had called a strike because a University student was putting a good union worker out of work. So I lost that job and that was my first real eye-opener into the fact that I’d better join a union and get myself a union card if I was going to become a member of the labor world.
One of my fraternity brothers, one of the best friends I ever had, was a Lawrence, Kansas, boy by the name of Mahlon Weed. Weed had been in the first World War and had been slightly wounded and was drawing a disability check. So “we” saved his money and bought a stripped-down Ford and we went everywhere driving that little Ford and having a lot of fun. One day we were figuring some way to earn a little extra spending money. I asked Weed how he’d like to get into the butchering business. Well, Mahlon asked me what I meant and I told him that I had observed that the sororities and fraternities were buying beef by the quarters and I thought that he and I could go out into the country, buy a cow, butcher it, bring it in, and sell these quarters and make a little money.
Mahlon was a rather practical fellow, so he asked me if I knew anything about butchering. I said I knew a little; and he took that to mean that I knew a lot, but I had been literally truthful, for I knew very little. But it doesn’t take much brains to become a butcher so we decided we would try it on the coming Saturday. Mahlon had been a private in the army, but after his discharge he joined the National Guard unit at Lawrence and, I believe, he was a second lieutenant. Like any boy that had been a private and suddenly became a lieutenant, he liked to wear his Sam Browne belt and a 45 pistol.

We drove out in the country, gave a farmer our check for $40 for a cow. Weed shot it with his 45, the farmer helped us skin it and cut it in quarters. We sold the quarters for $15 apiece and the hide for $2; and put $40 in the bank to cover our check. Some of our customers cut steaks off the quarters, and they complained that the steaks were like rubber. They were correct, but how should we know that meat had to age to be good?
There was a sorority house next door to our fraternity house. It was a three-story house with a coal furnace. The man who kept the furnace stoked either died or quit, so I took the job. It would require me getting up early in the morning and stoking the furnace; then at noon, throwing some coal on it; again in the late afternoon; and again around 10 or 11 o’clock at night. Adjacent to the furnace room was a storeroom where the sorority had a lot of canned goods on the shelves: canned peas, beans, corn, fruit, and so on. Well, one day we received word that on the following day we were to take examinations at the law school. As usual with all law students, we were unprepared and had to stay up all night, reviewing the books and getting ready for the examination. Someone said, “Why don’t we get some food of some kind—and along about one or two o’clock in the morning, we’ll have something to eat?” Well, I went over and stoked the furnace about 11:00 p.m. I saw a gallon can of pork and beans on the floor by the furnace, so I just appropriated it. Now you might refer to it as a petty larceny; but in times like that, I would just consider it a loan because we intended to pay it back in one way or another. I took the can of pork and beans back to the fraternity house and one of the boys set it on top of a gas heating stove. We were deep in study when we heard a kind of popping noise over on the stove. We looked around and saw that the gallon can of pork and beans was swelled and kind of pouched out, resembling a basketball. One of the seniors said, “That can’s gonna explode and kill us all.” He rushed over and took a letter opener, stabbed the top of the can making just a tiny hole in the top of it, and brother, believe me, the pressure in that gallon can was such that out of that tiny hole there came a stream of steam and pulverized pork and beans. It sprayed on the ceiling and all over the room we were in and everyone except the fellow that stabbed the can, laughed about it. He was sort of a serious-minded fellow, and engaged to one of the girls at the sorority house. He told her what had happened. On the following day all the girls in the sorority house had a big meeting and decided that the fellow stoking their furnace couldn’t be trusted since a can of pork and beans had been taken from their shelves—and I lost that job!

Next at Kansas University I worked for the athletic department. There was a lot consisting of about five or ten acres just east of the stadium. I inquired around about how to go about renting the lot. I found that they had been renting it for about ten or fifteen dollars a year to people who would raise a little crop on the land. So I up and rented the lot for the coming year—the football season included. What I had in mind was, of course, to use it as a parking lot during the football season; but I was ambitious to make it a little more profitable. At the time the stadium was built, there was no parking lot at all. People would come over to the games and park their cars in the yards of people who wanted to pick up a little money; and once in a while, cars would be parked in the streets until traffic was blocked. Then, after the game, there would be a complete snafu of traffic. So I went over to the police department and to the sheriff’s office, and I agreed with them that the traffic problem had gotten out of control and that they needed more help to regulate it. I had them deputize ten or fifteen of my fraternity brothers as deputy sheriffs so that when a football game came along, they could stand out in the middle of the street with a big billy club and keep people from parking on the streets. They would keep ushering the cars with their billy clubs in the general direction of our parking lot; and when they wheeled in there, for fifty cents, they had a chance to park their cars and have them protected during the game—or so they thought! The general idea was that some of my deputies were to stay around the parking lot and maintain law and order. But they would hear the crowd hollering and whistling; and knowing that excitement was prevailing, they usually took off from their post of duty about ten or fifteen minutes after the game started and came over to the stadium. There was one exception! My deputies found out that the cars that came over to the game from Fort Riley were filled with military personnel, who generally had a bit of whiskey in the glove departments. (At that time the state of Kansas was “bone dry” and it was unlawful to have whiskey, particularly around an automobile.) Some of my deputies, eager to enforce the law, made it a practice to go through those cars and take the whiskey out so the owner of the car would not be a law violator—particularly if the day was cold, and we had some terribly cold days at that time. On one Saturday, which I well remember, there was a heavy blizzard. There were lots of cars parked in our lot and I think I had about $200 in silver on my person, and I could hardly walk. Some of the boys gave me a few drinks of this confiscated liquor. It was very cold and the liquor had no effect upon me; but when I got back to the fraternity house and sat down in front of a warm fire, I got as drunk as a coot.
On another occasion Weed and I were sitting in his car one Saturday afternoon when three sorority girls walked by. I had a date to take one of them to a dance that night. Weed had no date and said he would like to have a date with the girl on the left. So I called my date and asked her to get a date for Weed with “the girl on the left,” and after a dignified wait, she said everything was fixed. That evening, Weed and I went over to the sorority house to meet this girl that I understood he had wanted to meet. Well, my girl came down the stairs with a rather attractive girl beside her and introduced her to Weed and me. We visited for a few minutes and then suggested we should leave to go to the dance. While the girls stepped out of the room, Mahlon Weed turned to me and just gave me hell. He said, “That’s not the girl I wanted to meet, why do I have to take this old crow to the dance? I’ve got a notion to go downtown and let you take both of these girls.” And I thought perhaps he would because he was a rather fiery tempered fellow. Anyway, we went on to the dance and after it was over, he was still grousing about it a bit to save face; but I noticed that in a day or so, every time I would see his little red Ford running around, he’d have this girl with him. Now, her name was Dorothy Garland. Her folks lived in Wellington, Kansas. Before two or three weeks had gone by, Weed was madly in love with Dorothy Garland. (I don’t believe I mentioned it, but Mahlon was one of the youngest men in World War I and served as a private. His father also took some part in World War I and was one of the oldest men.)

Mahlon had always had the desire to be an officer, and when he got out of the war, he helped to organize a National Guard unit in Lawrence, and received a commission as Lieutenant. He dearly loved to pack his Colt 45 around on his hip. He seemed to have an obsession to pack that pistol around. I think the National Guard meetings were held every Wednesday night; and after two or three weeks, Mahlon was having a date every night with Dorothy. Her sorority required the girls to be in on week nights by, I think, 10:00 p.m. Well, it was 10 o’clock or later when the National Guard outfit would get through with their drill period. So one evening, Mahlon had a wonderful idea. He told Dorothy that when he got through with National Guard on Wednesday night, he would drive by her sorority house and would fire one shot from his pistol as a signal for her to slip out the back door and they could have a date. Well, when drill was over, Mahlon came cruising by this sorority house and fired a shot whereupon all the lights up and down the street came on and people came out into the street. They called the police and Dorothy’s sorority house mother had a head count taken and locked all the doors to be sure her brood was safe. Dorothy had no chance to get out and keep her date with Mahlon by reason of his damn foolishness!

I must tell you one more story about Mahlon and his pistol. When Easter vacation came around, Dorothy was going to visit her parents in Wellington; and I, in turn, had told my parents I would be home for Easter and spend a day or two with them. So Weed came up with a bright idea. He suggested that he put Dorothy on the Santa Fe train that left Lawrence at about 11:00 p.m. He would drive me to Arkansas City and on the next day he planned to drive over to Wellington to see his girl. Well, that was fine, except on the Friday before Dorothy left for home, it poured rain all day long, not only at Lawrence but all over Kansas. However, Mahlon put his girl on the train at about 11 o’clock at night, when it was still pouring rain. His little stripped Ford had no top and no fenders or running boards; and he got me in that thing in the pouring rain and we headed south on the old muddy roads. By daylight we had gotten as far as Ottawa, Kansas, just covered with mud and wet to the skin. But we kept plodding away all day Saturday and got to Arkansas City about midnight Saturday night. The last mile we drove, a bearing went out on the Ford. On Sunday we got hold of a bearing and worked all day getting the car repaired and in shape to run. On Sunday evening about dark, we shoved the car out into what is now highway 77, which at that time had very little traffic. We were shoving the car along trying to get it started. We had an oil tail light on the car, which was lighted. Suddenly we could see and hear a car coming at a high rate of speed from the north. We tried to wave it down, but it passed us and smashed into the back of the Ford that we had worked on all day repairing. That Ford sailed west, end over end, into the ditch. The driver of the Buick car which struck the Ford said that we didn’t have any tail lights. Whereupon, Weed found the tail light off in the bushes—still so hot that he could hardly pick it up. He got hold of some rags, got the tail light, went over and stuck it in this fellow’s face and about branded him for life. At that point they found that the Buick, although badly damaged in the front, would still run. Weed got into the Buick, which had two boys and two girls; and with his big pistol, told them to drive on to town where he was going to have them arrested. On the way to Arkansas City, they begged and pleaded with him to let them pay for the damage to the Ford and call it a day. Weed stayed with them into town and they pulled the car into a garage. The two boys said they’d be back in a little while after they raised the money that they estimated it would take to repair the Ford. In the meanwhile Mahlon decided he ought to have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie, so he went across the street to a little hamburger joint; and when he returned to the garage, the Buick and the four people had left. Weed called me by phone out at our country home and I borrowed my Dad’s car and drove into Arkansas City and found Mahlon standing there in front of the garage, still holding his pistol, but of course with no victims. We did a little Sherlock Holmes work and figured that the Buick was coming from Winfield and likely would be headed back to Winfield on a side road. So we took off in Dad’s car up a country road towards Winfield and in about five miles, we overtook the Buick car just limping along with the radiator steaming and the front wheels bent almost into each other. Weed jumped off and went over to the Buick, jumped on it, pulled out his pistol, and said he was gonna kill the whole outfit. They were really frightened, and again they pleaded for mercy and said if they could get to Winfield, they would get the money to pay Weed the estimated damages to his car. They rolled into Winfield and stopped some place (I’ve forgotten where!), and wrote Weed a check for $100, which Weed estimated was about all the money they could raise that would help to repair his little Ford. Well, we should have gotten out of Winfield immediately, but again Weed decided that we should get a bite to eat. It must have been around twelve or one o’clock in the morning when we went into a restaurant with the check and sat down at a counter. We were having something to eat and looked out the door and there we saw the two boys that had the Buick car talking to a policeman. Now it seems that one of the boys was a night attendant at a garage and he had simply borrowed somebody’s car in that garage and had gotten the other fellow and the two girls and gone for a ride. They were pretty much worried about what might happen to them and after observing them talking for a while with that policeman, it dawned on me that they were urging him to come in and arrest us.
Well, being a first-year law student, I thought maybe there might be a penalty for having a concealed weapon, so I nudged Weed and whispered to him. He took the clip out of the Colt 45 and put it up on the counter. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the policeman came in and said, “Which one of you boys had that pistol?” Of course, we both said, “What pistol?” And there it was, big as life, so I said, “Well, officer, there is certainly no harm done, it’s not loaded, you can see there’s no clip in it.” That should have satisfied the cop, but it didn’t! He threw the chamber and the shell that was in the barrel flew out and nicked him in the forehead; he was pretty provoked because we had lied and the gun was loaded. He hauled Weed and me over to some Justice of the Peace court and charged us with some sort of misdemeanor. (I’ve forgotten just what.) He called for the Justice of the Peace, who got up in the middle of the night, and who stated the violation of the city ordinance or the state law, whatever it was. We asked what was the fine and the judge talked to the boys who had been driving the Buick, so he knew that they had given us a check for $100. The Justice of the Peace in a very fine, equitable manner, stated that the fine was $100. So Weed turned the boys’ check over to the Justice of the Peace and we went back sadder and wiser; and Weed had to leave his pistol there for a few days. Finally, by proving that it was a government pistol, and not his, Weed got the gun back.
I could go on and tell you many other instances about Weed and his pistol; but that should give you a general idea of how much trouble he caused us by marching around with that big hog leg strapped on his hip. However, to bring this thing to a conclusion, I’ll say that Weed married Dorothy Garland; and so far as I know, they’ve lived happily ever after. One of their sons was graduated from West Point and has had a distinguished military career, and Mahlon stayed in the National Guard until he retired with the rank of Brigadier General.


                                                    I Start My Law Career.
I started my law practice before I got out of law school. In the summer of 1920, at the completion of my first year in law, I came back to Arkansas City and decided to try and get a little practical experience by working in a law office during the summer vacation. At that time, one of the outstanding lawyers in Arkansas City was Mr. C. T. Atkinson. He looked exactly like Mark Twain—and Mr. Atkinson knew it! As a result, he wore the same type of Palm Beach clothes that you frequently see pictures of Mark Twain dressed in, and also wore the same type of panama hat. He had the same white hair, and had it cut in the same manner as Mark Twain; and there was a very striking resemblance.
Mr. Atkinson had been a school teacher and, I believe, was superintendent of the schools of Arkansas City for a while. He had been admitted to practice law and had a very keen mind; but he had become embittered for some reason, and he and his wife didn’t get along, and he didn’t get along with his children. As a matter of fact, he didn’t get along with hardly anyone. He was a loner if there ever was one!
At that time he was well known and an outstanding lawyer. I went up to his office and he said I could work there during the summer doing some collection work. I think he gave me a percentage of the collections I made. He also asked me if I knew of anyone he could get to come into his office on a partnership basis. Well, one of my fraternity brothers was Tom Pringle. He’d been an outstanding football player at Kansas University and was a very likable gentleman. I got hold of Tom and asked him about it; and he decided that he would come and cast his lot in Arkansas City. So he started in the summer of 1920 in C. T. Atkinson’s law office as a lawyer, and I was the flunky there who served papers and did collection work.
Mr. Atkins was a rather peculiar gentleman: he didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink, and he didn’t gamble; but he did have a number of young girls around his office and he’d haul them around in his automobile and have them deputized to serve papers.
Tom Pringle was a hail fellow, well met. Tom liked to smoke, liked to take a drink, enjoyed athletics, and went to baseball and football games—which Atkinson never attended. Mr. Atkinson never took any pains to tell me about the law practice. In fact, he never trusted me with a key to the office. I don’t think he distrusted me; it was just a matter he never thought was necessary. The result was that the only way I could get in and out of my own office (one might call it that) was to put my foot on the doorknob and go over and through the transom above the door. So you get some idea of the nature of the gentleman!
About the only thing that sticks in my mind about the law business of that summer of 1920 is the fact that the assistant cashier in one of the banks in Arkansas City had been surreptitiously taking money that belonged to bank patrons. He had a rather neat practice of going out and clerking sales, putting down false prices of stuff that was sold. He would some times make a profit of two or three hundred dollars on a big public sale. And with motor car dealers, who were buying and selling paper and borrowing money and so forth, he would shift the books around and defraud them of considerable sums of money.

One of the motor car dealers came to Mr. Atkinson and complained that this assistant cashier had been defrauding him. Mr. Atkinson looked into the matter rather briefly, and then summoned the bank officials to his office. They wanted to know what the loss was, and wanted to make it good, and at the same time, keep down any publicity. Mr. Atkinson, without batting an eye, said it looked to him like it would take considerable time and expense to figure up the exact amount, but he thought about $10,000 would take care of the shortage that this assistant cashier had caused the motor car dealer. The bank official, without batting an eye, wrote a check for $10,000 and got a release from Mr. Atkinson’s client.
Of course, that made quite an impression on a young boy in law school!
In the summer of 1921, I again returned to Arkansas City to see if I could find work in a law office during summer vacation. This time, I approached Mr. W. L. Cunningham, who at that time was practicing alone. Mr. Cunningham had a very wide practice and was entirely different from Mr. Atkinson. Cunningham was interested in explaining the law and how to proceed with a case; and he gave me a number of points about law practice in general. He made an agreement with me to give me half of whatever the collection fees were, and turned me loose with quite a large number of collections. I did pretty well financially, that summer of 1921.
I recall another thing that he did. There was a family at Edmond, Oklahoma, by the name of Cowles. They operated a ladies’ ready to wear store in the town where there was a teachers’ college at that time. It may be there still. Anyway, in the back of Cowles’ store a fire broke out and apparently burned most of the night in the back part of the store, causing the place to be filled with smoke and intense heat. About daylight the plate glass window at the front broke and smoke poured out and the firemen came and had little or no difficulty in extinguishing the blaze. The Cowles’ family had insurance of twenty or twenty-five thousand dollars on the merchandise; and the insurance company was refusing to pay more than two or three thousand dollars, claiming that there was no fire damage to most of the merchandise. The Cowles people and the insurance company did not get together; so a demand was made by one of the parties to arbitrate the loss. The Cowles family was there in Mr. Cunningham’s office; and he suggested to them that they name me as their arbitrator, which they did.
Well, I went down to Edmond and examined the store. I’ll never forget how the intense heat inside that store had caused silk stockings to fall apart like the old gas light mantels used to crumble when you just touched them. Also, in the front of the store (100 feet away from where the actual fire had been), the cherries on ladies’ hats had dissolved and ran over the hats like melted candy. Well! As the appraiser for Cowles, it was my duty to get together with the appraiser of the insurance company; and the two of us were to select a referee and then get to work and try to determine the loss. I’ve forgotten the name of the arbitrator appointed by the insurance company, but I met with him several times in Oklahoma City. He’d always give me a list of people, and I’d spend some time investigating them; and every time, without exception, after I’d backtracked these suggested referees, I’d find they were on the payroll of some insurance company with the result that finally we called off any attempt to arbitrate the loss.
Mr. Cunningham filed a lawsuit in the district court of Cowley County, Kansas, on behalf of the Cowles, against the insurance company. Later on, he tried the suit for the Cowles family, and the jury returned a verdict of $20,000 in favor of the Cowles. I’ve forgotten the amount; but the Cowles people paid me a few hundred dollars for my services as arbitrator, and that helped with my school expenses.

In the spring of 1922 before I graduated from the Kansas University Law School and before I had been admitted to the bar to practice law in the state of Kansas, I learned that I was eligible to go over to Jefferson City, Missouri, and take the Missouri bar examination if I cared to. So several of the K. U. seniors, including myself, went over to Jefferson City to take the Missouri bar examination. I shall never forget that the exam was held in the House of Representatives where the Missouri legislature sat. I remember that some of the questions were pretty tough and I leaned back and looked at the ceiling and there, emblazoned in the dome were the words, “Oh God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget.” In any event, I successfully passed the Missouri bar examination and was admitted to practice law in the state of Missouri before I graduated from Kansas University.
At that time I did not know where I would locate and I thought it might be useful in case I decided to go to Kansas City, St. Louis, or any other Missouri town to hang out my shingle. In the spring of 1922, I graduated from the Kansas University Law School and successfully passed the bar examination given by the state of Kansas. I was ready to look for a location!
I returned to Arkansas City, went to see Mr. Cunningham, and asked if there would be any chance of going into his office on a permanent basis. Mr. Cunningham said he would be glad to give me a job and would start me off at $150 a month. Now $150 a month doesn’t sound like much today; but at that time, the going wage for young lawyers starting in Wichita, Salina, and other places in Kansas, was $50 a month. So you can understand I was starting out with $150 a month: big money in those days!
Now I think it appropriate to mention a few words about Mr. Cunningham. He was the greatest lawyer that I have ever met—and I’ve met the best throughout the United States, some in Europe, and some in the Orient! He was a splendid looking gentleman, about six feet tall, had a large frame, a beautiful head of hair, and the most handsome leonine head that I have ever seen. He looked like a lawyer! He was a lawyer! He had a fine speaking voice, and was a gentleman who read constantly and was perhaps the best informed, best read man that I have ever met. He not only knew law, but he knew history and he knew human nature! He could read Greek and Latin; he had a library of hundreds of books, which were not there for other people to see but for him to read. You could pick up any book in that enormous library and you could find many, many places where he had underscored very interesting propositions of law, or where there had been a particularly brilliant argument. I remember his book that had the speeches of Daniel Webster. Mr. Cunningham would go through Webster’s speeches and underline the significant parts; and in the margin he put such notations as, “See how Daniel Webster is arousing the curiosity of the jury,” See how Webster is weaving this into an argument that cannot be refuted.” His own notations were as interesting as that which the author had put in the book.

Another thing about Mr. Cunningham was his all-around ability. He could sit down and draw the pleadings to be filed in a lawsuit that would be letter perfect; and if he was trying a case to the jury, he could weave in more emotion and pathos and sway a jury as well as anyone who ever stood before the bar. Then if the case went on to an appellate court, he could sit down and write a brief and abstract that could serve as a text book. In other words, he was well rounded in every department of the law. Law was his devotion! He would come to his office anywhere from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and stay there until 6:00 p.m. in the evening and frequently, of course, he returned at night. In those days, such things as a four- and five-day week was unheard of. Mr. Cunningham and I would work six days a week; then we would work half a day on Sunday and on Sunday afternoon I would go play golf or something and Mr. Cunningham would go read the New York Times studiously, and take a nap. On Sunday afternoon, we’d be ready for the next week.
Now, I was with him for thirty years; and during that time he purchased, perhaps, twenty different automobiles. Yet he himself never learned to drive. He never went to a ball game, he did not go to the theater, he did not play cards. He did nothing but read law and practice law. Yet it did not warp his life. He never lost sight of the better things in life and frequently he would insist that I get out of the office and take a trip for a week or so. He was a kindly man. I remember shortly after I went in with him, he went to Kansas City, Missouri, and ordered me a nice desk and swivel chair. He wanted me to have an office that would be just as nice as the one he had. Naturally, as any young lawyer will, I probably made a world of mistakes and boneheads; yet he was always very kindly, very tolerant, and I never heard an ill word from him in our thirty years of close relationship. And our relationship was close. We had a very active law practice and we drove hundreds of miles together. I would drive the car and he would visit with me. Sometimes we’d leave at three or four o’clock in the morning, drive out to western Kansas, try a lawsuit, and drive back, arriving at two or three o’clock in the morning. He never went to sleep while riding in a car; he was always awake and alert. His experiences and his knowledge of history and events and his analysis of what was going to happen were of immense value to me.
Another thing that is worthy of mention: in all of the thousands of lawsuits we tried, I cannot recall a single time that the opposing side came up with a citation that Mr. Cunningham was not familiar with. He knew in advance what the weakness of our case might be; he knew in advance the very decisions the other side would rely upon; and he would have in advance of the case taken those adverse decisions and analyzed them and researched them and be prepared to take the sting out of them.

In World War I, Mr. Cunningham was too old to get in the service, but he did join up with the Red Cross. He went overseas and served with distinction. During the time that he was gone, he lost one of his two sons, and that rather changed his outlook on life. I understand that before World War I when he went overseas, he never took a drink and he did not smoke; but from the time that I was with him, I don’t think I ever saw him without a cigarette in his mouth—and when he smoked a cigarette, it was really smoked! He would light the cigarette and usually would never take it from his lips. He usually wrote everything in long hand with a stubby little pencil. Even though he had a couple of stenographers and a dictating machine, he loved to write in long hand. Leaning over with that cigarette in his mouth, the smoke coming up in his face and eyes, I don’t know how in the world he could write. But he did! And pretty soon the cigarette would be down to about a quarter of an inch long. Usually he’d take a fresh cigarette and light it from the little stub in his mouth; then he would take a toothpick and stick it in this little stub in his lips, get the cigarette out, and toss it in the cuspidor. He was a chain smoker, if I ever saw one! Along in the evening before his meal, he liked to have a couple of highballs; and when I say a couple, I mean just that. His wife was a worker in the Methodist church, and I don’t think she permitted him to have liquor around the house, with the result that we usually had a bottle around the office. When the day’s work was done, we would lock the doors and he and I would sit back there at his desk and have about two drinks. And when I say about two drinks, I mean it was just two, and that was all. Mr. Cunningham was very temperate; he never got drunk; he was never under the influence; he simply relaxed with a couple of highballs, and that was the only enjoyment he really had out of life. When I say enjoyment, I mean from external things. Mr. Cunningham was a good man and friend of the poor man. At the time I went in with him, there were four banks in Arkansas City and he represented three of them; there were three railroads of importance, and he represented two of them. But no one would ever know it from talking with him! There was nothing of braggadocio or self-importance about Mr. Cunningham and the poor people who had troubles, flocked to him. Many of them couldn’t pay and it made no difference. Many times I said, “Mr. Cunningham, why do we want to take on the defense of this colored boy for murder? He’ll never appreciate it.” Mr. Cunningham would say, “Well, Arthur, if you’re going to practice law, there’s a certain responsibility you owe to the public and we’ve got to help these poor devils; if we don’t do it, the time will come when the people will have no respect for the legal profession.”
We represented hundreds of people that he felt were being abused in some way, shape, or form; and he got just as much satisfaction out of winning a case for a poor person who could never pay him as he did a case that really had considerable money involved.
                                          My Law Practice Begins in Earnest.
I really do not remember the first case or cases I tried. They were probably collection items or minor lawsuits that I probably tried before some Justice of the Peace. But I well remember the first case that we tried against a railroad company which I prepared and which was one of my first cases to go to the Supreme Court of Kansas.
The case was entitled, A. R. Gibson vs. the Midland Valley Railroad Company, and the Supreme Court recorded the case in 117 Kansas, page 675. Mr. A. R. Gibson, or Aus Gibson, as he was better known, was a cattle buyer and one afternoon he was driving in his car, approaching a railroad track. A Midland Valley engine and some cars had just backed up and stopped at the crossing, so Gibson had to stop. After a bit, the engineer of the Midland Valley engine started backing up the cars and as Gibson started to cross the track and had proceeded about 80 or 100 feet, a hot cinder hit him in the eye and caused infection, which resulted in his losing the eye. I felt that the railroad was responsible on the same proposition as if the engineer had thrown a piece of coal and had hit Mr. Gibson in the eye. What he had done, in effect, was to throw a cinder from his engine. I had some negligence in the case, but very little. At the trial of the case, I didn’t know how to carry on a direct examination of a witness. I would lead the witness, the other side would object, and the court would sustain the objection, and I would try again. I messed the thing up pretty bad. Then the court instructed the jury and it came time to argue the case.

I made the opening argument and the railroad lawyers simply announced that they would waive argument. Now when a lawyer makes an argument to the jury and the opposing side waives argument, it is usually an insult to the lawyer who has just spoken. In substance, the party that waives the argument is saying to the jury that that fellow hasn’t said anything; he doesn’t know how to say anything; and if he did say anything, it doesn’t amount to anything. All in all, it sort of brands the person as a nincompoop who’s made an argument and the other side doesn’t think it even justifies a reply. Well, actually, of course, the railroad lawyers were pretty smart. I hadn’t made much of an argument and if they had made a reply to my opening argument, then Mr. Cunningham would have had a closing argument. Anyway, the jury went out to deliberate and they couldn’t agree on a verdict and that’s what is called a “hung jury.” So the court dismissed the jury and re-set the case for trial at a later date.
I learned a lot of things from that Gibson case. The first thing I learned was that I’d better start and find some negligence in that case, and the next thing was the matter about the argument. I’d been a little humiliated by that matter; and I looked back and saw that I had made several mistakes. To begin with, I had memorized and written out my speech that I was going to give the jury. Now, that’s a mistake! You never want to memorize a speech. A speech has to come from the heart. It has to have emotion, it has to be timely and interesting. Anytime you memorize a talk and try to give it and influence people, you’re going to fall flat on your face!
So the first thing I did, was to go down to the Santa Fe yards, where I used to go as a newspaper reporter and knew a lot of Santa Fe engineers and brakemen, and asked them what negligence there was in the way that this engine had been operated that threw the sparks out, which hurt Mr. Gibson. I told them about the engine starting with the wheels spinning and the enginemen at the Santa Fe said, “That’s the most negligent thing you can do. How many cars did he have, Arthur?” I said the engine had six or seven cars. They asked if the track was level, to which I replied that it was. They replied that there was no reason then to spin the wheels and that the engineer should have opened the valves slowly, put the steam on, and the wheels should not have spun or slipped, and should have moved the cars in a reasonable manner. When the engineer spun the wheels on that engine, that created an unusual, unnecessary, and excessive draft over and through the firebox and sucked the sparks up through the smoke stack. Of course, they came out of the draft and threw the hot sparks an excessive distance. So I got some witnesses to show a pretty good case of negligence on the part of the railroad company.

The next thing I did was to try to figure out how to make a speech that would amount to something. I learned then how to write a speech; rather, how to get a speech ready. Here’s the thing you do. If you are going to make a speech about any subject, first, you want to write down on a piece of paper six or eight or ten things you want to talk about. Then you arrange those items in some kind of order. Now the average item that you are going to talk about will take two or three minutes at the very best, to develop. So if you have ten things you want to talk about and emphasize, you’re going to have about a thirty-minute speech. The next thing you do is write out your complete speech; then you read that speech over but don’t try to memorize it—just read it over and throw the speech away—keeping an index or list of the eight or ten things in the same order that you’ve worked out in your talk. When you get ready to argue to the jury, you have a piece of paper before you with the six, eight, or ten things that you want to emphasize. That speech that you wrote out will come back to you, and you won’t be worried about using the same words, or where you should start or stop. In other words, you’ve got your map before you, and you can drive right through it with a powerful, emotional speech. Anyway, the second time we tried the Aus Gibson case, it was an entirely different case. I had learned how to carry on a direct examination. That is a simple thing. A lawyer who puts a witness on for direct examination just uses the who, what, when, where, and why. (“What is your name? Where were you going? What were you going to do? When was this? And so forth.”) You don’t lead the witness. You get along famously if you just remember the who, what, when, where, and why.
This time I got in the negligence! I got those wheels to spinning on the engine; I got the sparks coming out; I put on some witnesses—firemen and engineers who operated steam engines—and they said it was not necessary to spin wheels; and that if you did, it would bring about the ill results I’ve mentioned. Then when I got up to argue my case, I had my outline. I gave them a fit and this time they did not waive argument on me; and this jury went out and brought us a pretty nice little verdict. That case was appealed to the State of Kansas by the railroad company. The verdict was affirmed and we got the money. That was my first case of importance that I remember.
Shortly after I started practicing law, I had a very minor case; but it was an interesting one and seemed to appeal to people. And for years, people would come in and ask me if I had any more piano cases. Here’s why they called it the piano case!
There was a school teacher in Dexter, Kansas, who was interested in music, and she signed a contract to buy a baby grand piano. It must have cost around $700 and she was to pay so much a month. In the contract was this clause: that should she become delinquent and the company, for any reason, had to take the piano back, she and the company agreed that $2 per day was a reasonable sum for the storage of the piano. In other words, the company selling this piano, had in mind, that if a party paid three or four hundred dollars and got behind, the company would simply go get the piano and put it in storage and at $2 per day, that would soon eat up the amount the party had paid and the company would have the piano back free.
Well, in this instance, this woman had some sickness and was unable to make her payments on the piano; and as I recall, she had only paid about $200. She came to see me so I wrote the company a letter, saying that she was unable to make any more payments and that she had paid the $200 and regretted that she couldn’t make any more and that she would hold the piano in storage in her home and wait the further disposition of the matter by the company. Well, for some reason, they did not show up for about six months; then they came in one day to get the piano. She told them they’d have to see me, so they came up to my office. I said, “Well, this woman paid you $200 and she’s had it in storage for 180 days, that’s $360 more, so I think that she’s entitled to the piano. They hit the ceiling and it went along about another two or three months and they filed suit; and by that time, the amount that she had paid plus the amount she was entitled to for storage amounted to more than the cost of the piano. Anyhow, we tried the case and the jury decided that she was entitled to this $2 a day storage and even if the company was going to take the piano away, that they had to pay it. Well, the result was, that the company finally threw up its hands after being beaten in the lawsuit, and gave the woman the bill of sale for the piano. It was a simple case, just a little human interest, and it appealed to people and, as I say, for years they asked me if I was going to try any more piano cases.

About the time I started to practice law, there was quite a famous murder trial which occurred in Cowley County. Ida Cummins was a very good business woman and a fine looking lady. She had a husband, Charley Cummins, who was kind of ne’er-do-well, who would enjoy spending his life with a bottle of whiskey out on a creek bank watching the cork bob up and down. Ida Cummins was running a business in Arkansas City. About this time, a man by the name of Leach came to town and she became infatuated with him—or at least that’s what everybody claimed. One afternoon Mrs. Ida Cummins was at her home and Leach was there when Charley Cummins came home. The screen door on the back porch was locked and he started swearing and kicking at the door. Leach came out on the porch with a shotgun and shot and killed Charley Cummins. As a result of this, both Leach and Ida Cummins were charged with first degree murder.
One of the best criminal lawyers in the state of Kansas at that time was Sam Amidon of Wichita, Kansas, and Mrs. Cummins hired H. S. Hines of Arkansas City, who was a pretty good criminal lawyer in his own right, and Mr. Cunningham and Sam Amidon, to defend her. I was on the sidelines and had a chance to see how those three professionals went about defense of what looked like an open and shut criminal case against them. Ida Cummins claimed that the back screen door, when it was slammed shut, would frequently lock itself, that neither she nor Leach had locked the door. Sam Amidon checked it and seemed convinced that Ida Cummins was correct. So he had the screen door removed from her home, built a frame and took the same to court. He practiced a while and became an expert with it, and he could slam that door and have it lock almost every time.
Then they had a number of witnesses who testified that they had known Charley Cummins, and it was his habit to carry a pistol, and that it was on this particular time when he was kicking the screen door and swearing, that he reached in his hip pocket. Of course, if the jury believed that, then Leach would have a right to shoot in self defense.
Sam Amidon, at that time, was at the height of his power, and one thing that impressed me was a little medicine case he carried. Inside were six little straight up and down bottles about three-fourths inch in width and maybe three inches long. About every couple of hours, he would step out and take a little of his medicine, which I later found out to be good bourbon whiskey. He wasn’t a drunkard by any means, just kept his vitality up and was a nipper, you might say, but a hell of a good lawyer. Anyhow, they tried the case and got an acquittal for Mrs. Ida Cummins, as I recall. I think maybe thereafter Leach entered a plea of guilty to some low degree of manslaughter and he served a short term in the Kansas State Penitentiary. Watching those men go into that defense of what looked like a sure shot conviction of those two clients was one of the real revelations to me of criminal law practice.

Sometime in the early 1930s there was an oil man by the name of Dickey, who operated out of Wichita and McPherson, Kansas. He was a successful oil operator, but absolutely unscrupulous, and he defrauded a couple of his relatives and employees whose names were Bradley and Tickel. When Mr. Dickey passed away, he had not performed the contract he had with Bradley and Tickel. So they employed Jack Renn to try and recover some of their money for them. Jack was not too experienced, and he had me join him to see if we could make Mr. Dickey’s estate perform the contract that Dickey had made with them. We tried the case in Denver, Colorado, and at the conclusion of the case, the judge called the attorneys from both sides back into his chambers. He was a wise and experienced judge and he approached our side with a statement something like this. “You gentlemen have put on a very good case and if the court should find the issues in your favor, your client would recover a substantial sum of money. However, if the court should find that you have not proven your case, then your client would receive nothing.” Then he would turn to the lawyers for the estate and likewise call their attention to the fact that if he found the issues against the estate, it would cost the estate quite a bit of money and that both sides should give consideration to making a settlement of the case. He felt that there was some common meeting ground; and, in fact, ordered both sides to meet later on that evening and see if a settlement could be worked out. Well, each side was a bit uncertain as to how the judge was going to decide the case, and due to the admonition of the judge, we met at a hotel room there in Denver, and we argued until midnight; then we kept on arguing about compromise, and, sometime around two or three o’clock in the morning, we agreed on a settlement. For the life of me, I can’t remember the exact figure, but it was around $50,000 or better. And which, in those days, was a pretty fair settlement of any kind. In any event, the recovery made from the Dickey estate enabled Bradley and Tickel to have enough money to go into the oil business themselves. They were successful and they accumulated good productive oil leases and rotary drilling equipment and trucks and tools, the usual paraphernalia that goes along with oil operation.
They seemed to be getting along fine, and from time to time over the years I would see them; but I don’t believe I ever had any law business with them. Along about 1960 Maybin and I were in Paris, the telephone rang, and the hotel said there was a message at the desk. I went down and there was a telegram that Mr. Wayne Bradley at Wichita, Kansas, had put in a call and I should be prepared to talk to him at about two o’clock in the morning at my hotel. Promptly at 2:00 a.m., a call came through. It was an excellent connection, and Wayne Bradley told me that he and Mr. Tickel had had a falling out, and that Tickel had retained some lawyers at McPherson, Kansas, who were going to file suit for a receivership of their business, part of which was a corporation and part of which was a straight partnership. He was quite worried, and wanted to know when I would be home. I told him I didn’t think I would be back to the states for two or three weeks, but in the meantime I would call some lawyers in Wichita to take care of Mr. Bradley until I returned. He seemed relieved and I did get in touch with some Wichita lawyers and asked them to take charge of anything that might come up until I did get back.
When I returned I got in touch with Mr. Tickel’s lawyers. Mr. Tickel, his lawyers, Mr. Bradley, myself, and the Wichita lawyers I had retained had a meeting at Wichita to see what should be done. Well, the McPherson lawyers had in mind an enormous amount of litigation that would run into thousands of dollars for court costs and accountants and lawyers fees, receivers fees, and I don’t know what all. They explained and outlined that they would want a receiver for the corporation, a receiver for the partnership, some CPAs, a special master, and I don’t know what all.

The method used by Maybin to take care of differences between Dan and Janet suddenly came to my mind. So I said to the lawyer from McPherson, who was their chief counsel, “Why don’t we settle this by just having one of these men, either Bradley or Tickel, put everything they have into two baskets, then give the other party the right to take the basket of his choice.” Of course, the lawyer from McPherson wanted to know what the “basket” was. I said, “That’s just a figure of speech. Instead of having a lot of expensive litigation, let Mr. Tickel put everything that these two men have accumulated through their joint efforts into two piles. He can put anything he wants to into the two piles. All we ask then, is that Mr. Bradley has the right to take either pile.”
Well, Mr. Tickel was a little suspicious of that and his lawyer was very discontented because his idea of making a lot of money through litigation went glimmering. We see-sawed along for three or four weeks, and we finally hit upon this. They said that if Mr. Bradley would put everything in two piles that they would pick one of the piles, or as an alternative, they would rearrange the things into two piles as they would see fit, and Mr. Bradley would have to take his choice. Well, Bradley was no fool, so after a week or ten days of work, he put everything into two piles. He knew that Mr. Tickel had a desire for money, so in one pile Mr. Bradley placed $50,00 in cash, along with tools, leases, and so forth. Sure enough, Mr. Tickel liked the looks of all that cash in one of the piles, so he took that pile and we settled in a period of a few days what could have been a very expensive, long drawn out and a bitterly contested litigation. The idea of the two baskets was the result of watching Maybin have Janet take a piece of cake, cut it in two slices, and give Dan first choice. You’ll find that the old fashioned basket method is a pretty good way to settle disputes of partners or others who are closely associated.
I’ve already mentioned that one of my best friends was Harry V. Howard, and I thought he had a rather unique experience in fixing a fee to probate the estate for an elderly gentleman and his wife. The name of the gentleman was Mr. Hammond and he was quite a character: all year round he wore a full-length horse hair heavy coat. He was one of those fellows whose eyeballs didn’t quite fill his eye sockets and the eyelid would more or less sag down and tears would roll from his eyes although he wasn’t particularly sad about anything. Harry Howard had done some work for the Hammonds over the years and one fine day, Mr. and Mrs. Hammond came to the office of Mr. Harry V. Howard and said they wanted to discuss with him what he would charge to look after the probation of each of their estates. Harry knew that the old folks had a reputation for being rather snug, and he didn’t propose to do the work that would be required, for nothing. So he spent some time explaining, that whichever of the old folks went first, he would have to go through the probation of their estate, handling the tax matters, getting the property transferred to the survivor, then later on, do that same amount of work and tax reports. So after explaining these matters for the better part of an hour, Mr. Howard swung around, looked Mr. Hammond straight in the eye, and said “Mr. Hammond, grab your chair, I’ll charge you $5,000. Whereupon Mr. Hammond, without batting an eye, said, “Now Mr. Howard, you grab your chair, I’ll give you $10,000.”

During the prohibition days, I had an exciting client, a lady bootlegger by the name of Ann Graves. She was a nice looking lady, absolutely fearless, and she thought it was alright to buy and sell whiskey and made a success of her business. I could tell you countless humorous stories about Ann Graves, but I’ll try to limit it to one experience that will tell you what kind of a lady she was. Along about Christmas time, she and her husband, Bud Graves, a monstrous fellow about 6 feet, 6 inches, and very well built, and engaged in the liquor business with his wife, rented a vacant house and brought in a truck load of whiskey and stored it in the house to be used during the Christmas season. Well, the federal government had some snoopers around and they seized this truck load of whiskey, arrested Bud Graves, and hauled him off to Wichita to await trial. They put him in the county jail at Wichita. Well, his good wife carried on the liquor business at Arkansas City, and she got to thinking that Bud must be awfully lonesome and homesick and didn’t have any whiskey to drink, so she’d better take some up to him to wet his whistle.
So one day she dressed up in her very finest and took a medicine bottle, which held a pint or better, and of course, of thinner glass than a whiskey bottle. Ann filled this medicine bottle with whiskey and placed it under her bra next to her bosom. She drove to Wichita, parked her car out in front of the jail, and walked in to see the sheriff to get permission to see Bud. That blooming bottle of whiskey, due to the heat of her body and being completely filled, had expanded and cracked and broke; and as she walked into the sheriff’s office, she was drizzling whiskey and broken glass down her dress onto the floor. She just turned and skedaddled across the street to a filling station, went into the ladies rest room, and washed her whiskey-soaked clothing. She opened the door, naked as a jaybird, and called to the attendant of the station, whom she didn’t know, and asked him to take her clothes and get them dried out, which he did, and then brought them back. She put them on and stalked right back to the sheriff’s office. She said she wanted to see Bud Graves and the sheriff said he’d be very glad to have Bud come up and visit with her, that Bud was a good prisoner, really a friend of his. So Bud came up and she told him about bringing up the whiskey and the trouble she’d had. Bud said, “For God’s sakes, don’t bring up any whiskey. I’ve got the whiskey rights here in jail. The sheriff has confiscated a lot of whiskey and I take it around and sell it to the prisoners and I’ve got a better thing going inside this jail then I had on the outside. These prisoners all want whiskey and while they don’t have any money during the week, they tell their relatives or their girl friends who come up on Sunday that they need some money to buy fruit or cigarettes and they always get enough money to pay me for the whiskey. I’m not worried about being raided or anything. The only trouble I’ve had was the other night when I sold a fellow a pint of whiskey and he took a bottle of aspirins right on top of it. I did have a little trouble with him!”

A little later on, Bud Graves and his wife couldn’t get along together too well and they began having fights and later on, came a divorce. Before the divorce case, a very humorous and what could have been a very tragic thing happened. Their car was parked outside the door of their home and in the glove compartment was a 22 caliber pistol. They had a big argument in their house and Bud threatened to kill her. He went and got his big 45, and Ann knew that he meant business. Ann went dashing out into the yard and Bud went running to the door. Ann ran around the side of the car and Bud fired a shot. Ann jumped to the side of the car and he fired again, and she tore behind a tree. He fired again and Ann kept count of the number of shots that came from Bud’s 45 and when he had emptied his pistol. He hadn’t hit her yet so she ran like an antelope to the car and got the little 22 out of the glove compartment. Bud came rushing at her and she shot and drilled him through the neck. Well, he was bleeding to death so she called the ambulance and the doctors and they came and hauled Bud to the hospital. Bud lived, but he was very humiliated and embarrassed to report that there was a 22 wound in his neck after having discharged a 45 all over the street trying to kill his wife.

One day a nice appearing French-Canadian girl about thirty years of age came to the office and said her name was Leffingwell, that she had been married to Mr. Leffingwell, that they had been divorced, and at that time he was a truck driver. She was awarded the children and $25 a month for child support. She said that following the divorce, her husband had remarried and that a few months prior to her coming to see me, Leffingwell’s father had passed away and that he owned a ranch where there was a large stone quarry. She said that the income of the elder Leffingwell was five to ten thousand dollars a year from this stone. The son was really going to receive most of this income and she thought that her child support for the children of Leffingwell should be increased if possible. Well, Mr. Leffingwell didn’t see why he should increase the child support of several children to more than $25 a month for the whole batch, so we filed an application to have this child allowance increased. Mr. Leffingwell first hired a Moline, Kansas, lawyer; then he got a Wichita lawyer in addition. Then he went to Winfield and got another one; then back to Wichita and got a law firm there; and then he came to Arkansas City and hired a very excellent lawyer there. We had quite a battle, we went round and round, and after a time we’d gotten the child support up to $400 a month. Leffingwell’s second wife was pretty good about trying to help him in all this litigation; and of course, we were representing the first wife and the two wives didn’t get along. So one day, much to my surprise, Leffingwell’s second wife came into my office. She was very frank and said she hadn’t selected me because I was the best lawyer in town, but that her husband hated me worse than any lawyer he had ever known and hiring me would bug him more than anyone she could retain and she wanted to sue Mr. Leffingwell for divorce. Well, the first thing I did was to get the first wife and the second wife together and they got very chummy. For a couple of years they were good friends, and the second wife would baby sit for the first wife. The two of them, when they got together, could think up a lot of things about Mr. Leffingwell that helped us with the divorce case. We filed a suit for divorce for the second wife in Elk County, Kansas, and Mr. Leffingwell had a nice modern ranch home there, and on the ranch was a nice big stone quarry. Leffingwell, in the meantime, had hired another battery of lawyers in addition to the ones he already had, and they thought they had a great play, so they filed a divorce suit in behalf of Mr. Leffingwell in Wichita, Sedgwick County. Well, they went to a lot of trouble to establish his residence in Sedgwick County. They went to a ratty place, got him a room, paid the rent in advance, and paid some rent to show that he lived there for quite some time before the litigation arose. They got him a postoffice box, they took him down to register him as a voter, and went through a lot of other gymnastics to try to establish his residence in Sedgwick County. Well, that was just dandy with us because the thing that these lawyers were overlooking was the fact that his valuable home and property were over in Elk County, Kansas, so we just kept our proceedings in Elk County and showed the judge these affidavits that Mr. Leffingwell had his permanent home and residence over in Wichita; and of course, we could argue to the judge with a straight face that he had abandoned this fine home in Elk County, had abandoned his ranch in Elk County, and he’d deserted his wife and left her for good, and that the judge should award her this fine home and ranch because Mr. Leffingwell had no more use for it. Of course, this was more than Leffingwell could bear, and his lawyers saw that they had made a bonehead, so they paid us a pretty good fee; and by that time Mrs. Leffingwell was tired of fighting, so she and Mr. Leffingwell went back together. I don’t know how many times we’d file a divorce case for the two and they’d have a terrific battle, then they’d kinda want to go back together. That happened numerous times. On one occasion they decided to go back together and met at Wichita. Mr. Leffingwell got roaring drunk and he and his wife started to fight. They were on the third floor of a corner hotel and the wife was leaning out of the window screaming for help with Mr. Leffingwell slapping and beating her. He beat her unconscious; then he phoned two or three places calling for an ambulance, saying it was Dr. Leffingwell calling. Pretty soon there were a couple of ambulances in front of the hotel; guys running up and down the stairs carrying stretchers and first aid equipment; and “Dr.” Leffingwell, drunk as a duke, walking around trying to supervise the affair.
Another time Mr. Leffingwell was pretty drunk and he called his wife and told her if she didn’t come back, he was going to shoot himself. He said, “Now you can just listen over the phone and if you don’t say you’re going to come back before I count to 10, you can hear the shot and I’ve killed myself.” He was fumbling around with his pistol, intending to fire it and scare her; and he almost blew his foot off, so they had to cart him to the hospital.
Another time he had her come back to the ranch. He was going to make up and be good to her. He got pretty drunk and they got into a fight; he took all her clothes off and took her diamond ring, and kicked her out into the winter night without a stitch of clothes on, and locked the door. Then like old Bud Graves, he went to the door and fired several shots into the dark, trying to hit her, but she hid in a ditch. She finally got to the road, and a truck driver hauled her into town. She walked into the sheriff’s office with very few stitches on and swore out a warrant for the arrest of her husband. Well, these are just a few of the typical things that happened from day to day.
During their series of divorce fights, we discovered that before he had married the second wife, he had her sign what is called a pre-nuptial agreement, whereby she signed away any claim to any property that he might ever have. Well, that was pretty unjust, so one time when he wanted to drop the divorce thing, and wanted his wife back, we insisted that he cancel this pre-nuptial contract, which he did; then when they went at it again and a divorce was granted the pair in Wichita, Mrs. Leffingwell was awarded 80 or maybe 160 acres, part of which was the stone quarry, which would bring her a good income. Shortly after this divorce, Leffingwell was going from Winfield back to Wichita, drunk as a duke, when he hit a bridge just south of Derby, Kansas, and was killed. As a result of that, his first wife’s children received the estate he left. Of course, the divorce case had given quite a bit of property to this second wife, so everyone was happy, except Mr. Leffingwell, who probably died with a smile on his face because he was a high liver if you ever saw one.
                                                    My Chinese Restaurant.

When I started practicing law in Arkansas City, one of the old established restaurants was the Saddle Rock Café, near the center of town, and one of the early contracts that I drew up was the sale of this restaurant by Mr. George Chaney to five Chinese gentlemen. The price was $7,500 and the purchasers paid all cash except a $1,500 mortgage which we assumed. It seems that the five Chinese had later discovered that some of them were Tong and some were anti-Tong and soon there were only four Chinese around this café. A few weeks later, there were only three Chinks, still a week or so later, only two, and the rumor was that some of these Chinks had been killed and were buried under this café. I had gotten a divorce for one of these Chinese boys from a girl up in Detroit; and one morning the two remaining Chinese boys came rushing up to my office and said in pretty good English that I’d been good to them, they liked me, and they were leaving and here were the keys to the restaurant. It was all mine, and good luck, and they put on their hats and went down the stairs, and to this day I haven’t seen them. Anyhow, I had a café! I knew they had agreed to pay $7,500 so I thought I might make a dollar or so out of it, so I tried to run it. I’m telling you, I didn’t know anything about cooks. The waitresses and the cashier stole all the money and the people in the kitchen stole all the food. They didn’t clean up the place and it got so it stunk to high heaven! A fellow came in one day and said he didn’t have any money, but he would pay off the mortgage to the bank of $1,500 in full consideration for the café. I said, “Brother, you’ve got yourself a deal.” I turned the café over to him and Lo and behold! He was a bank robber and hi-jacker and he had purchased that café for a blind. In the evening when the café was going good, he would go out and talk to the customers; and then go out the back door and jump in a high-speed automobile. His specialty was to go to various places in Oklahoma (Ponca City, Blackwell, Newkirk, or wherever there was a picture show) and simply walk up with a pistol and relieve the cashier of all the money of the show and then be back in the restaurant talking to some of his customers before they had finished their dinner. It was a pretty good deal for him; but he overplayed it and soon got caught and was sent to the state penitentiary.
                                        Helping Harry V. Howard With a Case.

When I got out of the Air Force in 1946 and came home, my friend, Harry V. Howard, said he had a case he wanted me to help him with. It had been written up in newspapers in Kansas as a woman who had been arrested for running a sex school in Wichita. She was an Arkansas City lady of a very fine family and she was charged with having an apartment in Wichita, where she would have young men and women come for the purpose of teaching them all about sex and so forth. Well, when the case came to trial, Harry and I were defending this lady. The county attorney put on a lot of evidence and at the conclusion of the State’s case, we moved to dismiss most of the counts because there was nothing more than solicitation. Of course, soliciting a person to engage in some criminal act is not sufficient; there had to be some overt act in connection with or following the solicitation. We got all the counts dismissed, but one, as I recall, The judge overruled us on this and said we would have to put on our evidence and leave it up to the jury on this one count. Now this one count was an overt act, and the state, in the forenoon had put on a boy that looked to be 14 or 15. He had on a little sports shirt, his hair was combed like a little boy. I’ve forgotten what kind of trousers he had on, but his general appearance would lead one to believe that he did not exceed 15 years of age. The state rested its case just before lunch and we made our motions to dismiss and the court overruled them. Then in the afternoon, we started putting on our evidence. I don’t know if it was Harry Howard or myself that looked back into the audience and saw a face that looked familiar. Harry and I started discussing it, and it dawned on us that a young man who looked to be 25 or 30 years of age was the same person who had been on the witness stand looking like a little boy in the forenoon. In other words, the state had had him dressed to look like a very young youth to prejudice against our client; and at noon he’d gone home and changed into his regular clothes and had come back to see how the trial was going. He was sitting back near the door, where he thought he wouldn’t be observed. Well, we thought that trick of the county attorney was dirty pool, so we called as one of our witnesses the “young man in the morning” and the “older man in the afternoon,” so to speak, and had him put on the witness stand, where he admitted that the County Attorney had told him to dress up like a boy and have his hair combed like a boy, and that he had done it as the county Attorney had suggested. He hadn’t liked wearing those little boy clothes and had gone home at noon and changed into his regular garments. When he admitted that, the jury got disgusted and acquitted our client of the heinous charge of running a sex school.
Most people think of lawyers as being fairly smart and never being the victims of “Slickers.” Well, just the reverse is true! I think the average lawyer is perhaps more gullible than any other person. I will relate a couple of incidents to try and justify this statement.
One afternoon a gentleman walked into my office and had me do a little legal work for him that only ran into a small amount of money. At the conclusion, he said he didn’t have any money to pay me but he had an 80 acre oil lease down in Texas, and the lease was about to expire; and if I would pay the rental of a dollar an acre ($80.00) and keep the lease alive for another year, he would give me a half interest in that lease and I was to call my bill paid in full. This gentleman made one mistake, however. He kept telling me how near good oil production was to his lease. It just so happened that I had been down in Texas on a case just a short time before and I knew that there were no oil wells producing anywhere near the land described in his lease. After I listened to his pitch, I just gave it to him straight! I asked him, “What is your racket?” Then he told me. It went something like this. Every spring he would go down to Texas, sometimes he would use the same name over and over. He would catch some old fellow who had a ranch of fifty or sixty thousand acres. Usually there would be a big mortgage on it, but that didn’t make any difference. He would have this rancher give him a lot of oil and gas leases on small tracts, rather than on one lease on a large tract, say 10,000 acres. Then this slicker would start north with a whole handful of oil and gas leases. He would go to a doctor, have the doctor give him a little medical treatment, and give the doctor one of the leases. Then he would go to a dentist. Then he would go to a lawyer—they were quite a specialty—then he would go to anyone else he could. He said that on a good day he could plant four or five of these 80 acre leases. Of course, the doctor or dentist or lawyer, seeing a possible oil bonanza down the road, would send $80 down to the landowner to pay for the coming year’s rental to keep the oil and gas lease alive. If the slicker could get four or five of those leases planted each day, that was $400, and he’d split with the landowner. He said that actually it was a very profitable business; and if I knew of anyone who wanted to buy an oil or gas lease, or would fix his car, or fix his teeth, his appendix, or anything else, taking an oil or gas lease in payment, I was to let him know and he would make it right with me. I told him I didn’t think I wanted to get into that sort of a racket. But he was a very interesting gentleman, well groomed and well educated, and he had devised a pretty good scheme to make a rather easy living.

One day a confidence man came into my office, very poorly dressed, and really looking the part of a man who had just got out of the penitentiary. He closed the door and swore me to silence. He said that he’d served most of a five-year term for having stolen a bunch of diamonds. He further stated that after he had stolen the diamonds, he had hid them and they hadn’t been recovered by the insurance company or the owner. He said the insurance company had to pay the owner of the stolen diamonds some $50,000; and that a few weeks before he got out of prison, the insurance company had a man come to the penitentiary to tell him that if he would return the diamonds to the insurance company, they would pay him $20,000 because in turn, they could take the diamonds back to the owner and draw down the $50,000 that they had paid to him as insurance. Well, the confidence man wanted to know first if there was any chance that if he was caught with these diamonds, whether or not he would be sent to the penitentiary again; and second, he wanted some lawyer to help him get his money because he feared that if he dug up the diamonds and brought them in to the insurance company, they would take them, then just tell him to go whistle.
As he was spinning his yarn to me, it flashed through my mind that I’d heard of this scheme, and I knew how they worked it, so I decided to see if I could play along with him and perhaps arrest him and his accomplice at the opportune time. You see, the combination worked something like this: the confidence man would give the lawyer half of whatever they could receive from the insurance company on the return of the diamonds. Then as the plot thickened, the confidence man would come in one day and say that the insurance man had been to see him and would be in the lawyer’s office that afternoon and make a deal for the diamonds. That afternoon as the confidence man would be sitting in the lawyer’s office, the so-called insurance man would come in with his briefcase and blank drafts. He would want to see the diamonds, want to count them, and would put them under glass and test them. He would then run through a list to see if all the bracelets and pins were there; and if they were, he’d say that they were ready to pay in exchange for them. He would make out a pretty good looking draft and would say, “Now who do I make it payable to?” And, of course, the hungry lawyer would say, “Make it to me, or me and my client.” Being anxious to get some money, he would go over to the bank and endorse the check for $20,000 and give the confidence man $10,000, keeping $10,000, and everybody would be happy until about a week later when the lawyer would receive the terrible news that the check was no good and that he would have to come over to the bank with $20,000 or else.

Well, I listened to the confidence man and never let on that I knew what his game was. I told him that when he got hold of the insurance man, to come back and see me. In the meantime he was working on at least four or five lawyers in various towns in Oklahoma. A rather humorous thing happened! He gave my name to a number of these lawyers as the attorney for the insurance company, who would eventually appear and pay good money to get those diamonds back. When it came time for them to work the squeeze play, he would bring someone in and introduce him as D. Arthur Walker. But the amusing thing was that some of these Oklahoma lawyers got so excited about the opportunity to make some quick money that at least two different Oklahoma attorneys drove up to Arkansas City, looked me up, and wanted to know when I’d be able to raise the money for the insurance company, and when I’d be down, and so forth. So I had to break down and tell them that this fellow had approached me with the same story and I had been stringing him along in the hope that he and his accomplice could be caught. I circulated letters to a great many lawyers in Kansas and Oklahoma, describing this man and his scheme and how it worked. Eventually the man was picked up and I don’t know if he had to serve any time or not. It was just an experience I have related to show how “slickers” will pick on lawyers as pretty easy marks.
One of the quickest fees I ever made was in helping a farmer and his wife get out of the clutches of a confidence man. It’s a true story and goes about as follows. One evening about 10 o’clock, my phone rang and it was some farmer up in the north part of Cowley County. He wanted to know if he could come down and see me right away—it was very important! I told him I’d meet him at my office about 11 o’clock. I called Mr. Cunningham, told him of the call I’d had, and that we might have to draw up some papers and maybe a lawsuit that night. So he called a stenographer; and at 11:00 o’clock the farmer and his wife came in. Mr. Cunningham was there as well as a stenographer. The farmer and his wife then told us that  a salesman from Wichita had visited them that afternoon at their farm and traded them some 20,000 units in an oil royalty company in exchange for 320 acres of land. It was a fine 320 acres and it was the home of the farmer and his wife. The salesman from Wichita had represented these oil units as being very valuable in the future, giving them a good income for life, and all that. Of course, he had the deed to their farm and they had this handful of units. The farmer and his wife reconsidered the matter and became quite alarmed. They decided they wanted to revoke the deal, that they’d been slickered. Well, first of all, I asked them what they would be willing to pay if someone could get this entire deal revoked and get their farm back for them. They made the proposition—and you could tell that they thought it over—that they would give, for our fee, one-fourth of whatever we could get back for them. I told them that no doubt the salesman had already conveyed this land to some innocent party and there might be some hard litigation for several years, and we might not get it back then; or we might get it revoked without a trial.

We got busy at once, and by midnight we had dictated and had typed up a lawsuit for this farmer and his wife against the salesman and the oil company. I called the courthouse at Winfield, Kansas, got the clerk of the district court to come down and meet me at the courthouse at about one o’clock in the morning, and I filed this lawsuit at that hour of the morning. Now, most lawyers think that the only time you can file a lawsuit is in the daytime during business hours; but there isn’t any law that says that you can’t file a suit any time of the day or night if you can get the clerk there and have him sign it. Of course, I wanted to have a lawsuit on file so that it would be a notice to the world that from 1:00 a.m., that morning, this farmer and his wife owned that farm and that they had been swindled out of it; and the pending lawsuit gave notice to the world accordingly. Also, I called up the Registrar of Deeds, and he was there at the courthouse at about one or two o’clock in the morning. I had an affidavit filed with the Registrar of Deeds so that if an abstract of title was called for, it would show up on the abstract as well as this pending lawsuit. Then I got copies of those instruments I had filed and I started for Wichita; and at seven o’clock on the next morning, I was in Wichita hunting for this salesman. I located him about 8:00 a.m., and I told him that we had filed this lawsuit; that he’d violated the Blue Sky law as well as the Securities and Exchange act; and we were not only going to sue him, but we were going to have him arrested unless he would re-convey that land to the farmer. In turn, I had all these units he had given them, signed back to him. Well, he was quite alarmed and said he would be quite willing to return the land back to the farmer and his wife if they would give back the units to him. That was done! I was back in Arkansas City by 10 or 11 o’clock that forenoon, and the farmer and his wife came up to our office, tickled to death! They gave a deed to Mr. Cunningham and me for 80 acres of land, which later sold for a good price, and made a very good fee for an interesting night’s work.
I must confess that I believe in miracles! I was working on a murder case, when a genuine miracle occurred. I had been called to the jail at Winfield by Mr. Brazelton to see if I could help his wife, who was charged with murder. Mr. Brazelton was about six feet, seven inches tall, a very large man. He must have weighted at least 300 lbs., and his wife was a little bitty thing; she probably weighed 80 lbs., wringing wet, and she had only one good eye. She had a daughter who had married a no-account boy. He wouldn’t support his wife, so the wife and baby came back to Brazelton’s. Mrs. Brazelton related to me at the jail the circumstances that followed when the son-in-law appeared at her home.
“Here come my son-in-law and he come up to the screen door and he said, ‘I’m acomin’ in,’ and I said, ‘No you ain’t,’ and he said, ‘Yes I am,’ and I run back in the bedroom and got Daddy’s pistol and I fired a shot and hit him right in the head, and Mr. Walker, if that ain’t self-defense, I don’t know what is.”
Well, she had it analyzed pretty good, but there were some bad features about this thing. First of all, here was a man who had a right to come into the house to see his wife and baby. The next bad feature was that he didn’t have any knife or gun on his person. Next, we were unable to show that he had a bad reputation for being vicious because he didn’t live in this community.
For some reason, the county attorney wanted to make a big case out of this deal. He displayed in the courtroom a model of the back porch of the Brazelton home showing the screen door and all the other paraphernalia. The state put on a pretty good case; it was time for us to put on a defense! I tried to show that Mrs. Brazelton was in fear of her life, that she knew her son-in-law was no good and vicious, and so forth. The prosecution would object and say, “Now, all Mr. Walker can show is that the defendant here, this little lady, knew of his reputation, but she didn’t know anything about his reputation, so how could she testify that she shot in self-defense?”
Well, I was having a pretty hard time trying to explain to the judge that if she thought, or had reason to believe, that he meant to do her bodily harm, she had a right to use such force as seemed reasonable under the circumstances. The judge didn’t know much about criminal law and he wouldn’t permit me to ask those questions or to get those answers in, so we took a recess.

I was sitting there at the counsel table, talking with my client and trying to figure out a way to get this evidence before the jury, when someone brought a note to me indicating that someone wanted to see me out in the hall. I stepped out into the hall, and there was a fine, dignified gentleman. He said, “I’m Reverend                , I’m a brother of the deceased. My brother was the most vicious, cruel, and dangerous man I have ever known and a man that you couldn’t dare trust as he was capable of injuring you. All his life he hurt our father and mother. I was raised with him and I know him to be the most inhuman person that God Almighty ever made. I’m a minister down at New Orleans, and I’ve paid my own expenses to come up here to testify on behalf of this lady. I never saw her before, never heard of her before; but I read about the killing in the newspapers and I was afraid that some innocent person might be convicted. I’ve heard this testimony, and I want to testify in behalf of this little lady.”
Well, of course, it came as quite a welcome shock; but I thought perhaps he was a “plant.” Instead of testifying that his brother was a fiend, he might testify that his brother had been very kind and lovable, and blow me out of the water! So I called over one or two people and asked, “Reverend, would you repeat in front of these people what you just told me?” He said, “Yes, sir,” and he did. So I knew that if I put him on and he switched his story, at least I could make some effort to impeach him, by showing what he had told all of us there together.
The judge started the trial again; and I put this gentleman on the stand. He was a stem winder! He was a real minister of the Gospel, and he did have a church in New Orleans, and he related all the early experiences of the deceased and himself, and told of the cruel, inhuman things his brother had done—kicking his own mother, taking a pitchfork and knife to his father, how he delighted in pouring gasoline on animals and setting them on fire, and I don’t remember what all else. He revealed that his brother’s reputation for being a dangerous, vicious man was well-known throughout the community in which he lived.
He further told about how, without any solicitation, he had come to this trial to help this lady, that he had paid his own expenses, and was there in the interest of justice. Of course, he made a good witness; and after a witness of that kind, it didn’t take the jury very long to acquit Mrs. Brazelton. But to me, it was just a miracle! A man appeared from nowhere, and at a time when I needed a witness of that kind the most.
                                                      My Mennonite Case.
Some years ago I had a case with quite a bit of human interest in it and also quite a bit of money involved. It involved the setting aside of the will of a bachelor Mennonite. I won’t mention his last name. He lived near Newton, Kansas, and his first name was Jake. He had accumulated a couple of million dollars through hard work and thrift. He was so thrifty that he never married, and he drove an old broken down car with a five gallon can of gasoline in the back end. He would drive across country looking at his farms and other property; and if he didn’t find a filling station selling gas at a discount, he would drive until the engine quit, then he’d go and lift up the lid on the back of his car, get out the 5 gallon can, put it in the gas tank, and keep on driving and looking for a bargain gas station. He had them pretty well spotted and that gives you some idea of the thrift of the gentleman.

Well, he had a will made and he had added several codicils. In the will, he wanted a trust set up and the income was to be used to carry out and have performed all of the doctrines of the old Amish Mennonites. Now you may not know this, but there is the old Amish and the later Amish. The old Amish people are the ones who won’t drive a buggy that has rubber tires. They’ll plow with mules, but not with tractors. They are very religious; but they don’t want to spend the money to build a church. They meet at each others homes. Of course, a part of the old Amish doctrine is that you shall not serve on a jury; you shall not seek or hold an elective office; you will not join the army or the national guard; you will not contribute money to the Red Cross because the Red Cross goes with the troops in time of war and aids the injured and relieves the suffering; and so on. That is part of the old Amish philosophy.
Now, when Jake died, the lawyers up around Newton, who represented him, filed his will for probate. One lawyer at Newton represented a group of his nieces and nephews, his nearest kin, who had been left no money. The nephews and nieces had retained the Newton lawyer to help them; and he got a lawyer in Wichita to assist him. They went and opposed the will on the grounds that Jake did not have sufficient mental competence to draw a valid will or have one drawn for him. Well, Jake had been a member of the Kansas Legislature and was well known as a prominent and wealthy man; and the claim that he lacked testamentary capacity was plowed under by the court immediately. It was about this time that the lawyers at Wichita and Newton decided they needed an attorney, and they came to see me. We still had a little time to appeal, so we appealed from the order of the probate court admitting this will to probate and I said that I thought that we could set that will aside on the grounds that it was against public policy. It didn’t make any difference to me whether Jake was of sound mind or not; it looked to me like such a will was invalid as it was in violation of public policy. The Mennonites hired a battery of excellent lawyers. One of them was George Stallwitz of Wichita, who was a friend of mine for many years, and he was a fine lawyer. The opposition, a battery of very able lawyers, would laugh and smile and smirk when I said that I thought we could set this will aside on the grounds that it was contrary to public policy.
The first deposition that I decided to take was at Washington, D.C., and I went there and took the deposition of officials in charge of the draft and the Red Cross. I showed by the men who were handling the drafting of men for military service that the spending of Jake’s money to try and get men to resist the draft and avoid military service would be injurious to the military defense of this country, and so forth. I showed by the Red Cross deposition that they would be injured and hampered by having money spent urging people not to contribute to the Red Cross. From there I went to the people trying to sell defense bonds and showed that if Jake’s money was used to get people not to buy bonds because part of that money was used for national defense, it would be injurious. I took the deposition of the Adjutant General of Kansas, who is head of the National Guard; and he testified that the use of funds to oppose the National Guard, trying to get men not to join or to resign if they had signed up, would be injurious to the defense and safety of the State of Kansas. I started on down the line with other depositions, and Stallwitz already knew, and the other boys were getting wise to the fact that they were on pretty shaky ground. I honestly believed that will was against public policy and invalid, and I still do. In any event, the other side got scared and paid this handful of nieces and nephews that we represented about one hundred thousand dollars. When my good wife learned that I had made a pretty good fee out of this case, she immediately planned and added on a couple of rooms to our home. They are nice, large, comfortable rooms; and I always refer to them as Jake’s contribution to the health and happiness of Maybinsyde.
                                                     The Rich Woosie Deer.

As most of you may know, the Osage Indians have their mineral rights held by the government in common, that is, the government leases their land to various oil companies and the money received for the sale of the leases and the sale of gas and oil is put in a common fund and divided among some 2,300 headrights, so that each Osage draws the same amount per headright as any other Osage. Now, in other tribes, it’s different. I’m thinking particularly of the Creek Indians. When a Creek got his farm from the government, he also got the minerals. If oil was found on the Creek Indian’s land, he got all the oil income and the other Creeks might starve to death. Of the wealthy Creeks, Jackson Barnett was probably the wealthiest man and Woosie Deer was probably the wealthiest Creek woman. I had many contacts with Jackson Barnett over a period of seven or eight years, and I just had one contact with Woosie Deer, and I’ll relate it.
There was an Osage Indian boy in Arkansas City by the name of Lawton Dial, and he was a very fine chap. He was fat and heavy; weighing about 250 lbs., and he was a very nice, pleasant fellow. I had several business dealings with him. One day he called me and said his cousin, I think it was, had been arrested at Muskogee, Oklahoma, and was in jail; and he wanted me to go down to see him. Lawton Dial drove his car to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and there Lawton met another Osage Indian friend. He was not rather fat: he was awful fat. He was a big Indian and he must have weighed 400 lbs. He had a brand new Lincoln roadster with a little jump seat behind; big balloon tires on it (a new innovation at the time) and in those days balloon tires were much larger than the present ones. They were just enormous doughnuts! So this Indian got in this Lincoln roadster with brand new balloon tires, Lawton got in with him, and the two of them could hardly squeeze into the front seat, so I got into the jump seat behind. We left Pawhuska after dark and headed for Muskogee. This big Indian was driving the Lincoln car and he had a pocket filled with two-ounce bottles of Jamaica ginger. He would pull one out of his pocket, thumb the cork out, and toss off the bottle. I’ve forgotten whether Lawton drank any or not, but I didn’t. After this Indian had consumed eight or ten bottles of this Jamaica ginger, he was really wheeling the Lincoln down the road. In those days the road was just a little ribbon of concrete and the turns were quite sharp. He would take those turns at 70 or 80 miles an hour and those balloon tires would just scream as we would work our way around the curves. I was in that little jump seat praying to God to get me there safe, if at all possible. We were about 30 or 35 miles from Muskogee when a speed cop on a motorcycle pulled up alongside of us with his siren blowing. We were going about 80 or 90 miles an hour at the time; and this race with the cop just tickled that big fat Indian to death. He didn’t stop! I suppose on the straightaway we were doing 110 or 120. He continued drinking Jamaica ginger at regular intervals, throwing the bottle away, and laughing. It was really good fun for him! When we hit the outskirts of the town south of Muskogee, we started hitting drainage ditches on the streets. The car started bucking and jumping, making it necessary for the driver to slow down. The speed cop, who had chased us all the way, pulled up beside us and the cylinders on his motorcycle were absolutely red: just as hot as could be. He started giving the Indian driver hell, and I said, “Officer, I want to thank you for catching up with us. I have been scared to death.” So he wrote out a ticket for the Indian driver and said to him, “Now you follow me down to jail.” The cop went over to start his motorcycle: the engine was frozen and the pistons stuck. Well, the cop was mad and started giving us all hell. I said, “Don’t give me hell, just take this boy to jail. I’ve seen the last of him, I hope.” So the last I saw of the big Indian, the cop was taking him to jail.

The next morning I went over to the jail to see my client. He was a Sioux Indian boy, a nice looking kid, charged with adultery. It seems that Woosie Deer had been married and she got a divorce. The usual divorce order prohibited her from remarrying within six months. Well, less than six months had gone by when she and this good looking boy had gotten married. Of course, she had a guardian—and the guardian and his lawyer had a good thing going as long as she wasn’t married. They could see that their income was going to be cut off because now her husband could run her affairs. So they decided (and they had an Oklahoma decision backing them up) that they could arrest this boy for adultery for having married this girl within the prohibited six month period. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what the situation was. These men didn’t really care anything about sending my client to the state pen: they just wanted him to get out and get gone and leave them and Woosie alone.
I told them that I thought if they would make a nominal bail, my client would come back to Kansas, and then go on back to the Dakotas where he was from, and they would probably never see him again. They seemed to think that was a good idea so they got hold of another car. I made the return trip with Lawton Dial and his cousin, the Sioux Indian. Again, it was at night, and this time Lawton got hold of a bottle of whiskey. He wasn’t a drunkard, but he was nipping all the time, and we were driving on one of those narrow strips of road when—My God! We sideswiped a car and just peeled off all the tin and everything that was loose on that side of the car. I supposed that Lawton would stop, but he didn’t stop! He just thought it was an everyday affair. We came careening into Kansas about two in the morning. I asked the Sioux if he had any money and he didn’t! Lawton said that he would pay me back sometime. I’ve forgotten whether he ever did or not, but I was never so glad to get back home and get my feet on the ground after that wild ride down and back with crazy Indians.
                                                The Psychological Approach.
Ordinarily the lawsuit is won by the party that has the facts or the most appropriate law, but in some instances a psychological approach will win you a lawsuit. In the little town of Oxford, Kansas, there was a very successful banker by the name of Barnes. Mr. Barnes was not only the president of a very active bank and a leader in the Methodist church, but, among other banking practices, he made a practice of drawing wills for various customers and depositors of the bank. Usually, if the party for whom he was drawing a will had no one else to name as the executor, he would suggest in a nice way that he would be willing to serve as executor of the estate.
Over the years this had become a lucrative practice and he was in competition with the lawyers. Some of them didn’t like it! In that area there was a well-to-do family by the name of Scroggins. Mr. Barnes prepared a will for Mrs. Scroggins and she named Mr. Barnes executor of her will. Mrs. Scroggins had a son who was a nice boy, but pretty much of a ne’er-do-well. He ran a pool hall, sold a little beer; and of course, Mr. Barnes, being a good Methodist, suggested to Mrs. Scroggins that she not leave her son anything at all. She did as he had suggested and soon died. The Scroggins’ heir, who had been cut out of the will, came to see John Boyle, an active lawyer in Arkansas City, and he, in turn, asked me to help him with the matter. We filed a suit to set aside this Scroggins’ will and get for the son his fair share of the estate. John Boyle suggested that we try a psychological approach and I told John to go ahead.

Boyle came up with two ideas that I had never heard of before, but I thought both were rather novel. First of all, he went over to the Probate Court in Sumner County—the county adjoining Cowley County. Mr. Barnes’ bank was in Sumner County and most of the wills that he probated were handled in that county. Mr. Boyle went to the Probate Court in Sumner County and went through all the records of the past fifteen or twenty years of estates in which Mr. Barnes had acted as executor or administrator of a will or estate. He made a list of the cases and the amount of fees allowed to Mr. Barnes. The total amount was staggering!
John Boyle checked over all these cases and the fee allowances, and got out subpoenas for witnesses to identify those records. Well, Mr. Barnes heard about this and he was smart enough to foresee that when it became public that he had received thousands upon thousands of dollars for his services as executor, there would be a considerable number of eyebrows raised. The last thing in the world that Mr. Barnes wanted was that kind of publicity. As executor of this will that we were attacking, Mr. Barnes retained Charlie Roberts, a very prominent and able lawyer of Winfield, to represent him. Charlie Roberts was a very shrewd individual and could foresee many oncoming events.
Shortly before the case came to trial, Mr. Boyle got a list of the best and most intimate friends of Mr. Barnes. Boyle would drive out, pull into the farmyard of these fine, prosperous farmers, who were good friends of Mr. Barnes. He would ask each farmer if he knew Mr. Barnes. If the farmer responded, “Yes,” Mr. Boyle would then say, “Would you have any objection to coming over to Cowley County and testifying that you’ve known Mr. Barnes for many years and that you would not believe him under oath, and that his reputation in Sumner County, as far as truth and veracity is concerned, is very bad?” Of course, that kind of question raised the hackles of whatever farmer he was interrogating, and usually the farmer would say, “Why, certainly not! I consider Mr. Barnes a fine gentleman.” So Boyle would not argue with him, but responded, “Well, if you don’t care to testify, I’ve got a dozen men who will, and I thank you very much.” Mr. Boyle would then go on down the road. The farmer would go in the house, ring the telephone, get hold of Mr. Barnes, and tell him what was going on.
Well, as Mr. Boyle went from one of Mr. Barnes’ friends to another, making the same request, always telling them that if they were reluctant to testify, that he, Mr. Boyle, had at least a dozen witnesses who would be very happy to testify about Mr. Barnes, and that they intended to show the amount of money that he had taken from widows and children under the guise of executor’s fees—of course, all this got back to Mr. Barnes. It made him so worried that he couldn’t sleep! Finally he told Charlie Roberts to settle that case, no matter what it cost, and that’s exactly what Mr. Roberts did. He called Mr. Boyle and me in, and accused us, in effect, of blackmailing Mr. Barnes indirectly. He said the case was one that should be settled, to which we agreed, and he made a very liberal settlement upon our client.
                                                The Bonds in the Paper Sack.

Another interesting lawsuit was over the will and estate of U. S. Simms of Rock, Kansas. Mr. Simms was a very well-to-do farmer and he and his wife (through hard work and economy) had accumulated a half million dollars or more in property. They were clients of Mr. Charlie Roberts and his son, Lloyd Roberts. Mr. Simms had the Roberts’ law firm prepare two wills that were identical. One was signed by Mr. Simms, and the other was signed by Mrs. Simms. They were not contractual wills; that is, when contractual wills are drawn and one of the parties dies, the surviving party cannot change the will. These were simply identical wills and not contractual. Now Lloyd Roberts had a very unique way of soliciting law business, and I guess it was perfectly legal. He would go out to a well-to-do farmer (and of course, Lloyd Roberts was rich) and tell the farmer that at the present time he was a little short of cash, and he would like to borrow five or ten thousand dollars and would be willing to pay 6% interest. At that time the best rate of interest you could get on a savings account or a certificate of deposit was 3% or 3½% or maybe 4% interest at the highest. So an opportunity to get 6% on a note signed by a man as wealthy as Lloyd Roberts was something that the well-to-do farmers would be glad to have. Of course, Lloyd would pay the interest from time to time as agreed upon, and that gave him an excuse to go out and visit with the farmers and whether or not he started with their business, he would wind up with it.
Well, U. E. Simms was 94 years of age and he was going out to harvest wheat on the 4th of July when he had an automobile wreck, which took his life. So Lloyd Roberts filed the will of U. E. Simms for probate, and Lloyd went on to Colorado to take a few weeks vacation. In the meantime Mrs. Simms found out that none of the property was to go to her brothers, sisters, nieces, or nephews; further, that the will she had signed gave nothing to her brothers, sisters, nieces, or nephews. She wanted to change her will! Some of her neighbors said she could and some of them said that she couldn’t. So she invited me up to give her some advice, and I took Mr. Iverson with me. We met with Mrs. Simms and all of her relatives and invited at least ten or twelve neighbors to come in to see that no one took advantage of Mrs. Simms or misrepresented anything to her. We spent a full afternoon there with that group and Mrs. Simms signed an election in which she elected not to take, under the will of her husband, but to take what the law would give her, to wit, one-half. Then she also took her old will to her brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces, and she gave a power of attorney to one of her nephews, who was an adult and a very honorable man. She had a safety deposit box in the name of herself and her husband, so we went down with her and her nephews and nieces and emptied the deposit box, listing the contents, and there was something like $125,000 in government bonds and some cash and other securities. The nephews were to put these bonds and securities in a Udall bank for safe-keeping. Then we got in touch with Bob Martin of Wichita and we filed a suit in the Federal Court to have a judicial hearing, a determination as to whom the government bonds belonged, some of which were in both names, some in one name only, some in the other name, and some in one name with the words, “and or the other,” and so forth. When Lloyd Roberts got back to town, he got the key that Mr. Simms had to this deposit box. It was similar to the one that Mrs. Simms had used, and he went down to the lock box and opened it; and of course, everything was gone and Lloyd hit the ceiling. He called for a hearing in the Probate Court to determine where the assets of Mr. Simms had gone, and we told our clients to go to the bank at Udall and bring the government bonds and securities down so that we could show the court that no one had run off with them.

On the morning set for this hearing, Lloyd Roberts came into court and gave about a thirty-minute speech, and he jumped all over Bob Martin, Mr. Iverson, and myself, claiming that we had carried out the greatest bank robbery since the James boys and the Dalton gang, and it was a matter that should be reported to the federal government. He lambasted us in great style. In reply, I simply got up and told Mr. Roberts that he needn’t worry about the federal government being notified because we had filed a lawsuit the day before in federal court, telling the government all about it and asking for a judicial determination as to who legally owned the bonds. As a matter of keeping faith with our local judge, we thought we would show him that we had possession of the bonds and securities; and we stepped out into the hall and asked the nephews if they had brought the bonds and securities down from Udall. They said, “No.” They had come by the Udall bank and the bonds and securities had been lost. That news just about floored us!
We told them to go back to the bank at Udall and stay there until they found those bonds and securities. They went up to Udall and they must have been gone a couple of hours and finally they came back, greatly elated. Those numbskulls had taken that paper sack full of valuable papers up to the Udall bank and without telling the president what to do, they threw this paper sack with these bonds and securities on his desk. He thought it was the remains of the janitor’s lunch and he pitched the paper sack on a bunch of trash at the back of the bank. On the following day, all that trash was swept out and burned. Our clients got there just in the nick of time before the trash was burned. The Roberts firm then hired George Templar, who is now a Federal Judge in Kansas and an able lawyer. The Templar firm, the Roberts firm, and ourselves had active litigation for several months. We went to the Supreme Court of Kansas once, and we prevailed there. The Roberts and Templar people decided that they might be on shaky ground so they made a settlement with Mrs. Simms and the nephews and nieces, and we all lived happily ever after.
                                                     Some Insurance Cases.
Although I have represented a number of insurance companies, I expect that I have sued insurance companies ten times as frequently as I have defended them.
I have found it not only more interesting but more remunerative. As a result of some of the cases I have had against insurance companies, they have had to re-call and rewrite some of their policies. For a company that had fifty or one hundred thousand policies outstanding and they want to re-call them to make changes, that runs into quite a printing figure. I want to give you one or two illustrations because I thought they were rather novel and interesting.
For many years the Hill-Howard Motor Company was one of the big automobile distributors in this locality. One afternoon after the banks had closed, a gentleman came into the Hill-Howard concern and wanted to buy an automobile. He said that his name was, we’ll say Baker. He showed his bank book and identification card as an employee of the Santa Fe, and the bank book showed a substantial balance. Hill-Howard called the bank and they verified that Mr. Baker had a good checking account, sufficient to take care of any check that he would write for an automobile. So this alleged Mr. Baker wrote Hill-Howard a check; they delivered the car to him; and he left town. They haven’t seen him since! Of course, it developed that some thief had broken into Mr. Baker’s apartment and taken his bank book and identification papers and perpetrated the fraud upon Hill-Howard.

Now Hill-Howard had an insurance policy which protected them from loss from fire or theft of a motor car. We made a demand upon the insurance company, claiming that this scheme was really nothing more or less than a theft. The insurance company refused payment and we brought suit and prevailed in the district court. The insurance company appealed to the Supreme Court of Kansas, and we prevailed there. The crux of the matter was that when you use a scheme to obtain property by fraud, that is what you commonly call “larceny by fraud.” Of course, larceny is a form of theft. Therefore, an insurance policy that protected Hill-Howard from theft used the broad term and “larceny by fraud” is a component part of the overall word, theft. Anyhow, after we prevailed in that lawsuit and it became final by the decision of the Supreme Court, the insurance companies that were writing automobile fire and theft insurance, re-called thousands and thousands of policies and had new ones printed. The expense must have been terrific to make that correction in the policies. You will find, if you examine your own automobile fire and theft policy, that usually they will have a clause that excludes their responsibility if someone obtains the car through misrepresentation, or larceny by fraud.
One time I had an insurance policy on my good wife, Maybin. She was out riding one day and the horse stumbled and down they went—Maybin breaking her coccyx, commonly called the tail-bone. Maybin was looking through her insurance policy and found that it was to pay her hospital and medical bills in case of a broken pelvis. I told her that I didn’t think the coccyx was a part of the pelvis, but Maybin has always been smarter than I, so she got the dictionary and convinced me she was correct. The insurance company tried to laugh me out of court; but after they too, read the dictionary and some cases that Maybin had dug up through her industrious research, the insurance company paid off. I think they re-called a number of their policies and changed them.
Another small, but interesting case, was that of a man who took out a policy that cost him a dollar, but was to pay his widow a thousand dollars if he was killed through the collapse of a building. This man was an oilfield worker and they were trying to pull the casing out of a well, the oil derrick buckled and collapsed, fell on this man, and crushed and killed him. The widow brought me the policy, which set forth that she was to be paid $1,000 if her husband was killed through the collapse of a building. Now it so happened that some years ago, after World I, the veterans of the war wanted to have a memorial building constructed in Winfield. They visualized a Memorial building as a place where they could sit around and play billiards, cards, etc., and have a little barroom, a reading room, and be out of the weather and enjoy life.
The citizens of Winfield voted bonds in a good amount for a Memorial building; then some of the lunkhead city officials decided that the building visualized by the veterans would cost too much. They put up a big granite spire on a lot just east of the courthouse! The veterans didn’t think that was much of a building because they couldn’t even get into it, so they brought a lawsuit to enjoin the city from spending the money for this granite column. But the court decided against the veterans, saying, “Anything constructed by the hands of man is a building.”
Therefore, when I found that this policy stated it would pay the widow $1,000 if the husband was killed through the collapse of a building, I felt I had a sure shot. The insurance company again tried to laugh me out of court, but I got the decisions and showed them to the judge. Justice prevailed, and we collected the money for the deserving widow.

                              SOME WORKMAN’S COMPENSATION CASES.
I used to try lots of workman’s compensation cases: one case lingers in my mind that I won in the lower court. It was appealed to the Supreme Court, and I won it there. The title of the case was “Justice versus the Milling Company.” The facts were that Mr. Justice, working for the flour mill, sustained an injury to one of his eyes and lost about 90% of his vision. The United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company carried the insurance for the employees; and it paid statutory compensation for the 90% of the total loss of an eye. Later on Mr. Justice was working for the same company when he sustained an accident, which caused the loss of the entire vision of that same eye. The same insurance company (United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company) didn’t want to pay him; or in any event, they stipulated that they would pay no more than 10% when this second accident occurred.
I checked the law. The law didn’t say you had to have a good eye, or half a good eye, or a poor eye: it simply said that if you lost an eye, that you got so much compensation. I maintained that the law allowed a man so much for an arm. The statute didn’t say whether it had to be a left arm, right arm, big arm, little arm, weak arm, or a strong arm. Here was a man who did have a little vision in his eye; and even though it wasn’t too good, it was gone forever. So I took in after them and recovered 100% for the loss of the eye on this second injury and the Supreme Court affirmed it. The United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company let out an awful squawk, having to pay this man 190% for the loss of one eye by reason of it having occurred in two installments. Anyhow, as a result of my winning that case, the insurance company changed their policies and the workman’s compensation law was amended to take care of such an event in the future.
                                  Barker Versus the Shell Petroleum Company.
Then I had another workman’s compensation case that was widely quoted for a number of years! It was “Barker versus the Shell Petroleum Company.” Mr. Barker was working for the Shell Petroleum Company, helping to build a road along the railroad track. For about a couple of weeks, he rode what they call a “maney,” or what we would think of as a dirt scraper. This scraper was pulled by a tractor or a bulldozer. The wheels of the “maney” would get up on the railroad ties and just bump, bump, bump, and jar that scraper, causing it to buck and jump all day long. Mr. Barker was around sixty years of age; and after about two weeks on the “maney,” they took him to the hospital and found that this bumping and jerking had inflamed his spine. When he was released from the hospital, he had a stiff spine and was totally disabled. The insurance company refused to pay, saying that an accident has to occur at a certain time and at a certain place, and that I couldn’t show on his behalf, any specific railroad tie that had caused a big bump, jerk, or jar; neither could I point out the hour of the day or even the day of the week when he received the injury. I took the position that the workman’s compensation law was not a matter of technicalities; but was written for the benefit of the working man, and should be liberally construed. I argued that if he had fallen down a flight of stairs and injured his back, he would not be compelled to show the exact step on the stairway that did it; further, that if it had been a flight of stairs half a mile long that he had tumbled down, he might have taken ten or fifteen minutes to roll down, and he couldn’t show the exact moment of injury. The court agreed, and we prevailed for Mr. Barker.

                                                          Pool Versus Day.
Another case we had that was widely quoted in legal magazines and law digests for many years, and still is, for that matter, was the case of Pool versus Day.
The circumstances were as follows. A young man in Winfield, Kansas, was taking a young lady by the name of Virginia Pool to a dance at Ponca City, Oklahoma. A short distance north of Ponca City, he failed to make a curve, ran into an embankment, and was killed. Virginia Pool was very badly injured; and one leg was so badly mangled that the doctor said the only reason he didn’t amputate it was because he thought she was going to die and there was no reason to amputate it. However, she made a good recovery even though her leg was quite crooked and mangled.
[Now at the time of this accident, the law of Kansas forbade a guest or passenger to sue the driver. We had what was called the guest statute in Kansas. But at the same time, in Oklahoma, where the accident occurred, there was no guest statute.]
We brought the lawsuit at Winfield because that’s where we had to bring it to get service. But the insurance company claimed inasmuch as we brought the lawsuit in Kansas—and all the people involved lived in Kansas—that we should be denied recovery by reason of the guest statute of Kansas. Of course, we argued that the law of Oklahoma should govern because that was where the accident and injury occurred.
When we tried the case in the lower court before a jury, I showed them an exhibit: the injured, crooked, rather horrible looking leg of Virginia Pool. The other side, when they were arguing the case, said that the jury shouldn’t give her anything; and if only the young man who had been driving the car could be there, they wondered what he would say.
Well, it was just about dark in the courtroom, and I softly said, “Gentlemen of the jury, they’ve been wanting to know what the young man who drove the car would say. Let’s just step out into the cemetery, sit down around his grave, and listen intently. I’m wondering if he isn’t trying to tell us something like this. ‘Gentlemen, the evening I took this girl for the fatal ride, she was beautiful, she was happy, she had beautiful, straight, attractive limbs. Where once there was laughter and happiness, now there is only anguish and pain. You see her today with her face scarred, her teeth knocked out, her beautiful legs twisted and deformed. Gentlemen, I am the cause of all of this!’”
Well, about the time I was getting warmed up in this visit with the departed, the other side was objecting, so I ceased. Anyhow, the Supreme Court in those days had a bunch of Scotchmen on the court: they thought a verdict of $10,000 was excessive and they were going to send it back for another trial. They also thought that I had prejudiced the jury with my remarks concerning the departed. So I had to try it again, and it went to the Supreme Court a second time. This time, instead of showing the jury the deformed, twisted leg of this girl, I got her some nice silk stockings and had her sit where all the jury could see that her one beautiful leg hadn’t been scratched. I didn’t give my speech about going out to the cemetery; and the jury, after being transfixed by this beautiful leg, gave the girl about $15,000; and when it went to the Supreme Court the second time, they affirmed the judgment.
The moral of this story: it isn’t always necessary to have as an exhibit, the bad things of your case; sometimes the niceties will do much better.

                                    The Impeachment Trial of Roland Boynton.
One of the greatest trials to take place in the state of Kansas since statehood was the impeachment trial of Roland Boynton, Attorney-General for the state of Kansas. This took place in the spring of 1934.
The impeachment trial of Attorney-General Boynton came as a result of the Finney bond scandals that were exposed in 1933. For many years the most prominent family in Emporia, Kansas, was the Finney family—and the son was Ronald Finney. The elder Finney was the president of three different banks and president of a telephone company, and was regarded as an outstanding man. The Finney’s vast financial and political connections were extensive. The family was related to the William Allen White family. For many years, I suppose if anyone had asked for the name of the most respected man in Emporia, that nine times out of ten, they would have been given the name of Mr. Finney. As I said, the Finneys had three banks, and in those banks were large amounts of state funds on deposit. In order to secure the state against loss of the money put in the Finney banks, the Finneys would place in Topeka with the state treasurer, large amounts of municipal bonds.
During the depression years, Ronald Finney and his father became convinced that we were on the verge of good times and that things would suddenly swing to wild inflation. The Finneys started speculating and buying large amounts of commodities, equities, and land. They even bought a circus and a plant that made dog food. They speculated on the grain market—buying large a great amount of wheat, corn, and other grains on margin—and the first thing they knew, they had used up all of their own money. Then, the next thing they knew, they had used all of the state money that was on deposit in their banks.
Then they hit on a novel scheme to get some more money: print forged municipal bonds, go up to the state treasurer’s office, take out the genuine bonds and replace them with these forged securities. One day the roof caved in and the state of Kansas discovered that all the money it had in the Finney banks was gone; and that all the bonds the Finneys had put in the state treasurer’s office in exchange for the genuine bonds, were forged. The state of Kansas was literally cleaned out by the Finneys. Now, at the time of this trouble, we had a law in the state of Kansas that made it the duty of the governor to personally go to the office of the state treasurer at regular intervals and actually see, count, and check the securities in the treasurer’s office. Alf Landon was then the governor and of course, was charged with this responsibility, but he had neglected it. It also happened that at this time, Alf Landon was getting ready to run for the nomination for President of the United States. When the blow-up came, Attorney-General Roland Boynton was in California visiting his mother, and even though Alf Landon was the party who was derelict, he pointed an accusing finger at Boynton and he, Landon, called out the National Guard and had them stationed all around the State House to guard an empty sack.

When Boynton returned, he found he was on the defensive, and Landon was really his accuser. The legislature thought it should do something, so the House of Representatives voted articles of impeachment. As you may know, an impeachment trial is tried before the State Senate, which sits as a jury. Thus it was that the actual trial of Roland Boynton came before the State Senate for trial in the spring of 1934. W. L. Cunningham of Arkansas City was selected by the Attorney-General as chief counsel. For assistants he selected A. M. Ebright of Wichita, who was later head counsel for the Cities Service Gas Company; Arthur J. Mellott, who later became the U. S. Federal Judge for the District of Kansas; and myself. We were the four lawyers who had to undertake the defense of Attorney-General Boynton.
An impeachment trial is unusual and is a difficult kind of a trial to defend. First of all, the members of the Senate make up their own rules: they determine what kind of evidence will be competent or incompetent and they are not governed by any prior decisions—court decisions or anything of the kind. In other words, they make up their own rules on procedure, evidence, argument, and balloting. For those who might want to study the mechanics of a hard fought impeachment trial, I would refer you to a volume in the State Library entitled, Impeachment Trial of Roland Boynton. It is a volume of over 900 pages and lists in detail just what occurred at that trial. Nevertheless, at the end of a three week bitter trial, we were successful in having Attorney-General Roland Boynton acquitted of all the charges.
Now Roland Boynton was as nice, honest, and kindly a person as you could ever meet. He was a true gentleman and it seemed that his life was dogged with misfortune. He had a beautiful wife and one of his assistants in the office of attorney-general stole the affections of his wife; she divorced Roland and married the young man in his office. In addition, he and his wife had adopted a young baby, and it proved to be abnormal as it matured. Furthermore, Roland Boynton was related to the William Allen White family; and at that time the procedure for a man running for governor was to first be attorney-general, build up your acquaintanceship, publicity, and newspaper support; and Mr. Boynton, of course, had done these chores and was in line to become Governor of Kansas. The impeachment trial destroyed all this. The adverse publicity of the impeachment trial, the loss of his wife, the misfortune of the little child they had adopted, and the loss of his future career broke his health and spirit. He lived only a few years after this impeachment trial. But I shall always regard him as a fine gentleman, who was honest, forthright, a good citizen, a patriot who had served in World War I, and a man who had faithfully served his country and his state.
Boynton was acquitted about noon and in the forenoon, U. S. Senator Clyde M. Reed, J. N. Tincher, former Congressman from Kansas for many years, all of the attorneys for Boynton, and Boynton himself met in my hotel room and two rather interesting things occurred. First of all, Senator Reed told Boynton that he thought it imperative that Boynton appoint a special assistant Attorney-General for the state of Kansas to try and recover some of the loss sustained by the state of Kansas through the work and the fraud of the Finneys; and after the thing was discussed a bit, I was drafted for the job. I mean literally drafted, because I had been away from my office for a number of weeks. I wanted to get home and the last thing I was looking for was more work connected with the Finneys. But nevertheless, I was appointed Special Assistant Attorney-General for the State of Kansas, to try and recover all or part of the loss caused by the Finneys.

The second thing that occurred at that meeting had a bit of humor. Poley Tincher, the former Congressman, was chief counsel of defense attorneys for the state auditor, Bill French, who was also to be tried by the State Senate on an impeachment charge, growing out of the Finney bond scandal. The trial of French was to begin at about 2:30 in the afternoon. Suddenly, Poley Tincher looked at his watch and said, “I’ve got to get over there and defend Bill French; and I don’t have a briefcase, or papers, or anything. I want to look like a lawyer at least!” He turned to me and said, “Arthur, can I borrow your briefcase?” I said, “You certainly can.” I turned it upside down and dumped out a number of the Boynton files. Poley picked it up and said, “I can’t walk in there with an empty briefcase flopping around.” So he picked up the Gideon Bible off my bureau and dropped it in my briefcase. Poley Tincher went over to the State House Senate chamber. He sat there for a week or ten days during the trial of the state auditor, who, I might say, was found not guilty; and thereafter Poley returned my briefcase—and I trust, returned the Gideon Bible to the hotel room.
When the Finney bond scandal first broke, I think the Kansas Legislature voted $50,000 or thereabouts and made it available to Governor Landon to carry on an investigation as to who caused the loss and to see if anything could be retrieved. Well, Governor Landon had a friend by the name of Senator Harris, a state senator from Ottawa, Kansas, and Governor Landon felt that he needed a legal bodyguard, so to speak, and I found out that he had paid Senator Harris thousands upon thousands of dollars out of this fund. As I recall, Senator Harris had kept fifteen or twenty thousand dollars for his services to date. When I was appointed Special Assistant Attorney-General to start lawsuits, I was approached by Senator Harris, who wanted to know if I had any objections to him assisting me with the prosecution of these cases. I had no objection to getting all the help I could, but it was a somewhat humorous situation. Here was Senator Harris, who had received thousands of dollars for trying to hurt my client, Roland Boynton, now coming to join me.
I realized that the real reason he was joining me was to make sure I didn’t file any lawsuits that would in any way embarrass Governor Landon because Landon was still getting ready to make his bid for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. So I told Senator Harris that I had no objection to his joining with me and I asked him if he had any of the funds voted by the legislature available that could be applied to my phone calls, traveling expenses, and hotel bills, to say nothing of a fee for my work. He reluctantly told me that all the money that had been voted by the legislature had already been expended. I guess that was true because I never saw any of it. However, during the months that were to follow when I was engaged in the investigation and the trial of these various lawsuits, I never received one penny at any time from anybody to defray any of my hotel bills, railroad tickets, telegrams, food, phone calls, automobile expenses—much less, any fee.
Now the State Treasurer is required to give a bond for $500,000 each time he is sworn into office, and I took in after the bonding company that had a $500,000 bond in effect at the time the Finney bond scandal broke. About the time I was getting the heels of the bonding company pretty close to the fire, it took bankruptcy, so I gave a little thought to the matter. I decided that the former bonding company ahead of them had a $500,000 bond during the preceding term and was liable on the theory that even though the books in the state treasurer’s office showed no loss, in truth and in fact, there had been. So, regardless of what the books showed, the honest to God facts were that a lot of the money had disappeared; and the bonding company who, of course, had a bond in effect at that time, should be liable. So I took out after them. I also filed suits against banks and other institutions; and in about a year and a half or thereabouts, I started getting some results.

First, I collected a lot of assets and salvage from three different banks which Mr. Finney and his son had operated; and I picked up some other assets which could be applied on the loss. Then I settled down in earnest against the bonding company. At first, they shrugged me off as simply a nuisance. But then they woke up when it appeared that their liability to make up the deficiency between what we had recovered from the Finney banks and elsewhere, came to $500,000, which would have to be taken from the bonding company to make the state whole again.
About this time the second term of Roland Boynton as Attorney-General expired, and a new attorney-general was elected. Clarence Beck, from Emporia took office. He re-appointed me as Special Assistant Attorney-General, so I continued with the prosecution of these cases. The bonding company offered $100,000, which of course I turned down; then a few months later, they offered $150,000. Then at regular intervals they increased the offer:  from $200,000 to $250,00; then $300,000; $350,000; and finally got up to around $400,000. There they indicated that they were going to stay put—they would not pay more unless forced to by the court. So I had the lawsuit against them set down for trial. I then got a telephone call from the lawyers for the bonding company back in New York, asking me if I could arrange a conference between the Attorney-General and myself and the bonding company and its attorneys. I was told that they would charter an airplane and meet with us at an appointed time, which they did.

Now I had been around litigation long enough to know that when a bonding company had been trying to settle a case for around $400,000, and I refused their offer and had the case set for trial; and then got a phone call from them saying they were chartering a plane and bring their company officials to see me, they meant to really get that thing behind them and pay some real money to get the case settled. And, of course, I knew that one thing that was bothering the bonding company was the matter of 6% interest on $500,000—some $30,000 a year. This matter had already dragged along for almost two and a half years; and was getting to be a thorn in their side. I knew it, and they knew it. Well, I forgot to brief Mr. Beck about the facts of life. I did tell him that they were coming to try to settle the matter for $400,000, giving him my advice not to settle for any such figure because I thought that if we would just drag our heels, we could do much better. Well, we all met in the office of the new Attorney-General. Mr. Beck and the bonding company sparred around and around for half an hour; and finally they said they had come prepared to make a final and firm offer that we could take or leave, and that was it, and the amount was to be $400,000. I looked at Mr. Beck and Mr. Beck seemed to understand the situation. He said he was sorry but that wasn’t enough money; but if they cared to increase the offer, he would be glad to consider it. The bonding company boys went off into another room and in due time they came back, said it was an outrage, but they had got in touch with their home office and were authorized to make one more final, firm, and last offer of $425,000; but that was it, and we could either take it or go to trial. Once again, I looked at Mr. Beck, and once again he came up with the right answer, which was that $425,000 wasn’t enough money; but if the company cared to increase the offer, we might be able to get together and work something out. So once again, the bonding company boys retired and in due time they came back. This time they announced that $450,000 was their last offer, and there would be no more attempts to increase it, and the State of Kansas would either have to accept it or be prepared to go to trial and force them to pay. (I was busy figuring on a piece of paper, the amount of interest that the bonding company owed at this time and I forgot to look at Mr. Beck; but I shall never forget hearing Mr. Beck’s reply to the $450,000 offer.) The Attorney-General deliberated for a moment, then he said, “Gentlemen, if you will make that $451,000, you have settled yourselves a lawsuit.” Well, I about fell out of my chair—and I know the bonding people who came down prepared to pay $500,000—about fell out of their chairs. But Mr. Beck had made his pronouncement, so that is the way we settled the case against the bonding company.
Now there is a happy note on which to end this Finney matter. In spite of all the loss caused to the State of Kansas by the Finneys, at the end of the litigation I conducted, the State of Kansas made a financial profit by reason of the activities of the Finneys. It came about in this way. We adjudged the amount of salvage that we had recovered from the banks would be, say x dollars, but when we got rid of the salvage and sold it and moved it along, we got more money from the Finney banks than we had anticipated, so that money, plus the money we got from the bonding company, in dollars and cents, showed a real profit for the State of Kansas from this tragic event that took the lives of three people and the reputations of many more.
                         Opposing Lawyer’s Two Words Cost his Client $500,000.
Ella Demoret and her brother had been partners for many years, in various businesses in central and western Kansas. They were rich, they were single, and they were devoted to each other. When they were approaching their golden years, the brother said, in case he died first, he wanted his property to go to some close relatives, including some nephews and nieces. Ella Demoret made this suggestion: that the first one who died should not will away a lot of the property and cause their various business partnerships, associations, and investments and dealings to be broken up. She suggested that she and her brother make a will and leave each other everything; then if the brother died first, his share in all these partnerships would go to Ella and then she would make a will taking care of these people that her brother wanted to be remembered. In other words, she would act like a trustee and in that way, their various business endeavors would not be divided, liquidated, or disrupted as long as either was alive. Both parties agreed to this arrangement. When the brother died, he left everything to Ella Demoret. In the meantime, Ella had married. That caused a little confusion in the arrangements that Ella had made with her brother. The result was that when Ella Demoret died, she had neglected to take care of the gifts to the friends and relatives of her brother, as agreed. These relatives of the deceased brother came to see Poly Tincher, a lawyer at Hutchinson, Kansas, who had been a close friend of Mr. Cunningham for many years. Mr. Tincher asked Mr. Cunningham and me to assist him with the matter so we filed a claim against the Demoret estate for these relatives, who had not received the share that they were entitled to under the agreement between Ella and her brother.

We had quite a trial in the Probate Court in Reno County, Kansas, but we got a judgment which approved our claim for a large share of the Ella Demoret estate; and at this point, the losing party decided to appeal. Now as you already know, if you lose a lawsuit, you’re going to appeal. In practically all the courts I know of, you must give notice to all adverse parties of your intention to appeal because the fellow who wins the lawsuit has a right to know whether you are going to pay it or if you’re going to appeal. Well, we must have had about twelve or fifteen clients who, collectively, had won this lawsuit; and when the other side, the losing side, decided to appeal, they had a choice: they could either give notice to all of these people; give notice to the lawyers of these people; or they could give notice that they intended to appeal by serving it on the Probate Judge of Reno County for the benefit of all adverse parties. Well, for some reason, the lawyers were a little rusty or a little lazy; and instead of getting out notice to these twelve or fifteen adverse parties and notifying these people on the winning side that they intended to appeal, they only serviced their notice on about a half-dozen of them, then they fixed up a notice and gave it to the Probate Judge of Reno County for all adverse parties above named and of course they had named about six of the required twelve or fifteen parties. Now if they had left off the words, “above named,” they would have had a good notice of appeal; but by adding those two words, the notice of appeal was defective and did away with all chance of ever overturning this judgment for half a million dollars in favor of our clients. You will find this case in the following: In re: Estate of Ella Demoret, reported in 169 Kansas, page 171.
                                             Lew Wentz Outwits Bill Murray.
For many years, Lew Wentz was a power in the political field in the state of Oklahoma. He was a successful oil man, a bachelor, a millionaire, and represented the Republican Party as National Committeeman for the State of Oklahoma. Mr. Wentz had various oil interests as well as other business interests outside the State of Oklahoma and a number of his investments were in the State of Kansas. An attorney in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Felix Duvall, represented Lew Wentz practically everywhere he had investments. Any matters that affected Mr. Wentz in Kansas would result in Mr. Duvall calling upon Mr. Cunningham and me to assist him.
When Alfalfa Bill Murray was elected Governor of Oklahoma in the 1930s, he, being one of the nationally known Democrat governors, was hurt to find that Lew Wentz was a member of the Highway Commission of the State of Oklahoma. Alfalfa Bill requested Mr. Wentz to resign; and Mr. Wentz refused to resign. Apparently there was no way to get rid of Mr. Wentz until he had served out the term to which he had been appointed, so Alfalfa Bill decided he would take another route to see if he could dislodge Mr. Wentz.
At that time there was a law in force in Oklahoma that rewarded a person who found that his neighbor or anyone else had not reported and paid all of the taxes which he should. Lots of people made a specialty of going round and nosing into books and records. They were called “tax ferrets.” You didn’t know at what time the tax ferrets would be working on your books and records if you were doing much business. So Alfalfa Bill decided that instead of having two or three tax ferrets start checking into the business of Wentz, that he would assemble twenty-five or thirty of them, and when they moved into Wentz’ office, they would take it over and disrupt everything and by staying there for a month or so, they would become a nuisance and more or less paralyze the business—making Mr. Wentz realize that it would be better to resign from the highway commission than to be so annoyed!

One day Lew Wentz got word that the following day the “tax ferrets” were going to descend upon his place of business and take charge of his books and records. So Wentz got in touch with his lawyer, Felix Duvall, and Mr. Duvall and Mr. Wentz’s personal secretary came to Arkansas City that afternoon. As I recall, the Lew Wentz Oil Company, which was a very successful and fast growing organization, was incorporated under the laws of the State of Oklahoma, but be that as it may, we thought we had better organize a Delaware Corporation. So we telephoned to The Corporation Trust Company at Wilmington, Delaware, kept the line open several hours, and proceeded to organize a new Wentz Oil Company under the laws of Delaware and transferred all of the assets of the existing Wentz Oil Company to this new corporation. We dissolved the old corporation entirely. We rented an office in Arkansas City, and got a sign painter to put “Wentz Oil Company” on the door, and brought up all the books and records from Oklahoma and put them in the new office. Then we elected officers for the newly formed oil company, and I was elected president of the new Wentz Oil Company.
The bank account of the new oil company was in excess of a million dollars. We declared a dividend and I had the pleasure of writing a dividend check to Lew Wentz for around a million dollars. I think at that time he owned 94% or 96% of the company. He had a brother and a niece who had a share or so apiece. In any event, during that afternoon and evening, we completely dissolved the old corporation, took all books, records, and other assets of the company out of Oklahoma and moved them into Kansas. The next morning when Bill Murray’s tax ferrets descended on the offices of Wentz Oil Company at Ponca City, they found only an empty room and a smiling Lew Wentz!
                                                         A Matter of Pride.
Bert E. Church has been an active practicing lawyer at Wellington, Kansas, for about fifty years. Every once in a while he calls on me to help him with some case. About a year ago he called me over one day and he had a most interesting case!
It seems that about fifty years ago, there was a well-to-do farmer living near Wellington, who had a wife who was expecting a child, and was unable to do the washing, ironing, and housework. The farmer hired a little girl of 15 or 16 years of age to come and do the housework during the confinement of his wife. The farmer seduced the little girl, and she became pregnant; and in due time gave birth to an illegitimate child. The farmer’s wife gave birth to a very nice little girl.
Now, the father of the girl who had been seduced was outraged and he had the well-to-do farmer arrested for statutory rape. That case was bitterly tried four or five times in Sumner County, Kansas, without a conviction or an acquittal. In addition, the father of the girl who had been seduced had filed a damage suit for the recovery of damages against the farmer, and that case had been in the courts—tried and untried—for a number of years. The result was that out of the criminal cases against the well-to-do farmer, there had been no conviction; and out of the civil damage suit against him, there had been no recovery.

Bert Church had obtained all of the old court files, and I thumbed through them. I knew almost all of the characters, most of whom had long since died. All the prominent lawyers in the county had been on one side or the other; but they were all gone. The judge and the court personnel, the county attorney were gone. Only a few months before, the well-to-do farmer had passed away, and his wife had preceded him in death. So it was that the farmer had left two natural daughters and one illegitimate daughter. Now a strange thing had occurred between the illegitimate daughter and one of the natural daughters: they had become very good friends. Of course, the two little girls were too young to understand the lawsuits and so all through grade school and at Sunday school, and later high school, they looked like each other, played with each other, had parties together, and were the closest of friends. Of course, after they left high school, the daughter of the well-to-do farmer went on to better schools and had better clothes and better surroundings. The illegitimate girl, who went with her mother to Kansas City, did hard manual labor for a number of years.
When I walked into Bert Church’s office, there sat a rather nice looking, rosy cheeked, elderly lady who had been the girl seduced by the farmer fifty years ago. Beside her was a robust young lady, single, and she was the illegitimate child. In due time Mr. Church and I, on behalf of our client, made a demand for the proper share of the estate for this illegitimate daughter. Much to our surprise, the two legitimate daughters of this wealthy, deceased farmer indicated through their lawyers that they wanted to make a settlement out of court. They were willing to pay thousands of dollars to this illegitimate child in settlement. The only thing they requested was that the amount they paid was never to be revealed, and there should be no publicity and no proceedings of any kind filed that would come to the attention of the public.
All of this was carried out and settled the same. Pride brought about the settlement. The legitimate girls, holding a place in society, being prominent leaders in church and civic groups, really didn’t care anything about their half-sister; but they had pride and they wanted their social position unblemished and for that reason alone, they were willing to make the contribution to their unfortunate half-sister in order to retain their social position and their slightly tarnished pride.
                                                    Momentum in a Lawsuit.
In the broadcasting of football games and other athletic contests, we often hear the term “momentum” used, and often overused. But it is true that a team gets what we call momentum and things will start breaking in its favor. The same is true of a lawsuit. A lawsuit is somewhat like a military maneuver: there is a time to hit and a place to hit, and an amount of force to be used. If you can sense those ingredients and properly time them, it will help you immensely in gaining a victory in litigation.
About five years ago, I was engaged in a lawsuit where there were about thirty different lawyers. One particular lawyer, O. J. Kaufman, and I bucked heads pretty vigorously for several months; but each of us had a great deal of respect for the other’s ability, and we separated like two professional prize-fighters that have gone ten rounds at a furious pace, each realizing that the other is a pretty good boy. I didn’t know whether or not I would ever meet this lawyer in the courtroom again.
Along in the fall of 1969, I got a telephone call from Mr. Kaufman. He said that he had a case in Cowley County, Kansas; and that he had run into some trouble, and would I help him with it. I told him I would. He came the next day with some other lawyers and gave me the facts.
                                                       The Shawver Family.

It seems that one of the wealthy families in Kansas is the Shawver family. They have been prominent in politics and oil, and they are very well known. They are good citizens. The younger Mr. Shawver, commonly called Ernie Shawver II, had been married for about 23 or 24 years. He was a fine looking gentleman and had a very nice looking wife. They had adopted two children who had developed into a fine loving boy and girl. The Shawvers had a fine home and everything to live for; but for some reason, Ernie II had become infatuated with a night club singer, I was informed, and had walked out of his home and away from his wife and children about a year before and had not returned.
Then Ernie II filed for divorce in Cowley County, and the lawyers for Mrs. Shawver had constantly been backing up and retreating, and cutting down their demands. In other words, they had lost the momentum of the case, if they had ever had it.
I listened for half a day to their explanation of the situation and examined the numerous pleadings that had been filed during the past year in which these law firms had tried to get a property settlement. They had gotten nowhere! It appeared that up to the time I talked to them, the most that had ever been offered to Mrs. Shawver was around $300,000; inasmuch as Ernie II was worth around two or three million dollars, the offer was inadequate.
I said, “Gentlemen, it is my belief that the only trouble with this case is that you have lost the momentum. What you need to do is to spin right around and take charge; and I think, if you do, you will be able to work out a pretty good settlement.”
After we reviewed the case for a day or so, I went up to see the judge. I asked him if he would be good enough to continue the case for a few days; and informed him that I had been employed and needed a little time. He was a little reluctant to do so; but out of friendship to me, he said he would extend more time for us to prepare. Then I got hold of the Wichita lawyers and told them that I thought we could get a settlement on this case. I said, “Let’s forget about asking for so many thousands of dollars. Let’s talk about simply making a division of the property of a husband and wife who have been married some twenty years and have two children. Let’s talk a percentage division and insist on half, and not less than a third. The amount of property will fall into place accordingly.”
Well, to make a long story short, we filed some very serious motions against Mr. Shawver’s divorce case: one to dismiss the entire case; another for substantial attorney’s fees; another for substantial alimony; another for various information pertaining to his income tax records, and so forth. In short, we took charge! In less than thirty days, we had worked out a complete property settlement whereby Mrs. Shawver received over a million dollars worth of property; and Ernie II was most willing to allow the attorneys for Mrs. Shawver the sum of $50,000, and the matter was wound up speedily and to everyone’s satisfaction. I think that my part of the attorney’s fee was $11,000.
It was simply a case where the momentum had swung back again from one side to the other; and if you can pick up the momentum and go forward with it, you can usually get a pretty good settlement.
[In regard to this word, “momentum,” my old law partner, W. L. Cunningham, had another name for it some years ago. I wasn’t with him when this happened; but I have heard it from reliable sources numerous times. I think the story is worth repeating.]

It seems there were four or five old company lawyers who had been bruised up badly in some litigation. They called in Mr. Cunningham to assist them. They met in Wichita and one of the lawyers said the court was against them. Another said that public opinion had turned against them. Another said that they had no chance of recovery. Comments of like nature continued around the table. All of them were talking of “dooms day” and really had their “daubers” down. Finally, one of them turned to Mr. Cunningham and said, “Now Mr. Cunningham, you’ve heard the viewpoints of the other lawyers. What’s your opinion about this case?” Mr. Cunningham, his face flushed, brought down his big fist on the table and said, “Gentlemen, what this case needs is some arousement!” Thus it was that the term “arousement” was long the forerunner of the much abused term “momentum” that is used so frequently today.
                                               The Lament of Mr. Champlin.
For many years one of the main oil-producing and oil-refining companies in the Midwest was the Champlin Refining Company at Enid, Oklahoma. During the depression years, we represented some people by the name of Latta, who were land owners in the northern part of Sumner County, Kansas. We brought suit against the Champlin Refining Company for failure to properly develop and look after the oil lease. It resulted in a judgment against the Champlin Company of $10,000. That’s not a large amount of money now, but in those days it was a fair sized verdict. After we got the judgment, for some reason, the Champlin Company did not pay it. I hesitated to have the sheriff go and levy execution on their equipment, so I decided to make a trip down to Enid, Oklahoma, and see the Champlin people and find out why the judgment had not been paid. Arriving at the refinery, I asked to see Mr. Champlin. In a short time I was ushered into his office. He was a nice appearing gentleman, very friendly, and we visited for a while. He then asked me the purpose of my visit. I told him that I was there to get a check from his company for $10,000 in payment of the judgment in the Love-Latta case. Immediately he became quite crestfallen and turning to me, he said, “My friend, this has been the worst day of my entire life. We’ve had a lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma for several years, questioning the validity of the proration law in the state of Oklahoma, which prevents us from producing the full amount of oil from our various wells that they are capable of producing, and just this morning we received word that the law had been upheld. This will prevent us from producing all the oil from our wells that we have been producing and cut down our production from fifty, maybe seventy-five percent. This afternoon I received word from the Federal Court in the State of Delaware that they had found that the patent we were using for refining our oil, known as the cracking process, is in violation of the patent rights of a rival company and they fined us $150,000. Now, this evening, just before I get ready to go home, you come in and want $10,000 for the Love-Latta people. Mary, write this man a check.”
                                             We Try To Sell An Oil Refinery.

For many years one of the main industries in Arkansas City was the Milliken Refinery, located in the southwest corner of the city. Over the years, however, the equipment became old and worn out and rather antiquated; and along in the early 1920s we received a request from a bank in St. Louis, Missouri, which as I recall had a name like the St. Louis Union and Trust Company. They held a mortgage on the refinery (a million and some thousands of dollars) and wanted Mr. Cunningham and me to foreclose the mortgage. Ordinarily a mortgage is not too difficult to foreclose—whether it is a large one or a small one. But in this case there were a great many labor liens, unpaid bills, second mortgages and judgments. There were various leases, royalty agreements, patent rights, and other features to total up. It required some rather extensive and difficult litigation to go through before we finally got a judgment in excess of one million dollars and an order from the court to foreclose the mortgage. Thereafter, we foreclosed the mortgage and the St. Louis bank bid the property in at the sheriff’s sale. Now a few words to show you how the value of property will fluctuate, particularly in times of depression.
After we foreclosed the mortgage, some parties came by and made an offer of $250,000 for the land and property of the refinery. We transmitted the offer to our St. Louis clients. They turned it down and said they didn’t think they would be interested in any offer less than half a million dollars. In the meantime we hired watchmen to guard the premises and, of course, we had to continue to pay taxes on the property for our client; and about a year later, they got in touch with us and said they would like to know if the offer of $250,000 was still in effect. We contacted the people who had made the offer and they said, “No, that one hundred thousand dollars was as much as they would now pay for the land and equipment.” We transmitted this offer to our clients and they turned it down as wholly unacceptable. Some months went by and we received word from St. Louis inquiring if the offer of $100,000 was still in effect. We contacted the people that had, some time before, made the offer. They said, “No, they were no longer interested.” Then some months later we learned that our clients in St. Louis had sold the land and the property located on the same for $50,000 to the Brown-Strauss Company, which dealt in junking refineries and installations of that kind.
There’s one other sidelight on that case that I should mention. Mr. Cunningham and I went together in the years of real depression; and he always had a desire to take in $10,000 in fees in some calendar month. When we finished foreclosing this mortgage for our clients in St. Louis, they asked that we send them our bill. Mr. Cunningham and I talked it over; and I suggested that he send them a statement for $10,000 for our services in connection with the litigation and foreclosure of this mortgage. Mr. Cunningham thought it was a little high; nevertheless, he made out the statement for $10,000 and sent it to St. Louis. In a few days he had a phone call from St. Louis, suggesting that they thought the bill a little high and requesting that Mr. Cunningham come to St. Louis and they would adjust the matter. So Mr. Cunningham went to St. Louis and they indicated that they thought $5,000 was a fair fee; and Mr. Cunningham, still trying to back up my judgment, stated that he thought $10,000 was a fair fee. They settled the matter for $7,500; and when Mr. Cunningham returned, he felt pretty good about the matter. That was our first month when, with that and other fees, we had taken in more than $10,000 in a calendar month.
                                                     The Principle Involved.
A great many people say that they are willing to pay a lawyer to fight a case, simply for the principle involved and not the money, but I’ve found them to be few and far between.

I remember one case, however, right after I started to practice law that has always stayed in my mind. A man walked in by the name of Kelly, who lived at Geuda Springs, Kansas, which is eight or ten miles from Arkansas City. He said that his wife had been in ill health and that he had made an arrangement with a taxi driver in Geuda Springs to haul Mrs. Kelly back and forth to the doctor—and that the taxi driver was to do it for $10 a month. He said that he had paid the taxi driver $10. The driver had only hauled his wife for two or three weeks when he claimed that it was to be so much a trip and that the $10 had been used up. He said to add insult to injury, the taxi driver had sued him for $2.50, which he claimed was due and owing for these trips that were unpaid for. The taxi driver’s name was Moldenhauer, and he had a lawyer by the name of Willard J. King, a very nice gentleman who practiced law at Geuda Springs. He had filed a suit in Justice of the Peace Court in Geuda Springs for the $2.50. I told Mr. Kelly that I would not go over and try the lawsuit for less than $25. He said he understood that perfectly well, paid me the $25, and hired me on the spot. I figured Mr. King was probably a friend of the Justice of the Peace in his own town, and that he probably gave him more or less business. Since I was a stranger, I thought it best to demand a jury, and the case was duly assigned for trial.
It seems that both Mr. Kelly and Mr. Moldenhauer were well known in the small town. Each had his own circle of friends. On the day for which the trial was set, all businesses in the town (including the bank and postoffice) were closed. We had to move the trial from the office of the Justice of the Peace and finally found a big garage building where the crowd could get in. We went to work on the trial, selected the jury, and we tried the case (as they used to say) from “Hell to Breakfast.” After the jury had left the courtroom, or rather, the garage, Mr. King came over to me and congratulated me on my defense. I was considerably younger than he. He made a remark that rose to haunt him later. He said, “Walker, I don’t know about your client, but my client just lied like Hell, all afternoon.” Then he laughed, lit his cigar, and went over to the other side of the room and sat down to rest.
Well, the jury was out for two or three hours. They finally reported that they were hopelessly deadlocked. They were excused from further deliberation of the case. Neither Mr. Kelly nor Mr. Moldenhauer were satisfied with a hung jury, so Mr. Kelly paid me another $25 and I decided to use a little ingenuity and I took a change of venue from the Justice of the Peace court at Geuda Springs to a Justice of the Peace some fifteen or twenty miles west, out in the country. Thereafter, the case came on for trial and all the neighbors as well as a number of people from Geuda Springs were there. This time I used a little different strategy. This time when Moldenhauer had testified, I, of course, started putting on the defense, and after I put on my own client and a few witnesses, I asked that Mr. Willard J. King, the lawyer for Moldenhauer, be sworn. He was sworn. I put him on the stand and then asked him if it wasn’t a fact that, at the conclusion of the trial in Geuda Springs, he had stated that his client had lied like Hell? Mr. King, of course, was on the spot. His client was sitting there! He thought a while, then testified that he had not made any such statement. I suppose I should have been bound by his statement, according to the technical rules of law; if, in the first place, it was ever admissible for me to ask such a question. Anyhow, Mr. King denied it; but I had witnesses there who had overheard him make the statement in Geuda Springs. I put them on the stand and asked them if they had heard Mr. King make such a statement; and they said that they had. This seemed to be the turning point in the case, and we won the famous case of Moldenhauer versus Kelly.
                                                 Law Practice is Dangerous.
People often ask me if I have ever been attacked in the courtroom or on the street by reason of something that came out of litigation. Actually, I can think of only one man who came down off the witness stand and attacked me in the courtroom. Another time, a gentleman whom I had forced to pay some child support got drunk, bought a pistol, and swore he was coming out to kill me; but some friends changed his mind.

I did have one incident at Pratt, Kansas, where I was really in fear of my life. It came about this way! Poly Tincher had a client, a farmer, around Pratt, and this client had a gravel bar on his land. This farmer made a deal with a contractor to excavate the gravel, and the farmer was to get so much a ton. Well, the contractor excavated and sold quite a bit of gravel—and never paid the farmer anything.
Poly Tincher filed a lawsuit for several hundred dollars against the contractor, alleging that it was due and owing for the gravel sold from the farmer’s land. At the same time, Poly got an injunction against the contractor, preventing him from coming on the farmer’s land and getting any more gravel.
About that time, there came a tremendous rain, and the rivers rose and washed the ground pretty clean where the gravel had been on it. The contractor claimed that just before the rain, he had a large number of tons of gravel stacked there and when Poly got this injunction, preventing him from coming on the land, that he couldn’t move the gravel and the rain had washed away thousands of dollars worth of gravel that belonged to him. He filed a counterclaim against Poly’s client for a good many thousand dollars.
At this time Poly Tincher decided that he wanted Mr. Cunningham and me to come over and help him with the case, which he had started. Finally the matter came on before a jury for trial at Pratt, Kansas. Our client told us that he thought the contractor had shipped and moved all the gravel before the flood; but at the trial, the contractor denied that he had moved any of the gravel before the flood. I cross-examined the contractor, who claimed he had neither hauled any of the gravel away by truck or railway, before the flood. About that time the noon recess began.
Instead of eating lunch, I went down to the railway depot and got hold of the freight agent. We went back and check the records for the several months that this contractor had been out on this farmer’s land. We found that the contractor had shipped carload after carload of this gravel out, just immediately before the flood. I got the records and brought them back with me to the court. When court resumed right after lunch, I got the contractor on the stand and asked him if it wasn’t a fact that he had stated that he had never shipped any gravel out before the flood. Then I produced the records that had his signature, showing that he had shipped a great deal of gravel—and he became very angry. The jury decided he was a liar and brought in a verdict for our client for the amount of his claim, and of course denied the big damage suit of the contractor.

Mr. Cunningham and I went back to the hotel at Pratt. It was a bitter cold day. The streets were icy. We checked out of our rooms, paid our bill, and our client said that he would come by the hotel, pick us up, and drive us back to Hutchinson or Wichita. I was sitting in the lobby all bundled up in an overcoat with my hands in my pockets, my chair tilted back against the wall, when the elevator door opened, and out burst this contractor. He was mad and had been drinking and he was looking for a fight. He looked around the lobby for our client; and not seeing him, he spied me. He took off his coat and started toward me. On his hand he wore a heavy rough-cut ring that would serve as a brass knuckle if it came in contact with me. As he started toward me, I knew that his first swing would probably tear half my head off. I got my back braced against the wall and decided I would kick him with both feet as hard as I could; then the fight would go on from there. Just before he reached me, our client started coming through the door of the hotel. Evidently this contractor decided he could get me later, so he whirled around and jerked the door open and hit our client, knocking him unconscious. Then he stomped on him and began beating him some more. I threw off my overcoat and ran out on the sidewalk. The contractor started running. When he reached the alley, he proceeded onward until he reached a waiting car driven by his son. They sped away. Our client was badly injured. We got out a warrant for assault against the contractor. He had fled the county; but in a few weeks, the sheriff was able to locate him and they brought him back. He entered a plea of guilty, had to pay a fine—and I think, jailed for assault.
The memory haunts me: the contractor approaching me with his coat off, that big arm swinging that hand with the huge metal ring, and my fearful thought: “Here goes my face!”
                                                             A Bogus Bill.
Burden, Kansas, is a nice country town about 30 or 35 miles northeast of Arkansas City. Over the years I have had a number of good clients around Burden. One day, a good many years ago, the town banker and one of the ministers, and three or four of the best citizens in Burden came into my office with an oil driller. I was told that the oil driller had been indicted at Oklahoma City, being charged with having passed a counterfeit $5 bill. The good people from Burden said that this oil driller had lived and worked in their town for several years, was a good citizen, and they wanted to go down and make bond for this man and go see the U. S. District Attorney and convince him that there has been some mistake. Well, this committee of good folks went with this oil driller down to Oklahoma City and signed his bond, and I think the minister and the banker did go see the U. S. District Attorney and visited with him. We didn’t hear any more about this case for two or three years, and I thought that, undoubtedly, the Federal Government had decided to drop it and not go ahead with the prosecution. Then one day I received word that the case had been set for trial in Oklahoma City before one of the meanest, toughest U. S. Judges that the State of Oklahoma, or for that matter any other state, ever had. I got hold of the oil driller and he hadn’t paid me anything; but said that when the case was over, he would have some money coming from his work and he would pay me then. I got hold of the banker, and I think the minister and two or three other prominent people, and we went to Oklahoma City to try the case.
I want to say here and now: the treasury department really knows how to prepare a case against a person charged with counterfeit money. They had brought back from California a lady who had run a rooming house down in a little Oklahoma oil field town—and at great expense—and kept her there in Oklahoma City. She testified that my client had come into the rooming house one afternoon about 2 or 3 o’clock and rented a room, giving her a $5 bill; that he had never come back or used the room; that she had given him several dollars in change. Then when she took this bill, which was the only $5 bill that she had, to the bank, she was immediately informed that it was a counterfeit bill. The government had also brought men from Washington, D.C., and they had obtained samples of my client’s handwriting, which they had blown up until his name was three or four feet tall; then they had taken the hotel register and blown up the signature of equal height; and their handwriting experts swore there were dips, and zigs, and dots, and slants, and so forth. They gave it as their opinion that the hotel register had been signed by my client.

In any event, when the U. S. Government rested its case, I knew that we were in deep trouble; but I went ahead and put my client on and we had one fortunate break. He was able to show that he had worked steady without interruption for several months prior to the passing of this bogus bill; that he had made excellent wages; and in fact, on the very forenoon of the day this alleged bogus bill was passed, he had drawn a hundred and some dollars wages from his employer; and there was no reason for him to be engaged in counterfeit activities; neither would he have had time to do so. Furthermore, they never found any other counterfeit money transactions in any way, shape, or form connected with my client. My client denied that he had gone to the rooming house; and he denied that it was his signature on the register.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any expert handwriting witnesses, so I decided to create one, then and there. I asked the court for a short recess and I took the banker from Burden out and asked him how long he had been in the banking business and how many thousands of checks he had inspected for the purpose of seeing if they were genuine. It ran into the thousands! I asked him if it didn’t mean a great deal to the safety of the bank to know that the checks were valid and he agreed with that, and in about ten minutes I thought I had a pretty good expert. I put this banker on the stand and he made a jim dandy. He convinced the jury that he knew the oil driller’s signature, that he had seen it hundreds of times on note, letters, checks, and bills of sale, and I don’t know what all. He further got in the fact that a banker must be a better judge of signatures than some expert, because a banker’s financial safety depended upon his knowledge of genuine signatures, and it was through his being a ready-made expert that we turned the jury in our favor. In addition, we had four or five character witnesses who had come down from this little town of Burden, Kansas. They stated that they had known this man for years and his reputation for being a good law-abiding citizen was excellent; and the jury acquitted him.
Well, going on the elevator from the courtroom to the ground floor was myself, my client, and the U. S. District Attorney. The District Attorney was mad at losing the case and he started giving my client “hell,” saying he would catch him sooner or later. They nearly got into a fight, and I had to separate them. We went on down to the hotel and checked out. The oil driller said he was very happy I had done him a good job and that he would pay me in a few days. Do you know that rascal never would pay me? I used to send him statements from time to time and I never got one penny for my expenses and work in getting him free!
                                                          Jackson Barnett.
I seriously doubt that there was one person who created more litigation than Jackson Barnett. At one time during the 1920s, he had litigation pending in the county courts of Oklahoma, the District Courts of Oklahoma, the Federal Courts of Oklahoma, the Federal Courts of California, the Federal Courts of New York, the Federal Courts in the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court, matters pending before the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior, and possibly others that I was not familiar with. I shall not attempt to give a complete review of my experiences with Jackson Barnett at this time because I have already written my recollection of it and it would take a small book in itself. I will give you some of the highlights of this interesting person and the most litigated affair.

When the Osage Indians were given a reservation in northern Oklahoma, the government retained the mineral rights for the benefit of all the Osages in common. That is, if they hit oil on any of the Osage Indians’ land, all members of the tribe who had a headright, shared equally.
Unlike this, the Creek Indians, who were given a reservation in the southern part of Oklahoma, did not share the mineral rights. When they got a farm from the government, they got all the mineral rights in and under it.
As it happened, Jackson Barnett was given a farm upon which tremendous oil wells were found and in a short time he had over a million dollars in his account with the Indian Department!
Now the county court in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, had appointed a guardian for Jackson Barnett; and he kept Jackson living about five or six miles from town in a little old hovel. If Jackson would walk to town, he could collect one dollar each time he walked to town and demanded his money. But if Jackson did not come to town for two or three days, the money did not accumulate for his benefit—he still only got a dollar a trip.
Well, for an Indian who had over one million dollars to his account with the Department of Indian Affairs, this was a rather meager living. From time to time the newspapers throughout the country would run pictures of Jackson Barnett and describe his vast wealth, and this would make good reading in the Sunday editions.
As a result of this publicity, a determined lady went down to Jackson’s hovel and visited with him. They drove back in her car to Coffeyville, Kansas, and they were married there. A few hours later they were arrested in Coffeyville by the guardian of Jackson Barnett, who had come up from Oklahoma, so they contacted a young lawyer in Coffeyville by the name of Harold McGugin to have him come and assist them. The stage was now set for the commencement of the litigation that would occupy the attention of many courts for the next ten years.
Of course, the county court in Oklahoma and the guardian there didn’t want to lose control of Jackson Barnett. The guardian and his lawyers had a little gold mine and they did not want to lose it. In addition, there was a running fight between the Oklahoma County Court and the Bureau of Indian Affairs as to who should have charge of investing Jackson Barnett’s money and the distribution of it; and also the custody of it. In addition, unless they set aside the marriage of Jackson Barnett to his new wife, Anna Laurie Barnett, of course, on the death of Jackson Barnett, she would inherit a large part, if not all, of his wealth. There were lawyers in Oklahoma who had contracts with a large number of Indians who claimed to be related to Jackson Barnett; and if these alleged relatives of Barnett received any money, then this group of attorneys would receive half of whatever money their clients were awarded for being relatives of Jackson Barnett. In addition, there were hospitals and schools and preachers and schools who felt they might even have a chance to get part of his fortune; but with him married, his new wife might become his guardian, or perhaps get rid of all the guardians, and their hopes for getting part of the fortune would evaporate.

As I now recall, McGugin got the charges against the Barnetts in Kansas dismissed or acquitted them, and Anna Barnett went back to Oklahoma and moved into the little hovel to live with her husband, Jackson. Mrs. Barnett was not one to give up easily; and she demanded of the county court and the Bureau of Indian Affairs that Jackson have more money to live on, and a car to get back and forth to town. So the county court and the Bureau of Indian Affairs bought an automobile for Jackson. They also had a Secret Service man or detective of some kind sent along as chauffeur for the car. The idea was that perhaps Anna Barnett was an unfit woman and maybe they could get some evidence and set aside the marriage of Anna and Jackson Barnett.
Now let me say this, there is no doubt in my mind that Anna was first attracted to Jackson Barnett by the publicity concerning his fortune; but this I can tell you for sure, that after she married Jackson Barnett and lived with him for a short time, she did fall in love with him and she stayed in love with him until he died. She fought everyone: courts, judges, guardians, detectives, U. S. Marshals, or anyone else that tried in any way, shape, or form to harm her husband. It was the best thing that ever happened to Jackson to get a protector who was also a tiger!
Despite the efforts of Anna to get a better allowance for living conditions, the local courts refused to grant her request, so she came back to Harold McGugin and asked him if he couldn’t take some sort of action and get them some decent allotment of money to live on. So Harold McGugin, Anna, and Jackson Barnett went to Washington, D.C., and there they got in contact with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of the Interior to work out some solution of this Barnett trouble.
After some months of negotiation, a settlement was made of the Jackson Barnett fund, then on deposit with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, about as follows: there was an Indian school in Oklahoma that gave training and education to various people—but mostly to Creek Indians—known as Bacone University. So $550,000 of Jackson’s money was placed in a trust fund in the Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C., and the income of that trust fund was to go to Jackson Barnett; the principal of $550,000 was to go to Bacone University.
A second trust fund of about $300,000, as I remember, was set up in the Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C., and Jackson Barnett was to get the income from that trust fund for his life; and upon his death, this trust fund was to go to his wife, Anna, providing she purchased a suitable home for Jackson Barnett and herself in California. Mrs. Barnett was faithful to her trust. She went out to California and bought or built a beautiful home on Wilshire Boulevard; and she and Jackson lived there for many years. Also, she purchased what was known as the Coldwater Canyon property, a tract of ground where Jackson could keep some ponies and riding horses.
I understand that this investment (which Mrs. Barnett made for Jackson for around $100,000) has become quite valuable and is worth several million dollars.
Finally the government decided that a reasonable attorney’s fee for the services of Harold McGugin was approximately 10% of the fund: $115,000. Now, McGugin at that time had a law partner whose name was Keith, who lived at Coffeyville, Kansas, and who had not been active in the Barnett matters; and Keith and McGugin divided the $115,000 with about $65,000 going to McGugin, as I recall, and $35,000 to Keith.
I think they also paid a Washington lawyer who had assisted them some ten or fifteen thousand dollars. Many people thought that this was the end of the troubles of Jackson Barnett; but they were wrong, this was only the beginning.

It was about this time that I first met Harold McGugin. I think it was probably about 1925 and the Kansas Bar Association was having its convention in either Coffeyville or Independence. We were having a noonday banquet of several hundred lawyers at one of the hotels when in walked Harold McGugin with some other lawyers. Some of the Coffeyville boys had a song they started to sing as follows: “How do you do, Mr. McGugin, how do you do? How do you do, Mr. McGugin, how do you do? Does your client, Jackson Barnett, have any money yet? How do you do, Mr. McGugin, how do you do?” Well, McGugin enjoyed the little song they sang to him and went and sat down with some other gentlemen. I inquired who he was, and for the first time I heard about his Jackson Barnett case and what a large fee he was reputed to have received. In 1926 both of us ran for the Legislature from our respective counties, and both of us were elected.
I really became well acquainted with Harold McGugin during the 1927 session of the Legislature. For years it was unlawful to sell cigarettes in the state of Kansas, and Bill Number 1 introduced in the 1927 Legislature was a bill by Harold McGugin to provide for the sale of cigarettes with a small tax thereon which would go to the relief of the taxpayers of the state of Kansas. It was a hard fight and we finally won and legalized the sale of cigarettes by less than three votes, as I recall. Furthermore, McGugin wanted a division of the district court at Coffeyville, Kansas, as well as one at the county seat of Montgomery County, which was Independence, and I supported him on that bill. I wanted to create a city court in Arkansas City and do away with the Justice of the Peace; and McGugin supported me on that bill. I also wanted to make the sale of dope and narcotics a felony in the state of Kansas, the same as it was in Oklahoma, and he supported me on that. Both of us worked to create a highway system which took the cost of building a highway off the adjacent landowners and placed it on the people at large through a gasoline tax.
Harold McGugin had a lovely wife, who was a talented, refined person whom everyone respected and loved. Born in Arkansas, her name was originally “Nell Bird.” After her marriage, she was known as Nell Bird McGugin. She had been on the Chautauqua circuit and had met Harold in Coffeyville; they fell in love, were married, and very devoted to each other all during their lives.
From 1927 on, until the time of his death, Harold McGugin and I were good friends. He helped me get into the Air Force; and a year later, I helped him get into the Air Force. He went to Europe with Patton’s army, then cancer developed, and he was brought back to the hospital in Topeka, where I dropped by and saw him just before I went overseas.
When I returned from overseas, Harold was in a hospital at Hot Springs, Arkansas, and I started to see him. The telephone rang as I was leaving the house. It was a message that my aunt had passed away, so we went to her funeral in Kansas City. A few weeks later I made another effort to go to Hot Springs to see Harold; and again, someone had died, and I received word just as I was leaving—I had to postpone my trip to see Harold a second time. My third try was probably a couple of months after I returned from overseas, and Maybin and I went down to Hot Springs. We arrived there one evening and on the following morning I went over to see Harold. We had a nice visit, and he died that afternoon. I really believe that he had maintained his hold on life long enough to have a final visit with me.
Now, back to the Barnett litigation.

After Selby had received a lifetime job of suing everyone connected with the Barnett matter, he started a number of lawsuits. One of them was to set aside the $550,000 trust fund that would go to Bacone University at the death of Barnett. Another one was to set aside the $300,000 that would go to Mrs. Barnett upon the death of her husband. Another one was to set aside the marriage of Jackson Barnett and his wife. Another one was against Harold McGugin and his wife, and Keith, his law partner. There might have been others as well to recover the amount of attorney’s fees that had been paid.
In the early days of all this litigation, I took no part. Harold McGugin was a lawyer; and in the lawsuit against himself, he filed a motion to have the case against him dismissed; and Judge Pollock of the U. S. District Court of Kansas sustained that motion, and for a number of months the case lay dormant there at Wichita. About this time Harold decided to run for Congress and he realized he couldn’t be in Washington serving as a congressman and going around fighting in his own defense. This man, Selby, was industrious, if nothing else. He was tall, angular, and looked like Abraham Lincoln—and he knew it. As some witness said about a similar situation, Selby would never be satisfied until he was assassinated! So about the time Harold wanted to run for Congress, Selby served notice on him to take depositions at perhaps fifteen or twenty different places. McGugin came to see Mr. Cunningham and me and asked us if we would represent him and his wife in the litigation that was pending against him, and we said we would.
By the time we got into the Barnett matters on behalf of Harold McGugin, we found that the damage had already been done against everyone connected with the Barnett case by reason of a decision of Judge Knox, in New York City. Now the first of these cases to be tried was the one to set aside the $550,000 trust fund to Bacone University. It was filed before Judge Knox by Tumulty’s law firm. Tumulty had been the politician who got Judge Knox appointed Federal Judge. He was a powerful politician and it would be no surprise to learn that his law firm was very successful before Judge Knox. Judge Knox set aside the trust fund to Bacone University and, for good measure, out of said trust fund, gave either $200,000 or $250,000 as attorney fees to Tumulty’s law firm. Now the decision of Judge Knox was just contrary to what the U.S. Supreme Court had decided for years and years. That is to say, the law was that whenever one of the departments of government, such as the Department of the Interior, had a matter to decide within its jurisdiction and made a decision, that no one else could question it. However, Judge Knox paid no attention to this settled principle of law, and as I say, he set aside this trust to Bacone University. Now the lawyers for Bacone University decided to appeal, and you must bear in mind that there were really two parties affected by this decision of Judge Knox. First, it was decided that Bacone University would never get the money; and second, that the bank which held the funds as a trustee, must turn them back to the government. Now the bank that was acting as trustee didn’t care about appealing: it was just a stakeholder. But of course, Bacone University wanted to appeal.

At that time the procedure in the Federal Courts permitted the appeal of one defendant, whether the others wanted to appeal or not; but in order to do so, you must ask the Federal Court to make an order, commonly called an order of Severance. All that would have been required by the attorneys wanting to appeal, would be to have an order setting forth that the judge ordered a Severance between Bacone University, a defendant, and the bank that was a stakeholder, and in that manner, Bacone University would have had a clean cut appeal. But, for some reason, the lawyers did not know the law—or overlooked it—and Bacone University, upon reaching the higher courts, was denied any relief simply because they had failed to obtain a writ of Severance.
Now when this decision of Judge Knox became the law of the land, Selby then turned loose on these other cases. In the case against McGugin, he filed an amended complaint and alleged that McGugin had fraudulently done this and he had fraudulently done that. We had a conference with McGugin; and it was apparent that, as a result of the Knox decision, we could not successfully contend that the government be denied recovery and that all that could be litigated was whether or not McGugin had been guilty of fraud.
Now it’s one thing to owe a bank money that you have borrowed and be sued; and still another to be sued for the same amount of money with the allegation that you obtained the money fraudulently through misrepresentation and so forth. Now McGugin had a brilliant political career ahead of him and it was important no judgment ever be granted adjudging him to be guilt of fraud; and so, for the next eight years, we fought his case in many courts, many times and places, and were eventually successful in having it adjudicated that Harold McGugin had not been guilty of fraud in any shape, manner, or form.
Inasmuch as Harold McGugin was becoming a politically prominent figure, there was not only the U.S. Government prosecuting this suit against him, but McGugin had a lot of political enemies in Kansas that were adding fuel to the fire. Judge Pollock, before whom the case had been filed, had died; and a new Federal Judge had succeeded him, who was affiliated with the Landon political forces in Kansas. Of course, Landon had no love for McGugin, and to show you some of the little tricks that were used, some of the newspapers with which Landon had a connection came out one Sunday morning with an announcement that the Federal Judge had found that Harold McGugin was guilty of fraud; then they quoted the judge’s decision and, of course, in the fine print, “The judge said that McGugin was not guilty of any fraud,” and the newspapers explained that for some reason, they had made an erroneous headline. But there it was in big “stud horse” type in the paper: that McGugin was guilty of fraud, whereas, the actual decision of the judge was just to the contrary!
It may seem that eight years of hard work, traveling all over the United States, was a high price to pay to simply see the two words, “no fraud,” written in a judicial decision, but McGugin and ourselves thought that the time was well spent.
I remember many humorous things occurred during the trial of the Barnett-McGugin matter, and I will just mention one or two.

Now this man Selby had a job for the rest of his life. He could just drag out the prosecution of those matters and he took depositions from Hell to breakfast. I remember one time he took me down into Oklahoma. We would go down to those little corrugated iron shacks. He would bring in two or three Indians, and we would sit there in that extreme heat, and he would lean back and look like he was asleep. He would droll along and would take the direct examination of a witness lasting several hours; then I would start to cross-examine. Every question I would ask, he would object to. Now he wouldn’t just say I object because it was incompetent or immaterial, or any other brief objection that is usually made. He had a motion that would take at least twenty minutes for him to make. He would lean back and shift himself into gear and would droll on for twenty minutes—and I would step out and smoke a cigar. Then I would come in and get the witness to answer; then Selby would offer a twenty minute motion to strike it. Finally I said, “Mr. Selby, why don’t we do this? Why don’t we agree that the court reporter can type this twenty-minute objection, or this twenty-minute motion of yours into the record when he types it up, and we won’t sit here in the hot sun with you drolling on and taking up the time of everybody?” Selby refused to do it so we went around the country taking depositions in that manner.
One of the interesting things occurred when the government took the deposition of Jackson Barnett himself, out in Los Angeles, California. Jackson Barnett was really a handsome gentleman. He was bronzed and had a clipped moustache and an erect bearing that resembled a British army officer. One forenoon the government was taking the deposition of Jackson; and all the newspapers and reporters were there that covered the story. The government had at least three of the outstanding alienists of the country and psychiatric specialists of the U.S. sitting there. I noticed that from time to time these alienists would write a note and pass it up to the government attorney and then he would propound the questions to Barnett. I remember three questions in particular that they asked Jackson Barnett and his answers.
“After you came out to Los Angeles with your wife, did you build your home on Wilshire Boulevard?” Barnett answered, “No.”
Then they asked him, “When you were living down there in the Creek Nation, do you remember the time your house burned up?” Barnett answered, “No.”
They asked him, “If you should wake up in the middle of the night and find that your house was afire, what would you do? Jackson replied, “I don’t know.”
After Jackson had testified for half a day, the government put on their best alienist and he said that in his opinion Jackson Barnett was incompetent and he based that opinion upon the answers to the questions that had been given to Jackson Barnett.
So I took the alienist on, and I took the same list of questions that he had given Jackson Barnett. I said, “Now, you asked Jackson Barnett if he woke up in the middle of the night and found his house afire, what would he do; and he said he didn’t know. Now I’m asking you sir, what should he have said?” The alienist scratched his head and he said, “Well, I think I’d call the police.”
Of course, I jumped on him and said, “Do you mean to say, if there were little children in bed and their clothing was on fire, or your wife was suffocating with smoke, that you would just leave them to go off down the street to call the police? Well, of course, it was just duck soup cross examining the fellow that couldn’t even answer the questions that he claimed Barnett hadn’t answered correctly.
The demon got into me then, and I asked this famous world-wide known alienist, there in front of all the newspaper reporters, this question. I said, “Suppose Mr. A owned a peacock, and that peacock went over to Mr. B’s yard and laid an egg, to whom would the egg belong?” The alienist debated a while and finally said, “I think it would belong to Mr. A. because he owned the peacock.” I said, “Well, sir, for your information, a peacock doesn’t lay eggs, only the peahen does.”

Well, for some reason, that caught the imagination of the reporters and they all rushed out of the courtroom and wrote up articles in the newspapers, and that evening when I was going down the street about five o’clock, they had editions out with big, bold streamers across the front of the prominent Los Angeles newspaper: “Can a Peacock Lay an Egg?”
But one last word about Jackson Barnett. He was not crazy; neither was he incompetent. When I put him on the witness stand later on that day and asked him why he told the alienist that after he came to Los Angeles, he did not build the house on Wilshire Boulevard, he said, “I did not build it. I had it built.” Then I asked him what he meant when he said that his little home down in the Creek Nation had not burned up. He explained that the fire had started on the roof and that the hut had burned down. In other words, Barnett was an Indian: and everything to him, was literal.
But it was quite an experience to meet with the finest alienists in the country and find that they, too, did not know that a peacock does not lay an egg. Now to give credit where credit is due, I got that story from Maybin, my dear wife, and it stuck in my memory; and after being dormant for a number of years, I had a chance to spring it on one of the most brilliant minds in the United States.
I had nothing to do with the other branches of the Barnett litigation; but in order that you may know the outcome, I will give it in brief detail.
Selby and his associates had the marriage between Jackson Barnett and his wife annulled after they had lived together for many happy years.
After Jackson Barnett died, and his wife had laid him away, the Federal Government came and drove her out of her home; and she walked away from that home without any furniture, money, or anything to sustain her for the rest of her life. It was a sad day for the Federal Government and an even more sad day for what we call American Justice.
I certainly hope that from the stories I’ve told about the law practice, you won’t get the idea that I won all of my cases. I lost a lot of good cases, and I had the very Hell beat out of me on many occasions. But I had some humorous defeats too, and I’ll try to recall and recite some of them.
                                               Stories Told of My Law Days.
In my early practice, there was a real estate firm in Arkansas City, Kansas. It was run by Fred Gould, a very fine gentleman, who had an employee by the name of Clarence Miller. Mr. Miller claimed that he had sold a piece of real estate for the Fred Gould firm; and that the owner of the property had refused to pay the usual real estate commission. So I filed a suit in what we called at time the “City Court of Arkansas City,” for the real estate commission. The defendant—the seller of the property—hired Tom Pringle to defend the case. I put Clarence Miller on the stand. He testified that the property had been listed with the Fred Gould agency, for whom he, Miller, worked; that he had found a purchaser who was ready, able, and willing to buy, and that he had been the party that had completed the sale.

Then Tom Pringle put on his evidence. The court considered the matter a while, and awarded judgment for Mr. Fred Gould for the full amount of the commission sued for. Thereupon, Tom Pringle took an appeal from the city court of Arkansas City to the District Court of Cowley County. In about two months the matter came on for trial in the District Court at Winfield; and the facts of the matter were still quite simple and fresh in my mind. I pulled a bonehead by not going over the case again with Mr. Miller and Mr. Gould. Be that as it may, Mr. Gould sat down beside me when the case was called and we selected a jury. Tom Pringle was across the counsel table with his client. The jury was sworn in and the judge told me to go ahead and put on my evidence.
I called Mr. Clarence Miller to the witness stand. I asked Mr. Miller if the defendant, the owner of the property, had listed it with the Gould agency for sale. Mr. Clarence Miller said, “No.” I asked him if he had ever shown the property on behalf of the seller, and he said, “No.” I asked him if he hadn’t brought the seller and the purchaser together. He responded that he had not: all of which was absolutely opposite to what he had testified in the city court.
At this juncture, Mr. Fred Gould leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Arthur, I forgot to tell you, since we tried the case in the court below, I had to fire Mr. Miller.” I whispered back, “Well, now is a Hell of a fine time to tell me!”
Thereupon, without asking Mr. Miller any more questions (and leaving him sitting on the witness stand), I took leave of my client, Mr. Gould, who was sitting in a chair at the counsel table. I also took leave of the jury in the jury box. Without saying a word or making a motion to continue the case, I walked to the door, opened it, turned, and addressed Judge Fuller, “Judge, when I came in the courtroom this morning, I had a lawsuit; but I sure ain’t got one now.” I closed the door and silently departed.
Another case I lost had a humorous twist. I was defeated because I didn’t understand a thick-headed Dutchman. Along in the 1930s a Dutchman, who had a fine dairy herd north of Winfield, came to see us. He stated that he had a fine dairy herd and a well that produced fine wholesome, fresh, clean water. He said that after an oil company had drilled an oil well nearby, they had allowed the oil and chemicals and salt water to get through some old rusty pipe and seep from their well into the fresh water well—completely ruining his well that was used for water to supply his dairy herd. The Board of Health had taken samples of water from his well before the oil company drilled its oil well; then they took samples afterward, which showed that there was a decided contamination. When analyzed, the water showed the presence of salt water, acids, and oil pollution. So it looked like a pretty good lawsuit, and there was a substantial amount of damage.
Well, we filed the lawsuit. After so long a time, it came to trial. A jury was selected and I put the Dutchman on the witness stand. After I asked him for his name and where he lived, and how long he’d been in the dairy business and how many head of dairy cows he had, I went into the matter of the well. In substance, I asked him if, before the oil company had drilled this oil well, he had a good water well. He responded that he had. I asked him if, from that well, he had used the water for his dairy herd. He answered affirmatively that he had. I asked him if that well was the only source he had for water, and he said that was correct. Then I asked him about the drilling of the oil well and how far away the oil was, getting down to the “$64 question.” I said, Now, Mr. So-and-so, after the oil company drilled that oil well, did you notice any change in your well?” He answered, “No sir.” I said, “Let me repeat the question. I don’t think you understand it. Now you say before they drilled the oil well, you had a good well?” He said, “Yes sir.” “And now, after the oil company came and did their drilling, did you notice any change in your well?” “No sir.” “Was the well as good as it had been before?” He said, “Yes sir.”

Of course, those answers just knocked my lawsuit “galley west.” So I moved to dismiss the case without prejudice in order that we could re-file it later on. I led that Dutchman by the ear into another room, and I said, “What in the Hell is wrong with you? You told me that your well was good before the oil company came, and it went to Hell afterwards; and what do you mean getting up there on the witness stand and saying there wasn’t any change in your well?” He said, “Mr. Walker, there wasn’t any change in the well. It was the water that got worse!” The remarks that I made then to that Dutchman were too hot to put down on paper.
When Harold McGugin was in Congress, people would often write to him about what to do about some legal matter; and if they were near where I lived, he would suggest that they see me. A fellow by the name of Hamilton wrote McGugin, saying that he had quit working for the Missouri Pacific railroad when he reached retirement age and that he was entitled to draw his railroad pension; but the railroad company was claiming that he was a year or so under age to draw his pension when he quit. Well, in those days they didn’t keep birth records; there were no school records available; and anyone as old as Mr. Hamilton had died; and it was rather difficult to start out and find any competent evidence to show his age.
In recent years, with people having to show their age in order to get social security benefits, the census department has made its records more available; but at the time Mr. Hamilton came to see us, there was a cloak of secrecy around the census records, and it was difficult to get access to them. After Mr. Hamilton came and talked to us, I went to Washington, D.C., and sought out the Senator from Kansas. He got in touch with the census bureau and they said if I would come over, they would make their records available. So I went over to the census department, which had taken the Federal census every ten years since this country started—the census books occupying many, many acres.
When I walked in, they wanted to know from what state I wanted the records. I said Kansas. I was then asked from what county, and I was able to answer that it was Labette County. Then they asked what township; and of course, I didn’t know what township Mr. Hamilton had lived in as a boy. I asked them what townships they had in Labette County: they answered with several names. Out of the air, I picked one. They went back and in a few minutes they came wheeling in with a big volume, which was opened up and riding on a little cart. As I peered over it, the first name I saw was Mr. Hamilton—and it gave his age! It showed that he was the age he was claiming to be and further, it showed that he was entitled to his pension.
But that’s not all of the story. The very next name, next to that of Mr. Hamilton, was the name of my father! He had lived on the adjacent farm to Hamilton when both were boys, and my father was still living just across the road from my home. So there I was in Washington, D.C., pouring through the census records, when I could have stepped across the road from my home in Cowley County and got the same information.

I returned home and went over to see my father and I said, “Did you ever know Mr. Hamilton? He used to live over in Labette County?” My father answered, “Sure, I knew “Pottery Eye.” We grew up together; we went to school together; and we started railroading on the very same day. The first job we had, we worked for the Katy railroad for a year or so; then we went out on strike and both lost our jobs. Both of us then went to work for the Missouri Pacific.” So I prepared an affidavit, which my father signed; and together with the census records, I applied to the Missouri Pacific and got Mr. Hamilton his pension.
On the day Mr. Hamilton came to the office to settle up with me, he brought with him a Meerschaum pipe. He told me that the day my father got married, he had told Mr. Hamilton, “Pottery Eye, I’m going to quit smoking, and I’m going to give you this Meerschaum pipe.” Mr. Hamilton commented, “I’ve had that pipe all these years and I haven’t used it much. It’s in good shape and I wish you’d give that back to your father because I think he’s old enough now that he won’t start smoking again.”
                                                         Some Bad Advice.
Most lawyers like to recall the time they gave some good advice; but one case that will always linger in mind is a case when I gave some bad advice. It came about like this.
There was a colored boy in Arkansas City who was the most worthless, no account individual that you can imagine. His name was Sonny Jones and he would get drunk, get in fights, gamble, steal, and do anything except work. Now his father was a fine, hard working, respected colored man who worked for the Santa Fe Railroad Company for many years. His mother was a fine woman; but like all mothers, her pride and joy was in Sonny—and he never did wrong!
Well, Sonny was no good; but looking at it another way, I really shouldn’t be criticizing him. In my early days of practice, Sonny’s unlawful acts probably helped me to sustain life and limb, and also a wife. About once a week Sonny would be arrested for gambling, being drunk, or stealing; sometimes for fighting, selling whiskey, or for some other offense. His poor mother would come to “Lawyer Walker,” and she would always pay me, and I would go down to the city police court and defend Sonny. I had about a 50-50 “won and lost” record, I guess, in the police court. I would get Sonny off one week; and the next week they would convict him.

Whenever he was convicted, I would appeal the case to the District Court of Cowley County. Well, after I had been the private counsel for Sonny Jones for about a year and taken these various appeals, Judge Fuller the District Judge, called a term of court and looked at the criminal docket. Most of the cases were “The State of Kansas versus Sonny Jones.” Appeals from conviction of gambling, drunkenness, and so on: some twenty odd cases. The judge wasn’t very happy about this, and assigned all of these cases for trial about ten days thereafter. Of course, I knew I couldn’t get Sonny acquitted of all these cases that he had been convicted at once before, and for which I had taken appeals, so I was wondering what to do to defend my client. I looked into my law books and I found that if my client, Sonny Jones could be declared incompetent in the Probate Court of our county, then I could take the judgment of the Probate Court which had determined him incompetent and present it to the Judge of the District Court—and that would stay any trials they might want to proceed with against my client, Sonny. So I went down to the Probate Court and had Sonny Jones declared incompetent, and I got certified copies of those proceedings in the Probate Court. When the first case of the State of Kansas versus Sonny Jones was called for trial in the District Court, I presented them, showing that he had been found incompetent, and moved the court to set the assignment aside, which they did. Now you would think that Sonny Jones would have been tickled to death to escape these trials. There was no doubt that he would have been convicted on most, if not all, of the charges and gone to jail. But that wasn’t what happened! When I got these cases against him stricken from the assignment, which meant that eventually the would be dismissed, Sonny Jones came to me right there in the courtroom and said, “Lawyer Walker, why ain’t I having any trial?” And I said, “Well, Sonny, you’re not going to have any trial here.” He said, “We done pay ya, didn’t we?” I responded, “Yes, you did.” Sonny said, “Well, I’ve got my witnesses here and I want to know why I’m not going to have a trial.”
Then I gave Sonny some bad advice. I said, “Sonny, the reason you’re not going to have a trial is because you have been declared incompetent by the Probate Court.” He said, “What is this incompetent?” And I said, “Sonny, it means that you don’t know what you’re doing, if you killed a person, that you’re not responsible because you don’t know what you’re doing. You are not responsible for your actions, and they cannot try you.” Sonny kind of rolled his eyes and said, “So, I’s not responsible, huh?” And I said, “Sonny, that’s just it.”
And now comes the bad part. That night Sonny Jones got some bootleg whiskey inside him, got a shotgun, and marched up and down the street where the other colored people lived. He would walk in a house, stick the gun in the middle of some person, and say, “I could kill you and they can’t do nothing with me cuz Lawyer Walker has done showed that I’s not ’sponsible.” Sonny made quite a nuisance of himself and he drank more whiskey and became more violent. Before morning he had stuck the shotgun into the side of his father and pulled the trigger—killing his own father as an indirect result of the poor illustration and the advice I had given him. Then, to make matters worse, we had to defend Sonny for murder, and finally got him acquitted. We told his good mother that we thought it was time that she moved to some other locality and took Sonny with her because we were afraid he had worn out his welcome in this locality.
[My fellow lawyers like to add one more chapter to this story, which is not true, but makes a pretty good story. They say that after we got Sonny Jones declared innocent and acquitted in the murder case, that I sent a bill to Sonny and that Sonny came up and wanted to know why I was sending him a bill. I am supposed to have said, “Because you owe me for defending you in a murder case. He is supposed to have said, “I didn’t hire you to defend me, and if I did, I’s not ’sponsible for any of my debts. You done tole me that I’s not ’sponsible for anything I does, that I don’t know what I’s doin’ so I don’t owe you nothing!”]
One last word about Sonny Jones. When his good old mother came up to see me one day, I asked her what was the reason that Sonny was such a mean person, and she said, “Well, Lawyer Walker, Sonny is freckle-minded.” When I asked the meaning of that, she said, “Well, I takes him to a doctor and the doctor said he has spots on his brain—so that’s why we all say that Sonny is freckle-minded.”

All my life, whenever I have had a case, large or small, black or white, or any other color, if I took the case, I went in to win it. But I found that there was one thing that was rather peculiar about some of my colored clients. Some of them actually hoped that I would lose the case in which I was representing them! It was years before I understood that a colored man with several good razor scars on his face, having served two or three years in prison, had a much higher social status than the ordinary, hard-working Negro. Likewise, when you went into a Negro’s home in the early days, if they had the proper social status, you would see a photograph of Abe Lincoln on the wall; on a center table would be a Holy Bible and also an insurance policy of some kind, usually the kind that had the biggest gold paper seal on it.
The reference to insurance policies brings to mind a little case I had for a colored man, who had been working on the railroad when a piece of steel dropped on his foot and mashed it. As a result, he lost three or four weeks of work. His insurance company would not pay for his lost time, so I looked at his policy. It said it would pay him five or ten dollars a week, up to four weeks. So I told him I would be glad to sue the insurance company and collect his money for him. He said, “Oh no, Lawyer Walker, we can’t sue that insurance company cause the agent done told me that if we sued them, they would cancel my policy.” It was much more important to that gentleman to keep a sign of prosperity and status there on a table in his living room than to collect the insurance benefits that were due him.
I’ve told you about defending Sonny Jones, the “freckle-minded” boy, for murder. Well, he had two friends: “Coastline” Noble and “Tangle Eyes” Walker. I defended both of them for murder.
                                                 Handling of a Murder Case.
“Coastline” Noble was not an outlaw; he was really a pretty good natured colored boy. He just scuffled along and made a living selling a little whiskey and doing a little gambling. One afternoon he was in a crap game with some other boys, including “General” Shepard and “Felox,” and some of the other local characters. During the dice game, “Coastline” Noble accused one of the boys of picking up some of the money of the pot that didn’t belong to him. An argument ensued and “Coastline” picked up a wooden kitchen chair, whirled it through the air, and struck one of the crap-shooters, knocking him unconscious, and they hauled this individual to the hospital. When they got him there, they took some x-rays, and then put him in a room with a concrete floor in a bed that was about four feet high. A few days later this boy was still unconscious and delirious. He began tossing about and fell from the bed, landing on his head on the concrete floor, and died!
Well, they arrested “Coastline” and charged him with first degree murder; and in due time his trial came up. Tom Pringle and I were defending “Coastline” Noble. I was doing most of the trial work, and I was trying to get before the jury that the blow with the kitchen chair had sort of stunned the fellow—but it was that terrible fall from the high bed onto the concrete floor that had really done him in.
Now the State of Kansas, in putting on its case in chief, had not introduced the x-rays that had been taken of the injured boy when he was brought into the hospital. I thought perhaps that the x-rays had not shown any particular damage to the boy’s skull.

The State did put on, as a witness, Dr. Geeslin, who testified that the cause of death of the boy was a blow on the head and that the blow from the chair, in his opinion, was the producing cause. Dr. Geeslin was a kindly, old-fashioned doctor, who wouldn’t want to hurt anybody; and I thought that we might get some good testimony from him that might help our boy. So I took Dr. Geeslin on for cross-examination. I said, “Now Doctor, this boy did have quite a fall there on the cement floor, didn’t he?” Dr. Geeslin agreed that a four and one-half foot fall onto that cement floor would be injurious to anyone. Then I said, “Doctor, when this boy came into the hospital, there were some x-rays taken, were there not?” He said, “Yes, Arthur, we took x-rays.” I said, “Doctor Geeslin, isn’t it a fact that the x-rays showed no serious injury to the boys’s skull when he was brought in?” He replied, “No, Arthur, that is not correct.”
Then I pulled an awful bonehead! I said, “Well, Doctor Geeslin, just what did the x-rays show?” Doctor Geeslin kind of swung around and looked at the jury and said, “Gentlemen, that boy’s skull looked just like you had taken a fine, brittle china plate, and dropped it on a cement floor.” Well, this answer of Dr. Geeslin shook Tom Pringle up; it shook me up too. It didn’t do “Coastline’s” morale any good; so during the recess, Tom Pringle talked to the county attorney, who agreed that if “Coastline” would plead guilty to fourth degree manslaughter and be sentenced to a year in the penitentiary, that at the end of about seven or eight months, he, the county attorney, would recommend that “Coastline” be released. Tom thought that this was the best action to take, and “Coastline” agreed. I wasn’t too sure whether we wanted to go the finish wire on the case or not, but that was the way we disposed of the case of “Coastline” Noble.
On asking that question of Dr. Geeslin on cross-examination, I had violated one of the principal rules of cross-examination, which is, never ask a question unless you know what the answer of the witness is going to be; or you are in a position to disprove the answer of the witness by letters, or testimony of witnesses, or other evidence of some kind. In other words, never go on just a fishing expedition on cross-examination.
Perhaps you would like to know what happened to “Coastline.” He went to the pen and served his six or eight months—and was released. He came back to Arkansas City, and came up to my law office and thanked me for all I had done for him and said he would go to work and would pay me. Up to that time, I don’t think he had paid me anything. Then he said that if I would loan him $400, it would help him to rent a house and get set up in business; and in that way, he could pay me off sooner. So I loaned “Coastline” $400. I haven’t seen “Coastline” since. That has been around some forty years, so perhaps I might just as well mark his account off my books.
Claridy Walker was a colored boy who also made his living by scuffling. He was cross-eyed and was commonly known as “Tangle Eyes” or “Tang” Walker. One night “Tang” and “Big Boy” Williams had been out to some crap game; and about three in the morning, the two of them went back to “Tang’s” little house and decided to cook a mess of greens. They got into an argument over some trivial matter, and it got more and more heated. Pretty soon “Big Boy” Williams pulled out his knife and started slashing and cutting at “Tangle Eyes.” Now “Tangle Eyes” had just recently bought something that was his pride and joy. It was a cheap, six or seven dollar raincoat-overcoat. (It was a kind of a reversible affair that could be worn as either a raincoat or an overcoat.) During the fight, “Tang” had it on. “Big Boy,” cutting at him, sliced this garb in several places as “Tangle Eyes” was backing away. “Tang” kept backing off, and soon backed into the next room. He kept backing up until he reached his bureau, where on the top was a pistol. When “Tangle Eyes” was able to get his pistol, he fired and hit “Big Boy” two or three times. “Big Boy” fell down on the bed, and “Tangle Eyes” emptied his pistol into his body. Now “Big Boy” Williams was a lot larger than “Tang” and a very muscular Negro. When he was mad, he was vicious! He had been a pugilist and a gang fighter. “Tangle Eyes” had been scared to death of him, but he didn’t want to admit it.

When they took “Tangle Eyes” Walker to the police station, they asked him if he had been scared; and “Tang” bragged that he hadn’t been afraid of “Big Boy” at any time. “Tang” further stated that if he had had another pocketful of bullets, he would be standing there shooting yet. Well, those statements didn’t help him much. However, the county attorney had taken a lengthy written statement signed by “Tangle Eyes,” and before we went to trial, I made a demand upon the State and got a copy of my client’s first statement to the police. I found one statement in there that I thought would be the basis for our defense.
In substance, “Tangle Eyes” said that “Big Boy” started slashing with that knife and cutting his raincoat-overcoat, and that “Tang”  kept saying, “Now, Big Boy, we’re friends, don’t cut me up with that knife.” Then “Tangle Eyes” said, “I’d back up a little farther and Big Boy would whip at me with that knife again, and I would say, Big Boy, Big Boy, put down that knife, we’s friends, and I would back up a little further, and Big Boy would keep slashing at me with that knife; and I kept backing away and I kept saying Now, we’s friends, we’s friends. And then I reached the bureau and I got my pistol and we wasn’t friends no more.”
Immediately after the shooting, the police had gone down to “Tangle Eye’s” house and they found “Big Boy” lying flat on his back on the bed. Of course, he was dead, and his right arm was laying on the bed, the right hand palm upwards. In the palm of his hand there was a knife; but there was a peculiar thing about the knife, the cutting edge faced away from the body. In other words, the knife was in a position that, had “Big Boy” been alive and clenched his fist and endeavored to cut with it (as one ordinarily would), the knife would have folded up and cut his fingers.
Now the State of Kansas thought that “Tangle Eyes” probably planted that knife. They took pictures of the dead “Big Boy,” then they took pictures of the right hand and the knife, and had the pictures blown up eight or ten times the normal size. They introduced these pictures at the trial and were claiming “Tangle Eyes” had killed “Big Boy” while asleep and then planted the knife.
Well, the pictures of that knife with the cutting edge forward worried me quite a bit. I went to the hospital and talked with a registered nurse who had been at the hospital for some time. I asked her just what happens to a person’s hand at the moment of death. She said that usually at the moment of death, the muscles tighten for a little bit, and then they will relax; then later, rigor mortis will set in. So with a little practice, I was able to take a pocket knife and lay it down with the cutting edge towards the body, slowly opening my hand, and the knife would roll over with the cutting edge forward. When it came time to try it, I had the nurse there, and she described the effect upon a hand at the time of death. I had practiced with a knife quite a bit, and I lay down on the table and demonstrated how “Big Boy” had probably clenched the knife, then relaxed, and the knife rolled over in his hand. That seemed to satisfy the jury on that score.
When it came time for our side of the trial, I introduced in evidence the raincoat-overcoat worn by “Tangle Eyes.” The garment had cuts and slashes in it. We made a pretty good argument for the jury, and they found “Tangle Eyes” not guilty.

The next day I came down to my law office, and there, sitting in my room, was “Tangle Eyes.” He had his feet up on my desk, and was leaning back in my chair with his hat kind of pulled down over his eyes. I supposed that he had come up to thank me, and perhaps pay me. Up to that time he hadn’t paid me anything. I was rather surprised when, instead of a “thank you” or a “well done,” or “I’ll pay you sometime,” all that he said to open our conversation was, “Lawyer Walker, I wants my raincoat-overcoat back!” I said, “Tangle Foot, I don’t have your raincoat-overcoat. I had to introduce your coat in evidence yesterday, and the court will keep those exhibits there because there might be some motions, or matters come up, but in about a week or ten days, the court will release all exhibits and I’ll bring your raincoat-overcoat down.” He still had his feet up on my desk, which I didn’t appreciate, and he looked at me and said, “Lawyer Walker, I wants my raincoat-overcoat, and I wants it now!” I said, “You big black so-and-so, you can’t come in here and talk to me like that,” and I shoved his feet off my desk as he said, “Well, Lawyer Walker, if you don’t know how to get my raincoat-overcoat back, I’s gonna go get me a good lawyer that knows something about the law.”
By that time I was so mad that I ran him out of my office! You might thing that we would never be friends again; but, strange as it may sound, “Tangle Eyes” turned into a good colored man, learned the barber trade, and he paid me! Some years later I went to visit him. He had just got married and he must have been in his forties then, and had married a girl about eighteen years old. I asked “Tangle Eyes” about this recent event. “Why did you marry a girl so much younger than you?” He said, “Lawyer Walker, I always said that if I did get married, I was gonna marry something I wouldn’t have to help up and down.”
“Tangle Eyes” became a good law-abiding man and had a nice family; and to show his appreciation, he named one of his boys after me; then for want of names, he named his children after the days of the week, and all of the boys and girls he raised turned out to be fine citizens. But I never did understand just why he got so provoked with me for not having that raincoat-overcoat ready for delivery ten minutes after the trial.
                                           Defending a Landowner With a Tie.
One time we were representing a landowner over whose property the state highway commission had run a highway. The highway had been put in at an angle; then, in addition, the highway commission had taken two acres here and five acres there to get dirt to increase the grade of the highway. The area from which they took the dirt was called “borrow pits,” and they had taken dirt from a half dozen places, leaving this man’s eighty acres pretty badly cut up. Of course, in a condemnation case, the landowner is entitled to the value of the land taken, and to damages for the land which is not taken over. The highway commission claimed they owed for the land taken by the highway, but they claimed the owner was not entitled to any damages for the land not taken by them. The usual evidence was put on, and I got ready to argue the case after lunch.

Instead of taking time to eat, I got a good idea. I went to one of the stores downtown and bought a big wide, long necktie. I exchanged it for the one I had on. I then purchased a pair of sharp, long scissors. When I started arguing the case, I had up on the blackboard a map of the condemned land. I’d refer to the map, pointing out a piece of the condemned land; then I would turn to my necktie and I’d cut out a corresponding chunk. I again turned to the map, pointing out another piece of condemned land, and then proceeded to cut out another chunk of my tie to indicate that piece of condemned land. I nipped my tie here, and I nipped my tie there. When I got through, I asked the jury if, in their opinion, I still had a good necktie. If I didn’t have a good necktie, it was obvious that my client didn’t have a good farm left. I thought it was a pretty good argument and it must have impressed the jury because we got a good award.
Now, the sequel to the thing is, the story got out around the state; and the next thing I heard was of some lawyer out in western Kansas in a condemnation case similar to the one I had. He got himself a necktie and a pair of scissors; but he got a thick, tough tie, and some scissors that were dull. When he started to try and cut into his tie and demonstrate the damage that had been done to his client’s land, his scissors got stuck on his tie and everyone laughed at his predicament. The judge started laughing, the jury started laughing, and the opposing lawyer started laughing! So this lawyer who had copied my wonderful argument, got embarrassed and sat down at the counsel table with the scissors still swinging from his newly purchased tie.
[It has been my experience, that in nearly all states there are different boards, departments, and bureaus that have the right to start a prosecution. I’m speaking of the Health Department, the Fire Marshal, Hotel Inspectors, Boiler Inspectors, and so on down the line. Usually very intolerant people go around to enforce it. All they can see is a slight violation; then someone has to go to the penitentiary.]
                                                     Defending a Youngster.
I remember one time there was a little boy in Arkansas City, who was about ten or twelve years of age. Going to school one afternoon, he went down to the boys’ toilet. It was a modern school building. The walls and floor were cement, the doors were metal, and the toilet stalls were metal with walls of brick and stone. You couldn’t have started a fire to burn anything if you wanted to. Well, this boy got a metal can in which you throw towels after you wash your hands. There were eight or ten paper towels in this can, and the boy thought how funny it would be to light those paper towels and have smoke drift up the hall so there would be a fire drill. So he touched a match to those few paper towels in the wastepaper can, and sure enough there was a fire drill. But following that, the state Fire Marshal came down with a big crew of men and made a detailed investigation, and they arrested this boy and charged him with first degree arson. They charged him with intent to burn a schoolhouse in which there were a number of people, etc. Of course, we looked up the law on arson, and the statutes. Strange as it may sound, the Kansas law at that time specified that if a person was convicted of arson, a judge had no authority to give him a parole. In other words, if a man was convicted, it was mandatory that he serve the entire sentence. When this case came on to trial, the jury was selected and the fire marshal’s office made a statement of what the defense would be and mentioned the construction of the building and the impossibility of causing a fire—and it was just a boy’s prank.
Judge Fuller was on the bench and he called for a recess. He called me up to the desk, and said, “Why don’t you just plead your boy guilty and I’ll give him a parole, and we won’t have to spend a day or so here, trying the case?”

I answered, “Judge, you can’t parole him, you don’t have any authority.” So Judge Fuller looked up the statute and said, “Well, I never knew that, but you are correct.” Then Judge Fuller called the fire marshal up to the desk and said to him, “Now, here’s a boy who is probably guilty of malicious mischief, but certainly not of arson. Why don’t you dismiss this case?” The fire marshal stated that he had to do it, that he had to make an example, and this and that, and Judge Fuller got mad and said, “Let’s go ahead and try the case.”
I knew that if they convicted the boy, he’d probably give me a new trial; but I didn’t think they would convict this young boy; and as a matter of fact, it took the jury about five minutes to acquit the boy.
[The reason I have mentioned this case is to show how autocratic and mean one of these boards or bureaus can become when they have the right to arrest and prosecute someone they claim has broken the law or, worse yet, one of the rules and regulations which they have promulgated and which to them are very sacred.]
                                                        Shell Oil Company.
During the oil boom in Kansas, particularly in Cowley County and Sumner County, in the 1920s and 1930s, the Shell Oil Company got a lease from the state of Kansas, on the Arkansas River. The Shell Oil Company drilled a number of oil wells right out in the river. Of course, after they had derricks erected out in the river; they built bridges and platforms running out to the derricks.
That was all well and good, except one year we had quite a bit of high water. Logs and trees and debris floated down the river as it does in flood time, lodging against these derricks and bridges; and this blockage caused the water to be backed up three or four hundred yards. The Arkansas river was forced into leaving its bed and soon spread over the adjacent country, causing considerable damage.
Well, a number of the landowners got hold of John Boyle to represent them; and he, in turn, got me to assist him and we filed some lawsuits. Pretty soon we went to trial on one of these cases. The Shell Oil Company had their own lawyers, and they brought in other counsel.
The trial lasted for a week or ten days; and as I recall, the defense of the Shell Oil Company was largely an argument of theirs that if you dam up half a river, you don’t retard the flow of the water, and the half of the river that is open simply carries the water twice as fast at that point.
Well, one evening when court had adjourned during the trial, one of the young ladies who worked at the courthouse in Winfield, but who lived at Arkansas City, asked if she could ride back to Arkansas City with John Boyle and myself. We said “Yes,” and on our way to Arkansas City we asked her why the lawyer for the Shell Oil Company (who had been driving her back and forth) wasn’t taking her home that evening. She said the Shell lawyer had to work that night; that he was making a model of the Arkansas River and those bridges and derricks and the debris, etc., to show to the jury.
So John Boyle and I decided that if the Shell Oil Company was going to have an exhibit, perhaps we should make one. We went to a drug store, got a bunch of paste, glue, and modeling clay, and I don’t remember what all, and we stayed up most of the night putting together the doggondest “Rube Goldberg” contraption you ever saw. But if you knew how to work it, it was pretty good. You could put the water in, and it would circle around; then it would come down. We would drop in a couple of toothpicks and pieces of brush, and pretty soon the water was all over the landscape.

On the following day, we threw a sheet over our exhibit and took it into the courtroom. We put it right under the counsel table. We noticed that the Shell Oil Company’s lawyers had a box over in one corner of the courtroom. Then during the time the Shell lawyers would be cross-examining one of our witnesses, John Boyle disappeared under the counsel table, put his head under the sheet, and the sound of nuts, bolts, and various parts could be heard falling around. The Shell lawyers tried to see what was going on; but John wouldn’t let them. As a result of that bit of psychology, the Shell lawyers didn’t have the nerve to introduce their model or exhibit in evidence. Our exhibit was such a “Rube Goldberg” affair that we weren’t too proud of it—and we didn’t use ours—but at least we blocked off their main stay.
Then I used in my argument a device that I thought was pretty effective. The oil company was claiming that a few logs and debris did not retard the flow of water! I took a couple of Coke bottles: I filled one with water with no cap on it; the other, I filled with water, and with a simple matchstick and a couple of rubber bands, I fixed it so the matchstick lay across the top of the bottle, which, of course created a slight obstruction. In arguing to the jury, I turned both bottles simultaneously upside down and held a watch nearby so the jury could see it. Of course, it took longer for the water to drain from the bottle with the matchstick on it. Maybe the jury liked my argument, or maybe they thought the farmers had been outraged; whatever it was, we got a pretty good settlement out of those cases.
                                     Suit Against the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
First Street, in Arkansas City, runs north and south. The Missouri Pacific railroad track crosses First Street, running east and west. Just southwest of the intersection of First Street and the railroad track, for many years, was the National Guard armory. The railroad track running east and west was right against the north side of the armory with the result that anyone proceeding north on First Street could not see an oncoming eastbound Missouri Pacific train.
One evening a Ford automobile with two young men that belonged to the National Guard pulled up on the east side of the armory. The two young men had their girl friends with them. The boys left the two girls within the Ford car, which was headed north, and went into the armory. Well, the girls thought they would play a joke on the boys and drive the car away. They started driving north, and just as they got to the railroad track, a switch engine (pushing one or two cars) headed east, and struck the side of the Ford car, carrying it about 300 feet to the east. As it slid, the wheels were broken on the automobile and the car overturned. The girls were killed!
Mr. Cunningham and I filed lawsuits against the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company for each family of the two girls. When we tried the first case, we were able to show by some witnesses that the switch engine was backing at a speed of 20 or 25 miles per hour, which is in violation of the city ordinance; that the enginemen had not sounded the bell or whistle; and by reason of the excess speed, convinced the jury that we were entitled to a verdict, and got one.

Some time later, we tried the second case; and this time, the railway company thought that they had figured out a way to be sure and beat us! This time they had a great many witnesses: all of the railroad men there to testify that the switch engine was backing at a very slow rate of speed, about 10 miles per hour. They showed the speed at which they hard started—and the distance—indicating that it would be impossible to go faster than that. The brakeman, the fireman, and the engineer testified that it was a very slow rate of speed at which they were proceeding when the switch engine hit this Ford automobile. Irrespective of the speed, there was no question that the car had been pushed sideways for perhaps 100 feet; that the wheels on the automobile broke; and that the automobile had then started to turn over and was rolled over; and that the bodies and the car were carried some two or three hundred feet.
Now when the railroad company came in with all these witnesses, who stated that the train was only proceeding about 10 miles per hour, of course we had to change our strategy somewhat. While we had witnesses who claimed that the switch engine had been running too fast; we also put on expert witnesses, who said that if they had been running at 10 miles per hour, then there was no reason why they could not have stopped the train in a distance of 10 or 15 feet. The switch engine and two cars were all there was; and of course, with no weight of any consequence, the engine should have stopped if the crew had been alert and running at the slow speed claimed.
At the end of the trial of the second case, where the railroad company lawyers and witnesses were claiming that the train was only running at 6, 8, or 10 miles per hour, I got to argue the case again. (It was late in the evening when the courtroom was kind of spooky and gave a pretty good setting for an argument that I believed was quite effective.) Part o my argument was as follows: “Gentlemen of the jury, there is no question that the car and the girls were shoved sideways approximately 300 feet. Now the railroad company has maintained that they weren’t going over 10 miles per hour—and a number of their witnesses say that they weren’t going over 5 miles per hour. Now, let’s see, gentlemen of the jury, how much time this engine was pushing these girls along the tracks. If the engine was going 10 miles per hour, then it was moving 15 feet per second; and to travel 300 feet, the engine would have been rolling for twenty seconds. But if the train had been moving 5 miles per hour, as many of the witnesses claimed, then this engine was shoving these girls sideways for forty seconds. Now, gentlemen of the jury, let’s split the difference of what the defense’s own witnesses claim. Part of them claim 5 miles per hour; part of them claim 10 miles per hour. It’s either twenty seconds or forty seconds. Let’s split the difference of the testimony for the defense: let’s say this car was shoved sideways for thirty seconds.”
At this point I took my large railroad watch that my father had given me, out of my pocket, and I held it in front of the first row of the jury, I said, “Now, gentlemen, watch this very closely to see that I don’t miscalculate the time.” As the second hand came round, I said, “Gentlemen, the engine and cars have just struck these girls.” I waited six or eight seconds and then said, “Gentlemen, these girls are still alive, if the engineer or brakeman will just stop!” I waited another six seconds, then I said to the jury, “They are still pushing this car along, but the girls are still alive; and if the engineer will just stop, these girls will be alive!” And as I went along, every 15 or 20 feet, I repeated that same question, “Why doesn’t that engineer or brakeman stop; why don’t they save the lives of these girls?”

Now, perhaps thirty seconds doesn’t seem like very much to you! But if you stand there in a silent courtroom (and about the only argument you make is every six or eight seconds), simply saying, “My God, why doesn’t that engineer or brakeman apply the brakes?” “Why don’t they stop the train and save the lives of these girls?” Thirty seconds seems like an eternity! When the second hand came round past 30 seconds, I said nothing. I bowed my head and placed the watch back in my pocket. I turned my back to the jury and walked back to the counsel table and sat down. I’ve always thought that it was really an effective argument; and at least it didn’t hurt us any. We got a substantial verdict.
An aftermath to the story might be of interest to you. It was not too long after this case that the Missouri Pacific people approached me and wanted to know if I would act as their attorney. Thus it was, that for many years I was the attorney for the Missouri Pacific and Frisco railroads in this locality.
As a young lawyer, I was called upon to make many speeches in many places. The first speech that I remember having been paid anything for, was at Geuda Springs, Kansas, on the Fourth of July. I think I got the great sum of $10 for that speech. In any event, I soon made enough money giving speeches that I was enabled to get my father a membership in the Scottish Rite; and he and I took the same class, the Sunflower class, at Wichita in the year 1923.
I made many speeches for the National Association of Beer Distributors. They were enjoyable, and I was well paid.
I made many speeches where it was a great honor to have been asked to take charge, such as the Memorial Service for the Honorable Guy Helvering, United States District Judge of Kansas. When Congressman McGugin died, I spoke at his funeral. I had the honor of giving the speeches at the time George Templar became Federal Judge; and later on I had the same honor for Frank Theis, when he became the United States District Judge. I also had the honor of making the presentation speech and presenting a large bronze plaque to the Supreme Court of Kansas, containing the names of the World War II dead who had been lawyers of this state. (This speech was recorded and still appears in 167 Kansas on page 3.)
I nominated Wayne Richards so many times—and he climbed the ladder so many times—that it almost became a habit. I first nominated him for Junior Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the state of Kansas, at Dodge City. Then, I believe, the Senior Vice Commander died; and I nominated Wayne for the State Commander at Salina, as I recall. Then we got into the National picture, and I nominated Wayne for National Junior Vice Commander at New York City. A year later I nominated him for Senior Vice Commander at Los Angeles, California. Later I nominated him for National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wayne was a pleasant fellow, a most able National Commander of VFW, and I enjoyed the work and association with him.
I gave speeches on legal matters to county bar meetings and state bar meetings; and I gave speeches on political matters to Lincoln Day clubs, state conventions, county conventions, and wherever I could get a crowd of three or four to listen to me.

A humorous thing happened when Judge Theis became a member of the Federal Court. I was on a committee with some others to handle the program at Wichita for the robing of Frank Theis when he became Federal Judge. We were to look after the entertainment of distinguished guests that would come for the occasion, send out invitations, and so forth. Well, we had some nice engraved invitations, which we sent out to the United States Senators, the Governor, the Congressmen, Federal Judges in the Midwest, Judges of the Circuit Court of Appeals and of the Supreme Court, and distinguished members of the American Bar Association, etc. Frank Theis had been very active in Democrat politics all of his adult life. He had been the National Democratic Chairman for many years; also the National Committeeman from Kansas. In arranging a reception, we were faced with the problem of limiting it to just distinguished guests, and Judge Theis and his personal friends, or throwing it open to the public, and that would include about everybody in Wichita.
We finally decided to cut it down to about 100 people: that would take care of the distinguished guests, Judge Theis, and any personal friends he cared to have. We arranged for a room at the Wichita Club.
I had been selected to give the speech of the day, presenting Judge Theis to the other members of the court. It went along all right and everything seemed to be going according to the book, when Judge Hill, a member of the Circuit Court of Appeals, in concluding the ceremony, announced to about a thousand people present in the courtroom that, following the ceremony in the courtroom, everyone was invited to come down to the Wichita Club, where there would be a reception.
Of course, anyone in his right mind, knew that a reception meant free drinks! That courtroom crowd evaporated, and everybody headed for the Wichita Club, picking up friends on the way. A little later, when Mrs. Walker, Judge Wertz, Bob Martin, and I arrived, we couldn’t even get into the room that we had rented for this reception. So we went to a different room in the Club, and ordered and paid for a highball in the usual manner of people who are not giving a party. The crowd seemed to get thicker and thicker in the room where the free drinks were! Finally, Paul Kitch, came out and said to me, “Colonel, do you know what?” I said, “No, I don’t.” He said, “Well, at the end of the first hour, the bar bill that you and I owe for entertainment of these people is about $1,700, and the crowd is getting bigger every minute!”
                                             FARMING CORPORATIONS.
During the early 1930s, Mr. Cunningham and I were in two cases I would like to mention; furthermore, I would like to make it plain that I had little to do with the outcome of either of these two cases. Mr. Cunningham had been selected as counsel in these two cases for his diligence and ability, and I was just sort of carrying his coat.
The first case was an effort by the State of Kansas to oust what were known as the Wheat Farming Corporations. The Attorney General of the State of Kansas and other members of the Charter Board had granted charters to corporations to be formed to carry on the growing of wheat, particularly in the State of Kansas. These corporations were severely injuring western Kansas. It came about in this way.

A corporation would go out and buy a tract of ground ten miles square, and would immediately take down all of the sheds, barns, and houses. They would take down the fences and would plow the whole thing up and plant wheat. In most instances, they would simply plow up the road because they owned the whole ten miles square. They might leave one or two highways for people to travel on; but they would, in most instances, plow up the roads and plant the whole thing to wheat. Now the worst thing about this enterprise was that they took down the houses! The farmers and tenants who had been living there had moved away and when they were gone, there weren’t any kids to go to school, and the school system was injured. There weren’t any people to go to church, and the churches went to pieces. There weren’t any people to come to the small towns, so the merchants and the mechanics and the small town banks and everyone else had to close up. The wheat farms were usually operated by a big group that would come in and plow the ground, plant the wheat, put the machinery in a shed; and you would see no more of them until they would come out the next year to cut and harvest the wheat.
There was another evil that went along with this development: acquisition and ownership of land! In the past the title to the land generally changed from family to family over the years. Allowing the creation of charters to corporations changed everything.
When you have a corporation owning a big plot of ground, the death of a stockholder or a director doesn’t make any difference. The corporation still owns the land. It makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a young man to get started in the farming business: he has nowhere to go to acquire land. It was that situation that drove lots of people out of England, France, German, and elsewhere. Whenever the title to real estate gets tied up so that a young man or woman cannot acquire land, it is always a bad situation.
In this case, of course, the Attorney General of the State of Kansas and the Charter Board, having granted charters to these wheat farming corporations, claimed that the State of Kansas now had no right to oust these wheat farming corporations. Mr. Cunningham undertook the job as a special assistant Attorney General, trying the matter practically all of one summer, before a special master who had been appointed. This special master, as I recall now, ruled that the wheat corporations could not be ousted and dissolved. That was his report to the State Supreme Court.
But even with that adverse decision of the special master, Mr. Cunningham wrote a tremendously fine brief and presented his matter to the Supreme Court of Kansas. They did not go along with the special master, and handed down a decision, requiring the wheat farming corporations to be ousted from the State of Kansas. It was a tremendous victory, not only for Mr. Cunningham but for all those engaged in agriculture or farming of any kind in the state of Kansas.
The other case I wanted to mention on behalf of Mr. Cunningham was what is commonly known as the Madison Oil Conspiracy trial. Along in the 1930s, all of the major oil companies in the United States were indicted by the Federal Grand Jury, sitting at Madison, Wisconsin. The charge: that all of the oil companies in the United States had gotten together and formed a conspiracy as to the prices they would set on fuel oil, gas, and lubricants!
Now the oil companies did have an association. The secretary of this association was Clyde M. Boggs of Arkansas City, Kansas, who was president of the Kanotex Refining Company. When Mr. Boggs was indicted, along with the other oil companies and their top officers, Mr. Boggs retained Mr. Cunningham to defend him. In due time, the conspiracy case was assigned to trial, and it appeared that the trial might last somewhere from three to six months.

Just how you go about getting the defense in some kind of order is rather an interesting thing, and I would like to comment on it for a minute. The prosecution had subpoenaed these major oil companies all over the United States to bring them to Madison, Wisconsin, along with all their files, documents, records, telegrams, correspondence, etc. Of course, literally carloads and truckloads of records were demanded. In addition, the oil companies had to bring secretaries, accountants, and auditors—and there must have been at least two hundred. There were at least five hundred lawyers representing all of these oil companies and oil company officials.
This case came during the depression. There was a building in Madison, Wisconsin, that must have been twelve or fifteen stories high (which housed various companies that had gone broke) that was rented by the defense committee. Office space was assigned to the various defending oil companies.
They had special locks put on all the doors and had a system of guards on the lower floor. Even if you were one of the oil company officials, when you came into the building where all the oil companies were housed, you had to sign a register, show your identification, and had to be passed by the guard. You would then be admitted to the elevator, which took you to your floor, where once again you would be checked. Thereafter, you had to have a special key to get into your office.
The oil companies, furthermore, had many airplanes available. They set up a system of airmail delivery and transportation for passengers and witnesses from Tulsa, Houston, Los Angeles, and wherever these oil companies had their offices to Madison, Wisconsin.
The oil company lawyers had to agree upon someone among them who would be the spokesman on most matters that would arise. The first choice of the lawyers was a gentleman who had formerly been the United States Attorney General. He turned it down. Even though he was no longer Attorney General, he thought he might be criticized (having formerly been in the legal department of the United States) for taking employment in a case where the United States was prosecuting someone.
I don’t know if they had any other choices or not before they finally chose Wild Bill Donovan, a well-known New York lawyer at that time. He was a Catholic, and the judge was a Catholic; and the lawyers thought there might be less friction between people of the same faith. In the opening session, Wild Bill Donovan made some remarks that the court resented, and the sparks flew! It developed that the defense could not have picked a lawyer less able to get along with the court than Mr. Donovan.
The trial proceeded week after week, Mr. Cunningham representing Mr. Boggs. Finally the prosecution rested. Each and every defendant had motions filed and argued, seeking to have the charges dismissed as to them. Mr. Cunningham filed and argued his motion for the discharge of Mr. Boggs. I was not present at the time he made his argument; but I have heard from many sources that it was a masterpiece! Be that as it may, Mr. Boggs, who was secretary of the association, was discharged by the judge at the end of the Government’s case, allowing Mr. Boggs and Mr. Cunningham to return home.
It is my recollection that one or two others were also discharged; but as to the remaining twenty or thirty oil companies and their officials, they went ahead and put on their defense over the next few weeks—and all were convicted by the jury.

When you consider that Mr. Boggs was the secretary of this Association, and was probably one of the active members in getting the oil companies together to discuss prices, and when you step back and realize that Mr. Cunningham got the “hub of the wheel” free, and the isolated “spokes” were all convicted, it gives you some idea of the power and the influence that could be exerted by Mr. Cunningham when he was at the peak of his performance.
Along about 1951 a young man walked into my office and said his name was Norman Iverson; that he had been a pilot in the Air Force in World War II; and had done some of his training at Strother Field, met a local girl, and they had been married. He said he was employed at the packing house doing some legal work; but he wanted to leave the packing house and get into the practice of law.
He wanted to know if I thought it would be a good idea or not, and whether he could get into business. I told him if he left the packing house, that I would get an office space for him, that I had some desks and chairs, and some books, and I would get him some business. I told him that I knew he would make at least $5,000 the first year; at least $7,500 the second year; and $10,000 the third year; and from then on it was up to him. Well, he followed my advice, and his earnings proved to be about double what I had predicted. In the meantime, as he was leaving the packing house, he said he would like to get some active law experience.
Well, I said there was a colored boy charged with murder, who wanted someone to defend him, and said, “His name is Babe Palmer and he is an Arkansas City boy. How about you and I defending him?” He said that was fine.
Now Babe Palmer wasn’t a vicious man. He wasn’t a killer, he was just a worthless, no good, colored boy, selling whiskey, gambling with crooked cards and crooked dice; a boy who just kind of scuffled for a living. During a dice game at Winfield, Kansas, he had gotten into an argument with some of the boys. They would drink a little more whiskey, argue a little more; and it resulted in a shooting and when the smoke cleared away, Babe Palmer had shot and killed one of the players! Palmer was being tried for first degree murder.
Judge Faulconer, who had been a corporation lawyer all his life, had recently gone on the bench. He knew little or no criminal law. He was in his advanced years; and I think, mentally asleep most of the time. Be that as it may, trying a case before him was just terrible!
We didn’t have much of a case for Babe Palmer as to the actual act of shooting. It was a simple case of self-defense, if they believed Babe’s story. The prosecution did have a record of arrests against Mr. Palmer that was quite interesting. These arrests started at least twenty years back before the trial. The prosecution brought in justices of the peace from Wellington, Kansas; Parsons, Kansas; Arkansas City, Kansas; and I don’t know where all. They showed that Babe Palmer had been arrested as a vagrant, for being drunk, for shooting dice, etc. He had been arrested for this and that, always petty things, but of course they added up. They then brought in a trunk that they had taken from Babe’s house, opened it, and disclosed that it contained a bunch of marked cards and crooked dice.
Of course, we were objecting and screaming to high heaven that marked cards and crooked dice had nothing to do with a man charged with first degree murder. But the judge let all the evidence in, and whenever the jury went out for a recess, he sent them out to the sheriff’s office—where the sheriff, the county attorney, and all the prosecution witnesses hung out. They mingled with the jurors, and we objected to that.

Then when the jury got ready to leave the jury box to decide on a verdict, the judge didn’t swear the jury as the law requires. When he read the instructions to the jury, he didn’t give instructions on anything but first or second degree murder. He did not give instructions on manslaughter!
So it wasn’t any surprise to us that the jury came in and found Babe Palmer guilty.
Norman Iverson and I decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas. We went up and argued it. In due time, the Supreme Court reversed the case. They said that Judge Faulconer should have instructed the jurors on the four degrees of manslaughter; that Judge Faulconer should not have allowed the jurors to mingle with the sheriff and the prosecuting witnesses; that Judge Faulconer should not have let all the stuff come in about Babe Palmer’s former arrests; that Judge Faulconer should have had the jury sworn as the law requires, before they went out to deliberate; and in fact, about everything that Judge Faulconer had done, the Supreme Court said was wrong. Anyway, the Babe Palmer murder case was probably Mr. Iverson’s first active criminal trial; and I’m sure the first case that he appealed to the Supreme Court. He will always remember it.
A little later, Mr. Iverson and I represented another colored boy at Winfield. His name was Leroy Nelson. He was charged with first degree murder. A shooting had occurred in a rooming house. It was two angry colored boys contesting for the love of a lady and with the usual result: both of them had guns, and one of them lost.
Well, Leroy Nelson was a pretty good colored fellow. Everybody in Winfield liked him. The prosecution didn’t have much of a case, so that case we sort of settled by arbitration; that is, we plead our boy guilty to fourth degree manslaughter, and the judge sentenced him to a year or so. But they paroled him, and he didn’t have to serve a day in jail. He has been a pretty good colored boy ever since.
You may think that in relating to the various murder cases that we defended, we were never on the side of the prosecution; but many times both Mr. Cunningham and I were hired to assist the prosecution in various cases.
One of the most interesting cases that we were engaged in on the side of the prosecution, was the Jim Warren murder case. Jim Warren was a successful cattle man and owned a large ranch east of Arkansas City. Part of the ranch lay in Kansas and part in Oklahoma. Jim Warren claimed a man by the name of R. C. (“Shorty”) Mathews owed him some money and wouldn’t pay it. So one day, Jim Warren rode down into Oklahoma and got hold of some cattle that he claimed belonged to him, or at least, belonged to him since Mathews hadn’t paid him for them. Warren was driving these cattle back across the Oklahoma line, got into Kansas, and was heading north. He and his boy were herding them when Mathews, who had come home and found his cattle gone, had taken a shotgun, and was pursuing Jim Warren. Apparently Warren either heard a gun click, or something; and as he turned in his saddle, Mathews turned and shot Jim Warren in the side and in the back. Warren fired a shot from his rifle; then Warren’s young son rode up. He had a 22 pistol and he fired, sending a bullet through the neck of Mathews, who was severely wounded, but not fatally. Jim Warren was rushed to the hospital and was dead in a few minutes, or at least in a few hours. Mathews was charged with first degree murder. His defense was that he had a right to protect his property; that he owned those cattle and that Warren, in effect, was stealing them; and that he had a right to shoot to keep someone from stealing his property. Mathews said that it was Jim Warren who had first turned around and fired at him; and that he had fired in self defense.

Jim Warren was an excellent shot with a rifle. We wanted to show that he had been shot at by Mathews and had been hit by Mathews’ bullets before Warren whirled and tried to shoot. We went out to the scene of the tragedy. We took the sheriff along as well as a photographer and a number of pieces of white paper and string, and located the scene of the tragedy. We searched for the spot where Mathews was located when he fired his shotgun. We found the shotgun shell that had been ejected from Mathews’ gun, placing Mathews at that approximate location. We knew the place where Jim Warren had been hit because he had been fatally wounded, and had fallen to the ground, and there was some blood. So we then tied little pieces of white paper on every twig or leaf that had been hit with one of the shots, and they revealed the pattern that the shotgun blast had taken from Mathews’ gun to Warren, and we had pictures made of that. You’d be surprised at how well the pictures showed the pattern of shot if you follow that procedure.
Then we started in to see if we could trace the shot that Jim Warren had fired from his rifle. We figured that he had fired wild because he had been hit by the shotgun blast before he fired. We looked and looked, and finally, back about fifty yards from where Jim Warren had shot, we found that bullet lodged in the limb of a tree some fifteen feet or better above the ground. We had the deputy sheriff go up and identify it with a tag; then we sawed that limb off and later used that section in court as part of the evidence. After we found the bullet in the limb, we traced the pattern that Jim had shot, and we put tags on the twigs and trees and wood that had been clipped, and had that photographed. The photographs made a rather dramatic picture of the courses of bullets fired during that engagement. Well, Mathews was convicted and went to prison.
Years later, Mathews’ daughter came to see me. She wanted to employ me to try and get Mathews out on parole. I told her I would not take employment unless it was agreeable with the Warren family, so I went to see the Warrens. They were still angry at Mathews, and I could understand their feelings. I told them the situation and I further told them I wouldn’t take employment from Mathews’ daughter to try and get the man who killed Jim Warren a pardon.
                                                         Nobody’s Perfect!
In relating instances of cases in which we were successful, I don’t want you to get the impression that we won every case we were in. We took some severe whippings every once in a while. One of the roughest, toughest murder cases that we were ever involved in, was the Brooks case over in Wellington, Kansas.
Mr. Brooks had walked into a little restaurant at Belle Plaine, Kansas, and without any argument, reason, or justification, had pulled out a pistol and shot and killed the town marshal. Now, the town marshal was a well known, well liked, and very popular gentleman. Mr. Brooks was not a bad individual. Neither was he a fighter or a criminal. He was kind of a good-for-nothing that no one seemed to like. Public feeling was very strong against him. Brooks hired Bert Church of Wellington to defend him. Bert, in turn, asked Mr. Cunningham and me to assist him. We talked with Mr. Brooks. He seemed to be very quiet spoken and a very nice man, but strange as it may sound, we could not find anyone who cared to testify for him. He did not have any apparent insanity at the time of the shooting; he was not under the influence of liquor; and he had no recollection of what he had done.

We checked into his medical history and learned that he had been a victim of undulant fever. Some doctors seemed to think that this past illness could be the cause of a man doing something that he had no recollection of. There was no known reason for him to walk into the restaurant and suddenly kill a man.
When the trial came on, the courthouse at Wellington was absolutely packed for two or three days while this trial was in progress; and as we walked up the stairway to the courtroom and through the aisles, we could feel the hostility the crowd had not only for Mr. Brooks but for the counsel that was appearing for him. I’ve been among hostile people; but I don’t think I ever saw more hostility toward a defendant than I did in the Brooks case.
Inasmuch as Brooks had no recollection as to what had happened, we were pinning our hopes to the fact that he might be able to give us the names of eight or ten good, well-known people in Sumner County, who would testify that Mr. Brooks’ reputation for being a peaceful, law abiding citizen, was good. (This type of person is what we ordinarily call a “character witness.”)
Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Church, and I got Mr. Brooks back in a room in the courtroom and said, “Mr. Brooks, it’s time that we must have the names of four or five people who would swear that your reputation for being a peaceful, law abiding citizen, is good. Now give us the names of some people.” Mr. Brooks would scratch his head as he said, “I just don’t know of anyone.” Then we thought we would fall back and maybe some of his relatives would testify for him. He said, “I don’t know. I might possibly have two or three.” We said, “Give us their names.” So he gave us the names of two or three relatives. We called them out of the crowd and went back to a little room with these relatives, and you know, not a one of those people wanted to testify for Mr. Brooks. We said, “Well, he’s your uncle and they are going to hang him if we aren’t able to put on some kind of evidence that he wasn’t a bad person before this happened.” So finally, one of these relatives said, rather reluctantly, that if we put him on the witness stand that he would testify that he knew Mr. Brooks was a law abiding citizen and peaceful. So we brought him in, put him on the stand, and we asked him if he knew of Mr. Brooks’ general reputation, and he said he did. We asked him what that reputation was for being a peaceful, law-abiding citizen, whether it was good or bad. And instead of saying it was good, like he had a few minutes before, he hummed and hawed, and finally said it was “bad.” We asked the court for a recess and again we said to Mr. Brooks, “If there is a living man, woman, or child that will testify a decent word for you, let us know now!” Mr. Brooks said, “I don’t know a soul.”
In all my experience I have met up with some pretty rough people; but I never have yet met up with another person who couldn’t call up one soul to come forward and say just one good word about him. More surprising, this man Brooks was not a killer or a thief! He was a man who had never been in any trouble before; and it will always remain a mystery to me why no one wanted to appear and say a good word for him.
Well, the jury found him guilty of first degree murder and said that he should not hang but should receive life imprisonment. He served some years and was paroled; and I don’t know his whereabouts at this time. That was a case we not only lost but which to this day completely mystifies me. I repeat, he was the only person (good, bad, criminal, or Christian)  I have ever met that didn’t have at least one person to speak for him!

                    Events Taking Place Following the Repeal of the Volstead Act.
When the Volstead Act, which was the National Prohibition Law, was repealed, of course beer and whiskey was perfectly legal to be sold in a great many states, but Kansas still had the State Law prohibiting the sale or possession of intoxicating liquor. Well, three-two beer had come out; and various people tried to sell it in Kansas. The question that bothered everybody: was 3.2 beer intoxicating? If it was intoxicating, then it would be a violation of our liquor law in Kansas. In any event, to make a test case of the matter, some of the men in the Arkansas City area had some 3.2 beer, got arrested, and retained me as their lawyer. The importance of the case was whether or not they could determine that 3.2 beer was intoxicating and therefore could not be sold in Kansas; or if the sale should be permitted.
Anyhow, I was successful in wining the case and it more or less earmarked the fact that 3.2 beer could be sold.
However, there were some county attorneys who took the position that it would be a question of fact in each and every county in the state; and these county attorneys took the position that they could still go ahead and arrest and prosecute people for selling 3.2 beer.
Over in Chautauqua County, Kansas, I had a client by the name of Ryan, who had a little restaurant; and after my victory in the beer case in Cowley County, he decided that he would sell some 3.2 beer in his restaurant in Chautauqua County. Now that county had a county attorney named Mr. Ross, who was a blue nose and a dry (if you ever saw one), and he went out and had Mr. Ryan arrested and had him charged with the sale of intoxicating liquor because he had sold 3.2 beer. Mr. Ryan had his café outside of Cedarvale; but the county seat is at Sedan, Kansas, so they dragged Mr. Ryan over to Sedan and threw him in jail. He phoned me. I went over to Sedan and had bond made, and had his case set down for trial a week or ten days later. When I went over for the trial, I had my witnesses and got to the judge’s office. Mr. Ross came in and dismissed the case. I decided it was all over and I went back to Arkansas City. When I had been at my office for a little while, I got a phone call from Sedan, Kansas. It was Mr. Ryan, who said that after he had got home and opened up his café and sold another beer or two, Mr. Ross had sent the sheriff over and had him arrested and had dragged him back over to Sedan. He was again in jail!
So back to Sedan I went, and got Mr. Ryan out on bail, got his case set down for trial for about a week later, and I went back to Arkansas City. Then I got back for trial a week later. Again, Mr. Ross came in and dismissed the case. It was quite apparent that Mr. Ross really didn’t want to go to trial: he just wanted to harass my client.
So on a third time when Mr. Ross arrested Mr. Ryan and threw him in jail at Sedan and I went over and made bond and got the case set up for trial, I decided that I would get in motion a little. I filed a lawsuit there in Sedan against Mr. Ross, the county attorney, alleging that he was using the laws of the State of Kansas for his own personal pleasure and to vent his spleen against Mr. Ryan; that he was not prosecuting anybody in good faith; would not go to trial and so forth and so on; and I got an injunction against Mr. Ross prohibiting Mr. Ross from arresting Mr. Ryan until further order of the court. Then I went back to Arkansas City.

Well, the injunction papers were served on Mr. Ross that evening about 6 or 7 o’clock, and he came over to Mr. Ryan’s little town of Cedarvale. He walked up and down the street, telling everybody what he was going to do to Ryan. He got Mr. Ryan a little alarmed! Mr. Ryan called me along about 8 o’clock. I said, “Yes, Mr. Ryan, what do you want?” He said, “Well, this man Ross is just walking up and down the street here, and is just raising Hell.” I said, “Well, just let him raise Hell.” And Ryan said, “Arthur, you just don’t understand, he’s mad!” And I said, “Well, let him be mad.” He said, “But Arthur, he’s terribly mad!” And I said, “I don’t care if he is terribly mad.” “But Arthur, he’s walking around this town with his ass way higher than his shoulders.” I thought that was rather a descriptive term of Mr. Ross, but I finally told Mr. Ryan to stand his ground, that it was going to come out alright, and it did. After about a week or so, Mr. Ross decided that he would be good and wouldn’t arrest Mr. Ryan anymore, and we withdrew our injunction proceedings; and so far as I know, they all lived happily ever after.
                                                   A Murder After the War.
The first murder case that I defended after getting out of five years in the Air Force was rather an interesting case. I defended a man who had killed his wife with an empty shell! But it so happened that the empty shell was an anti-tank shell case that was about 18 inches long and about 3 inches at the butt of the shell; and of course, tapered down a little.
It came about in this way. The defendant had been in the service. (I think that he had been in the South Pacific for two or three years and during that time, he would send his money home regularly to his wife. She was no good and had been running around with other men, and to add insult to injury, while her husband was in the South Pacific, she had helped to hide her brother—who had gone AWOL (“absent without leave”)—under the house of this veteran. Well, this created a fine picture for me to argue to the jury: that here was the husband fighting in the South Pacific for his country; and this no-good wife spending his money on other men, and taking her husband’s money to buy food for this brother who was a deserter from the service.
In any event, when the husband came home from the South Pacific, he learned about the activities of his wife and learned about the wife having hidden the brother, who was a deserter, there in the basement of his home for many months, his wife saw that the jig was up.
So one afternoon she came home and the defendant was lying on the sofa; and the wife said that she was going to leave with this lover of hers. She packed her suitcase, then came over to the sofa where the defendant was lying, and, I think, demanded some money or the keys to the family car, or something. Anyhow, the defendant refused to give her whatever it was that she wanted. Sitting at the foot of the sofa was this anti-tank shelling sitting on its butt, and as I said, it stood up about 18 inches. An argument ensued and she picked up this tank shell and swung it, hitting the defendant over the head with it. He, in turn, struggled with her and pulled the shell away from her; and of course, he then had the butt of the shell in his hand.
The wife ran out into the yard and the defendant ran out after her. He beat her over the head with the open end of this anti-tank shell; and he injured her so severely that she died later that day.

Now this happened in broad daylight; there was a neighbor lady across the street some fifty or seventy-five feet away who was a star witness for the state. She told about this defendant pursuing this woman out into the yard, how he swung the shell and hit her over the head several times, and that she had heard the noise of the blows.
Now one of the important things of the case was whether or not the defendant had picked up this shell, which he would have done by grabbing it by the open end, and hitting his wife over the head with the heavy end of the shell; or whether the defendant’s story was true, that his wife had picked up the shell and that he had pulled it away from her and had his hands on the butt end of the shell and was hitting her with the open end of the shell.
The lady across the street was so eager to help the state that I got her, on cross-examination, to testify that she had heard the “bong-bong-bong” of these blows, and just like if you hit a dinner gong, it makes a reverberation. Of course, if our defendant had hit his wife with the heavy end of the shell, there would have been no “gong” or “bong” at all, just a dull thud.
Well, our defense was temporary insanity, and it didn’t take the jury long to acquit our man. Judge Faulconer then got into the act and said that as much as our man had pled temporary insanity, instead of turning him loose, that he, Judge Faulconer, was going to send him to the mental hospital at Larned and have him detained there to see if he was fit to be turned loose on society. Well, that whole thing was unnecessary; but Judge Faulconer sent him to Larned. I had him out in a day or so, and he has been a good man and a good friend ever since. It was just one of those tragic outcomes of the war, where a woman had too much time and too little love for her husband, that brought about the whole thing.
                                                           Hamm’s Slogan.
When I started in practicing law, there was a retired farmer in Arkansas City by the name of W. T. Hamm. We called him Bill Hamm. Later on he became justice of the peace, and did a very good job of it; and from then on, we called him “Judge Hamm.” Well, Judge Hamm was older than I but he liked me and I liked him and we became good friends.
Shortly after I was married, I became very ill with the flue. The roads were badly covered with snow, and no doctor could even get a taxi to come out and see me. I needed some medicine in the worst way. I remember that my wife telephoned Judge Hamm, and there, through that mud and slush and almost impassable roads, came a car bouncing around and it was Judge Hamm bringing medicine to his old friend. Bless his heart!
Well, it so happened that Judge Hamm got embroiled in two big lawsuits—at least they were big at that time—and he called on me to help him out in each one of those pieces of litigation. There were some interesting happenings!
Judge Hamm’s farm bordered on the river close to an oil refinery. Oil refineries put a lot of oil and grease and acids into the river: and they did in this case. The oil and grease and acid would float down the river and come out over Judge Hamm’s land; and if there was a little high water, it would come back quite a way over his good land, causing his cattle to become sick and die. It was just a nuisance! So we brought suit against the Shell Oil Company.

Now, strange as it may sound, years and years before, an oil refinery over in Eastern Kansas had started to build a refinery, and we’ll say that they started to build it in the year 1900. Now we have a two year statute of limitations in which to bring a damage action for what we call a tort or wrong, and I want you to know that the Supreme Court of Kansas, in all its wisdom, held that the farmer living near the refinery in Eastern Kansas had only two years to bring suit against the refining company. In other words, they said that he should know and anticipate ahead of time that he would be damaged, so the poor fellow waited, and along about 1905 he actually did receive damage. And they said his case was outlawed, that the statute of limitations had run.
Well, that was a silly decision our Supreme Court had made, and we were aware of it when we got into Judge Hamm’s lawsuit. Of course, the Shell Oil Refinery had been built for ten or twelve years before this oil got loose that we were suing for, so we pooled our evidence. When we finished the plaintiff’s evidence, the defense filed what is known as a demurrer, which amounts to a motion for dismissal, that you haven’t proved your case.
Of course, the gist of their argument was that the statute of limitations had run, and Judge Hamm had known when the refinery had been built and had done nothing about it for two years; therefore, his cause of action was barred. Well, both sides argued the case quite a bit, and Judge Hamm sat there and listened to the argument for the better part of an hour. Finally, there was a little lull. Judge Hamm turned to me and said, “Arthur, what’s this all about?”
I said, “Well, Judge Hamm, they have filed a demurrer.” He said, “What’s that?” I told him, “They claim that you don’t have any lawsuit, that you don’t have any cause of action because the refinery was built there more than two years before you brought action; and that if you were going to do anything, you should have done it within two years after the refinery was built.” Judge Hamm scratched his head, looked at me, and said, “Arthur, a man doesn’t have to jump until he’s goosed, does he?” Well, something about that remark kind of stuck with me as having some sense, and in my reply argument, I mentioned it. Judge Stewart Bloss was on the bench. He thought it was good, so he stayed with us and the case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided that the law should be that you shouldn’t have to jump until you were goosed. That expression of old Judge Hamm’s is well known throughout the Midwest. And that’s the way it arose.
The other lawsuit that we had for Judge Hamm arose in this way. Judge Hamm had a neighbor by the name of Houston. They had been friends and neighbors for many, many years, and very close friends. They exchanged work; they would go to each other’s home and their wives would help each other with their cooking, sewing, and housekeeping. It was a warm and close relationship. Mr. Houston was successful and had accumulated a considerable amount of very valuable stocks. One day a slicker came through the town by the name of John Randolph Calhoun, who wanted to get in touch with people who had various stocks in order that he could exchange some stocks that weren’t worth anything for valuable ones, or perhaps just sell them outright. Of course, to meet these people, John Calhoun needed what we commonly call a bird-dog.
At that time Judge Hamm was justice of the peace, and John Randolph Calhoun thought it would be a fine thing to have a justice of the peace take him around and introduce him to people. He got hold of Judge Hamm. He told him that if he would introduce him to people where he could make a sale of his securities, or exchange his for theirs, he would make it right with Judge Hamm. Well, Judge Hamm introduced him to his neighbor, Mr. Houston, and John Randolph Calhoun succeeded in selling (or rather exchanging) some worthless stock that he had, for about $40,000 worth of valuable stock that Mr. Houston had.

Eventually Mr. Houston filed a lawsuit against John Randolph Calhoun and Judge Hamm. Judge Hamm, of course, was rather worried. He had a farm and some land that was worth about $40,000; and if he lost the lawsuit, he would be cleaned out. So Mr. Hamm hired Lucius Moore, a prominent Winfield lawyer, and myself, to defend him. Lucius and I were in agreement that it would be poor business to put Judge Hamm on the witness stand. I think Calhoun had paid him either $500 or $1,000 for his work; and we were afraid that the jury would think that Judge Hamm would take money to simply go around and sell out his friends rather than that he was reimbursed for his time spent with Calhoun and that sort of thing.
Lucius and I thought that we would just play our side of the case in low key and just let Mr. Houston and Calhoun fight it out and just go along and say “Amen” to such a terrible thing as to swindle Mr. Houston out of his money. But that was no reason for them to have judgment against Judge Hamm. So the plaintiff put on his case and the Judge asked us if we were going to put on any evidence for Judge Hamm. When Judge Fuller called Lucius up to the bench and asked why we weren’t going to put on any evidence for Judge Hamm, Lucius Moore said, “Well, Judge Fuller, we’re going to let Arthur here, put in his evidence during his argument to the jury.” Well, I argued the case to the jury along about 6 o’clock in the evening. It was just a day or so before Christmas and around the block was an automobile with a loud speaker playing the usual Christmas Carols: “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men,” “Holy Night, Silent Night,” and the usual other Christmas tunes, and people were in a “Christmassy” mood. As I argued the case, I looked over at Judge Hamm: there he was, white hair, wrinkles, and I could see that he was about to cry. I decided that I would weave in a little human interest and emotion into my argument, so I said, “Gentlemen of the jury, in closing I would like to leave another thought with you. Look if you will, to the counsel table here. Here is honest old Judge Hamm, white-haired, wrinkled, almost at the end of the road; and across the table from him, sits his friend and neighbor for fifty years, Mr. Houston. These two men have worked together, laughed together, cried together, and they have farmed together; and have been friends for fifty years. It’s time they were friends again to walk the remaining few days of their lives, hand in hand together. This has been a misunderstanding between two friends, and I don’t blame Mr. Houston for wanting his money back—and he should be paid back—but Judge Hamm and his neighbor and friend throughout all these many years, should be reunited once again. They should be able to go to each other’s table and break bread, and the finest thing that could happen, would be for you to bring in a verdict in favor of Judge Hamm; and I know as sure as I know anything that tomorrow morning, Judge Hamm would be over there knocking on the door of Mr. Houston, extending the hand of friendship and devotion, and what could be greater, than you and I to have a part in seeing that this friendship is restored and these two pioneer gentlemen embrace each other for a final time?” By this time, Judge Hamm was sobbing openly, and some of the jurors were crying in the dark of the courtroom, while outside, they were still playing “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.”

The jury went out and brought in a verdict favorable to Judge Hamm, and that Mr. Houston should receive his $40,000 back. It seems like my argument had overcome Judge Hamm, for, the next morning he did go over to Mr. Houston’s house bright and early, and the next time Judge Hamm was in my office, he told me that he went over, knocked on Mr. Houston’s door, and Mr. Houston came to the door. When he extended his hand to Mr. Houston, Mr. Houston did not take his hand. He just turned and called to his wife and said, “Bring me the shotgun, that son-of-a-bitch is here again.”
                                           The Harley Parsons Murder Case.
One of the most interesting, one of the most publicized, and one of the most difficult cases that Mr. Cunningham and I tried, in the way of a murder case, was the defense of Harley Parsons, a farm boy at Burden, Kansas. The Parsons family was a prominent family in Burden. The father was a hard-working farmer, fairly well-to-do and very much respected in that neighborhood. Therefore, it was quite surprising when Harley Parsons was arrested and charged with the murder of his father. The state claimed that the Parsons boy had silently slipped onto the back end of a water truck driven by his father, late in the evening, and that the boy had shot and killed his father without his father ever knowing that his son was on the back of the water truck.
The newspapers played up the fact that the boy killed his father in cold blood, that he had shot him without giving him any warning, putting the boy in a rather awkward position, long before the preliminary hearing came about.
Mr. Cunningham and I were retained to defend the boy shortly after the murder, and I wondered what our defense would be. It seemed to me that this boy, who had a fine record up to this time, might have had temporary insanity and I was working on that theory; but Mr. Cunningham said, “No. The defense we will use, is what the true defense is. This boy killed his father in self defense. Now self defense means not only that you have harmed or killed someone, not only defending your life, but you have the right in Kansas, and most all states, if necessary, to take the life of another to prevent them from injuring, not only yourself, but any member of your family or household, who is being subjected to danger and whom you have reason to believe will be injured or killed unless you take the life of another.”
Of course, the county attorney could not see much to our claim of self defense. He argued that when a boy got on the back end of a truck and stayed there until he had a chance to shoot and kill his father, who had no warning that this boy was on the truck, then we had no motive for self defense. But the county attorney was wrong and we had a substantial law in our favor. Now to tell about the facts.
While Mr. Parsons was well regarded in his community and had the appearance of a fine Christian gentleman, the truth was, that he had led a sadistic life out there on the farm, torturing his animals as well as people. We learned that Harley’s mother, as well as the children, was abused by his father many times. Quite often, his mother would take the children out into the fields and spend the night in a haystack. Frequently she would get the family into a car and drive out into the pasture and spend the night in order to get away from the wrath of the older Parsons.
I remembered that I had a lawsuit against him, years before, that had been filed by one of the hired hands against Mr. Parsons. We learned that this man had been thrown down by Mr. Parsons and had suffered a broken leg.

Be that as it may, I knew that public sentiment was against this young boy because the people at large still believed that the old man had been unjustly killed. So I did a rather unusual thing when the case came on for preliminary hearing. I decided to put on a lot of testimony at the preliminary hearing, which is usually called a practice hearing. But in this case, it worked out alright.
The State of Kansas put on some evidence showing that Harley Parsons had climbed aboard the truck that night when the father was killed; and the boy had with him a borrowed rifle. He went to the spot where he could jump onto the truck without being noticed, and silently stayed there until his father got out to open a gate; and then he shot and killed him, and as I said, his father had no warning that his son was around. Of course, the state put on this evidence and rested their case. And of course, they expected us to do likewise.
However, we started in calling witnesses; and we put on witnesses from all over the country—people who had experienced trouble with Mr. Parsons. We showed that Mr. Parsons had beaten his wife, his children, and his animals; and that his wife and children had to flee many times into the field to escape his anger. We showed that Mr. Parsons had thrown firewood, hitting his wife. On the evening of this occurrence, Mr. Parsons had come home in a rage. His wife had fixed a nice supper, but instead of eating, Mr. Parsons went into the kitchen and started beating his wife and children with a piece of firewood; throwing other pieces of wood at the other children who tried to escape. Finally, he got up in a rage, and said he was going out to do some of the chores; and that when he got back inside, he would take care of his wife as she should be taken care of. It was this threat of Mr. Parsons that prompted Harley Parsons to go up the road and borrow a rifle, in order to prevent his father from abusing and torturing his mother anymore In any event, after we put on this great parade of witnesses as to what an inhuman person Mr. Parsons was and how he had mistreated his family for so long, the newspapers carried this evidence. Public sentiment all over the country completely changed. The sentiment all turned in favor of the boy; and later on, when we had the trial in front of a jury, it was almost a foregone conclusion that they were going to free the boy, and that’s exactly what they did.
Now, the boy’s acquittal, first of all, came about by Mr. Cunningham quickly seizing upon the fact that this boy should rely upon self defense, which seemed rather unusual under the circumstances; and secondly, due to the fact that I turned the tide of sentiment in favor of the boy at that preliminary hearing before the jury.
                            The Ouster Cases of City Officials of Arkansas City.
Although I had my home outside Arkansas City, (located outside the city limits), I was usually interested in the city officials and the city elections. I helped to support Junior Young, Joe McEwen, and Jim Andrews for city commissioners and eventually all three were elected and made an excellent city commission. They were young, vigorous, and the only thing we had trouble with was the local newspaper. At that time the editor was Rex Woods. He had supported some other men, who had been defeated; and, with his influence through the paper, Mr. Woods set about trying to destroy Junior, Joe, and Jim. First, Rex Woods got in touch with the attorney general’s office in Topeka and insisted that the city commissioners were violating the budget law in Arkansas City.

The city had so much budgeted for the parks, and so much for the waterworks, so much for the streets, and so forth. There was a law at that time which made it unlawful to take money that had been budgeted for one purpose, and use it for another. It’s a highly technical law, which the newspaper played up. As a result, they swayed many people to think that the commissioners had stolen money from the budget for their own use. Rex Woods and his paper kept fanning the matter and finally got the attorney general at Topeka to institute ouster proceedings against our three city commissioners.
Bill Cunningham represented Jim Andrews; Norman Iverson represented Junior Young; and I was to represent Joe McEwen. Also, I was to head up the entire defense. At that time the city attorney was Frank Theis, who later became a Federal Judge. The paper was trying to not only oust the city commissioners but also the city manager, Mr. Short, and Frank Theis, who was a prominent Democrat, and who was thoroughly disliked by Rex Woods.
Before we got to trial on the matter, two of the officials (Junior Young and Joe McEwen) came up for re-election. Andrews had a term of office that did not require him to run for re-election at that time. Of course, the newspaper had so smeared Junior and Joe that they were defeated for re-election. However, the Supreme Court appointed Spencer Gard of Iola, Kansas, as a special judge to come and hear the ouster proceedings. We tried the matter before him. It took several days. The attorney general came down and the county attorney assisted the prosecution. The prosecution hired a special prosecutor and they gave us a pretty strong battle; but in the final conclusion, Judge Gard decided that there was no fraud and there were no unlawful acts committed by the three Arkansas City officials. He resolved everything in our favor.
The outcome made Rex Woods exceedingly mad! He wrote editorials about judges that didn’t make any sense and about all lawyers in particular.
It led to a horse whipping of him by John Ranney, years later.
                                                The Cedar Vale Bank Cases.
For a great many years, the people regarded the Cedar Vale National Bank as one of the best banks in southern Kansas. It was a bank that was run by Ray Otjen and his son, Thane. The bank grew and prospered. In recent years they had constructed a fine building. Mr. and Mrs. Ray Otjen had built a beautiful home there in Cedar Vale, and to the outside world, it looked like a very prosperous business institution.
The Cedar Vale National Bank made many loans to farmers and cattlemen, who had difficulty getting credit with other banks; and I would say that the Otjen family was very well liked throughout the county. Thus it came as quite a surprise when, in the year 1968, the bank examiners came in and closed the bank when they found that there was only about $1,200 left in the bank and that the note case, among other things, had over thirty-five notes of approximately $50,000 each, that were entirely bogus, with fictitious names, and were absolutely worthless.
Norman Iverson had represented the Otjens from time to time, I had never done any legal work for them. I had represented a lady, who had been married to Thane Otjen, and I got her a divorce. That was my only contact with the Otjen family. When the bank got in this hot water, Mr. Ray Otjen called upon Mr. Iverson to help him. Mr. Iverson asked me if I would assist him, which I agreed to do. The circumstances bringing about the downfall of the Cedar Vale bank were interesting, and I will tell you about them.

It seems that Mr. Otjen, like all bankers, felt that getting rich in the banking business was rather a slow process. He began looking around for some way to make money outside his banking activities. There was a couple of men around Chautauqua County in the oil business, named Endicott. One of them turned out to be one of the finest con men that I have ever encountered. He got Mr. Otjen to furnish the money, with which the Endicotts were to get oil leases; then the two of them could make a lot of money. Well, before Mr. Otjen realized it, the Endicotts had gotten into his bank for over a half million dollars. About this time the Endicotts got in bad with the people they had defrauded out west and down south. One of the Endicotts went to jail; and the other became a fugitive from justice. Mr. Otjen was holding the bag with some uncollectible notes of around a half million dollars.
About this stage of the game, there was another pretty good promoter in southern Kansas by the name of Woodell, who had a sales ring at Winfield, Kansas, where animals were bought and sold. Woodell would buy and sell cattle on his own, in rather large amounts, so he got in touch with Mr. Otjen and suggested that they go into business together. Mr. Otjen would furnish the money, and Woodell would buy and sell the cattle; and they could clean up with the money. One thing led to another. Before he realized it, Woodell had gotten into the bank for about a half million dollars. So between the Endicotts and Woodell, the bank owed about a million dollars.!
Now, about this time a man by the name of Bill Lohman entered the picture.
[Many years before, one of the big and successful ranches in Oklahoma was known as the “Lohman Ranch.” One day, the old man who had put the ranch together, was out fighting a prairie fire. He got overheated and died with a heart attack. He had three heirs. The ranch was sold to Boots Adams of the Phillips Petroleum Company. Each of the three heirs had about $500,000 in cash, and one of these was Bill Lohman, who was well known in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. His father had been a successful rancher, he knew the cattle business, and with half a million dollars, he was well liked and prosperous. He left northern Oklahoma and went to South Dakota, where he lived in a small town and went into the cattle business. He rented the top floor of a hotel, and had a plane and a couple of cars. Everyone thought of him as a very wealthy cattleman.]
Bill Lohman got in touch with Mr. Otjen at Cedar Vale. He learned from Mr. Otjen that the bank at Cedar Vale was having trouble over this million dollars that Endicott and Woodell had stung them for. Bill Lohman suggested that if Ray Otjen would go into the cattle business with him, Lohman would buy and sell cattle in large quantities and in a short time the profits that Mr. Otjen would make would be sufficient to take care of the loss that the bank had suffered. Mr. Otjen started doing business with Mr. Bill Lohman.
This partnership between Otjen and Lohman was known as the “L&O Cattle Company,” and it was in business for several years. The Otjens would take money out of the bank and put it in the cattle account; and Mr. Lohman would check it out. What he did with it is now a mystery; but at the time the Otjens thought that Lohman was buying cattle.

In order to make the bank records jibe, Mr. Lohman would, originally, have one of his cowboys or hired men, sign a note for around $45,000, when, at the most, he probably wasn’t worth a nickel. He would send the note down to the bank, and the bank would fill out a property statement of what all this fellow was supposed to own, and that kept the bank records in balance. Once a year, Lohman would send the statement of the profit on what the L&O Company was making. It would show that the L&O Company owned thousands of acres in Canada and ten or fifteen thousand head of cattle; that they owned land in South Dakota and land adjacent to Denver; and that they had a number of other assets that showed the total worth of the L&O Company was in excess of three million dollars, and sometimes more.
Now, I never met Bill Lohman, but Mr. Iverson did. Lohman must have been quite a salesman! I want to give you one example of his uncanny ability.
Several days before the bank examiners closed the Cedar Vale National Bank, they met at Cedar Vale on a Friday morning. At that meeting were the national bank examiners, FBI men, bankers from Kansas City, and representatives who had flown in from Washington, D.C. Of course, the Otjens were there along with the board of directors of the Cedar Vale National Bank and Mr. Iverson. They had called for Bill Lohman to attend that meeting.
Mr. Lohman came, dressed in a flashy cowboy outfit. He questioned the bankers as to what the trouble was, and what was needed to keep the bank open. The bank examiners said it would take around one million dollars at least; and it appeared that it might take a million and a half dollars to get it out of trouble. Well, Bill Lohman said to this group of examiners, “If that is the only trouble, I can take care of that.” They asked him how soon he could take care of it. He said, “Well, I’ve got so many thousands of acres of land in Canada; I’ve got 15,000 head of cattle; I’ve got land near Denver, in Montana, South Dakota, and elsewhere. This is Friday. I can have $500,000 in about a week; and if necessary, I can have the million raised in about ninety days; but I would like for it go ’til the first of the year because it would help my tax picture.” Mr. Lohman recited in detail all of his assets and that tied in with what he had written to Otjen that the L&O Company owned.
Mr. Lohman convinced those hard-headed, sharp-eyed bank examiners that he was a man of wealth. The examiners got on the phone, and said that there was no need to close the bank: that Mr. Lohman, who had ample assets to make up all the loans and losses, was there; and that they had Mr. Lohman sign an agreement that he would assume and make good all the shortages of Mr. Otjen.
So, the bank examiners were in Cedar Vale on that Friday; and Mr. Lohman said that he would return to his home in South Dakota, and that he would be back in Cedar Vale on Monday. He departed on Friday evening in his plane, promising that he would be back on Monday. On Sunday, I believe it was, Mr. Lohman went out into one of the large pastures where he kept cattle. He was all alone and he carried a high powered rifle. He didn’t return home that evening; and the next morning, his son and another boy went out and found Bill Lohman dead. His rifle had fired a bullet into his head. It was either suicide or an accident! The coroner’s jury, who were friendly to the Lohman family, found that it was an accidental injury; and that Lohman had not committed suicide.
Of course, the bank examiners had learned on Saturday, the day following Lohman’s appearance at Cedar Vale, that Lohman did not have all these assets he claimed; and I have always felt that word of this got back to Lohman on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, and perhaps had a direct bearing on his demise.

Word of Lohman’s death, of course, became known in Cedar Vale on Monday. Mr. Otjen and Mr. Norman Iverson went up to South Dakota to attend the funeral of Mr. Lohman and try to ascertain exactly where the assets of the L&O Company were. They got up there to attend the funeral; but they were unable to visit with the widow or the adult son. They learned that Bill Lohman had four partners from whom he had extracted money in somewhat the same fashion in which he had obtained it from Mr. Otjen. Otjen still felt that Bill Lohman had the money, and that the L&O Cattle Company did have those assets.
It was apparent to me that Bill Lohman had been running a confidence game—getting what he could from various sources! Perhaps, if he did have an asset, he had four or five different people thinking they were his partners; and in reality, in most instances he didn’t have any partners. I mean by that, that he would get money from people and he would take them and show them cattle, and tell them that it was cattle that he, and whichever partner was looking at the cattle, owned. Sometimes the cattle didn’t even belong to Lohman. He didn’t even have that pasture rented. He just had the guts to take people out and tell them that they were his, usually in his plane.
Well, the Cedar Vale National Bank closed in July 1968; and it was at that time that Bill Lohman was killed. It was apparent that sooner or later, the Otjens were going to be indicted for embezzlement and falsifying records, and so on. Later on, in December 1969, they were indicted on those charges. It was apparent to everyone that the Otjens would be indicted; and we had been retained to defend them.
It seemed to me that we had a chance to start a counterfire that might get our clients out of this jam, that is, at least keep them from being sent to the federal penitentiary. Mr. Iverson was getting ready to go on a trip; but I discussed our strategy with him before he left, and he approved of it. So while he was away, I prepared a lawsuit. In substance, the plaintiffs were the two Otjens, who brought suit against the estate of Bill Lohman and against the L&O Cattle Company to recover assets for the purpose of using those assets to place in the Cedar Vale National Bank, to reduce the losses of that bank. In the lawsuit we set forth the large number of assets that Otjen claimed the L&O Cattle Company owned. We went before Judges Brown and Theis, at Wichita Federal Court, and had them appoint Bill Oliver, a lawyer at Wichita, as receiver of the L&O Cattle Company. Now, while the L&O Cattle Company did not own the enormous number of assets that it had claimed, they did have a smattering of assets here and there. They had some oil leases, they had some oil drilling machinery, and they did have ownership of five or ten thousand acres of land in Canada. All in all, there were some respectable assets for Mr. Oliver to take charge of.

After the Otjens were indicted, we filed various motions, demands, and interrogatories, and the United States District Attorney could see that he was facing a long, hard, and expensive fight if he had to try the Otjens on all counts on which they had been indicted. After so long a time, we made a proposition to the U.S. District Attorney that we would plead Ray Otjen guilty on two counts, and his son guilty on one count, providing the government would dismiss the other charges. Well, the United States District Attorney took the matter up with the government in Washington, D.C., and in due time he received approval of that suggestion; and we plead Ray Otjen guilty on two counts, and his son, Thane, guilty on one count. Then Judge Brown, before whom we entered the plea, had an investigation officer to investigate the Otjens and make suggestions as to the nature of the punishment and consideration of probations, if any, before the Justice Department decided to accept the idea of Ray being called guilty on two counts and Thane being called guilty on one count; that they had the FBI approve the same—and there is no doubt that the FBI approved it, thinking that the judge would throw the book at the Otjens and give them the maximum amount of time for the counts on which they had been found guilty.
Under the law, we had a right to appear before the probation officer with our clients, and show the reason that would make it best that they be put on probation instead of in jail. We introduced a great deal of evidence on what the Otjens were doing to recoup the losses that the bank had suffered, and that there were various lawsuits pending in Kansas, South Dakota, and Canada that would require them to appear and testify as witnesses. We showed that the Otjens could be of more service to the bank outside than inside jail. The probation officer investigated the things that we had told him, and found them to be true. His recommendation to Judge Brown was that both the Otjens be put on probation.
Eventually the matter came up for Judge Brown to make his decision, and he struggled with the matter for about a week. He had the opinion and recommendation of the probation officer, and I made the best argument I knew how, for the Otjens.
Judge Brown then went along with us and granted probation to both the father and the son. In his probation requirements, he specified that both the Otjens were to cooperate fully with the FBI and other officials to help recoup the tremendous loss. The Otjens did cooperate and are still cooperating at this time.
Now when Judge Brown granted probation to the Otjens, the FBI decided that they could prevent dismissal of those other charges; and one of the FBI men, whose name I won’t mention, got the citizens around Cedar Vale and Sedan to form a large body, which protested and criticized Judge Brown in public for granting probation.
We had a hearing before the probation officer, and the courtroom was filled. These people were up in arms, saying that the Otjens should have to go to the penitentiary, the judge must have been bought off, it was all crooked, and I don’t remember what all. Of course, all this got back to Judge Brown! He made an investigation on his own, and learned that it was one of the FBI officers who was causing all the trouble. As soon as he smoked out that it was one of the FBI men who was trying to stab him in the back, we had another public hearing; and this time it was on the motion of the United States District Attorney to dismiss the Otjens on these other charges.
We were there, expecting the FBI to get up and object to the court dismissing these other charges. Judge Brown insisted on calling the FBI agent, who had been causing the trouble, to the witness stand. The judge, very nicely, (without letting on that he knew what had been going on), started to quiz this agent on whether or not the agent thought that the decision of the United States District Attorney, dismissing these other charges, should be granted or not. The FBI agent wilted! He said, “Yes, he thought that the charges should be dismissed.” Judge Brown had him pinned down on the record, and the remaining charges were dismissed.
The Otjens are at present, still on probation. They have fully cooperated with the government, making trips to Canada and elsewhere, recovering assets that could be recovered and put back into the Cedar Vale National Bank.
[Now the moral of this story is that if you ever represent a client who has stolen a lot of money and you can get a receiver appointed and get him started in collecting these assets and making repayment before your client is indicted or arrested, why it may help you later on in getting him probation!]

                                                           Divorce Cases.
I have handled my share of divorce cases; but they were never the kind of cases I liked to try. If there were children involved, you had a life-long headache when you tried such a case. For example, you may represent a man, and his wife sues him for divorce, and gets custody of his two or three small children. Perhaps a court order will give him the right to visit them once a week. Perhaps he is to pay two or three hundred dollars a month for child support. Well, before long, the man will remarry, and will have some children by his second wife. Then his first wife will remarry and the second wife sees no reason why her husband has to keep sending money to the first wife since she has remarried and has a husband that can support her. Then you go see the children, and the divorced wife is angry and will claim that they have a cough or a cold, or they have to go to a music lessons, or something, and the parties are on the phone every week-end.
At one time I started out to get a divorce for a man, who had a young boy about two or three years old; and I give you my word, until that man died (and that was when the child was about sixteen or seventeen years of age), I would receive at least one or two phone calls a week from that man, trying to get to see his son.
You learn a lot about human nature in a divorce case. I remember that one time, a very respected lady in Arkansas City (a church leader and a school teacher) was sued for divorce by her husband in another county. He charged her with all manner of indiscretions: keeping company with another man, writing passionate love letters, and so on.
Well, I asked this lady, who was my client, if there was any truth to that. She said, “Absolutely not!” I asked her if she had gone to a show, or dancing, or anywhere with another man, and she said, “Absolutely not!” She said that she had never written any letters; and that there was nothing to it. Well, when we got into the trial and the other side brought on witnesses, who testified that she had been keeping company with another man (producing the letters that she had written), she finally broke and admitted all her indiscretions. When the case was over, I asked her why she hadn’t told me of these things, and she said, “Well, I thought you was smart enough of a lawyer to have known I was lying to you at the beginning.”
I had another divorce case at the time, where a lady had three very small children, and her husband sued her for divorce. He got a temporary order of the court and got custody of the children. This lady came in to see me. Ordinarily a woman comes in just like a tiger and wants her children back right then and there; but this lady just took it with a shrug of the shoulders and showed some common sense in saying, “Well, now my husband has taken those three little kids, let’s not cause him any trouble! Let’s just let him get up at night and feed them and take care of the croup and change their diapers. It won’t be a week before he is back with the kids, wanting me to take care of them.” And she was right!
A few years ago a young man (a prominent undertaker in our city who had been married about twenty years and had two fine children and a business that was worth about $100,000), fell in love with another woman. He wanted me to bring about a divorce action against his old faithful wife and let him start living legally with this new flame of his.

His father-in-law had given him considerable property; and I discouraged him. I thought that if would be patient, sooner or later his wife would bring a divorce action against him and it would be much easier if his wife brought it than if he brought it because actually he didn’t have any real grounds. I had an awful time keeping him patient; but he followed my advice and stayed put. Pretty soon his wife brought a divorce suit against him, and we made a property settlement that all parties agreed to and that was carried out. He paid me a fee of $10,000 for my advice to him to keep patient and not bring about the divorce himself.
                                                 The “Can’t Lose” Question.
Once in a blue moon, you will have a situation arise where you can ask the opposing party (or one of the witnesses) a question, and regardless of the answer, you’re going to come out a winner! I’ll give you a couple of illustrations.
Several years ago, a patient went to his doctor, who reached up on a shelf and got some medicine, put it in a syringe, and injected it into the patient’s rectum. It turned out that the doctor had picked up the wrong medicine! The syringe was filled with what we call “Lewis Lye.” It ate out the intestines of this patient, who was represented by McGugin in a lawsuit against the doctor.
Now, of course, when you sue a doctor, or anyone else, you must prove negligence; and in this case, McGugin called as his first witness, the doctor whom he was suing. He asked the doctor but one question. “Doctor, before you placed this medicine in a syringe and injected it into my client, did you ever read the label on the bottle?” Well, it made no difference which way the doctor answered. If he said that he had read the label and knew it was “Lewis Lye” that he was about to inject into the rectum of this man, it would be criminal negligence. On the other hand, if the doctor said he had not read the label, and gone ahead and injected it into the man, that would be the grossest sort of negligence. The doctor was sunk either way!
It’s not so easy as you may think to formulate one of these “Can’t Lose” questions. I recall the first one that I worked out, and how proud I was!
Mr. Cunningham and I had a lawsuit for a rural mail carrier. He had stopped at a mail box to put some mail in it. A fellow coming along from behind in a truck, plowed into the mail carrier’s car and wrecked the car and injured the mailman. The insurance company for the truck causing the wreck paid the mail carrier two or three hundred dollars; but it later turned out that this mail carrier was seriously injured, and would be permanently disabled—unable to continue his work.
We brought suit to set aside the release the insurance company had obtained for two or three hundred dollars, claiming the amount paid was grossly inadequate. Ordinarily, you can set aside a release if you can show that it was obtained by fraud; or if there was a mutual mistake; or there was a gross or inadequate compensation. Well, our case consisted mostly of the testimony of our client and various doctors as to the extent of his injuries, and the expense he had been to and would be in the future, the loss of wages, and so forth.

When it came time for the other side to present its case, their main witness was the insurance adjuster. Mr. Cunningham was going to cross-examine the adjuster; and while he was getting into his stride, a question flashed into my mind. When I got the opportunity, I whispered it to Mr. Cunningham. He asked the insurance adjuster in substance, this question: “Now sir, you say that you paid this mail carrier the sum of three hundred dollars in full settlement of all his injuries?” “Yes sir.” “Well, sir, you have heard the mail carrier and various doctors testify to the seriousness of his injuries and to the fact that he will be permanently disabled for the rest of his life, that he will be unable to work, and that he will be out considerable money for medical attention? The adjuster answered, “Yes sir.”
Mr. Cunningham then asked, “Now, sir, I want to ask you, if you had known at the time you paid this plaintiff here, the sum of three hundred dollars and obtained the release, if you would have known of the seriousness and the permanency of his injuries, would you have considered three hundred dollars a fair sum for the settlement?”
Of course, at this time the witness began to squirm. He didn’t want to answer; and his lawyer raised up and shouted, “Objection,” and moved the court to have the question stricken. Pandemonium reigned for some time. The court stood fast and ordered the witness to answer; and of course, the witness didn’t have a chance! If he said that he thought that $300 was adequate, then the jury would tear him apart when they got to the jury room. If he said that he didn’t think it was adequate, well, that was what we were claiming, and he would have been a good witness for our side. Anyway, it was a “Can’t Lose” question. We won the case without any further trouble.
                                          The Mary Sparks Foundation Case.
For many years, anyone looking at a map of Cowley County, Kansas, would observe a bend in the Walnut river southeast of Winfield, where there was a large tract of very valuable land, and the name of the owner was listed as the “Sparks Foundation.” One day there walked into my office a man past middle age, who said his name was Feaster, and that his father, who was deceased, had been a half-brother of Mary Sparks. Mary Sparks was the one who had created this “Sparks Foundation,” and she had just recently died. Feaster wanted to know if I would be interested in taking his case and trying to prove that his father had been a half-brother of Mary Sparks; and if successful in establishing this relationship, then undertaking to set aside and revoke the conveyance of her land to the “Sparks Foundation,” and, having retrieved this land, then divide the same among the heirs of Mary Sparks, and perhaps there would be something for the attorneys that accomplished this monumental piece of work.
I learned that Mr. Feaster had been to see about every lawyer in Cowley County, and no doubt he had been to see lawyers in other counties, and no one seemed to want to take the case for him. He was a nice gentleman, and I think he was honest; but he didn’t have any conception of the amount of time and expense this type of case would require. But there was something about him that appealed to me, and I told him that I would have to think it over, and asked him to come back and I would tell him if I would take the case.
I was still pretty busy at that time with some oil and gas activities, so I asked George Sybrant, an Arkansas City lawyer, if he would care to join with me and we would decide whether or not, we would take it on. Mr. Sybrant looked into the case a bit, and told me he was willing to undertake the same with me. So we called Mr. Feaster and several of the brothers and sisters, and they signed a contract to give Mr. Sybrant I, a percentage of whatever we could recover for the Feasters.
First, we had to prove that Mr. Feasters’ father was a half-brother to Mary Sparks. If we could prove this, then we could get the deed set aside that had been given by Mary Sparks to the “Sparks Foundation.”

The mother and father of Mary Sparks had come from the east many years ago. They brought with them a young boy, a member of the family, and his last name was always given as “Sparks,” and Mary Sparks and this young man grew up as brother and sister. It seems that when this young man got to be seventeen or eighteen years of age, he had some sort of an argument with Mary Sparks and her parents. He left the home and thereafter referred to himself as “Feaster” instead of “Sparks.” He lived in Cowley County until he died, and was a fine citizen.
We wrote back east to every school, church, and hospital that we could find, and tried to establish that this young man (who had come from the east with the Sparks family) was the son of Mr. Sparks. We found that all the courthouses and schoolhouses had either burned down or been destroyed and records were unavailable.
Then I remembered about the old census records. We wrote to the census bureau and obtained the census returns of Mr. Sparks, the father of Mary Sparks and Mr. Feaster, and lo and behold, it showed that Mr. Sparks had listed his family. Mary Sparks was listed as his daughter, and the man who later called himself Feaster was listed as his son. That statement appeared on at least two of the census records that were prepared by the elder Mr. Sparks himself, with a ten years interval between the two census records. Then we got some evidence in the way of affidavits, wedding notices, social notices, and so forth, and they gave us a leg to stand on. We were ready to try our claim that Feaster was an heir of Mary Sparks.
Mary Sparks had never married; and she must have been in her eighties when she died and left no will. She did leave a piece of property in Winfield, a farm, and some cash; but the balance of her possessions she had already deeded to the “Sparks Foundation.”
For many years there was a man, named Webb, around Arkansas City, who was very active in various pursuits: he was an inventor; a guitar player; he tried printing and making carbide, and he tried doing many other things. He got acquainted with Mary Sparks and visited with her about creating a foundation for the benefit of agricultural experiments. He finally got her to deed almost all her land to the “Sparks Foundation” in perpetuity, to go until eternity, and she named him as the trustee of the “Sparks Foundation.” She gave him full authority to run the foundation as he chose; to pay himself any salary he chose; and to name his successor. For some time Mr. Webb used the land as a plaything: he planted some seeds and a few different crops; but it wasn’t very profitable. Then he got his son interested in the matter, and the two of them did a little farming. They rented out the bulk of the land to tenants.
By the time Mr. Sybrant and I got into the case, the “Sparks Foundation,” as such, had not really been operated as an experimental farm at all. It was simply a benefit foundation for Mr. Webb and his son.
When Mary Sparks died, she didn’t leave any family at all with the exception of the deceased Mr. Feaster, whom we claimed was a half-brother. As a result, she had many, many remote nieces and nephews and alleged cousins, and I think there were somewhere around 100 claimants that we referred to, as the alleged “Sparks heirs.” Then we entered the lawsuit with our group of the children of Mr. Feaster, and called our group the “Feaster heirs.”

At this point in the proceedings, Mr. Sybrant and I were forced to use business judgment as well as legal judgment. There was no use in bringing a lawsuit which would set aside the “Sparks Foundation,” having the effect of turning it all back into the Mary Sparks’ estate, unless we could effect the following: recognition of the heirs of the Sparks’ estate that the Feaster heirs were legitimate heirs of Mary Sparks; and willingness of the Sparks’ heirs to divide whatever would be recovered with the Feaster heirs.
Mr. Sybrant and I had our contract with the Feaster heirs for a portion of any recovery we obtained for them. We filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Cowley County, Kansas, to set aside this deed to the “Sparks Foundation,” and had Earle N. Wright appointed as a receiver to operate the “Sparks Foundation” during the litigation.
About this time the State of Kansas entered the lawsuit; and it claimed that the “Sparks Foundation” was a charitable foundation and should not be set aside. They tried to cause us trouble, but we finally got down to the trial of the matter; and by this time, there were about fifty lawyers in this case.
When the trial was over, the court decided the case in our favor and set aside the deed of Mary Sparks to the “Sparks Foundation” because of fraud; and that any purpose it had intended to serve had been completed; and further, that creating a trust to run to eternity was violating what they call the rule against perpetuities. So all of the property went back into the Mary Sparks’ estate.
One spring day, we had a big tent erected out on the land and we had an auctioneer. All day long we auctioned off farms and tracts in what was perhaps the greatest real estate sale ever held in Cowley County, Kansas. When we settled up and divided the money among the “Sparks Heirs” and the “Feaster Heirs,” and the Feaster heirs paid Mr. Sybrant and me our fees, we all were happy and well paid for breathing life into a very dead lawsuit.
                                                  The Black-Marshall Case.
A few years after I got out of the Air Force, the phone rang one evening. It was a long distance call from Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Douglas Smith of Chicago, Illinois, visited with me and wanted to know if I had heard of the Black-Marshall litigation. I told him that I had not.
Mr. Smith informed me that a man by the name of Black had defrauded people in Illinois of a large amount of money; that he had filed lawsuits in New York, Chicago, Wichita, California, and elsewhere against Black; that he had retained the firm of Lilleston and Gott, and others at Wichita, to assist him; that they had some hearings before Judge Mellott at Wichita in the United States District Court; and that Judge Mellott had not seemed very impressed with the lawsuit.
Douglas Smith wanted some help. Mr. Gott of the “Lilleston and Gott” firm had recommended me as a trial lawyer. Mr. Smith wanted to know if I would be willing to help him in the case. I told him, before making up my mind, I would want to see the pleadings they had filed and I would want to visit with Mr. Cunningham about the matter. We set up a date for me to meet him at his law office in Chicago, Illinois, and to give him a definite answer.
It was rather strange that Henry Gott had recommended me to Douglas Smith. He and I had been friends for a long time (usually on opposite sides of litigation), and he had every reason in the world to dislike me; but over the years our friendship has endured.
In a day or so, I got a batch of pleadings that had been filed in what was known as the Black-Marshall case, and Mr. Cunningham and I reviewed them.

It appeared that Bill Black had gone to the little town of Aledo, Illinois, and there he got some doctors and merchants to put up some money with which he started an oil company and drilled some dry holes. Bill Black then came to Kansas and he met a man by the name of Marshall. Mr. Marshall had a good oil lease but no money, so he couldn’t do any drilling. So Mr. Black called upon the people in Illinois to send some more money and told them that he would organize the “Black-Marshall Oil Corporation,” and that the people in Illinois who sent money would share in the oil corporation in proportion to the amount that they advanced in the Illinois and Kansas operations.
Bill Black had given the people in Illinois a letter saying that for his services and running of the operation, he would receive one-fourth of the stock of the company. He then had a corporation formed called “Black-Marshal,” and he issued to himself one-fourth of the common stock and one-fourth of the preferred stock; and then he surreptitiously issued to himself sixty-odd thousand shares of stock without any consideration whatsoever.
When the first stockholders’ meeting rolled around, Mr. Black was afraid to show up holding that much stock, so he had the sixty-odd thousand bogus shares canceled just before the meeting. He went and presided at the meeting, and announced that he owned only one-fourth of the shares of common stock, all of which he was entitled to, and immediately after the meeting he had re-issued to himself, this 60,000 shares of bogus stock.
Now, the Black-Marshall company prospered beyond the wildest dreams of any man! The first lease they drilled on, they took over a hole that had been drilled down to the pay zone, and the Black-Marshall company actually drilled only about five feet, and they hit a 5,000 barrel per day well. And from that time on, they drilled 100 straight wells without hitting a dry hole. The production and income was fabulous.
Black, and some inside stockholders, organized a drilling company, and drilled these wells for the Black-Marshall corporation, charging excessive prices; and Black and some other insiders formed a trucking company that did business with the company at extravagant rates. Then Black entered into an agreement with one of the outstanding bankers in the state of Kansas, whereby this banker would take oil leases in his name; then assign the leases to Black-Marshall, holding out an over-ride when he assigned the leases to Black-Marshall. There were letters between the bank and Black, whereby the banker and Black were to split this over-ride income. Black also had other side ventures: too numerous to mention. Now this went on for several years. The folks would come out from Illinois and would see all these oil wells and all the production and business; but Black never paid any dividends. Finally, the people in Illinois got discouraged and at one of their meetings, they decided to sell the corporation if they could receive so many dollars a share.
Black then hit upon a scheme to defraud his Illinois stockholders. He went to a bank and borrowed several million dollars; and in turn, reported to the people in Illinois that he had sold the company, and for them to send him one-half of their stock and he would send them the first payment on their stock; and when all the details were completed, he would send them the remaining payment on their stock. The Illinois people thought that Black had sold the company, so they sent their stock in to Black; he sent them a check for about $12 a share. Then a little later, he reported that he had completed all of the details of the sale; and they turned over the rest of their stock to him and he sent them $12 a share for these final shares.

Of course, the folks in Illinois thought that there had been a bona fide sale; but Black had simply borrowed some money on the company and had given these stockholders a part of the funds that he had borrowed in exchange for their stock. When they found out that they had been defrauded by Black, the Illinois people went to the Douglas Smith law firm in Chicago, Illinois. Douglas Smith hastily drew up several lawsuits and filed them in various parts of the United States, taking up the position that the entire matter was a technical violation of certain of the security acts. He never met the issue head-on as a gigantic fraud by Bill Black. Douglas Smith, in preparing his suits, did what almost any city lawyer would have done, he sued about everybody whose names he could find connected with the matter.
As a result, he filed suits not only against Bill Black and the banker I mentioned but also a number of prominent people, who had nothing to do with the matter. One of them was Olive Ann Beech, head of the Beech Aircraft Company, and a person whose integrity was unquestioned. The fact that Smith had joined people of integrity was something that made the judge look at Douglas Smith and his lawsuit with disfavor.
This is a general outline of the situation when I made a trip to Chicago and met with Douglas Smith and some other members of his firm, including Martin Lucente—a brilliant young man who had just joined the firm—who was a tremendous help in the litigation that followed. I discussed with Douglas Smith what sort of an arrangement he had made for a fee. He said that the fee would be divided between his law firm and the other lawyers. I told him that I thought he had based his lawsuit too much on technicalities, and that we should take a different approach. He said, “Well, we will look into it a little further.” He stated that I should give him my views in writing together with an amended pleading.
I returned to Arkansas City. I told Mr. Cunningham in substance that this lawsuit was going to take a great deal of time. I suggested that he should take over the Black-Marshall case in its entirety; and in that way, one person could carry the continuity of the voluminous number of transactions. But, unfortunately, his eyes went bad and he almost turned blind. Then his health started breaking, and before long, he was either in the hospital or confined to his home. Bless his soul! There was nothing in the world he would have liked better than to have taken this case because it was right down his alley. But it was not to be. His health and his eyesight failed him!
After we got all the evidence, we filed an amended complaint. We dismissed as defendants a lot of prominent people from around Wichita who had not been guilty of fraud at all. Mr. Black, his wife, and his associates (including the banker), were left in as defendants. We went to trial. Martin Lucente came down from Chicago; also Jack Brown and Mr. Barrash from Galesburg, Illinois, sat through the trial. Bob Martin of Wichita, who represented some of the defrauded people of Aledo, Illinois, was at quite a bit of the trial.
We tried the matter before United States District Judge Delmas Hill for about three months off and on. In our investigation we had found a number of letters that had passed between the banker in Wichita, and Bill Black, wherein they outlined how they were going to get the stock away from the stockholders of Black-Marshall, and how they were going to divide up the money from these oil leases, and how the banker was to carry some of Black’s assets, taken from the company in the name of the banker, but giving Black the right to call upon a division of the money or other property at any time he desired.

We needed to put the Wichita banker on the witness stand to testify against Bill Black, if we possibly could, so I told the lawyers for the banker that if they would get the banker to cooperate with us and turn over to us all of the letters and correspondence he had with Bill Black, we would dismiss the suit against the banker. They said that they would call a meeting of the banker and the board of directors that night and for us to come there and state our proposition to them. I took with me a Mr. Williams, an accountant I was using in the case. He and I went up to the fine room where the board of directors held their meetings. We met with the banker and the vice-president of the bank as well as a number of the officers of the bank and the board of directors. They had their auditors and accountants and a number of lawyers in attendance. They outnumbered the accountant and myself, considerably.
I stated our proposition as follows: that if this banker would turn over to us all the papers and documents he had pertaining to the transactions he had with Mr. Black, then we would dismiss the banker from the case.
I gave them this warning, by saying: “Gentlemen, we have here in this briefcase of mine, a number of letters between Mr. Black and this banker. Now when he turns over to us what he claims are all the letters and correspondence between him and Mr. Black, if we find that he has failed to turn over any letter or memorandum, or any other document that we have a copy of, then we will know that he has not fulfilled his agreement with us. So I caution you to turn over to us, everything, because if a single document is missing, then this deal is off and we will go ahead with the trial against this banker as well as Mr. Black.”
Well, all I can say is, that shook them up and they did turn over to us all of the documents between the banker and Mr. Black. We put the banker on the stand. He testified against Mr. Black. We dismissed the case against him.
There was another incident in this trial that was rather unusual. The man representing Mr. Black during the trial stages was George Siefken. He was a very able, brilliant, and experienced lawyer; but he was apt to lose his temper, and he did so in this case. I think it cost his client the lawsuit later on. It came about in this way.
Back in Aledo, Illinois, there was a lawyer by the name of Ives: a buddy of Bill Black. We were taking Mr. Ives’ deposition, and Mr. Ives testified that all he did was to tell the people of Aledo what Bill Black had told him to tell them. On cross-examination, George Siefken was so mad at Ives that he said, in substance, “Now, Mr. Ives, you have been testifying that Bill Black told you what to tell these Aledo people. Now isn’t it a fact that you are the one that told Bill Black what you had been telling these people to get them to send in their stock to Bill Black? Mr. Ives denied it; then Mr. Siefken pulled out of his briefcase a letter, and the letter was known throughout the trial as the “Wadley letter.”

[Now let me tell you about the “Wadley letter” for a moment. Mr. Black had reported to these people back in Aledo that he had sold the company and had sent them the money he represented was due them. A veterinarian by the name of Wadley wrote to Mr. Black, saying he would like to know the exact amount the company had been sold for, what the debts were, and how many shares of stock there were to share in the proceeds, so that he could compare the amount received with the amount he computed as due. When Bill Black got this letter, he either wrote or phoned Mr. Ives, back in Aledo, and in substance said, “Mr. Ives, I have received this letter from Mr. Wadley and I don’t want to ball things up, and I want you to tell me what you told the people in Aledo, to get the stock.” Mr. Ives then wrote a letter to Black, saying, in substance, “Mr. Black, I have told all of the people here that you sold the company and they must send in half their stock now and get $12 per share.” Now even though that letter was from Mr. Ives to Mr. Black, we referred to it as the “Wadley letter,” because it referred to the inquiry of Mr. Wadley.]
Well, George Siefken reached into his briefcase and pulled out this so-called “Wadley letter,” and asked Mr. Ives if that wasn’t the letter he had sent to Mr. Black, and if that wasn’t his signature, and Mr. Ives agreed that it was his letter and his signature. Mr. Siefken had it marked as an exhibit and introduced it in evidence. In my opinion, that action on the part of Mr. Siefken cost his client many thousands of dollars. In fact, it was something like three million dollars!
Assuming that Mr. Black had not tried to defraud these people, when he got this letter from Mr. Ives, who was acting as his agent back in Aledo, Illinois, Mr. Ives, said in substance, “Mr. Black, here’s the way I have obtained this stock from these people. I have told them a big lie!” From that moment on, Mr. Black, who was president of Black-Marshall, held that contaminated stock with that notice. Bill Black, whether innocent in the first instance or not, did have notice of the fraud at the moment he received the letter from Ives; and no right thereafter to deal in these shares of stock that he knew had been obtained by fraud from his stockholders. Of course, notwithstanding this notice, Mr. Black did later on sell the Black-Marshall Oil Company for a price that would have netted some $50 per share for the stock of every stockholder. Black, of course, kept the money and that brought about the lawsuit.
We tried this case before Judge Hill in an ideal manner; then the judge took the matter under advisement, and it was almost a year before the court reporter could get the transcript written up; and then Judge Hill kept the matter under consideration for almost another year.
And then out of the clear blue sky, like a bolt of lightning, we got Judge Hill’s decision. He had found against our clients in favor of Bill Black. To say that I was astounded was putting it mildly. Well, we went to work and appealed it to the Circuit Court of Appeals, and the argument came on at Denver, Colorado. I was selected from the various counsels of the plaintiffs to present the argument before the Circuit Court of Appeals, which I did.
Now the abstract of testimony was so voluminous that it was printed in three volumes. They stood ten inches high. All the parties had filed briefs and counter-briefs.
I thought I knew human nature well enough to know that no judge, as busy as they are, was going to laboriously go through that monumental stack of records, page by page; and I doubted that they had law clerks, who had the time or the ability to go through and digest the same. So I took the “Wadley Letter,” that I have referred to, and I had half a dozen copies of that made. I had them with me at the counsel table as I argued this case before the Circuit Court of Appeals. There could be no doubt that all these people sent their stock in to Black and there could be doubt that he got this money to pay for the stock by a mortgage; and there could be no doubt that later on, he sold the company for a tremendous amount of money, which he never shared with the former stockholders. The whole matter finally came down to the question whether or not Black had notice of the fraud before he later sold this contaminated stock.

Instead of going through this vast pile of exhibits and other matter, I simply handed to each one of the three judges on the Circuit Court, a copy of this “Wadley Letter.” I based my entire argument around it, and asked the defense how in the world they could explain that away. Now, if I had referred to the “Wadley Letter” as Exhibit Number 386 of that huge brief, some of the judges might have glanced at it—and then forgotten it—but when they went back to their room to consider the case, they not only had the massive bunch of briefs and the correspondence, records and abstracts, but they had a piece of paper that screamed to high heaven of the grossest kind of fraud: the “Wadley Letter,” introduced as evidence due to a moment of anger; and, in my opinion, it was the turning point in our favor.
The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of Judge Hill. They gave us a decision in favor of our clients and against Black for four or five million dollars! The other side then filed various motions and finally they took an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In the meantime, Mr. Cunningham had passed away; George Siefken also had passed away.
A new bunch of gladiators appeared in behalf of Mr. Black. Out in California there was a very able lawyer by the name of Robinson, who was the campaign manager for Earl Warren when Warren became governor of California; and later, Robinson was instrumental in helping Warren become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. So the Black people, after appealing the case, hired Mr. Robinson as one of their lawyers and naturally he had a speaking acquaintance with Chief Justice Warren. Then the Black people hired Scott Lucas, an ex-senator from Illinois because Lucas had been instrumental in getting one of the justices of the Supreme Court appointed to the court. Then the Black people hired Dean Acheson, who had been Secretary of State and had been a law clerk for one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, who graciously stepped aside once or twice when mentioned as a candidate for the Supreme Court; and as a result, one or two men sitting on the Supreme Court were indebted to Dean Acheson.
In any event, by the time we got ready to argue the case in the Supreme Court of the United States, we knew at least four of the justices were intimate friends of Black’s lawyers, and regardless of who was right or wrong in the matter, we had a severe hurdle to get over.
Douglas Smith wanted to argue the matter to the Supreme Court. He presented a fair argument; but not a good argument by any means.
Dean Acheson presented the case for Mr. Black, and he made a very profound argument, and, as we left the courtroom, Dean Acheson said, “If you gentlemen would consider talking about a settlement of this matter, the gate is not closed.”
Douglas Smith just walked along without saying anything. Bob Martin and I were walking along with Acheson, and we said, “Mr. Acheson, why can’t we meet you in Chicago any day it’s convenient and we will talk about a settlement.” So we agreed upon a date and Bob Martin, Douglas Smith, and I met with Mr. Acheson and one of the men from his office. Dean Acheson first offered us half a million dollars; then got up to a million dollars; then a million and a half plus fringe benefits that the stockholders would get in the way of oil and gas leases that Black had not disposed of. Douglas Smith was rather arrogant and said that the offer was wholly insufficient, and he excused himself from the meeting.

It was apparent that Acheson was offended. Bob Martin and I said, “Now, Mr. Acheson, don’t you feel offended because Mr. Smith says that whatever we do will be Okay with him; and we’re going to try and settle this lawsuit with you. Acheson seemed to appreciate this; and we put in some phone calls around the country to our various clients and told them what kind of an offer we could get. While we were waiting for replies, Dean Acheson entertained us with stories about President Truman, Winston Churchill, and many other famous men and women.
I remember one of his stories quite well. He said that they had been at the U.S. Embassy in London, after he and his wife had flown over, and they were tired. They had attended a cocktail party, and a dinner and dance at the embassy in their honor; and about midnight they asked to be excused and they were given a room in the embassy which overlooked what we might call the parking lot. Later on in the evening, as various dignitaries wanted to leave, the loud-speaker would blare out, “Bring Lord So-and-so’s car,” and the music would blare forth from the orchestra. Mr. and Mrs. Acheson couldn’t get any sleep. He rang the buzzer, and one of the servants came up. He told him that the noise was keeping him and his wife from sleeping and asked if they might have some sleeping pills or something to help them sleep. In a little while, the servant came back with a silver tray with two little red pills on it. So Acheson and his wife each took a pill. They still couldn’t get to sleep. He rang again, and this time was going to request that the music be toned down. When the servant came, Acheson told him that the pills he had taken had not gotten him to sleep, whereupon the servant replied, “Sir, those were not pills, those were ear plugs!”
Bob Martin and I stayed with Dean Acheson, and we horse traded; and finally we arrived at a settlement late in the evening. In the meantime a storm was raging in Chicago. The planes were grounded, no trains were running, the buses were discontinued. We couldn’t get hotel accommodations because there was some kind of convention going on. One of the members of Douglas Smith’s law firm agreed to take Mr. Acheson to his home for the night; so Acheson went to the home of one of his partners. Bob Martin and I went to the home of another one of the partners. The next morning Dean Acheson came back and told us goodbye; and as he was leaving, he slipped on the ice and broke his arm. When he got back to his law office in Washington, he explained his broken arm by saying that those fellows had twisted his arm the worst he had ever had it twisted.
In two or three weeks, Acheson called. He said he had some money to pay down on our agreement. I was selected to take it to the Harris National Bank there in Chicago, which was one of the prominent banks, and make a deposit. I had a big black briefcase that I always carried, which was big enough to carry files, a book or so, and some extra shirts, etc., and I had it in one hand and all those checks, securities, etc., in a paper sack, stuffed under a trench coat. I had the trench coat pulled up around my neck, and I had a hat pulled down over my eyes. I really looked like a Chicago gangster going in to rob the bank. The wind was blowing a violent gale; and I give you my word, as I entered the bank, I thought, “Now wouldn’t it be funny if they stop me as a gangster when I’m coming into the bank with over a million dollars on my person to deposit!” Just as I entered the bank, the burglar alarm went off. Bells started ringing, lights started flashing, and guards started jumping, but they really weren’t trying to arrest me, although I supposed that I had caused the confusion.

Some girl had dropped a roll of quarters. They had bumped against the burglar alarm, and it had set off the whole damn thing. Here came the police, the sheriffs, and everyone else; but no one arrested me! I deposited the funds there, and in due time distribution of thousands of dollars was paid among the many stockholders of the Black-Marshall company. Costs and attorneys’ fees were paid.
After eight years of hard work and thousands of dollars of expense out of my own pocket, I still received a very substantial fee that I have enjoyed; but I must say that I enjoyed the relationship with the other attorneys and the experience I had in that case more than my fee.
Adlai Stevenson had been a member of Douglas Smith’s law firm, and Jack Brown, who was associated with us, had helped with the campaign of Adlai Stevenson when he ran for the governorship of Illinois. Jack Brown used to tell us stories of what happened during that campaign. The Douglas Smith law firm had fifty or seventy-five lawyers—probably twenty of them were members of the firm—and the others were associates. After we had argued the case in the Circuit Court of Appeals, Martin Lucente was assigned to railroad work for his firm, and could not take part in the Black-Marshall case to its conclusion.
One of the junior members of the firm took his place, and one day he was called into Douglas Smith’s office to join in a conference with Bob Martin, Douglas Smith, and me. This young junior partner came in and stood at attention, rigid, just like a private in an army. There were chairs available; but Douglas Smith didn’t ask him to sit down, and this young gentleman would no more have thought of sitting down, without being asked, than anything in the world. Then an amusing thing occurred. While this young man was standing there at rigid attention, Bob Martin leaned back and put his feet up on Doug’s big walnut desk; and Bob’s big shoes were just about in the face of Doug Smith. You could see that the junior partner standing there was aghast! Then Bob picked up the precious non-touchable pen of Doug Smith out of the holder, and made some notes on a pad—further startling the junior partner. Then Bob Martin reached over to Doug Smith’s precious and personal silver water decanter, got Doug’s personal cut glass tumbler, and poured a drink of water for himself. That was the unheard-of sin! You could see that this young man standing at attention was shocked beyond words at this entire performance of the uncouth Bob Martin.
On one of my visits to Chicago, Douglas Smith called me in and made me a proposition to come and join his law firm. It would have been a great experience with a fine salary; but as I have said, I am a genuine country lawyer. I have never had, and do not now have, a desire to go to one of the big cities and practice law.
Well, I have tried to give you just some of the highlights of my practice of law. I don’t want anyone to think that I won all my cases; or that it was a bed of roses. I never had but one perfect lawsuit and I won it in trial court but lost it in the Supreme Court of Kansas.
Let me give you some of the facts. Just south of Topeka on the main highway, the Santa Fe railroad has a siding at a little station where the freight trains pull in and wait for other trains to pass. One evening a freight train pulled in on this siding, which was about fifty feet from the adjacent highway; and the engine, while sitting there for several hours, had opened up the valves and blew hot water from a two-inch pipe with force about like a fire hose. That caused water to be sent across the adjoining concrete highway. It was freezing temperature and soon a patch of ice was frozen on the highway.

About eight o’clock that morning, there was a committee on its way from Wichita to Topeka, traveling in cars to see some of the state officials. In one of these cars from Wichita was our client, who was badly injured; and in the party there were city detectives and city policemen, deputy sheriffs, and men who were investigators of causes of accidents as a lifetime occupation. Immediately following them was a district judge from Newton, Kansas. All of these cars were headed north. When the first car hit this patch of ice that had been created on the highway, it started skidding. Now, approaching the skidding car and headed south, was a highway patrol car with two highway patrol officers in it. They witnessed the ice and the car skidding. They phoned in a report to the highway patrol office. Two more highway patrol officers came out.
The result was that there were highway patrolmen, who not only saw the accident but who took photographs of the ice running from the highway to the railroad track. All of these patrolmen, and the judge from Newton, had witnessed the accident and examined the ground and found the ice leading from where the train had stood and across onto the highway where the skidding had occurred. They took photographs; the highway patrolmen took photographs. We had the Judge of the District Court of Harvey County, Kansas, who likewise saw and examined the same thing. Furthermore, we had half a dozen other witnesses that were riding in the cars, who testified to the same thing, and the jury brought in a substantial verdict for our badly injured client. This should have been the perfect lawsuit.! It occurred with experienced witnesses watching the whole procedure, who then went ahead and took measurements and photographs of the negligence of the railroad company.
The Santa Fe appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Kansas. A few months later the Supreme Court came out with a forty-five page opinion. They didn’t cite a single case, they just dibbled around; and one cannot tell yet why the case was reversed. The judge who wrote the opinion said that the Supreme Court had carefully examined the transcript of the testimony of the trial. But the peculiar thing was, the transcript of the testimony of the trial had been in our office all the time. We thought the Supreme Court might request it for examination. They never did ask for it, or examine it, unless the Santa Fe surreptitiously took over their own copy and explained the matter to the Supreme Court as they desired.
Now, one more thing happened. On the day that the Supreme Court of Kansas decided to reverse the decision and enter judgment for the railroad company, the grass on the Santa Fe right-of-way that runs through my father’s land, caught fire. I didn’t know about the Supreme Court decision coming up that day; but I called the Santa Fe office about sending out a bunch of section men to put out the fire that was on their right-of-way and had spread out into the adjoining pasture land. Instead of the Santa Fe sending out a bunch of laborers to put out the fire, do you know what they did? They sent out a big locomotive and rolled it up to where the fire was, and sprayed this water out about 80 feet under considerable pressure, and slowly moved the locomotive along the rail and extinguished the fire. Now the ironical thing is that it happened the same day that the court reversed our judgment in this perfect case. I later heard a judge say that the reason they did reverse the case was because they “just didn’t believe that a Santa Fe locomotive could piss that far,” notwithstanding the fact that the Santa Fe used that very method to come out into my pasture and put out a fire.
Anyhow, that was the end of my only perfect lawsuit!

                                       My Experience as Justice of the Peace.
During the time that Clyde M. Reed was Governor of the State of Kansas, there was a vacancy in the office of the Justice of the Peace in our township. Well, Governor Reed thought it would be a good joke to appoint me as Justice of the Peace, and he did. In order to carry out the spirit of the joke, I went ahead and qualified and became the legal Justice of the Peace for West Creswell Township, Cowley County, Kansas.
As I remember, I only had lone case, and it involved quite a humorous situation that I want to tell you about.
At the time Governor Reed was in office, the Anti-Saloon League in the state of Kansas controlled the political parties and of course, the State had a bone-dry law and the Anti-Saloon League made Mr. Hopkins the attorney general of the state and then put him on the State Supreme Court; and later, the U.S. District Court. All because he represented the Anti-Saloon League people. This was the era when good people put poison in moonshine whiskey that caused the customers to go blind, get “jake-leg,” or die, and when the mayor of our town instructed the garbage men to report to him when they picked up any garbage that had corks or bottles or mash that might have been used to make home brew or wine, it was really a reign of terror!
Now there was a bunch of smart promoters who realized the WCTU and the Anti-Saloon League would pay good money to anyone who wanted to promote them a little, and promise to work as investigators. Two gentlemen by the names of Gobin and Hardin made a racket of working for the WCTU and the Anti-Saloon League. They came to Cowley County and pursued their racket.
It went something like this. They came into the county and showed the county commissioners letters from the Anti-Saloon League, the WCTU, and others, telling how effective they were; that they could find out who was making whiskey, selling whiskey, and handling whiskey, and corrupting the morals of the youth. They agreed to work for $1,000 apiece per week. Then the two of them came to Arkansas City and told the mayor, who was a pretty good anti-whiskey fellow, that they would center their efforts on Ark City for $1,000 a week plus expenses. So they started to work, each of them drawing $1,000 a week, which in those days was pretty good wages!
They rented a room in the best hotel in Arkansas City, and I saw their expense account. They lived on good beefsteak; and they had quite a number of expense items for whiskey and the purchase of beer and fishing tackle; billiards and the bowling alleys; and  for taxicabs and night clubs. It was obvious that they were living the life of Riley and charging it all to Arkansas City and Cowley County, in addition to drawing their $1,000 apiece a week. They operated around Arkansas City for about three weeks. They would ask a cab driver where they could buy a pint of whiskey; and of course he would haul them out someplace and they would buy a pint or a quart. They would hang around the pool halls and ask some boy if he knew where they could get some whiskey, and the boy would want to be a big shot and he would usually say, “Yes, I know where you can buy a pint, or a quart.” They would give him the money, and he would go get them the whiskey to show them what a good man he was.

At the end of three weeks, Gobin and Hardin had about three taxi drivers arrested; and one of the alleged bootleggers arrested; and about ten or twelve young boys who patronized the pool halls or the bowling alleys. The mother of one of the young boys arrested came to me and I talked to her and her son. The boy told me that he had been in the pool hall when one of the two men came over and asked him where he thought that they could get some whiskey, and the boy said he told him that he thought they could get some at Bill Jones’, and Gobin and Hardin gave him the money and he went out and bought the whiskey with the money, came back and gave it to the two men. They then had him arrested for possession and sale of whiskey. Well, that set me off! I learned then that was the way they had gotten the other people arrested. I let out the word that I was pretty provoked about the whole matter, that I didn’t like snitches in general, and I didn’t like these in particular, and that I didn’t like the way they went around and solicited and entrapped these kids to commit a crime. So the word got around that I was pretty mad, and of course I was the Justice of the Peace; and if a complaint was filed in my court against Gobin and Hardin, why I could do nothing else but have them arrested.
You won’t be surprised to learn that it wasn’t very long until someone came to my court and filed a complaint against Gobin and Hardin for the possession and sale of whiskey, giving whiskey to minors, and other crimes and misdemeanors. As Justice of the Peace of West Cresswell Township, all that I could do was to have Gobin and Hardin arrested and thrown in jail.

It so happened, that just a few days before I put them in jail as Justice of the Peace of West Cresswell Township, that Roley Boynton, the Attorney General of Kansas, had handed down an opinion that a Justice of the Peace had no authority to make any rulings, judgments, or anything else outside of his township. Now my law office was in Arkansas City, and outside of West Cresswell Township, where I was Justice of the Peace. Well, I threw Gobin and Hardin in jail, as I recall on a Friday; and they were due to appear and testify in court on Monday against a large number of these people they had arrested. About an hour after I had put these men in jail, I began getting phone calls from the WCTU and the Anti-Saloon League as well as other lawyers and friends of Gobin and Hardin; and I just shrugged them off. In a short time I had a phone call from Topeka, and it was Roley Boynton. All that he knew was that he was talking to the Justice of the Peace. He didn’t know that it was Arthur Walker, one of his old friends. It was amusing to hear Roley Boynton talking to me down in my law office in Arkansas City, thinking he was talking to some long-haired Justice of the Peace out in the woods. He was explaining to me about the law, and telling me it was my duty to turn these men loose. I let him talk for fifteen or twenty minutes, then I said, “Well, General Boynton, isn’t it true that you issued a ruling just about a week ago that a Justice of the Peace has no authority to issue any orders or judgments outside his township?” He said, “Yes, that is right, but what’s that got to do with it?” I said, “Roley, this is Arthur Walker you’re talking to, and I am the Justice of the Peace out in West Cresswell Township, where these men were arrested. But I am now outside of that township, and I’m down in Arkansas City, and I have no authority to release Gobin and Hardin, and I know you wouldn’t want me to violate the law, would you?” Boynton said, “God damn it Art, you get on back out there to West Cresswell and release those fellows.” I said, “Well, I don’t know just when I will be back to West Cresswell.” Then the General said, “When do you expect to be there?” I said, “I’m thinking of going down to Oklahoma on a hunting trip and it will maybe be a couple of weeks before I’m back there; but when I get back, I’ll be glad to do what you asked.” He saw that I was stalling him, so he dispensed Bob Mason, who later became the chief counsel for Cities Service Gas Company, to come from Topeka to Arkansas City, and they wrestled around for two or three days, and finally got the District Judge to release Gobin and Hardin. The publicity about them ruined them as witnesses, and I think the first ten cases that Gobin and Hardin appeared in, the jury just ignored their testimony and turned the defendants loose.
A little later, either Gobin or Hardin was arrested and convicted of perjury over in Reno County, Kansas, and the case went to the Supreme Court of Kansas. Most of the judges wanted the support of the WCTU and the Anti-Saloon League; and they figured some way to reverse the conviction of perjury.
All this in the madness of that era, where, in fighting demon rum, you could break into a man’s house without a search warrant, you could stop and search a car on the highway without a warrant, and you could wilfully poison his drink—all in the name of good government! It was really a reign of terror, and I’m glad it passed as quickly as it did.
                                              A Stipulation Cost Me a Client.
From all these stories about lawsuits and so forth, that I have related, you may get the impression that I consider myself a very successful lawyer. Far from it! I’ve walked in the sunshine of victory and I’ve stumbled in the bitter darkness of defeat; and I have related these stories as they now occur to me.
I want to tell a story now, of a case I lost, that would put any lawyer to shame who believed that he was a legal genius.
During the bitter depression years, the law in Oklahoma made it a felony to sell marijuana or narcotics of any kind, while, in Kansas, it was only a misdemeanor. As a result, the pushers south of us would come up to Kansas and go into the colored district and leave a bunch of cheap narcotics with these colored people; then they would send their customers from Oklahoma up into Kansas to buy from the colored people. In that way, they could pretty well avoid arrest; and if they were arrested, it was only a misdemeanor in Kansas.
One day the federal narcotics squad came into Arkansas City and arrested about a dozen colored people and charged them with the possession and sale of some form of narcotics. About six of the people arrested came to me and retained me to defend them. I, in turn, went to Winfield and hired Mr. McDermott, who had been a county attorney and a vigorous prosecutor for years, to assist me in the cases. Mr. McDermott and I looked over the cases and decided that we didn’t have much chance in getting our folks off on the facts, so we devoted our attentions to the law.
Now, in Kansas at that time, we had a statute that said it was not necessary in a liquor prosecution for the county attorney to state to whom the liquor had been sold. That is, you did not have to name the purchaser.
The general law, throughout the country however, is that if a person is arrested with having sold narcotics or liquor, or anything else, to someone, that the complaint or indictment must state the name of the purchaser.
None of these complaints against these colored people named the purchaser. All of the complaints just said that Joe Doaks did on such and such a day, unlawfully sell so and so.

When the first of these cases came on for trial, Mr. McDermott and I moved the court to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that it was vague, indefinite, and defective; but the court overruled our motion. We objected to the introduction of testimony, and the court overruled our motion. Then the federal men went into some detail about their purchases, making arrests, and so forth. McDermott and I moved for dismissal of the case at the conclusion of the case, and we moved for judgment, etc. Judge Fuller, a wonderful man who was a prosecutor by nature, thought that anyone arrested was guilty; and he overruled all our motions. Our first defendant was found guilty.
Thereupon, the court called a jury to start the trial of the second case; and we went through about the same procedure. By this time, two or three days had gone by; and our second client was convicted.
Then they called a jury to try the third case. Now Judge Fuller liked to be out on his farm. He called me up to the bench, and asked me how many cases there were. I told him that there were about twenty, and I said, “Mr. McDermott and I only represent a handful of them; but there are quite a few more.” He said, “Well, there must be some way to dispose of them without causing the county the expense of all these jury trials.” I said, “Well, our defense is, that their complaints are no good because no purchaser is named, and we are willing to stipulate that the same evidence will be introduced against each of our clients, and we make the same motions, and you make the same rulings, and you can find each one guilty because we are going to take one or more of these cases to the Supreme Court of Kansas, and see if the failure to name a purchaser makes the complaint defective.” Well, the judge thought that was just fine, and the county attorney thought it was fine.
The next client up for trial was a very small colored man, who worked for the Santa Fe, and whose nickname was “Small Black.” He was sitting there with his witnesses. I should have gone back and explained the situation to him; but we were trying to work out a stipulation, and we did work out a stipulation to the effect that if “Small Black” and the others went to trial that the government would introduce enough testimony that the judge would find them guilty; and that we were claiming that the complaint was insufficient and constitutional rights were violated, and so forth, and preserving all of our rights for appeal.
Well, at the end of our stipulation, of course Judge Fuller found “Small Black” and the others we defended guilty, imposing a sentence of thirty days in jail and a fine of $100 or more, and McDermott and I left the court that day expecting to go ahead and appeal the cases.
It so happened that these colored people were unable to raise enough money to pay for getting the abstracts and transcripts and briefs printed for the use of the Supreme Court. We were not able to appeal. In due time the Supreme Court dismissed our appeal.
About six months later, the sheriff of Cowley County went down to the Santa Fe yards and picked up “Small Black,” saying, “Small Black, come with me, you’ve got to do thirty days in jail.” “Small Black” let out an awful roar, and said, “Well, Sheriff, I haven’t had any trial and I haven’t been convicted, and I don’t have to go up there and serve any time. Lawyer Walker is the fellow we should go up and see, cause I hired him to defend me; and you can go up to his office with me and he’ll tell you that I ain’t been convicted and that you ain’t got no right to take me up there to Winfield and throw me in that jug.”

So here comes the sheriff and “Small Black” into my office. The latter said, “Lawyer Walker, what’s all this talk about me having to go to Winfield? I said, “Small Black, I’m sorry to have to tell you; but you’re going to have to up there and serve thirty days.” He said, “But I haven’t had any trial!” I told him, “Small Black, it was on account of the stipulation.” He queried, “What do you mean by stipulation?” I explained to him as best as I could—and I don’t think he understood a word of it—what the word “stipulation” meant. Furthermore, I explained that by reason of that stipulation, there was nothing that could be done. He would have to go to jail and serve his time. “Small Black” slowly rose up and went towards the door to leave my office; then he turned slowly around and commented, “Lawyer Walker, I wants you to know that I have had to serve time for selling whiskey, I have had to serve time for gambling; but this is the first time I have ever had to serve any time on account of a stipulation! Now, Lawyer Walker, I want you to know that I is awfully disappointed in you, and further, Lawyer Walker, I want you to know, that you is the poorest lawyer I have ever had.”
Then “Small Black” slowly opened the door and left my office. Perhaps this would be a good place to conclude my memories of my law practice.
                                              Some of My Political Activities.
In 1927 I was elected to the Kansas Legislature and served a two-year term. At that time, the sale of cigarettes was a misdemeanor, and Harold McGugin of Coffeyville, introduced House Bill Number 1, to repeal the prohibition of the sale of cigarettes; and you would have thought that he had introduced a bill to teach all children to be bank robbers and dope users.
Women came from all over to fight the bill—with white dresses and blue ribbons tied around their busts. They would sit there all day in the hot gallery on those wooden benches. They stayed there, fighting that cigarette bill for weeks.
Finally we got it passed! The way we got it passed was to put a tax of two cents a pack on each pack of cigarettes sold. That money would be used to reduce the tax on property in Kansas. I don’t know how many millions of dollars have been raised through the cigarette tax; but whatever it has been, it has resulted from the efforts of Harold McGugin.
When I went to the legislature, it was only a misdemeanor to possess or sell narcotics, dope, heroin, morphine, or anything else, in the state of Kansas. It was a felony to do the same thing in Oklahoma, with the result that everybody operated in Arkansas City, just across the line. By everybody, I mean the dope pushers and narcotics handlers. I introduced, and got passed, a bill that made it a felony to sell or possess narcotics in the state of Kansas.
Also, when I went to the legislature, if there were any highways to be constructed, you had to have them constructed under what was known as a “benefit district.” In other words, the landowners on either side of the highway had to pay fifty percent of the cost of construction of the highway; and the landowners back a half mile or so from the highway, had to pay a lesser share: and that was the district which most benefitted. Well, I didn’t think that was exactly just. I thought that the people who used the highway should pay for it, so I, and others, worked on it and got passed the law creating the State Highway System of Kansas.
I also worked on, and helped to create, the workman’s compensation law in the state of Kansas.

When I went to the legislature, Cowley County and Sumner County together, made one judicial district; and it was too much work for one judge. I introduced and got passed a law making Cowley County a judicial district by itself, and did the same for Sumner County.
I also introduced, and got passed, the law creating the city court of Arkansas City. All in all, my experience in the legislature was most interesting. During this time I became acquainted with Harold McGugin, as I have mentioned, and Chief Haucke and John D. M. Hamilton: three fine, outstanding gentlemen. Each one later ran for governor on the Republican ticket and each one was defeated.
When President Herbert Hoover was getting ready to run for his second term, I had decided to be a delegate to the National Convention, held in Chicago. In order to become a delegate, I had to be selected by the Third District Republican Convention; and my opponent was a newspaper editor from my home town. I was over at the district convention on the night before the election, and I thought that I had enough votes to win. About 10:00 p.m. I looked around and noticed several carloads of people from my home town arriving. I knew they had been called to come there to vote against me. Well, I counted noses, and I saw that I was four votes short. The opposition said that they would convene the convention the next morning at 7:00 a.m., and immediately elect the delegates to the National Convention. That disturbed me! I thought, “Well, I’m whipped.” I was unable to sleep. About 4:00 am on the next morning, I phoned Earle N. Wright at Arkansas City, which is some ninety miles from Coffeyville—where the convention was being held—and I asked Earle if he could get four other people and drive over to Coffeyville and be there at 7:00 a.m. It might save my bacon!
Now when you call a man at 4:00 a.m., get him out of bed, direct him to round up four or five other people, get dressed, and transport them ninety miles within three hours, you have called for a “real favor.”
The next morning at five minutes before 7:00 a.m., a car rolled up in front of the hotel in Coffeyville. Out stepped my friends: Earle Wright, Fred Leach, and two others. One of these was the current mayor of Arkansas City, Bill Walker, with whom I had engaged in many political fights. I called Earle to one side and I said, “My God, Earle, you’ve brought Bill Walker. He thinks I’m a Sonofabitch.” Earle replied, “That’s right, but he thinks your opponent, Oscar Stauffer, is a bigger Sonofabitch.”
Well, this convention was called to order at 7:00 a.m. The opposition was in control and they thought they had the votes. But due to the work of Earle Wright, I won out, and went to the Republican National Convention.
There wasn’t much question but that the Republican party would nominate Herbert Hoover as its candidate for president. The American Legion boys had decided to dump Charlie Curtis as vice-president and put in as their vice-presidential candidate, Hansford MacNeider, who had been National Commander of the American Legion. Charles Curtis was a Kansas man, and I was loyal to him, so I attended the Legion caucus. It lasted until about 4:00 a.m., and I finally got the Legionnaires to agree that we should vote for Charlie Curtis on the first ballot to show Republican solidarity; and if he didn’t get enough votes on the first ballot, then the Legion would be free to go to their candidate, MacNeider.

Of course, we beat the bushes and got enough votes to nominate Charlie Curtis as vice-president on the first ballot. However, an interesting thing occurred. I left the Legion caucus about 4:00 a.m., and put in a phone call to Charles Curtis’ sister, Dolly Gann, in Washington, D.C. She was rather a pompous woman; and at that time she was having a social contest with Mrs. Nicholas Longworth, who was the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, as to which one of the two should control Washington society. Anyhow, I called her at about four-thirty in the morning, and I told her that her brother might not be the candidate for vice-president unless she could get all the help possible. I think she got into action at once. I could tell that there was some influence stemming from Washington, D.C., which helped Charles Curtis on the early ballot. He was nominated as the vice-presidential candidate.
I helped manage the campaigns for Harold McGugin, who was elected to Congress, and for Hub Meyer, who was also elected to Congress; I also helped with the campaign for Clyde M. Reed, who was elected to the United States Senate. I served as head of the Lincoln Day Club, and took a fairly active part in the Republican politics of Cowley County and my District.
When I finished my term in the Legislature in 1927, I was called into an office by Dave Mulvane, the National Republican Committeeman for the State of Kansas, Oscar Stauffer, and some of the men from the Kansas City Star, and they said that if I would run for governor, they would secure the support for me of the Stauffer papers, the Capper papers, and the Kansas City Star. I gave it quite a bit of thought because in those days, with that amount of support behind a candidate, it was almost a certainty that he would be elected. At that time I was only twenty-nine; and I had not created any estate. The more I thought about it, I could see myself serving a term or so as governor, coming out broke, and having to get a law practice underway again, and somehow it did not appeal to me! I thanked the gentlemen and decided against running. I really think that if I had accepted their offer, I could have been elected governor of the State of Kansas; but I have no regret about my decision.
In the fall of 1945, the war was over, and I was still in Okinawa, when I received a message from Senator Clyde M. Reed, wanting me to run for Governor of the State of Kansas. He persisted with it, and in fact, went to the War Department, and had me released from the Air Force a month or so before my discharge. He was very insistent that I run for Governor.
I had been away from home and wife and children for more than four years and in the Air Force, and I wanted to get home and rest. I also wanted to get back to my law practice. I could not get enthused about a campaign for the Governorship of the State of Kansas.
I thanked Senator Reed for his support. I really appreciated it. But once again, I declined to make the race.

In 1940, I had run for the State Senate of Kansas, and I was defeated by Kirke Dale by a narrow margin. At that time Governor Ratner of the State of Kansas was tied up with the Cities Service Oil and Gas Company, and Kirke Dale, my opponent, was the attorney for this company. When it appeared that I was going to win the race for the state senate, Kirke Dale got hold of Governor Ratner, and had the Governor send down into Cowley County over 100 State Inspectors of various kinds, who went around and worked against me. For example, they sent from Topeka the inspector for beauty parlors, and that inspector went around to all the beauty parlors and spread the propaganda that if I was elected, I was going to put them out of business, increase their licenses, and so forth. They sent in grain inspectors, oil inspectors, boiler inspectors, highway inspectors, etc. They came in like locusts: they were smart and they had plenty of time. They went around and spread their poison. I was narrowly defeated; but in the long run, it was a blessing!
If I had been elected to the state senate, in 1940, I would not have gone into the Air Force in 1941. The experience, travel, and service I was able to perform for my country in the Air Force far exceeded anything I might have accomplished in the state senate of Kansas.
                                                   My Military Experiences.
Looking back over my life, it seems strange now, that during a busy legal career, I spent ten years on active duty with the Air Force and an additional ten years on reserve duty. I liked the military service; and in time of war, it is most interesting. You have a feeling that you are doing something for your country!
I really don’t know where I got my love for the service. My father was not in the service, but my grandfather, D. T. Nash, served four years in the Union Army in the Civil War. He was a member of the 4th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the long winter evenings, we would sit in front of the fire while he related some of the military experiences he had endured.
At Arkansas City, Kansas, there was a timber park south of Madison Avenue, on the bank of the Walnut river, where, every fall, we would have what was known as the “Old Soldiers’ Reunion.” Members of the Grand Army of the Republic would come from far and near, pitch their tents, and have a reunion for about a week. They would live in the tents, and have campfires in the evenings, where they would visit and sing their familiar and war-time songs. In the daytime there would be speakers, parades, and bands. I remember that they would have a “merry-go-round” and an early day picture show. All in all, to a young boy, it was quite an experience to attend the Old Soldiers’ Reunion.
Like all youngsters, I was anxious to join some outfit, where I could be with other boys, and go on hikes, have drills, and play soldier. So I joined “The Sons of Daniel Boone.” We all ordered coonskin caps and other paraphernalia. We did a little scouting and learned a little about the Morse code and First Aid. We then advanced to an organization called “The American Boy Scouts.” We bought official “American Boy Scout” uniforms, and started having meetings and drills. Then, out of the clear blue sky, there came a tragic event! We received word that we were not the legally authorized Boy Scout organization. So then we had to join the “Boy Scouts of America,” and get the books and pamphlets pertaining to that group. However, it was good training. An officer from the local National Guard unit would come down and give us instructions, and teach us something on the manual of arms. We went on hikes and learned some more about the Morse code and First Aid along with the usual things that Boy Scouts learn.
The first world war started in 1914; but of course, the United States did not get into the conflict until the spring of 1917. When the United States entered the war, I wanted to enlist; but there were two things that caused me some trouble: my parents would not give their consent to my enlisting; and I was unable to pass the physical examination. (I had a horse fall of a cliff and land on me; and as a result, I had been pretty badly injured. Some of my bones were wired together: steel plates with screws were used to hold some of my skeleton together. As a result, I wasn’t able to pass the physical examination.)

I first tried to join the balloon unit, which was organized at Omaha, Nebraska; but I was unable to pass the physical or to get my parents’ consent. Then I tried to join the National Guard, and again, failed. So I went out to Denver and simply registered for the draft, thinking perhaps they would draft me. But they didn’t call me in the draft! About that time I heard there was a National Guard outfit in training that was going to get into the fight: I joined the Colorado National Guard. I trained with them for several months and learned the fundamentals of drill and the Manual of Arms, etc. About that time they organized what they called the “Student Army Training Corps,” the idea being that young men in college would take about a half day of college work and the remainder of the day would be spent in military training—preparing them for entering the army.
I decided to join the “Student Army Training Corps,” for I found that if I applied myself, I would have a chance of being selected to go to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where I could take an Officer Candidate course. They had this “Student Army Training Corps” in schools all over the United States. There was one at Kansas University and Southwestern College of Winfield. I enlisted in the one at Southwestern College. Having had a little prior military experience, I was given the job of sergeant. I began to help with the training of the men. I did pretty well. About the first of November, they posted my name on the bulletin board with four or five others, who had been selected from our unit to go to Fort Sheridan to take the Officer Candidate course. Well, we got our dental work done and our physical work done, and were prepared to set forth to Fort Sheridan, when, lo and behold, the Kaiser got tired and surrendered, the armistice was signed, and that was the end of World War One. For the life of me, I don’t know yet, how the United States won that first World War without my active assistance.
After Maybin and I were married, I was talking with some young lawyers one day, who informed me they were taking a correspondence course through Omaha, Nebraska, in an effort to obtain a commission in the “Judge Advocate Corps.” They told me that they thought it would be a fine thing if we got into another war inasmuch as they would be called into service and have the grade of an officer. Well, that sounded good. I wrote to Omaha, got the information, and took the correspondence course for some time.
One day I got to thinking that if there should be another war, I didn’t want to sit around with a bunch of law books while the fighting was going on. Now the “Judge Advocate Corps” is a wonderful organization—some of my closest and best friends were members of that Corps—but I’ve always been of a restless and somewhat reckless nature, and if there was going to be a war, I wanted to be where the action was.
I gave up my efforts to obtain a commission in the “Judge Advocate Corps,” and that was one of the most fortunate things I ever did. If I had secured a commission in that branch, when World War II came along, I would have been called down to Washington, D.C., as a number of my friends were, and I would have sat there in those buildings reviewing court martial trials and other proceedings during the entire length of the war.

Again, I narrowly missed getting into another outfit that would have been a bitter disappointment to me later on. In Arkansas City we had a National Guard Artillery unit. It was horse drawn, at that time; it later became mechanized. Well, the boys had some good artillery horses and they were not only permitted but were encouraged to use their mounts to play polo. And Arkansas City had an outstanding polo team for many years. I started playing polo with them in 1935. There were some excellent fellows in that National Guard outfit, who kept asking me to join the Guard. They said, “We’ll get you a commission as a first or second Lieutenant, and you can be with us and have some fun on the inside as well as the outside.” I gave this some thought, but somehow I never went ahead and followed it through. If I had gone ahead and joined the local unit of the National Guard, when World War Two came along, I would have been called to active duty and been sent to Alaska. There I would have served the entire war sitting out on the Aleutian Islands chain, where it’s desolate, foggy, and the most God forsaken place in the world: the worst possible place for one to sit out a four-year war!
                           We Were in Europe When World War II Commenced.
In the spring of 1939, Bill Wertz of Wichita, Kansas, and John Boyle of Arkansas City, Kansas, were attorneys for some heirs who claimed an interest in the Paton estate that was being litigated in the district court of Sumner County, Kansas.
Mr. Cunningham and I were representing the Paton heirs who had the best claim for the major part of the Paton estate. One of the claims advanced by Bill Wertz and John Boyle was that the deceased Paton, who had created the estate, thought that the eldest son would inherit the property in conformity with the custom that prevailed in Scotland, where the older Paton had been reared.
At any rate, the question of whether or not it was the established practice and custom for the eldest son of a Scotsman to inherit all of the property (to the exclusion of the others) became one of the disputed facts in the Paton case. In order to prove what the laws and customs were, we decided to go to Scotland and take depositions of various parties there.
Bill Wertz decided to take his good wife, Pauline, along; and of course, that meant that I would have to take my good wife, Maybin, along. John Boyle came up with a pretty good idea to cut down expenses on the trip. John had traveled more than Bill and I, and he knew that an agent for a steamship company could get reduced rates. So John wrote a letter to the Cunard Steamship Company, and they made him their local agent at Arkansas City. As soon as this happened, Bill Wertz and I and our wives bought our tickets through John Boyle Steamship Agency, and got reduced prices on the tickets. Then Bill Wertz said he would drive his car to New York City and back; and that we could all share in the car expense, thus saving us a little more money. So we left Wichita (Bill and his wife, and Maybin and I), by automobile for New York City.
Bill Wertz was not an alcoholic or a drunkard; neither was he a teetotaler. We left Wichita on the morning of August 2, 1939, and drove to St. Louis, Missouri, where we spent the night. On the way I bought a pint of whiskey in Booneville, Missouri, and Bill tossed it off in pretty good shape. At the hotel where we ate lunch, they were having a Rotary meeting. Well, Bill Wertz was a good Rotarian; and with his stomach full of “juice,” he just walked into the Rotary meeting (where everyone greeted him) and I guess Bill made quite a patriotic speech during his self-inflicted presence on the Rotary Club.

We left Booneville, heading on for St. Louis, and the pint was gone. Bill suggested that after that, I buy fifths. I followed instructions, and got another fifth for his use in St. Louis. We spent most of the second day in St. Louis, going to the British consul, getting visas and whatever else we needed, including some repairs on the car. We didn’t get very far that second day.
In looking over the route we were taking to New York City, Bill discovered that we would be going through Columbus, Ohio. Now, Bill in his school days, had a sweetheart named Amelia. He said that Amelia lived in Columbus. He wanted to go by and see her because he hadn’t seen her for thirty years. So when we got to Columbus, Bill found out where Amelia lived and gave her a phone call. We all went out to see Amelia. Now all I can say is that girls change in a period of thirty years! What may have been a slim, trim, cute looking little chick (thirty years ago) had put on quite a bit of weight here and there; and Amelia was not the seductive creature that Bill had envisioned. Anyway, we all met Amelia and had a nice visit. We then headed for Lewiston, Pennsylvania. We had lost so much time in Columbus visiting with Amelia that Bill decided we would drive right on to Lewiston. He suggested about 6:00 p.m. that I get a fifth of whiskey, and I did. I was driving the car and Bill took the fifth and pulled out the cork. Then I don’t know what possessed him, but he threw the cork out of the window. So we went riding over the mountains of Pennsylvania with Bill holding an open fifth in his lap; and from time to time, sampling it to make sure it wasn’t turning to vinegar. We pulled up to the front of the hotel about 11:30 p.m. I said, “Bill, you go in and see if we can get a room.” He said, “Certainly.” Bill then opened the car door and stepped out. The night clerk of the hotel was standing by the window, looking out over the sidewalk, and saw Bill get out of the car and then fall flat on his face. Bill dusted himself off, walked in, and asked the clerk if we could get accommodations there for the night. The clerk, having seen Bill’s performance, decided that there was no vacancy. So we were turned down there but found accommodations elsewhere.
We rolled into New York City on Saturday afternoon and stopped at the Piccadilly Hotel and cleaned up. Maybin and I went to the theater to hear Eddie Duchin, the great pianist. When we got out of there about 8:30 p.m., we went to a Broadway show that was quite popular at that time, called “Hell’s a Poppin,” and got out of that show about midnight. We thought the night was still young and that we ought to go somewhere, so we went to the Paradise Club. There was a good floor show there from midnight until about three in the morning. We rolled back to the hotel; and Bill and his wife were just getting in. They had gone out to the World’s Fair and had visited with some friends.
The next day, Sunday, the Wertz’s made a tour of the city and then went to a ball game. I learned that Tommy Hitchcock was scheduled to play in a polo game. Being interested in polo, I had read about his ability at the game, and wanted to see the man in action. We went out to Long Island to watch. Now the way we played polo in Kansas was quite different. Tommy Hitchcock pulled up in a limousine, got out, and sat down on a canvas chair. After a bit, a bunch of fine, air-conditioned trucks pulled up, and the grooms led the horses out. Pretty soon, one of the boys came over, got down on his knees, and put Hitchcock’s boots on him and fixed his spurs. He then led up a horse, and Hitchcock didn’t even know which horse it was. He had to ask the groom for the name of the horse he was going to ride! He then mounted and the other members of the team did likewise. They put on a pretty good polo game; but it wasn’t as good as games that I’ve played in at Kansas City, Wichita, and other places in the Midwest.

When we got through with the polo game and went back to the hotel, we found Bill and his wife there. Bill was thirsty, so we bought a fifth and worked on it a bit. Then I stepped into the bathroom. The door locked, and we couldn’t get it open! Maybin finally had to break the door open. She came in with such rush that she knocked me over, and we both fell into the bathtub. Fortunately, there was no water in it!
Then we all decided that we would go out to the International Casino and watch the fine floor show. It was about three or three thirty in the morning when we got back to the hotel.
The next day was Monday, August 7, 1939, and Bill and I went shopping. We then checked to see if Mrs. Walker’s trunks had arrived and if  they were ready for going aboard the ship. When we found that her trunks had not shown up, we tried to keep it from Maybin. She suspected that something was wrong; so finally we broke down and told her that her trunks had not arrived. Of course, in those days, you crossed the Atlantic in a ship, and people dressed for dinner. A man had to have a tuxedo, and a lady required an evening gown and a lot more paraphernalia than people wear nowadays. Everything we had of any consequence was in these trunks. Maybin got on the phone and called everything and everybody; and in about five or six hours she had backtracked and had located her trunks.
Since that was taken care of, and to celebrate a little, Bill and I went down to the office of Thomas Dewey, who was then world famous, or at least, nationally famous as a great prosecuting attorney and a man who was expected to become Governor or even President. We visited with Mr. Dewey for a short time in his office; and in his office was a visitor, the son of Teddy Roosevelt: Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Mr. Dewey asked us to come back and visit with him on our return from Europe.
On Tuesday, August 8th, we went on board our ship, the Caledonia. There was a great crowd present when we sailed amid lots of singing and pipes playing. In our cabin were fruit, flowers, and a number of telegrams. It was a nice departure. Bill particularly enjoyed the ship because he could buy White Horse Scotch for $2 a fifth. We met lots of the passengers on board, and many of them have been close friends up to the present.
One of our friends, Mary Allen, came to this country and to Kansas to visit with us; and we met her again in Europe on various occasions. We also met Bo Turner, who, at that time, was a new member of the Board of Tax Appeals. He has since retired. He and his good wife have been at our home in Kansas to pay us a visit.
Bill Wertz never in his life met a stranger. He is sincere, and he just likes people. He can get acquainted with a person in the first five minutes; and he isn’t a person to palaver, he is just interested in other folks. One Sunday, while we were on the ship, Bill had an extra one or two! There were lots of good Scotch people wanting to know about the Midwest; and likewise, Bill and I wanted to learn all we could about the Scotch folks. Well, we went into the dining room for lunch. Bill felt a speech coming on. He got up and told the people in substance, that he had been born in Pennsylvania, that he was named William Jennings after William Jennings Bryan, that he was a Republican, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crazy, that we were going to vote for an Easterner for president (either Taft, Dewey, or Vandenberg—he preferred Taft), that we were from Kansas, but we didn’t like Alf Landon.

On our trip to Europe we met two interesting members of the crew of the “Caledonia.” One was connected with the office part of the ship, a delightful fellow, and he frequently came to our cabin, and we would visit and give him a drink. On the last night aboard our ship, he came into our cabin for a drink. (I assume that like most of the British, he probably was a beer drinker, but that night he started drinking Scotch whiskey like it was beer, and soon left the party early.) The other interesting crew member was Jimmy Dunlop. He had some title that I’ve forgotten; but among his duties on the ship, it was his job to make sure that the ship remained trimmed—several times a day he checked the ballast on each side of the ship fore and aft, whether we were heading into the wind or away from it, observing closely the sea, etc. I did not know until he explained it that the benefit of having the ballast moved from place to place in the ship was to have the ship trimmed correctly. (This same procedure can be compared to trimming an airplane in flight to get the best results.)
Well, Jimmy Dunlop was a very interesting character. He had fought in the First World War with General Allenby, and had marched into Jerusalem with him when the British captured the city. He told Maybin and I about a horse he rode called “Jimmy,” and how, as they marched into Jerusalem, the band struck up, and this horse—although very tired from the long march—began prancing at the head of the troops.
Now, it so happened that Maybin had been a little girl in Scotland when the First World War began; and in their town was a circus. The government commandeered all of the horses because they were needed in the army. One of the horses had a fine golden mane and tail. Of course, the army immediately clipped off the fine mane and tail of this circus animal, and called it “Jimmy.” Maybin had picked up some of this mane and when she moved from Scotland to the United States, she brought it along. Later when she got interested in horses and we built the stable, she had that tress of mane framed. Yes, you’ve guessed it! We were out in the middle of the Atlantic, and Maybin found out what had become of her horse, “Jimmy,” and met the man who had the pleasure of riding “Jimmy” into Jerusalem.
I believe that one of the prettiest sights I have ever seen was the trip up the Clyde on the Caledonia, to the dock. We passed the great shipyards, and saw the Queen Elizabeth almost ready to be launched. On the starboard side, I remember particularly that there were those beautiful little Scottish farms and homes. The grass was green and moist with no wind, no dust, no leaves, no billboards. There were cute little stone or brick homes with tile or thatched roofs. The people who were along the shore would call back and forth wishing us well. They were waving: everyone was happy and gay! Children were neat and clean and happy. Along the highways were the big Clydesdale horses pulling vans. Everyone was very polite and courteous and gentlemanly.
Perhaps you wonder why I have gone into a little detail about our trip to Europe and the things that occurred on shipboard. The reason that I mention them a little more in detail than most things: we were at that time witnessing the end of an era!
This was the end of a happy-go-lucky existence; the end of the period when people had time to relax and go by ship and visit and play games and rest and relax. It was the end of an era when people could accumulate property and investments were sound; when people were courteous to each other and had time to be pleasant. I remember one time when Maybin and I asked someone in Scotland for directions, instead of giving us directions, they took us several blocks on foot, to point out to us the exact location and be sure that we did not get lost. This happened more than once. Yes, it was the end of an era that may never return.

                                             Rumblings of War Grow Louder.
The first few days that we were in Scotland, we took many nice trips; and in the meantime, Bill Wertz and I, took depositions for respective parties in the lawsuit in Kansas. We didn’t think much about war rumors: they seemed to be far away. But after we had been in Scotland about a week, we had lunch at the Royal Scots Auto Club as guests of a gentleman we had met on the Caledonia, and at the table was a Mr. Lawrence, who was a highway contractor. Mr. Lawrence had been in World War I, and he made the comment that conditions were getting very bad and that he was fearful that we were about to be plunged into another war.
On August 22, a number of the stores were closed. Maybin and I decided to go to Jardine’s, a large wholesale house in Edinburg, which at that time furnished most of the naval officers of all the navies in the world with fine uniforms. They showed us the names of some of their customers that were in the United States Navy from Kansas.
I purchased a sports coat and a tartan, and a few other things. Mr. Jardine asked Maybin and I to go back and have tea with him. So we did, and he excused himself to answer a phone call. He came back looking rather depressed. He said that Russia had just signed a non-aggression pact with Germany, and that would mean that Germany would not be molested if she chose to attack France, Britain, or any of the other European countries. He said that in his opinion, it was a very serious situation and very likely the forerunner of the opening of another war. When he mentioned the fact that he thought war might be imminent, I said, “Do you have any good trench coats in stock?” He said that he had the best, and he brought out a Burberry trench coat, which was a lovely thing, and I purchased it. It must have been the old saying, “Coming events cast their shadows before,” because I wore it through World War II and twenty-five years later, Maybin still wears it around the farm.
On the following day, August 23, the newspapers carried headlines indicating that war was approaching and that numerous men were reporting for duty and were going down the streets with knapsacks and other gear. Some of the stores started putting up sandbags, and the situation was taking on a serious aspect. On August 24th, the newspapers came out urging all travelers to try and get back home and to leave the country. It was difficult to get a phone connection through; sightseeing buses were not running; and things were coming to a standstill.
On August 25, 1939, we found that the shipping routines had been completely thrown out of order and that we were unable to get immediate passage home. Maybin and I decided that while we were waiting for a ship, we would go down to London and stay for a day or two. So the Wertz’s stayed in Edinburgh and Maybin and I took the Coronation Scot and went to London. It was a delightful train. It made the 400 mile trip in about five hours. When we arrived in London, we found men tearing out blocks and bricks from the street and building air raid shelters and dimming the street lights and the street signs.
On the following day, August 26, 1939, up and down the streets of London, they began placing sand bags in front of the windows of houses, and began using barrage balloons to try and stop the Germans. Soldiers and sailors were reporting for work.

Maybin and I went to a sightseeing bus outfit; but instead of having some ninety buses touring the city, Maybin and I were the only two people that were taken in a small car to make the trip. We went to the Tower of London; and the driver, trying to quiet our nerves, said there was no need to worry about war; that actually, if there was going to be a war, the crown jewels would be removed from the Tower of London. As he pulled up and parked, we noticed that there was an armed bus there, and that they were loading up the crown jewels and taking them from the Tower of London to be taken away for safekeeping.
On Saturday and Sunday, Bill Wertz was sending us telegrams to get back to Edinburgh so that if a ship became available, we could get on it, and for us to get back from London.
So, on Monday, August 28, 1939, we went to the American consul in London. He was unable to locate any ship that we could return to America on. I dropped in to see Francis Taylor, who was an old friend of mine, and the father of Elizabeth Taylor. He was trying to get his art treasures shipped back to the United States. Traffic lights were practically painted over; and they painted white strips on the curbs so that vehicles could locate curbs on the streets. Police had been issued gas masks and helmets, Sand bags continued to be piled up in front of the stores.
On Friday, September 1, 1939, I was in one of the courts in Edinburgh. I became acquainted with one of the court officials by the name of McDermott. I was seated there in the courtroom watching the progress of the trial when Sergeant McDermott came up and passed a note over my shoulder. I opened it, and read a little piece of paper on which was written in pencil, “The war has started, Germans bombing Poland. This is official.”
We walked out into the street. There were no flags waving; no bands playing! There was no question that the people knew that war was going to engulf them! That evening Bill and his wife and Maybin and I went to the Empire Theater for a show. It was a great performance and at the end of the show, the cast announced that it was their last show, that the members of the cast were leaving for military service. Then the orchestra played “God Save the King,” and the curtain rang down on an era of peace!
On Sunday, September 3, 1939, the radio gave an announcement that at 10:30 in the morning, the Prime Minister would make an important announcement. All knew what to expect, but the place was crowded when the Prime Minister spoke. He was laboring under a great strain, but finally he said, “A condition of war now exists between Germany and Great Britain.” The band played “God Save the King,” and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The sun, which had been hidden all morning, suddenly came forth for a few minutes; and then the air raid sirens went into action, the sun went behind the clouds, a gentle rain started descending, and the war was on! We had been booked to return to America on the Caledonia; but it had been removed, and in its place, the Athenia had sailed. The Athenia was torpedoed and sank just west of the coast of Ireland. We were fortunate in getting a substitute ship. We got ready and went aboard the Cameronia and started back to America on September 5, 1939. As our ship left Glasgow and started down the Clyde, it was a sparkling white ship. But the crew went to work, and during the trip down the Clyde, they painted it a dark gray. All portholes and windows were painted black, and just about dark we picked up a convoy of about 13 other ships, including a few cruisers, which gave us some comfort. We wouldn’t be sailing across the Atlantic alone! As we proceeded out toward Ireland, the entire convoy broke away and headed south. The Cameronia, with the Walkers and the Wertz’, and some other hardy souls, started on a trip across the Atlantic and to home.

                                                      We Visit Tom Dewey.
On our return to New York, Bill Wertz and I went up to see Tom Dewey. As I told you earlier, Tom Dewey was receiving a lot of attention as a prospective Republican presidential candidate. We discussed with him, the war! We told him of prominent men, judges, politicians, contractors, and others with whom we had visited in Europe; and we informed him what their views were. We asked him what he thought would be the position of the United States as to aiding the French and the British.
Tom Dewey told us that under no circumstances did he want to see the United States be drawn into the war, and that if any of the foreign countries, including Germany, sent their ships to the United States and had the money to buy oil, steel, trucks, war materials, or whatever it might be, and would pay cash for the same, he saw no reason why the United States shouldn’t sell these products to any party they could.
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was also at this meeting. While he seemed to agree with Dewey, I later learned that he was not in sympathy with the position that Mr. Dewey was taking. After the United States got into World War II, Colonel Roosevelt became a Brigadier General, took part in the Normandy invasion—and before the end of the war—died of a heart attack in one of the hospitals in France.
Of course, Bill Wertz and I were pretty much discouraged with the position that Tom Dewey had assumed. It was really a political one because there were thousands of good Germans in New York City, Chicago, and elsewhere. Bill and I were both discouraged about our interview with Tom Dewey. We felt that if the United States did nothing to help France and Britain, that Hitler, who had already knocked out Poland and had an agreement with the Russians to not interfere, and a promise from Mussolini for assistance; under those conditions, would take his good time in defeating France and either starve out or defeat Britain. That would leave the United States without allies: standing alone to catch the brunt of the navies and air forces of the world, It might be pretty tough going!
Now our wives were homesick and wanted to get home to their families as soon as possible. Bill and I wanted to get home also; but we thought that under the circumstances, it was best to go to Washington, D.C., and talk to Harry Woodring, who was at that time Secretary of War.
                              The Honorable Harry Woodring, Secretary of War.
Harry Woodring had enjoyed one of the most unusual political careers anyone had ever heard of. He was a small fellow, not over five feet, five inches tall, and a bit effeminate. He did needlework and was a banker at Neodesha, Kansas.
Somehow he always seemed to be standing by when two opposing powerful factions became deadlocked, and he would be selected as the compromise person. When two factions of the Neodesha bank got at loggerheads, they didn’t think Harry Woodring would hurt either faction; therefore, Harry Woodring took over as head of the bank. He took an active part in American Legion politics in the early days; and when two powerful factions between eastern Kansas and western Kansas got at loggerheads, they both agreed on Harry Woodring being the State Commander of the American Legion. The American Legion publicity gave Harry the desire to run for Governor of the State of Kansas, and he threw his hat in the ring and ran as a Democrat candidate.

The Republicans had a pretty good candidate; but the man who stole the show was a goat gland doctor by the name of Doctor J. R. Brinkley. The doctor had a hospital in northeast Kansas; and better still, he had a radio station. He simply broadcast that he wanted to be governor and for people to write his name on the ballot. And would you believe it, he got far more votes than either the Republican or the Democrat! But the hard-headed politicians weren’t about to allow a goat gland doctor to be the governor of Kansas, so they contested the election. They claimed that a lot of the ballots for Dr. Brinkley had the name misspelled. They actually agreed among themselves to let Woodring become the announced winner in the race for governor. So thus it was that Harry Woodring stepped into the Governor’s chair.
By this time Governor Woodring had convinced himself that he was quite a politician; but when he ran for a second term as governor, he met an overwhelming defeat, even though the Democrat party with Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the head of the ticket carried the state. Woodring was out of a job, so he went to Washington, D.C. Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been elected for his first term and he had a lot of appointments to make. Woodring had in mind that he might get an appointment with one of the banking boards or with the Treasury department. I was in Washington at the time and I remember one night visiting in the hotel room of Guy Helvering, who was a prominent politician from Kansas, and was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as head of the Alcohol board. Later on, Mr. Woodring was appointed Assistant Secretary of War.
Now bear in mind that Roosevelt had been elected in 1932, and what I am relating occurred right after his inauguration in 1933. At that time we were in the depths of a depression, and the then Secretary of War was named Dern. No one was thinking about war; in fact, some people were in favor of our taking battleships out and sinking them. World War I had only been over about fifteen years, and it didn’t take a very big sack of potatoes to be Secretary of War or Secretary of the Navy or Assistant Secretary of War. But Harry Woodring was glad to get the position of Assistant Secretary of War. He got some fancy flags that indicated he was Assistant Secretary of War and had them put on his automobiles. He liked the flash and the color and the things that went with the office.
Bill Wertz and I were both well acquainted with Harry Woodring. Bill had some of his family living around Neodesha. So when we went to Washington in September 1939, we had no difficulty in getting an appointment with Mr. Woodring. We told him what we had discussed with Tom Dewey. Woodring said there was absolutely no chance that this country would be drawn into war; that the United States was going to remain aloof from the controversy in Europe, not favoring either side. Furthermore, he stated that we need have no concern about the situation of this country, should we be drawn into war, because they had already made arrangements with various manufacturing plants all over the United States as to what they could and would make, in the event we would ever be drawn into a war.

It seems to me, but I don’t want to say this for a fact, that he showed us a sort of card index system, which showed that if we were drawn into war, General Motors would immediately start to make tanks and parts for airplanes, Ford Motor Company would make Rolls Royce engines and parts for planes, tanks, trucks, etc., and he seemed to think that all he would have to do would be to snap his fingers and put in a few telephone calls; and all the manufacturing companies in the United States would simply close one door and open another, and start making products of war. That was about all that Bill Wertz and I could do, so we put our wives and ourselves into the automobile and came on back to Kansas.
Now you might want to know what became of Harry Woodring. With his position as Assistant Secretary of War, he was invited to lots of social functions. He met the daughter of a wealthy senator from one of the eastern states, and they were married. Sometime later, Secretary of War Dern passed away and the father-in-law of Harry Woodring, who had some influence, prevailed upon President Roosevelt to appoint Harry Woodring as Secretary of War. (At the time this appointment seemed alright because we weren’t in war, and no one could foresee that we would be drawn into any war.)
However, as the war clouds started to darken over this country, you may recall that President Roosevelt wanted to help the allies all that he could and he worked out a lend-lease agreement with Prime Minister Churchill; furthermore, he made war materials available to our allies. About this stage of the proceeding, Harry Woodring sounded off that this country should not help the allies; that we should stay free and clear of any entanglements with any of the nations fighting for their existence in Europe. Of course, Roosevelt wasn’t enthused about one of his cabinet members sounding off on things just the opposite to the President’s agreement, and Harry Woodring was removed from the Secretary of War post.
                                              1939-1941. The Waiting Period.
Maybin and I returned home in the latter part of September 1939. My law work had piled up and I had to dig in and get some of the legal stuff disposed of before I could take time to renew my energies to help the Allies in their fight against Hitler.
I found most people quite apathetic. I found a few exhibiting cowardice, especially those who thought they might have to put on the uniform to defend this country. But by and large, the time was not quite right for this country to make a move. But I was restless and I couldn’t wait for the sentiment to ripen. I felt I had to do something to hasten it. I wrote numerous newspaper articles encouraging the people of this country to give aid and comfort and supplies to Great Britain and France. I made many speeches, and entered into debates with various prominent people in various parts of the state of Kansas about the attitude we should assume about the situation. I also wrote to friends in Scotland and England, asking them to ascertain if I could enlist as a private in the armed forces of either country. I received replies from each of my inquiries, and found that I could not enlist unless I was willing to renounce my American citizenship and take on the citizenship of Great Britain. Naturally I didn’t want to renounce my American citizenship. I felt that it would only be a short period of time before this country would be in the conflict.
About this time I learned that my old friend, William Allen White, the newspaper publisher at Emporia, Kansas, was very active in an organization called, “Defend America by Aiding the Allies.” In my opinion, the organization which William Allen White was heading did a great deal of good for this country and the Allies. They did many things. For example, the people of Britain were fearful that there would be an invasion of their island and they wanted arms of every kind that they could get. They wanted knives and binoculars; they needed blankets and clothing. William Allen White got thousands of people to volunteer to send weapons of all sorts to the British Isles along with binoculars, gloves, knives, daggers, and various types of metals that were hard to come by—clothing, ammunition, etc.

Now in addition to the actual values of these articles that he got people to donate, William Allen White was getting people interested in making such contributions because as people made their donations, they became interested in the welfare of the Allies and then interested in the Allies winning the war. It was the attitude of the people in favor of the Allies, brought about largely by William Allen White, that proved to be of tremendous value to this country.
You may remember that after Great Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, the Germans did not bomb England; further, they did not attack France until 1940. It was a period of time called the “phony war.”
Of course, to those who understood the war situation, it was not a phony war by any means. Hitler had already conquered Poland and taken over a tremendous number of factories and plants. Czechoslovakia and Hungary were within his clutches. He was manufacturing tanks, weapons, airplanes, and ammunition; and getting ready for the big push in 1940. Nevertheless, it is hard to get people excited when nothing is going on that they can see will immediately affect them.
Then came 1940 and Germany swept through France in a little over a week. They conquered Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. They took over the oil fields in the east and Mussolini came in, and as Roosevelt said, “Thrust a dagger in the back of France.” And Mussolini and Hitler, momentarily, stood on top of the world! Then the forces of Germany and Italy swept through North Africa and subjugated that part of the continent. In the meantime, Hitler had taken over the navy of France, and of course, had his own navy. He also had taken over the navies of the other countries he had conquered, until Hitler had the greatest navy in the world and the greatest submarine navy in the world, the greatest and most experienced Air Force in the world, the largest, toughest tanks in the world—and more than that—he had battle tested men who had been in campaigns and were flushed with victory.
For those of us who kept maps of the territory that was falling under the domination of Hitler, and to those of us who kept adding up the tanks, planes, ships, submarines, oil fields, and the other military supplies that Hitler had in hand, it became daily more discouraging as we realized how apathetic this country had been in preventing a crazy paper-hanger to practically subjugate the world.
In 1940 I made up my mind to try and get my affairs in such shape that I could leave my law office in 1941 and get into the armed services because, if there was one thing that I felt sure of, it was that this country—whether it knew it or not—was in this war with Hitler and Mussolini and possibly with Russia and Japan, come what may. At that time I was forty-two years of age; I had a wife and two children; and I was above draft age with plenty of dependents. I had one of the finest law practices that any man could have, and I am not sure what it was that drove me to cast these things aside temporarily and offer my services to the Army Air Forces of the United States.
                                                       I Get In The Service.

In the spring of 1941, I had to go to Washington, D.C., and see what I could do about getting into the service. I mentioned to Harold McGugin my intentions. He said that he would like to go along. So we drove to Washington, D.C., and took my son, Dan, along. Now Dan was a little fellow and spent most of his time reading comic books. We would stop and point out famous battlefields and mountain scenery. Dan was more occupied with Captain Flash Gordon. But all in all, I do think he enjoyed the trip.
I remember two incidents of the trip that perhaps Dan will always remember also. Going around the mountains, the back end of the car was always swinging around, and Dan became a little sick. Harold said that if he would take a big milkshake, it would settle his stomach and he would be alright. Dan didn’t want to take the milkshake; but at the urging of McGugin, he downed a big one; and of course, that just made his stomach flip-flop, causing poor little Dan to throw up the rest of the day.
I think it was the Gettysburg battlefield where Grandfather Nash had taken part. When we looking over the battlefield, McGugin said, “Now, Dan, your great grandfather fought here; and if he had been killed, you wouldn’t be here today.” Dan replied, “I don’t quite understand that.” McGugin said, “Well, if your grandfather had been killed, then your pappy wouldn’t have been born, and your mother wouldn’t have married him, and you wouldn’t be here!” Dan solved that very quickly by saying, “Why, I would too be here, because Mother would just have married some other fellow.”
When we got to Washington, McGugin took me around to meet various politicians. I remember Senator Wadsworth; and there were, of course, the senators and congressmen from Kansas. McGugin still insisted that I should not join the active military service at that time. The politicians in Washington could see that there was some likelihood that we would get into war. Various committees, bureaus, and boards were springing  up such as OPA and War Man Power. There was a need for men who had legal experience to join in and get into one of these governmental entities at the top, or very near it. This was the kind of job that everyone said I should get into; but I kept telling them that I didn’t want to get into civilian work or take a desk job, that I wanted to go where the action was.
McGugin didn’t believe it; but he was willing to help me! He had known the Judge Advocate General of the Army and we got an appointment with him. He, in turn, said that Colonel Shaw of Wright Field had been requesting some men with legal experience to come to Wright Field and help with some legal contracts in connection with Army Air Force purchases. Also, while we were in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to have a conference with Mr. Patterson, the Assistant Secretary of War, a very fine gentleman, who had been a distinguished lawyer and juror. This man was really the power behind the throne: he ran the Secretary of War’s office. He gave me some suggestions and some help. He sent a letter or radiogram to Wright Field and directed me to see Col. Franklin Shaw at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. So, with word reaching Col. Shaw at Wright Field from the Secretary of War and the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, I didn’t have any trouble getting a hearing before Colonel Shaw when I arrived at Dayton, Ohio. Colonel Shaw was a career officer and had been in charge of the legal department of Wright Field for years; and shortly before I got to meet him, he had been promoted to the rank of Colonel from that of Major.

You must realize that during World War II, there was no such thing as an independent air force. At the time I went to Wright Field in 1941 to see Colonel Shaw, the air force was simply known as the “United States Army Air Corps.” Later on during the war it became known as the “United States Army Air Force,” but it did not become a separate entity until several years after World War II was over.
Colonel Shaw was a real army man; he didn’t think too much of the Air Force and had little respect for pilots in general. He told me that when he had been stationed at Fort Leavenworth for a short time, he had thought of trying to get a rating as a gunner or perhaps a navigator. He said that he had taken several airplane flights. He just didn’t like flying! He abandoned any idea of getting on a flying status.
Colonel Shaw visited with me for some time and went over my past experiences in legal work. He studied my references, and I gave him a list of people that he could telephone with respect to my ability such as Harry Colmery, a lawyer at Topeka, Kansas, who had been National Commander of the American Legion, and several others of that caliber. I am positive that Colonel Shaw did contact some of them. After I had conferred with Colonel Shaw, he told me to go over to the Army hospital and take a physical examination; and if I was able to pass the physical, then he was certain that I would be offered a commission very shortly. So I took the physical and passed it without any trouble.
I saw Colonel Shaw once more. He told me to go back to Arkansas City. He said that he thought before long, I would receive an offer of a commission in the United States Army Air Force; and if that occurred, then he, Colonel Shaw, would have orders drawn up, sending me to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, for service.
Some time along in the last of April or the first of May, I received an offer of a commission in the United States Army Air Force at the rank of major. I was delighted because I hadn’t expected anything more than a rank of captain at the most, and would have been happy to have gone in as a buck private. After I got this offer of a commission, I notified Colonel Shaw that I would accept it and I would await his orders for me to come to Wright Field.
Well, I was not very familiar with what you were to do after you were offered a commission at that time, and I waited all of May 1941 and into the first of June 1941. No orders were forthcoming! Maybin and I decided that we would just drive to Wright Field or down to Washington, D.C., and see what the trouble was. We decided that we would make a pleasure trip out of it because it might be a long time before we would have another trip together. We first went to Detroit, Michigan, and then Canada. We drove through part of Canada, then came back into the United States and drove along the east coast and down to Washington, D.C.
In the summer of 1941, Washington was a bee hive! The city was filled  with not only civilians but sailors, soldiers, and people from all countries. As I was walking into one of the buildings, I came face to face with Colonel Franklin Shaw of Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. He immediately recognized me and came over and shook hands. He seemed delighted to see me. He asked me why I hadn’t accepted the commission and taken the oath of allegiance so he could send orders directing me to come to Wright Field. I had to confess that I didn’t know that I was supposed to have taken the offer of commission and gone before some authority in order to take the oath of allegiance. He quickly took care of that and sent a radiogram to Wright Field that I was on my way there and to put me to work when I got there.

So Maybin and I hitched up the horses and drove back to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, and I became an honest to God working member of the United States Army Air Force at Wright Field on the second day of June, 1941. Maybin stayed a day or so at Dayton. We decided that I should keep the car there with me, as she had another one back at Maybinsyde. She had to get back to take care of the children, so I drove her down to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she took a place to Wichita, then went on home to Arkansas City.
I’ve been homesick several times during my life, and on several occasions have been depressed; but I never have had the same feeling come over me any time in my life as I did on that afternoon when Maybin got on that plane and it took off. She was headed back to Kansas, and the realization came over me that I was no longer free to come and go, and that I would always be subject to orders. I was in for the duration, whether for two years, ten years, or a lifetime. I realized that my life would be vastly different than had I not decided to join the Air Force.
                                                             Wright Field.
The first time I went to see Colonel Shaw at Wright Field, the greatest amount of money that had ever been appropriated through the army for the use of the Air Force was less than twenty million dollars a year. Within a short period after I had been at Wright Field, we were making purchases of planes—in some instances for a number of planes that would involve over a hundred million dollars—and experienced an increase in personnel from five thousand to over twenty thousand.
In 1941 the activity at Wright Field was really two-fold. It was a purchasing center for the Army Air Force—airplanes, engines, and flying equipment. It also tested various airplanes, parachutes, etc. Nearby, some three or four miles by road, was Patterson Field, which was a working airfield; that is to say, it was a large depot of the Air Material Command. At Patterson Field there was lots of storage of engines, tanks, parachutes, and spare parts. From Patterson Field, those engines, planes, and parts were sent out all over the United States; and after we got into war, to points all over the world.
For a great many years, practically all government contracts were awarded as a result of competitive bidding. Once it became apparent that we would become involved in World War II, there was very little competitive bidding for anything connected with the army, navy, or air force. Everything was handled by what was known as negotiated contracts. For example, the representatives of the Boeing Company would come to Wright Field and go into negotiations with the Air Force contracting officers. They would negotiate a contract for several hundred, or even more, airplanes to be produced by the Boeing Company. Likewise, representatives from the Douglas Company, Lockheed, and Beech would come and negotiations would be carried on for contracts whereby these companies were to manufacture and deliver aircraft to the government.

While I sat in on many conferences between representatives of these various manufacturers and the contracting officers of the Air Force, I was not a contract officer; and I had no desire to be one. Likewise, I did not have to do the hard work of drafting the contracts in the first instance. I was more or less in the top echelon; and after everything had been prepared, it came across my desk for final examination as to the legality and the contents of the contract. If, after examination, I was satisfied that it was in proper form, I approved it; and the contract was usually signed by the respective aircraft companies and the officials of the Air Force.
You must remember that all of this activity occurred some six months before the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor: there was no front line for me to go to. So it was a valuable experience for me to see who was making what; and to learn what types of parachutes, parts, life-rafts, etc., we were purchasing; where they came from, and what they could do. I met a number of very fine and able people during the time I was at Wright Field. During the time that I was there (from June 1941 and the first part of 1942), we purchased many airplanes: B-17s, B-24s, B-29s, B-47s, P-51s, and P-38s—the backbone of our aircraft.
In addition to the aircraft mentioned, we bought hundreds of other types of aircraft, hundreds of trainers and transports, and thousands of engines and parts. All this activity took place months before we got into the war. Handling these early contracts gave us a head start, and we actually had some equipment ready to come off the lines, ready to use, by the time we were in the war.
Within a week after I had arrived at Wright Field, I made arrangements to take private flying lessons in order that I could obtain a private pilot’s license. I had done some hit and miss flying for some years before going to Wright Field, but I had never taken a regular course in flying, meteorology, navigation, engines, etc. I thought it would be a good idea to get an up-to-date private course in flying. I began to fly with other men in military aircraft of every kind and description whenever I could get the time and opportunity: R. H. (“Bob”) Wheat, Captain Quindrey, Colonel McPike, and Joe Derham.
When I first arrived at Dayton, Ohio, in the summer of 1941, I stayed at the Miami hotel.  I met Joe Derham, who was staying at another nearby hotel. Joe Derham came in from California. He was about five feet, nine or ten inches, had pure white hair, and was built like an athlete. He had sharp features, and a pleasant voice with a crisp British accent. Like R. H. Wheat and myself, he was in the contract section at Wright Field. Joe Derham had been a lawyer in San Francisco, California, and was a very good pilot. I don’t know if he ever had a pilot’s license or not. He had spent quite a bit of time in aircraft on the west coast. Derham and I decided to find an apartment, if possible, and we looked around. Maybin found an advertisement for a penthouse for rent. We located this “penthouse of sorts” on the third floor of an apartment house. It had one very large room with an oriental rug and a grand piano. There were three bedrooms and a kitchen. Joe Derham and I leased that apartment.
In the fall of that year, Maybin and the children came up and we gave a cocktail party. We had a large number of officers there at the penthouse, including General Tubby Miller, who was my very good friend; and General Kenney, who had been in charge of the Air Force under General MacArthur in the Pacific. General Kenney was a Canadian; but he had joined our Air Force, and was really a competent combat officer.
Bob Wheat could play the piano reasonably well; he and his wife had an apartment in Dayton. Once or twice a week, Bob would come by the penthouse and play our piano. Joe Derham, Bob Wheat, and I became very good friends.
Derham loved to play practical jokes; and time after time, he did so with Bob Wheat.

On one occasion, Bob Wheat had flown up to Boston with Joe Derham. Wheat bought some live Maine lobsters and brought them aboard for the return flight in a large paper sack. Joe looked in the sack and said, “Bob, you forgot to tape them.” Bob said, “Tape them! What do you mean?” Joe said, “Well, Bob, these lobsters live on the bottom of the ocean, 250 or 300 feet down, with extreme water pressure against them. When we get up around ten thousand feet, these lobsters will just explode unless you have them taped.” So Bob very obligingly got some tape and taped around the body and claws of those lobsters so that they wouldn’t explode.
Bob Wheat bought an attachment to put on his radio that would make records of a sort. He sat down and pounded the piano, trying to make a recording. His records were not very good. One evening, Joe Derham and I were invited to the home of a family in Dayton, named Cole. There were two sons, each of whom was an excellent electrician. They made the finest records one could imagine. We worked out a deal with the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Cole to make a record of us singing a song. The record they produced started with our conversation deciding to make a record; some music of the Mills Brothers was then dubbed in; then our voices were heard again. It made a pretty convincing record! We took it and played it for Bob Wheat. He was elated with the quality of the record, and wanted to know where and how we had made it. Of course, this gave Joe Derham a chance to harass Wheat. With a straight face, he told Wheat that Montgomery Ward had a little gadget that would make records of this kind; that this record had been made with this Montgomery Ward attachment; and that they were on sale for $10.45. Naturally, Bob Wheat decided to purchase one. Well, he went to the local Montgomery Ward store. He couldn’t find any attachment. He figured that they just didn’t know what they had in stock! He is still of the opinion that Montgomery Ward played a dirty trick on him since they wouldn’t sell him one of those marvelous record making gadgets.
On another occasion, Wheat came over to our penthouse one evening. He was greatly elated. He said that he and his wife had been downtown and bought a new radio and record player that was just a dandy. Now, instead of Derham saying, “Well, that’s fine, and I’m happy for you,” etc., his face got all clouded. He said, “Well, Bob, what did you pay for it?” Bob Wheat answered, “$750.” Derham said, “Oh my goodness, Bob, I’m so sorry that I didn’t know about it beforehand because I was just talking to the boys in the Electric Inn there at Wright Field and these old fashioned radios like the one you bought, even though they’ve got a nice case, are all out of style and everything now is going to short wave and hi-fi. Those like the one you got will be selling for $150 or $200 in thirty days; and I certainly am sorry about this Bob. I didn’t know about it until just lately.” Of course, Bob was broken-hearted. Ironically, it wasn’t very long before they did make a substantial changes in radios and wave lengths; but Derham was not a prophet! He just happened to halfway hit on it while ribbing Wheat.

One evening, Joe Derham and I were invited out to dinner at a very nice home in Dayton. Bob Wheat was not along. The hostess was much attracted to Joe Derham. She knew that he was single. She thought it would be a fine thing if she found a young lady there in Dayton to marry Joe. She made plans to hold a party two weeks later and asked Joe if he could attend. Joe was pretty gun-shy; and as an excuse, he said he would just love to attend, that nothing would give him more pleasure than to be at her party; but he would have to be in Africa in two weeks. Now that was the last thing that Joe had in mind and he had no orders or even an idea or suspicion that he would be in Africa. But by the luck of the draw, someone had to go to Africa on a quick, special mission. Joe drew the assignment and he was in Africa, two weeks from that day!
Joe Derham had learned to fly airplanes in about 1918, at a time when airplanes were largely wood, canvas, and ample wire for bracing, with a lot of the joints glued together. One day Joe was flying a little airplane around over San Francisco Bay, when the engine conked out, and he was forced to land in the water. He wasn’t hurt much, and a little later, the plane was fished out of the bay. Joe did not own the plane and his friend, Metzer, who owned it, sold the plane. Joe said that when the purchaser took the plane up for a flight, it came unglued and crashed. It seems that the water had caused the joints, which were glued together, to be “unglued!”Joe was always a little reluctant to talk about what happened to the purchaser, but I’m inclined to think he was killed.
On another occasion, Joe Derham told us about his secretary, who had died while working in his office. She had left a will, requesting that her body be cremated, and that the ashes should be dropped from an airplane over the Golden Gate Bridge. Joe rented a little plane to take her ashes up to be dropped over the ocean. He saw that the ashes were in a little cardboard box, and he became curious as to what the ashes looked like. To his surprise, he found that they were really little pieces of bone or gravel. Joe was afraid that if he emptied the ashes from the window of the plane, they would hit the wooden propeller behind him. He realized that if this should happen, the propeller could sustain damage and be thrown out of balance. For some time he pondered his dilemma as he flew around. He then decided that he could bank the plane over on one wing, open the door, and shove the whole box out: thus missing the propeller. He cocked the plane on one wing and attempted to push the door open. Of course, the wind pressure kept blowing it shut. Joe finally did succeed in getting the door open; and as he pushed his hand out with the box of ashes, the wind blew the door shut, catching his hand; and he couldn’t get his hand back inside to work the controls. So he flew over the Golden Gate Bridge with his plane in a steep turn, and every time he tried to pull his hand inside, he only pulled off a little more skin. He finally freed himself, but he carried to his death, deep scars on his hand. Joe Derham used to laugh about the incident and say that he knew the girl wanted her ashes dropped into the Golden Gate; but he didn’t know he was supposed to accompany the ashes!

Joe Derham had a wealthy friend, Metzer, who lived in San Francisco, California, where he was a lawyer and businessman. These two friends got hold of a third friend one day and decided to buy a good sized motor launch for parties, fishing, and sailing around the California coast. They came up with an idea: each of the three would buy one-third of the boat, and each would pay one-third for the upkeep. Joe was requested to draw up the legal papers that would show the ownership and duties of the three partners. In due time, Joe Derham prepared a legitimate agreement and called Metzer to see if he could sign the papers. Metzer said that he was too busy to see Joe that day. Joe Derham, ever the practical joker, thought that he would play a joke on Metzer. He drew up an agreement. The first page looked legitimate, with three parties owning the boat. However, on the second page, the agreement indicated that each of the parties owned one-third of the boat. It stipulated that Metzer was to furnish the full purchase price, that Metzer was to pay for all insurance, repairs, taxes, and dock fees; and that if at any time either Joe or the other partner were entertaining friends on the yacht, Metzer was to put on a proper uniform to serve cocktails and the meal, after which Metzer was to wash the dishes and tidy up the craft. Further, that Metzer was to salute the other two partners and, outside of serving drinks and food, was to stay out of sight downstairs. On the next day, Derham took the agreement and a copy to Metzer’s office. Metzer said he was very busy, but would just have time to sign the papers. Joe gave the crazy agreement to Metzer, who just glanced at the first page, turned to the last page, and signed it. He asked Joe to leave him a copy, which Joe Derham did. Sometime the next morning, Joe received a phone call from Metzer, who had hit the ceiling when he read the agreement. He said he had never read such an ungodly thing in his life! It would seem that this would be enough to cause Metzer to sever his relationship with Joe Derham, but it wasn’t.
A short time later, Metzer bought an airplane and told Derham he could fly it once in awhile. One day Joe took it up. The engine quit. Joe came down in a hayfield and hit a stack of hay and pretty well wrecked the plane. A few days later, Joe had still not told Metzer about the accident. He picked up Metzer in his car and said he wanted Metzer to see what he had done to his plane. Well, Metzer thought Joe meant he had painted it or re-varnished it, or put carpet in it. You can imagine his surprise then when Joe Derham pulled into the hay field and pointed to the wreckage, telling Metzer that he could see for himself what he had done to Metzer’s plane.
In his early days of law practice in San Francisco, Joe Derham’s office was on the second floor of a building across the street from a grocery store, run by a little Italian man. Sometimes, to carry on his practical jokes, if he looked out the window and saw the Italian was busy with two or three customers, Joe would pick up the phone and call the grocery store. When the man left his customers to answer the phone, of course Joe would see him, and, disguising his voice, would say that he wanted to order a case of peaches, ten pounds of salami, twelve loaves of rye bread, a case of big ripe olives, some melons, various jellies, two or three cases of champagne, and all the time, the groceryman would be signaling to his customers that he would be off the phone in a minute. Pretty soon, Joe, having given an order for two or three hundred dollars, would pause, and the Italian would ask, “Who is calling, and where shall I deliver it?” Joe said, “I don’t think you understand me. I will repeat the order.” He would then go through the whole order again, and then pause; and again the little Italian would ask, “Who is calling, where shall I deliver this?” And once again Joe would say, “I guess you don’t understand. I will repeat the order.” This would go on until the Italian man would slam down the phone and come screaming out onto the sidewalk, practically scaring his legitimate customers to death.

Joe Derham was seldom at a loss for words, but at one time he was at a loss for money and other articles too numerous to mention. It came about in this way. Joe was sent from Wright Field with some secret documents to be delivered to the War Department in Washington, D.C. Joe left Dayton on a railroad train; and about half-way to Washington, this train was broken into parts: one proceeding to New York City; the other half going to Washington, D.C. Joe had removed his blouse and cap, placing them on the seat. He put the secret papers in his suitcase, placing it under his hat and blouse. Of course, secret documents are not to be left lying around in this fashion, but army regulations meant very little to Joe Derham. About dinner time, Joe decided to go up to the club car and have a highball. While in the club car, he met some men playing poker; and between highballs and trying to fill an inside straight, he didn’t realize that the train had been broken in two and that he was sailing along for New York City without his suitcase, the secret documents, and his blouse and his cap. In addition, he ran out of money to his new found friends; and he gave them a check to cover his losses in the game—and he had no money in the bank to take care of the check!
The next morning I got a telegram from Joe Derham to go to the bank in Dayton, Ohio, and put in enough money to cover his check, which I did, and later learned that Derham arrived in New York City, charmed some of the railroad officials (I’ll bet they were ladies!), and they located his suitcase with the secret documents, his blouse and cap. So Joe went sailing, sans hat, blouse, briefcase, and papers to Washington, D.C., got things assembled, and entered the War Department with all the grace and dignity of a foreign envoy. The average officer would have been scared to death; but to Joe Derham, it was merely an unfortunate incident in his everyday life.
I recall another time that one of Derham’s stories backfired on him. He and I had been invited to the Cole home on another occasion. Mr. Cole asked me if I cared for a drink and I said, “Certainly.” He turned to Joe and said, “Major Derham, can I get something for you?” And Joe, in that haughty British clipped accent he often used, said, “Thank you, sir, but I never touch the stuff, but you folks go right ahead. I haven’t touched the stuff for years and I don’t intend to start at this time.” Now why Derham made such a crazy statement, I do not know, because he loved his schnapps as much as anyone. It was just one of those Joe Derham quirks. The result was that Mr. Cole and I had two or three nice highballs; and Joe conversed with Mrs. Cole and the rest of the family.
Several weeks later, Ohio State was playing one of its big football games. Mr. Cole invited Joe Derham and me to be his guests at the game with him and his wife. It seemed that I had to come back to Kansas, so it was Derham only who went to the football game at Columbus, Ohio, as a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Cole. It was a bitterly cold day: freezing and snowing. It was just about as miserable to sit in those stands as you can imagine. Mr. Cole, from time to time, would reach into a bag and pull out some little bottles of whiskey, break them open, and hand one to his wife and take another. They never offered one to Joe Derham because they didn’t want to offend him. Joe later said, “My God, I never sat through such cold and suffering in all my life, and what was I to do?” This story about Joe Derham fencing himself in and penning himself into a corner, as it were, gave Bob Wheat more enjoyment than anything I can remember.
I received my private pilot’s license while at Dayton, Ohio, and I did a lot of flying with Bob Wheat; and in addition to Wheat, I flew with Captain Quindrey a great deal. I also made one flight to Cincinnati and back with Colonel McPike. In fact, the first military aircraft I had the opportunity to fly was through the courtesy of Colonel McPike. He was getting in some flying time, and asked me if I wanted to ride with him to Cincinnati, saying, “I’ll fly it down and you can fly it back.” That was my first experience in flying!

On July 26, 1941, Captain Quindrey was a lawyer from Chicago, who had been a reserve officer. He had been recalled to do contract work at Wright Field. He was a pretty good pilot and took me on a few flights (most of them local rides), usually in a basic trainer. This was just simple flying plus a few acrobatics. But most of my flying, particularly on cross-countries at that time, took place with R. H. Wheat, or “Bob Wheat” as we called him. Wheat had been a pilot in the first World War. He received his wings at that time but had never gone overseas. He’d kept up his flying technique as a reserve officer; and came back to Wright Field in the summer of 1941 at about the same time that I arrived. Bob Wheat and I did a lot of flying together. We made trips to Miami, Florida; to Cincinnati, Ohio; to St. Louis, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Ponca City, Oklahoma; and many other places. I think we enjoyed each other’s company. I learned a great deal about flying, particularly combat flying, from Bob Wheat. Most of his flying had been contact work. During the summer and fall of 1941, he spent a lot of time in the Link Trainer, learning to fly the beam. He urged me to pick that type of work. I did quite a bit of work in the Link Trainer to get an idea of instrument flying.
One day in the fall of 1941, the B-19 was coming in to Wright Field. (Now the B-19 is not to be confused with the B-29, the airplane that carried on the bombing work in Japan.)
The B-19 was the result of some experimental work. The Air Force wanted to see if some company could make a big heavy landing gear that would support a heavy bomber. A large landing gear was made! They also wanted to see if any company could make large tires. The tires on the B-19 were something like eight feet in diameter. They also wanted to see about the frame. Inasmuch as contracts were out for these various parts, someone suggested that they might as well build a complete airplane! So the B-19 was constructed out in California and then flown back to Wright Field after several stops. When it arrived at Wright Field, it appeared to be the largest thing I had ever seen in the way of aircraft; and I suppose at that time, it was the largest! The B-19 circled the field several times before it landed. The pilot was a Major Olmstead, who was stationed at Wright Field, and I later became pretty well acquainted with him. The plane was not a particularly stable craft. There were no other B-19s constructed, and I don’t know what became of this plane. It might later have been put in the Air Force museum.
In the fall of 1941 there were no runways at Wright Field: airplanes landed on the sod. As aircraft were purchased, this posed a problem; particularly for bombers, which were heavier and had to land faster. After a heavy rain the heavier planes would land on the grass, which would be rather “soppy,” and even if brakes were applied, the planes would keep on sliding. Some of them slid for almost half a mile; some crashed through the retaining fence.
Construction of the first runway at Wright Field was started in late 1941. At this time the best fighter that we had any quantity of was the P-40. The bomber that was still on deck was the B-18, a modification of the DC-3 (sometimes called a C-47). The modification consisted of a bomb bay for bombing work. There were several B-18s around Wright Field; consequently, I had the opportunity to get in some flying time on them.
                                                      The Kentucky Derby.

One of the most interesting events of the time I spent at Wright Field was the occasion when Bob Wheat and I flew down to see the Kentucky Derby in the spring of 1942. Some well-to-do family had a son who was about to be drafted into the service. They evidently figured that both of us, being Lieutenant Colonels, had enough rank to get their son a good assignment in the Air Force. Of course, neither of us had any such influence, but Bob Wheat was not the kind of fellow to tell some rich patron that he was without influence. In any event, we received an invitation to come down to Louisville, Kentucky, and enjoy the hospitality of this millionaire executive. They had a box seat in the grandstand, and they wanted us to be their guests. Bob and I flew down from Dayton, which was just a hop, and landed a little before noon. Bob called the home of our host and requested transportation. Our host sent his chauffeured car for us and we were taken to his home. His other guests had evidently had a pre-Derby party that had lasted all night; and they were just getting up and eating breakfast. As they were eating breakfast, Bob and I enjoyed a good lunch.
There were several motion picture persons there. The only one whose name I now recall, was a Miss DeCarlo. After Bob and I had eaten, he wanted to spend some time playing the piano and drinking mint juleps; I wanted to go watch some of the races that would start at two o’clock: a serious social error on my part because none of the social set of Louisville went out to the track to watch the races on Derby Day, except for the final race itself. It was just not the thing to do; but I didn’t know better. And if I had known better, I still would have insisted that I wanted to go to the track and watch the races! As a result, I got the chauffeur to drive me out to the race track about 2:00 p.m. The others said that they would be out in time for the final race.
Before I left Wright Field, some junior officer gave me a list of horses in each race that he wanted me to make bets for him; and I arrived at the track with a handful of money he had given me to wager on and a list of horses he wanted me to bet on. I didn’t know that I could place the bets for him from the box seat in the grandstand. I placed his bet on the first race, and then went back to the box to watch the race. It may surprise you to know that our host had the main box directly under the finish line and about fifteen feet back from the track itself. I was the only occupant of this large reserved box until Derby time. Directly in front of me was a box occupied by at least two, possibly three typical genuine Kentucky Colonels. They had white hair, were in their late seventies, and they had the bearing and appearance of real horsemen. As I sat in this box, waiting for the first race to begin, I began to think that if this junior officer—a student of the racing sheets, which gave all of the odds on the various horses, had enough ability to pick some winners for himself, that I might as well “lay a few quid” on the horses of his choice. I went back to the window and laid down my money on the same horses he had picked for himself; and then I returned to the grandstand box. The first race was a close finish; but the choice of the junior officer, and the horse that I had also bet on, came in the winner.

I went back to the window and collected a handful of money; and then placed bets on the second race in accordance with the directions of the junior officer. I also bought a mint julep to celebrate my first winning at a Kentucky Derby, and then went back to watch the second race. The Kentucky Colonels sitting ahead of me had also placed bets on the first race and lost them all. I couldn’t avoid hearing them discussing the bloodlines, different training systems, and an explanation on their part of why the stable they had picked had been a loser. The second race came on. Once again, the horse that the junior officer had picked, came in a winner. Once again, I went to the window and collected a handful of winnings. I laid bets on the next race as directed by the junior officer. You may not believe it, but the junior officer had picked the winners without a single loser in the first four races. By that time I had my coat pockets pretty well filled with small bills. By this time, the Kentucky Colonels in front of me were discussing pedigrees, bloodlines, and various stables that they had bet on, and lost.
At this moment I did one of the rudest things that any human being can do to a real horse lover, and it’s a wonder that I escaped with my life. As the Kentucky Colonels were discussing horses that they had known and studied for years, I leaned over my box seat and thrust my head in their midst, and said, “Gentlemen, I see you are having difficulty with your wagers this afternoon.” They looked a little shocked because I had never been introduced to them; but they listened as I continued, “Now, gentlemen, if I may be permitted to make a suggestion, I think that your trouble is, that you are betting on horses by reason of their ancestors and the colors of the big stables the horses belong to, and you’ve lost every race. Now, gentlemen, I don’t know one stable from another, or who was the sire or the grandpa of any of these horses, but I do know horseflesh, and when these horses come out, I study them as to what I think the winning horse should be in the way of easy going, strength, and past records that will make him a winner today, and as you can see, I’ve picked a winner every race so far.” Of course, if I had been modest, I would have least mentioned that the junior officer back at Wright Field had successfully picked the winners, but this was no time to be modest. So I continued, “Now, if I can assist you in making wagers on the next race, and help you pick a true thoroughbred from the way he looks and acts and not the color of the silks the jockey is wearing, I shall be glad to do so.” Then I relaxed in the grandstand box and waited for their reply. Not a one of them attempted to kill me! They sat there in stony silence. I haven’t, to this day, received any communication (oral or written) from any of them.
The junior officer picked the winners of every race that day except two. And not knowing I could have placed the bets from the box, as I said before, I was busy placing bets and watching the races, and cashing in winners’ tickets. Our host arrived about twenty minutes before the final race, whereupon everyone was in glad rags, and really came not to look at the race but to be seen by others of their set. After the race, we went down to the area where our limousine was parked and found that all the chauffeurs, against all rules and regulations, had found some spot under the grandstand, where they sold whiskey. All were drunk! Our chauffeur was asleep. Eventually, someone did find our chauffeur, and we all gathered back at the home of our host, where we had a delightful dinner. I have forgotten the name of our host, and I don’t know if his son ever got in the service; but as a result of his hospitality, Bob Wheat and I thoroughly enjoyed the Kentucky Derby of 1942.
                                                      The Outbreak of War.

On December 7, 1941, Joe Derham and I had been working at Wright Field, and early in the afternoon we started back into the city. As we were driving back into Dayton, Ohio, the news came over the radio that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. Joe looked at me and said, “Now that’s a fine statement for some nitwit at the radio station to put out. You know that the Japs are not bombing Pearl Harbor, and some nitwit is just trying to get people all excited.” But, be that as it may, we turned around and drove back to Wright Field and in a very short time, things were in pretty much of a hustle and bustle as officers came in from all over Dayton and the surrounding territory to find out what the true situation was. By the evening of December 7, 1941, it was apparent that we had suffered a major disaster at Pearl Harbor. Joe Derham was acquainted with a gentleman, whose name I don’t recall, who was the father of the captain of the battleship Arizona. On the evening of December 8th, Joe had invited this gentleman up to our penthouse and was cooking a steak dinner for the three of us. Up until that evening, the defense department had been rather reluctant to give out the names of the ships that were lost. They felt that such information would be of aid and comfort to the enemy. This gentleman was saying that his son was the captain of the Arizona, and that he had not heard anything about the Arizona, and that he just assumed that the battleship had been able to get out of Pearl Harbor and had not sunk. I’ll never forget that he had scarcely gotten the words out of his mouth, when over the radio came a statement that the battleship Arizona had been hit, a terrific explosion had occurred, and that the ship with the captain and hundreds of officers and sailors had gone down.
Up until this time, we, in the contract section, had spent most of our time with work concerning the purchases of our fighters that were later to give such a great account of themselves, namely the P-38, the P-47, and the P-51, and the bombers that brought both Germany and Japan to their knees, namely the B-17, the B-24, the B-25, and the B-29. From now on, a large part of the work would be to use these fighters and bombers and to get the production lines rolling in earnest.
I met with men who represented General Motors, Lockheed, Vega, Rolls Royce, Douglas, Consolidated, and others. And almost without exception, they were patriotic and had an intense desire to get the material to the members of the Air Force to use. By and large, it was a pleasure to see the all out effort that industry put into winning the war.
        I Buy the Port of Newark and the Newark Airport for the Sum of One Dollar.
During World War I, all the guns, ammunition, troops, and equipment of every kind that reached the other shores went by ship. The United States developed the port of Newark, New Jersey, as a port of embarkation for a lot of equipment and personnel; also, they had underway, the construction of the Newark Airport. When World War I was concluded, the United States Government gave a deed of the port of Newark and the Newark Airport to the city of Newark, New Jersey. There was a provision in the deed, that if within a certain number of years—either twenty or twenty-five—this country should become engaged in war, the United States Government, upon payment of one dollar to the city of Newark, would have this airport and the port of Newark, reconveyed to the United States Government. In the fall of 1941, I think Pan American had several flying boats that they used to get across the Atlantic; and once in awhile some daredevil would make the jump across the Atlantic. No military aircraft was able to make that jump at that time! Therefore, the idea was that, of all these airplanes that were being manufactured, the best way to get them to Europe would be to fly them to the Newark Airport, then remove the wings, put them aboard ship at the port of Newark, and ship them overseas; then refit them for flying duty. With this plan in mind, it became necessary to get the airport and the port of Newark back from the city officials.

At this time, Boss Hague, who was supposed to have proclaimed, “I AM THE LAW,” was the real power in New Jersey politics. I was sent there to see if they would have any objections to turning the airport and the port back to the government for one dollar. You can well imagine that they had some serious objections. The Newark Airport was worth probably two hundred and fifty million dollars, and the port of Newark perhaps a similar sum. I went down to the port and went through all the warehouses. They were filled with materials, machinery, supplies, food, etc. I think that at that time, the busiest airport in the United States was the Newark Airport. At least it was one of the busiest. The city officials had another pretty good argument, to wit: that at that time, Pearl Harbor had not occurred and they claimed that the United States was not engaged in war; and that the contingency that must occur before they were under duty to resell these valuable properties to the United States government had not occurred. However, to make a long story short, after an appeal to their patriotism to give them an easy way out along with a number of threats as to what the government could and would do if there was any objection, the port and the airport were turned over to the United States Government.
One fortunate thing occurred however. We soon found out that a large number of the fighter planes could make the flight across the Atlantic under their own power. We further found out that there was no use denying commercial airlines the right to use the Newark Airport; and that we could start our flights across the Atlantic from other airports that suited our needs much better. There was no particular need to oust everyone from the port of Newark because the shipping could well be handled from other ports. As a result, we escaped a lot of friction and unpleasant associations. But it was a high point of my career there at Wright Field, to be sent with a one dollar bill to take over a property that was probably worth five hundred million dollars total.
                                                      I Leave Wright Field.
With the advent of war, things changed considerably at Wright Field. Almost daily, there would be groups of British officers coming in; others would come in from South American countries. Flights were leaving Wright Field with officers for the “U.K.,” as we called the United Kingdom. The wearing of the uniform at work, that had been optional before December 7, 1941, was rescinded, and it became mandatory to appear in uniform.
It seemed that dozens of people now wanted to get into the Air Force, and many of them came to Wright Field. I was able to get a number of them into the Air Force: my friends, Bruce Jordan, of Arkansas City, and former congressman Harold McGugin of Coffeyville.
There were others: Ted Finefrock, Ray Hudson, Wayne Richards, and Claude DeFord (all from Arkansas City, Kansas); and Messrs. Johnson, a banker, and Smith, a clothing man (both from Ponca City, Oklahoma). There were many others, whose names I cannot recall.

The last thing I wanted to do was to spend the entire period of fighting in the center of the United States in a comparatively safe airport. I wanted to get into combat and go where the action was. One day in the spring of 1942, I heard that a new command was being formed at Wright Field. As I recall, it was to be called the “Transport Command,” and was to be headed by General Frank Borum, who had been an Oklahoma boy. He felt there would be a great demand for transports to carry both personnel and air materiel throughout the world, including combat zones. I got in touch with General Borum. He was very gracious, and told me that he had a place for me in his new command, providing I could get a release from Colonel Shaw. Now, Colonel Shaw had been good to me. He had been instrumental in getting me into the Air Force, and I owed him my allegiance. I laid the proposition frankly and fully before him, telling him that I appreciated all that he had done for me, and assured him that I could get some good men to take my place there in the office. I then requested that he release me inasmuch as I had the opportunity to go with General Borum and start a new command. Colonel Shaw said he would consider my request. About this time a fortuitous thing occurred. Senator Clyde M. Reed had a son-in-law by the name of Don Mitchell, who wanted to get into the service. Senator Reed contacted me; and I got Don Mitchell, who was a lawyer at Wichita, Kansas, at that time, to come to Wright Field. He had experience in contract work; and it appeared that he could pick up the odds and ends from my office and go ahead with them. I was able to get Colonel Shaw, who later became a General, to give me a release; I went with General Borum to form his new command.
It soon became apparent that General Borum had an assignment that was desired by a great many other officers, and I expect that some pressure was brought to bear on him. In any event, the so-called embryo Transport Command was split into two parts. One became the “Air Transport Command,”under the administration of General Smith of American Air Lines; and the combat end was renamed “Troop Carrier Command,” the command I started out with upon leaving Wright Field in the spring of 1942.
It was a lucky thing that I went with the “Troop Carrier Command.” The airplanes, of course, were mostly the DC-3—in use everywhere by the airlines. The pilots who were recalled back into active duty were mostly skilled transport pilots, who had a little age and experience on them. I learned a great deal about flying from these veteran commercial pilots.
In a very short time after organizing the “Troop Carrier Command,” General Borum was sent to England. He was put in charge of the troop carrier operations overseas, and the headquarters of the command were formally inaugurated at Indianapolis, Indiana, at Stout Field. Colonel Reed Landis became the commander of the entire “Troop Carrier Command,” a command that should require at least a Major General and perhaps a Lieutenant General in rank, to command the same. Colonel Landis had been a pilot in World War I. He had knocked down quite a few Germans in that war, and had a distinguished record as a fighter pilot. (His father was the federal judge who fined the Standard Oil Company some years before for twenty-five million dollars, and later became the commissioner of baseball.)
For some reason that I have never been able to learn, Colonel Landis must have been in bad somewhere with the powers of the Pentagon. He had never received a promotion, and had never received his star. This was a bad thing for his entire command because officers serving under him knew they were blocked for any further promotion.
When I left Wright Field to go on active duty with the “Troop Carrier Command,” my first orders were to proceed to Camp Williams, Camp Douglass, Wisconsin. This was a National Guard airfield in Wisconsin. I proceed there and found a nucleus of Air Force personnel and the flight line was something almost amusing to behold. Transport planes for the use of the Troop Carrier Command! The Air Force had requisitioned airplanes from the commercial airlines. Along in 1941, the commercial airlines had tried putting on sleeper planes—the finest and most expensive—but they were not money-makers for the airlines. There was not as much traffic on airlines as there is now. People had a reluctance to get on an airplane and go to bed: they felt it was safer to sit up and have a chance to jump or get out.

Anyhow, the sleeper planes, while beautiful inside, were not making money. When the government requested the airlines to surrender some of their planes, most of them turned over their sleeper planes to the Air Force for the “Troop Carrier Command,” and these airplanes had been flown directly to the Troop Carrier bases. The base in Wisconsin had a flight line with airplanes of the Air Force marked TWA, United, American, or some other airlines insignia. And, remarkable as it may seem, there were numerous pilots recalled back into the Air Force for active duty. They would walk out onto the flight line and find the same planes that they had flown two days before on commercial airlines. Of course, it wasn’t long before the beautiful interiors of those luxurious airliners were cleaned out and replaced with bucket seats for the airborne infantry; and the airplanes with their markings of TWA, United, etc., soon had a coat of paint that marked them as part of the Air Force.
It was about this time that Bob Wheat got in touch with me, saying that he wanted to leave Wright Field and get in the “Troop Carrier Command.” I succeeded in effecting this change. I also got a call from McGugin, who had completed his course at the Adjutant General school, and soon he was one of the officers in the Inspector General’s department.
Upon my arrival at Camp Williams, I was assigned as an intelligence officer with the fiftieth wing. At that time I received a promotion, and was now a lieutenant-colonel, and had time to continue work on flying. I did quite a bit of flying in DC-3s, gradually getting more experience with the them. There was a young man at Camp Williams, who was an expert pilot of primary trainers: the old Stearman biplanes. He took me up and spent a good many hours showing me all sorts of acrobatics, inverted flying, and really precision work. It wasn’t just enough to take an airplane and spin it one-half or two and a half times: he insisted that one had to come right out on the money and that every maneuver had to be crisp and clean. He was an excellent pilot and gave me a lot of good training.
After I had been at Camp Williams about a month, Maybin and the children came up to visit me. I recall that one evening we were out from the base about five or six miles, driving along and enjoying the Wisconsin countryside. It was a beautiful evening. We stopped the car to observe some DC-3s flying around near us. Maybin asked me if I was doing any flying. I said I was, and assured her that she should not be worried, as there was no danger. I hadn’t any more than gotten the words out of my mouth when a couple of DC-3s flying in formation, made a sharp turn, and collided. Ailerons were sheared off one plane; and it came spinning down, a couple of yards in front of our car, killing those on board. Maybin didn’t say anything, I didn’t either!

When a new command is formed, they not only have to get new personnel but airplanes and equipment. They also have to get bases to operate from and to train the command. Thus it was with the “Troop Carrier Command.” I was called in one day and asked if I would like to go down to Warrensburg, Missouri, and open up what, at that time, was to be called the Sedalia Glider Base, which was a Troop Carrier base. It so happened that Bob Wheat was to be assigned to that base a little later on, and I said that I would be very happy to go down and see if I could get that base open and running. So it was, that I left the Fiftieth Wing of the “Troop Carrier Command,” and went down to Warrensburg, Missouri, to take over the Sedalia Army Glider Base. Now the name and destination were all haywire! To begin with, the actual base was just outside of a little town in Missouri named Knobnoster, and we got our mail at Warrensburg. The base was not at Sedalia! It was not an army base but it was an Army Air Force Base, not a glider base! It was a “Troop Carrier Base” at Knobnoster, Missouri; but we did get our mail through Warrensburg, so the base was often called the Warrensburg Troop Carrier Base.
When I arrived at the Warrensburg base in the late summer of 1942, the runways were just being completed and barracks were still being constructed, and there was no active training going on. We went to work and made a layout of the various things we would need and recruited personnel. Before long Colonel Wheat arrived. He outranked me a little, so he became the commanding officer and I became his executive officer, and that relationship continued for some four or five months before I was assigned as the Base Commander at Grenada, Mississippi.
Warrensburg, Missouri, was a delightful place to serve. The people really had genuine southern hospitality; and I made many friends there. The Bill Cheatham family that was in the banking business became very near and dear friends of mine.
Quite often I met people in Warrensburg, Missouri, who knew of the train wreck that my parents, sister, and I had been in at Warrensburg in 1904, when we were on our way to the World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was strange to find people remembering that wreck thirty or forty years later.
Bill Cheatham tried numerous times to get into the service; but he had trouble with his lungs and could not pass a physical examination. It made no difference: wherever I went after I left Warrensburg, Bill Cheatham would come along and help as a civilian in connection with the running of an air base. The same was true of Wilfred Johnson of Ponca City, Oklahoma. He, too, tried to get into the Air Force, and could not do so, but he too, followed me around. He and Bill Cheatham were of tremendous help. The same is true of Ray Hudson, an expert mechanic. We could put him in charge of the motor pool, and forget it, because he knew how to handle men and how to see that vehicles were properly maintained.
I was forty-four years old when I got my wings. Many people wondered how a person that old could possibly have passed the various physical requirements and the flying and written tests to get on flying status. The answer: I had always been active and played polo, golf, and swam a lot. I had my private pilot’s license, and I constantly flew with anybody who would let me get into an airplane with them around Wright Field, Camp Williams, or back at the base at Warrensburg, or anywhere else.
To command Air Force groups or bases, it was necessary to be a pilot and on flying status. I had a pretty good knowledge of aircraft and passed the test without any trouble. I might add that there were several officers—instrumental in giving me flying tests—who were in hopes that I wouldn’t pass! They had their minds set on trying to get in charge of a base or a flying group; and they figured that if they eliminated Mr. Walker, their chances were that much better. These petty jealousies I took in stride, and Bob Wheat gave me the opportunity to go ahead. I went to Patterson Field to take the physical; and then I went to Randolph Field and took the same test that any young cadet would have taken. After that, I went to Washington, D.C., and took quite a lengthy written examination and was awarded my wings. Then I was on a route where I could command flying units or flight bases.

During the time I was at Warrensburg, M. C. Brown, who ran a restaurant in Winfield, Kansas, contacted me. He wanted to join me and do any kind of work that I could give him on the air base. So I told him to come ahead. I put he and his wife to work in the Officers’ Club. He tended bar, made sandwiches, cooked hamburgers, etc. His wife, a nice appearing lady, who was very experienced, acted as cashier. (When I left Warrensburg and went to Mississippi, they wanted to go there, but I told them not to. However, when I later went to Alliance, Nebraska, and took over one of the large bases there, they again worked in the Officers’ Club at that location and were of immense help to me.)
In the fall of 1942, while I was at Warrensburg, I was called in to the “Troop Carrier Command” at Indianapolis, and asked if I would like to take over a new base being opened at Grenada, Mississippi. I said that would be just fine with me, so I was transferred to Grenada as base commander of the “Troop Carrier Command” in the fall of 1942.
                                                       Southern Hospitality.
When I arrived at Grenada, the base had not yet been completed. Some of the runways had been constructed, but proved defective because of the water level causing the runway of blacktop to buckle and get out of shape. The contractor had picked out the poorest quality of lumber. It was green! When nailed up and dried, cracks appeared that you could throw a cat through. Grenada was not a well constructed base!
Fortunately, excepting for a short period each winter, the weather was fairly warm each year. At first, I stayed at the hotel. As soon as I could, I found a house to rent, which belonged to a local banker, who was going to another town to take charge of another bank. He showed me his home and said that with the exception of their silverware and perhaps some of their good china, the rest of the furniture would be left in the house. He took me down into the basement and showed me a pile of coal. He said it was about two or three tons, and offered to sell it to me for $10 or $12 a ton, so I bought that. I made arrangements to move into the house. When I did, I found that he had taken all the furniture and bedding, leaving just a few cheap little knives and forks. I had to bring in army cots to sleep on. I soon abandoned any hope of trying to cook. In two or three weeks, I was out of coal. I called the coal company to order some coal and they asked me how much I wanted. I said, “Well, I’d better have three or four tons.” They said, “You can’t get that much in those coal bins.” I think they brought a ton of coal, and that overflowed the bin. Then I realized that I had been rather mistreated by the man who rented me his house!
I will never forget when he came over to collect the rent the first time. I didn’t gripe any, I just paid him and decided I would get out of the house as soon as I could. While visiting with him, he told me about how he would sign up for a large number of bonds, to get his name on the Honor Roll of the city as a patriotic citizen; and then immediately sell the bonds through the bank. I had always heard of southern hospitality, but I never experienced any of it in Grenada, Mississippi.

There was a large army camp near the city and the people knew what army privates and sergeants drew, to the penny. They charged everything that the traffic would bear! They had one practice that I thought was detestable. They would require a soldier to pay either ten or twenty-five cents to cash his government check. I learned that there were some government employees in charge of the Post Exchange, who took in government checks. They, in turn, had to cash them and balance their books, so they were suffering a daily loss. I went to see the two banks in Grenada, and asked them to excuse these men from being penalized in connection with the operation of their end of government business. The bankers just hemmed and hawed and wouldn’t give me any satisfaction. They had a pretty good racket going for themselves, the way they were working it!
Any commanding officer of a base or unit that learns his troops are being imposed upon by saloons, prostitutes, or others, can declare the area off limits. So I just declared these two banks in Grenada “off limits.” We then started a different procedure. We would take the cash from our operations on the air base and I would send three jeeps (a lead jeep with a couple of men with pistols; a middle jeep with the cash; and a third jeep with more men and pistols) to the bank at Greenwood, Mississippi. This caused quite a stir and a great many lifted eyebrows. I stayed by my guns, and pretty soon the Grenada banks decided that maybe, just maybe, they could survive by taking off this charge of ten or twenty-five cents a government check, for the privilege of cashing it.
Shortly after the Christmas season in the early spring of 1943, I was back at Wright Field getting some equipment for the base at Grenada, Mississippi. I started to fly back, when I received word to land at Stout Field, which was headquarters for the “Troop Carrier Command.” I landed there and went up to see the Commanding Officer. He said that the biggest base the Command had was at Alliance, Nebraska. It was also the most complicated to run inasmuch as the Air Force had to run the base, but they had to share a lot of the buildings and operations with the Army. He told me that the former commanding officer had gotten in bad with the civilians, and the place was not in good shape. He wanted to know if I would go to Alliance and take over command of that base. It looked like an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not I had the ability to handle a project of that size; and I said that I would be glad to go to Alliance and take over the base command. I asked him when he wanted me to proceed there. His answer was simply, “Immediately.” Without ever getting back to Grenada, I just filed a new flight plan and proceeded to go from Indianapolis to my home to see my father, who was quite ill, and then proceeded to fly to Alliance, Nebraska.
When I was at Warrensburg, I became acquainted with McDougall. He and I were flying a little twin-engine Cessna 78 that had been issued to me when I was commanding officer at Grenada.

As we neared Alliance, the weather got worse. Shortly before we landed, the air was quite turbulent, causing the plan to bounce. A fire extinguisher was jarred loose from the wall, fell down, and filled the cabin with fumes. McDougall and I both suffered from nausea and inflamed eyes. We had to set down at a point about 100 miles from Alliance when we learned that the Alliance Airport was closed and the wind was blowing snow. We got some people to haul us about twelve or fifteen miles to catch a train into Alliance, arriving there about 2:00 a.m. Upon our arrival in Alliance, I called the Air Base, which sent a car to pick up McDougall and me at the depot, and we arrived there about 3:00 a.m. Instead of going to the usual officer’s quarters, I asked the driver to take us to the hospital. Alliance had a large, 400-bed hospital with a good staff and equipment galore. At the hospital, I asked the nurse if she had some Murine or something of the kind, which could be put in our red, inflamed, and burning eyes. She did so. By this time it was about 3:30 a.m., so we asked her if we could just stay there on one of the cots for the rest of the night. She said we could. I took off my blouse and my khaki shirt, and laid down on a cot with simply a T-shirt for pajamas. There was no sign of rank or insignia visible on my person. I think the same was true of McDougall. It seemed like I had only been asleep for a moment; but it was around 7:30 a.m., when I was awakened by someone violently shaking me. I saw a dark-haired officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel shaking me and giving me a bad time verbally. He wanted to know who McDougall and I were; why we had come into the hospital and had not reported or signed in; and asked what right we had to give the nurse instructions as to the treatment we wanted, etc. Finally, he jerked me up into a sitting position and said, “Who are you, anyhow?” I waited a moment, calmly looked him over, and said, “Colonel, I am your new commanding officer.”
                                                The Alliance Army Air Base.
I never learned the true reason for the location and size of the Alliance Army Air Base. It was far, far larger than the average Army Air Base. It had many square miles as part of the training base, and it had unusually long runways. I know that they were in excess of ten thousand feet; and if I remember correctly, one or two of them were twelve thousand feet, which was unusually long for runways at that time. It may be that the base had originally been constructed with those long runways for heavy bombers (perhaps the B-29s); and perhaps by reason of the cold weather and extreme high winds as well as other factors, the Bomber Command had decided not to take the base.
Be that as it may, as I have mentioned the base covered a huge area. At one place on the base, there had been constructed a German village so that the troops could have actual experience in attacking a town, using all types of fighting equipment—going from street to street and building to building—in simulated warfare. Now, the idea was a good one; but the idea of carrying it out, was a real problem. To begin with, the Army Air Force had a certain budget to work with; and they worked that inside out! The same was true of the Paratroop and Glider Commands. The result: the Air Force didn’t want to use their funds in improving a base that was largely for the benefit of the so-called Army; and the Army didn’t want to use their funds for improving a base that the Air Force was getting some benefit from.

In time it became obvious that with the Germans overrunning France and Holland and the Low Countries, it would be necessary to use paratroops, gliders, glider artillery, and glider infantry. That was the type of training that was eventually assigned to the Alliance Army Air Base. The base had been opened about six or eight months before I arrived. It certainly was in a mess! The commanding officer who had preceded me had gotten cross-threaded not only with the city officials of Alliance but with the newspapers and the public in general. He wouldn’t give out any information to the people of Alliance, Nebraska. He even refused them permission to come on the base. He didn’t provide the newspapers with any news. If any of the Air Force soldiers or personnel went to town and got in a fight or any trouble, this commanding officer would bring them back to the base for punishment, and refused to give any information to city or county officials as to what type of punishment he had meted out. As a result, the people of Alliance and the surrounding area were mad at the personnel at the Air Base. They expressed their displeasure at having soldiers and airmen come to town or even walking on the streets. Further, they wouldn’t permit the boys to go hunting or fishing on their farms or ranches. They didn’t contribute to the USO and other programs of that kind. Morale at the base was down at Alliance Air Force Base when I arrived. Physical structures at the base were in bad shape; the roads had no gravel or oil on them, and there were no sidewalks. The base appeared to consist of simply mud and snow and cold!
I can’t recall the order of sequence of events that I used to change this situation. First of all, I went into the newspaper office of Alliance, Nebraska, and had a long visit with the editor. I told him that he would be given the right to print anything that occurred at the base of interest; and that he would be given the right, as soon as the next of kin were notified, to report on crashes or injuries, being given pictures and all information that it was possible to give him.
Next, I went to the city and county attorneys, and told them that my policy would be that whenever any of the men came in from the air base and had trouble among themselves, such as two soldiers getting in a fight or something of that nature, we would take them back to the base and deal with them. But in the event that any of the people at the base came to town and stole a motor car, got in a fight with a civilian, or anything of that kind, we would turn that individual or individuals over to the state for prosecution as if they were not base personnel. In other words, I said that we weren’t trying to shield anyone and permit the people of Alliance to be abused in any way, shape, or form by our personnel.
I got in touch with a man who had an automobile agency, and made arrangements to start a bus line to run from the base to the city of Alliance, permitting personnel from the base to get back and forth every few minutes.
I got in hold of the Post Engineer and told him to get busy! It was necessary to get the streets drained so that water didn’t stand in them and make mud-holes. I ordered him to make some sidewalks; further, to get some gravel and oil down on the streets to prevent dust the best we could.
Then, I approached the prominent people in the city of Alliance, Nebraska, and before long I got their help in building a fine USO for the use of the soldiers in the city: one for whites and one for blacks. We also started construction on the base for recreation centers for the whites and the blacks. We built bowling alleys, gymnasiums, and night clubs. We got books and libraries. We made the base halfway attractive to the personnel stationed there.
At that time, in the construction of the base, the government had left various types of buildings vacant with the idea that they would at some time make them into day-rooms: splitting them up into areas where there would be a few books, space for writing, either a Victrola or record player, a place to play games such as cards, checkers, etc.

When I arrived at the base, it contained just these bleak vacant buildings. They did not even have any stoves in them! They were dirty, cold, and unused. I decided to change this. I went to some ladies connected with some of the churches in Alliance, and I got a group of five or six of the Methodist ladies, who were active in their church, to view the base and to go into one of these day-rooms. Each room was about 20 feet by 75 feet. Each was just bleak and lonely, with not a thing in it. I said, “Now, ladies, most of you have boys in the service, and they may be in Atlanta, Indianapolis, or San Antonio. I want to tell you, the people in those cities have taken furniture, rugs, books, tables, chairs, games, etc., and have fixed up day-rooms in those places for your sons so that they have someplace to sit down and read, write letters, etc. That prevents them from being driven to go to town and get drunk for recreation. I am appealing to you good women to do the same thing for our boys here that have been done in other cities, and that is, to fix up these day-rooms as best as you can.” Well, those women did a pretty good job! In about a week they had some rugs, some old chairs and tables, and some old books that were sort of thumbed up; but at least it was a start!
Then I went to five or six active women of a different church and took them out, showed them another day-room, giving them the same talk I had given to the first group. Then I told them, “Now I want to show you what the Methodist ladies have done.” I then took them into the day-room that had been furnished by those ladies. I told them very frankly that I knew their church wasn’t as large as the one held by the Methodists and that we couldn’t expect them to fix up anything as nice as the Methodist ladies; but we certainly would appreciate it if they would do the best they could and try to make it look as nice as the first day-room, if at all possible. Of course that was a challenge! I don’t need to tell you that these women came up with a place that looked twice as nice as the first furnished day-room. From these groups I went to the Presbyterians, Catholics, etc. The last one of the day-rooms was furnished by a group that invested around $5,000. They put in a piano, nice reading lamps, chairs, etc. It was really a nice place to be!
I soon realized how inconvenient it was for the men on the base to have to go into the city of Alliance to do any of their banking. I made arrangements to put in a bank, and kept it in operation at the base. We utilized a big, unnecessary building for a bank. I found that down on the flight line, there was no place for a crew to sit down when it came to the base for a short time; neither was there a place where crew members could lie down for a few hours before proceeding on new maneuvers, new flight patterns, etc. So we put in a pilot lounge and equipped it with the finest furniture imaginable that was donated by the people of Alliance. Further, Alliance had a wonderful talented local artist, who did paintings on the walls that were truly beautiful!
We also found out that troops engaged in night flying and doing night duty had no place to get a bite to eat during the night. I had a snack shop put down on the flight line; and another put in the center of the base. At a neighboring base I saw what they called the “elephant train,” which was simply a jeep pulling a long truck (probably fifty feet long) that had little wheels close to the ground: this conveyance circled around and around the base, was easy to step on, and made it possible for people to ride a half mile much quicker than they could walk. We soon had one in operation at the base.
We opened up a good picture show and we overhauled some of the things at the hospital that were causing trouble. Our 400-bed hospital was filled most of the time with men injured in doing glider work and paratroop jumping.
At that time it was required that patients who were walking down the hall, even with a limp or a crutch, must come to rigid attention, and  flatten themselves against the hallway wall whenever commissioned personnel, nurse, doctor, or “what-not,” came along. Well, of course, the fellows who were injured, didn’t care much for snapping to attention. There were times when hospital brass came by; and as a result, they had torn part of the hospital apart. That was a bad situation! We got that foolishness taken care of.

We found out that the crews working at night were not provided with any sheepskin boots or gloves; and that they practically froze to death when outdoors trying to work on the aircraft. So we got these crews good, warm clothing. Alliance, Nebraska, was an extremely cold place. The wind blew a great deal of the time. It was one of the most disagreeable places in the world during a storm that I have ever encountered; and we had plenty of storms!
I found that there were no accommodations for the commanding officer nor for any visiting personnel. A base the size of the one at Alliance, Nebraska, with some 15,000 troops in training, had generals of all kinds coming in to see the status of the training of their troops. I was required to entertain them; and there were just no accommodations! I had my post engineer take a latrine, jerk out the usual objects found in latrines, and fix a bedroom and a living room with a brick fireplace so that my accommodations were pretty good. At that time the people of Alliance would give us anything we asked for; consequently, they were delighted to furnish that little house. I had the use of it; but if there were brass coming in from other places, I would make it available to them, and I would go to the BOQ.
I went to work and got a good non-commissioned officers’ club put into motion, and then built a suitable officers’ club in Alliance. I then had Brownie and his wife come to Alliance. They took charge. We ended up with a good and a delightful club.
We didn’t have much of a dining hall when I got there. I found that among our colored troops, we had a man who had been an experienced waiter on the 20th Century Limited, the old train running between New York and Chicago. He knew how to wait on a table and do it exactly right! We had him train other personnel, so instead of our men eating on dirty, bare wooden tables, we fixed up a nice dining room. We had table cloths! In a short time we had excellent food served to the men: comparable to that in a fine hotel.
After I got some of these things in motion that I have just mentioned, I decided that the headquarters of the base needed to be a bit more respectable. I found a suitable building, which until then, had been used by the finance officers. It was a good weather-proof building, steam heated; and in fact, about the best building on the base. So I moved the finance officers into less distinguished quarters and took over this building, making it the headquarters of the Alliance Army Air Base. It had room for the personnel required to run a base the size of that at Alliance. We were finally able to get many things done.
We had a pretty good sized band. Like many musicians, they were lazy! About all they wanted to do was to get up about noon, have a card game in the afternoon, and then in the evening get permission to leave the base and play somewhere for a dance in some town, all of which was very well, but it just didn’t do much for the morale of the personnel on the base. I insisted that in the evening the band would march up in front of headquarters, where we went through a formal review. Now, that helped morale a bit!
One of the drivers in the motor pool was a man by the name of Dornick, who had been a chauffeur for a wealthy family in Chicago. He had been well taught and well instructed. The motor pool sent him to me to act as my personal driver. Dornick was a genius!
                              I Leave to Get an Outfit That is Headed Overseas.

I enjoyed my command at Alliance, Nebraska. As I look back, I think I did a fairly good job in training a lot of men for an important assignment. The ratings on my efficient report were never less than “Excellent,” and many of them were “Superior,” which is the highest rating you can receive. However, there were two drawbacks in remaining with the “Troop Carrier Command.” The first: that they would keep me training various troops to go overseas; and I felt I had done my share of the training of others, and should be entitled to go overseas myself. The second; there was no chance to get a promotion—and that is an interesting story.
When I first entered the services of the “Troop Carrier Command” as a Lieutenant-Colonel, General Borum was the commanding general. He soon departed for the United Kingdom. He was succeeded by Colonel Reed Landis, a fighter pilot in World War I, son of “Kennesaw Mountain” Landis, the United States District Judge who fined the Standard Oil Company for about twenty-five million dollars, and later became the first Commissioner of Baseball. Reed Landis was never promoted. The command should have been headed by a three-star general; the command I had should have had at least a one-star Brigadier General or normally, a two-star Major General. Promotion of hundreds of officers was blocked due to this abnormal condition: they could never obtain even the rank of Colonel.
In early 1944 I requested an overseas assignment with the “Air Service Command.” I was informed by Colonel W. W. Wood, Assistant Chief, Personnel and Training Division, of that command, headquartered at Patterson Field, Fairfield, Ohio, that there were no openings for officer personnel. I was given the option of taking a station assignment, and taking my chances on an overseas assignment. I soon had a station assignment with this command.
                            The Organization and Training of an Air Force Group.
Very few people have any idea how a new Air Force group is organized or trained. Of course, after a group is organized and trained, there is frequently a change of individual officers and airmen; but someone, at some time, had to organize and train them.
When I arrived at Orlando, Florida, and assumed command of the 23rd Air Depot group, I relieved the officer who had been assigned the group a day or so before. My command consisted of about ten or fifteen officers and a handful of airmen. We attended classes every day for about a month, receiving information about our mission, the type of personnel we would need, and the type of equipment we would have to use. In addition to having to train pilots, navigators, radio officers, and various other specialities, I found out that I would have one large ocean-going ship filled with spare parts for airplanes and engines, with all sorts of welding equipment, lathes, and repair machinery. Further, that I would also have at one or two smaller ocean-going ships that would carry fewer parts in storage and less equipment to do emergency work; and in addition, I would have at least one, and probably more, large ocean-going ships (without engines or sails) which would be towed across the Pacific with a crew of three or four aboard.

Our unit was in charge of training men to repair bullet holes in the metal wings of an airplane—after checking for damage to the electric wiring, hydraulic system, fuel tanks, oil supply lines, etc. We had to train specialists: men who could repair radios, bomb sights, Loran navigators, propellers, landing gear, carburetors, blowers, and some five thousand other items. Before we left Orlando, we had prepared an organization chart breaking down our unit into different components: a headquarters squadron; a repair squadron; a signal corps squadron; a truck squadron; a quartermaster squadron; a supply squadron; and in addition, various units such as the medical personnel, chaplains, finance personnel, intelligence, air police, and so on. In the large organization chart, we had blanks showing the number of men we would need in each category, and their specification number. (In the Air Force and other branches of the military service, every person had a “spec number,” indicating the speciality of that man, and the work he was supposed to be able to do.)
All we needed when we left Orlando, was to find several thousand officers and men who were not rejects, goof-offs, or alcoholics: men who knew how to do a technical job and were willing to do it.
                                               Training at Kelly Field, Texas.
In the Air Force, everyone has heard of Kelly Field, Texas, located at San Antonio. For many years the senators and congressman from the state of Texas saw to it that the big, permanent army bases were located in Texas; and, of course, the Air Force as we know it today, was not really started until after World War II. I first served with what was known then as the “Army Air Corps.” During the war years, it became the “Army Air Force.”
Randolph Field was established at San Antonio, Texas. At that time it was the “West Point” of the air. I took my flight examinations and got my pilot’s wings at Randolph Field. There were one or two other satellite air fields in addition to Kelly Field and Randolph Field. Of course, there were many infantry installations.
The chief income for the merchants in San Antonio came from the military; and the merchants knew exactly the pay that a colonel or a corporal drew. They charged rent for a house or apartment not so much on the quality of the building but on the salary of the rank of the servicemen. I lived in officers’ quarters on the base for some time, and then I rented a house in San Antonio for a time. Maybin and the children came down and stayed for a month or so. Dan got a job on the base, around the restaurant, and he either got his meals free or paid a very low price. He thought he had a wonderful job! Later, I moved in with Captain Parker, who had an apartment in a hotel. I occupied these quarters until we left Kelly Field.
During the four or five months that I was at Kelly Field, our Air Force group ran thousands of men through our unit. By this time we knew that we were going to be handling the B-29s: the biggest and best bombers in the world. We could not afford to have any culls in our organization! We requested that certain specialists be sent to our unit; and to our great disappointment, quite often we found that they were untrained or unfit to do the work required of them.
In addition to our training there at Kelly Field, we had hundreds of our men in training at different technical schools and plants throughout the United States. For example, we would send six men to a plant manufacturing carburetors so that they would become experts in that field; and eight or ten men to a plant making technical navigation equipment, propellers, etc., for the same purpose.
The B-29s were the first pressurized bombers: nothing like them were in use at that time. By late September 1944 we had most of the slots filled in our organization, and our training program was coming along. We received our orders to report at Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
                                          Training at Tinker Field, Oklahoma.

Tinker Field was named after General Tinker, an Osage Indian, raised near Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Tinker had been a fighter pilot. He started to fly a group of B-24 bombers to Hawaii, then on to the battle zone; but his B-24 went down several hundred miles east of Hawaii. We made a search for him along with other aircraft, but found no trace of General Tinker or his crew.
Tinker Field was a well operated base. During most of the time that I was there, a Colonel Mulzer was commanding officer of the base. He had been a pilot for many years, and used to fly Ford Tri-motor airplanes around at fairs and Fourth of July celebrations, hauling passengers. He had a lot of good common sense, which he used in connection with his training. I recall two incidents in connection with his training that still linger in my mind.
I knew that when we got overseas, we would not be able to get building material that is usually available in this country. I think I had eight or ten squadrons with me at Tinker; and I offered a prize to the squadron that could go out to the trash dump at the field, and out of the materials they could pick up, construct a livable hut or headquarters building. To my surprise, although three or four of them were nothing to brag about, out of discarded lumber, iron, and paint they successfully constructed four or five very clever and cute buildings. When he saw these buildings, Colonel Mulzer was elated. He requested that when we left the base, we would give the buildings to the training officer to show what could be done.
Our squadrons had one complaint: my insistence that each of them had to be able to march at least five miles wearing a gas mask. It may sound easy to march for an hour or more wearing a gas mask. If you think so, try it! I had to make the march with each squadron. They had to make the march only once. To my knowledge, very little poison gas was used, if any, but we had to be prepared, just in case.
While I was at Tinker, Janet attended school at Stillwater, Oklahoma, and frequently I would fly over and circle her sorority house. I was able to attend one of the football games; and it was on that occasion that I realized I was having some trouble with Bell’s palsy.
Several things happened while I was carrying on the B-29 training at Tinker that made me feel pretty good. General “Tubby” Miller, our Commanding General, could have sent his son to many different units to serve with; instead, he selected ours as the outstanding one. His son joined our unit and stayed with us until the end of the war. One of the career officers of the Air Force, who served in the Pentagon, sent his son to join our outfit. He stayed with us until the end of the war. I received a promotion from Lieutenant Colonel to a full Colonel, a promotion that I had earned and had been due for several years, which had been denied to me in the “Troop Carrier Command.”
I did lots of flying while at Tinker Field: much of it was instrument flying. It was at Tinker that I received my instrument card as a pilot; also, my certificate as fit for high altitude flying.
We still had groups of men training in schools at different parts of the United States. Another officer and I were given a B-17 to fly around the country and check up on the training of various groups. On one flight we ran into a heavy snow storm near Topeka, Kansas, and had to land there. I called Mr. Arthur Carruth, the brother-in-law of John Boyle, a lawyer at Arkansas City. He invited me and my companion, Lt. Schlegel, to come out to his home, which we did. The blizzard continued until the next day, when we departed.

On another occasion, we set a record for the quickest trip ever made from Oklahoma City to Kansas City and return. We took off from Oklahoma City with a tail wind of about 100 miles per hour, and we got aloft. We stopped at Kansas City to load on a bunch of tires, and then headed back toward Oklahoma City with another tail wind in the opposite direction: faster than the first one we had caught coming up to Kansas City. It was almost unbelievable how fast we made that trip!
When you get ready to take an outfit overseas, there is a world of detail work and red tape you have to do, and every man must take a physical and dental examination. When you have two or three thousand men, and each of them has one or two cavities, you’ve got a lot of dental work. Before leaving, men have to dispose of their personal transportation such as motorcycles and cars, and go home for a visit of about two weeks. In the meantime, various squads of officers come in every day, checking men for their proficiency in their military specialty such as flying or navigating an airplane, and in other areas such as marksmanship, first aid, etc.
At the same time we had to determine how many men would be going overseas in aircraft and how many by boat. We had to pack a world of equipment in water-proof boxes so that the equipment (such as typewriters, adding machines, medical equipment, and the like) wouldn’t be ruined after sitting in a jungle for three or four months.
The Air Force gave very strict orders as to what could not be shipped overseas with the men. Of course, every man wanted to ship his motorcycle, or car, or guitar, or record player, a slot machine or a pinball machine for the company playroom, maybe some whiskey, some footballs, basketballs, etc. We adopted a policy of boxing up the required equipment and then, if there was room left over, we closed our eyes to some of the men shipping or stowing some of their prized possessions. After we got everything boxed and crated, which took tow or three months, we took off for Seattle. There we had to work out an arrangement with the Port Authority to move our equipment and men in a ship that would be the right size, headed for the right destination, and that would be leaving at the right time.
I just mention these things because the average person has no conception of the work involved in sending an outfit overseas. This planning is sometimes called logistics! With good logistics, you have a chance to be victorious; without good logistics, you are liable to suffer a defeat not because your men are not brave or well trained but because someone sent the wrong ammunition for the weapons.
                                                         We Go Overseas.
In the spring of 1945, a railroad train backed into Tinker Field, our equipment and most of the officers and airmen went aboard, and the train headed for Seattle. At that point the officers and men as well as the equipment were loaded aboard a ship: we then headed for an unknown destination in the Pacific. Rumors were always a dime a dozen; and the majority of the rumors were that our outfit would end up at Guam. Other rumors persisted: some people claimed that they had heard from a friend, who had an uncle whose wife worked in the Pentagon, that we would be sent to some other island in the Pacific, etc. I took my key officers and airmen with me by train to San Francisco; then by car to Fairfield-Suisan Air Base at Fairfield, California. At this place we were given a final physical check, instructions on ditching, at-sea survival, and so forth.

On Monday, March 19, 1945, we went aboard an airplane similar to the kind that was used to haul President Roosevelt to various foreign countries. It was known as a C-87. In reality, it was simply a modified B-24 bomber, with the armament removed. We did not know our destination then; but had been issued secret orders to be opened one hour after our departure. Anyone who has ever looked at a map of the Pacific will see that if you go west from California, your first stop would likely be Oahu of the Hawaiian Islands, which is twenty-four hundred miles out into the Pacific.
We had a hard time getting the number four engine started as we took off, and the left gear stuck; but finally, we were air-borne at fifteen-ten. We climbed up seven thousand feet and viewed broken clouds with a heavy blue, smooth sea, below. I went up to the cockpit. The pilot had leveled off the ship and put it on automatic controls: he was playing cards with the co-pilot. On these trips most of the crewmen were civilians and were paid by the government to fly government aircraft, thereby releasing Air Force and Navy pilots for work in the combat zone. This particular ship, in addition to the pilot and co-pilot, had a navigator, a flight engineer, and a radio man as part of the crew.
After we had been airborne a little over an hour, I opened our sealed orders, which directed us to report on arrival, at Hickam Field in Hawaii, to the Commanding General of the United States Air Force in the Pacific ocean area, for our assignment. By eighteen hundred we were all getting cold. We put on heavy clothes and used blankets to keep warm. By twenty-one hundred, the sun—a dull red glow—was going down on the slate-colored sea below. We realized that we were now a little more than half-way across, and estimated that our arrival would occur at twenty-three, thirty, which would be about 3:00 a.m., Pacific time. The pilot was good enough to let me fly for about an hour; going into a small compartment, where they allowed people to smoke. These planes sometimes carried barrels of gas and other flammable material or explosives on board; therefore, a small place was sealed off for smoking purposes.
This was my first flight across the Pacific. I asked the pilot if there wasn’t some out-of-the-way island between California and Hawaii where a plane could land in an emergency; and he said that there was none. He stated that it was about a twenty-four hundred mile jump, and you either made it or went into the sea. We navigated by signals sent out from Navy ships, scattered about two hundred miles apart, from California to Hawaii. We landed at Hickam at twenty-three, thirty, California time. Hickam Field was just as active at three in the morning as in any other hour of the day, with planes coming in and departing. They had excellent facilities for taking care of incoming personnel. They had a free lunch counter, where one could get pineapple juice, orange juice, or coffee; sandwiches or doughnuts; and in addition, there was a good restaurant operating around the clock where one could get a meal if he wished. We got a bite to eat and were then transported to our temporary quarters.
                            We Learn for the First Time Where We Were to Go.
Of course, all of us knew that we had not gone through B-29 training to be assigned to Honolulu; but we were curious to find out where we were assigned. It could be Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Midway, Wake Island, Kwajalein, Johnson Islands, Saipan, Tinian, or perhaps Iwo Jima. At ten hundred, we were escorted in to meet Major General Breene. He greeted us and said that we had a very important, and he thought, what would be an interesting assignment. He said that we were to be stationed in Okinawa. None of us had ever heard of the place!

General Breene pointed to the map, and we discovered that Okinawa almost adjoined the island of Japan, and that the places we had thought where we might be stationed, were really in the “quiet zones.” I think Guam was some eight hundred miles southeast of Okinawa, and it looked very peaceful. We asked General Breene when we would be leaving for Okinawa. His reply wasn’t particularly comforting! He said there would be a delay because the Japanese were in control of the island; and before we could have a United States Air Base there, we were going to kill or move out some one hundred thousand of our “brown brothers.” He said it would be a terrific fight because the island was extremely well fortified. It was a naval training base, where the finest Japanese were trained to be navy officers. He further said that the Japs had forced the natives to dig miles of tunnels under various parts of the island, and it would be some trouble to get them dislodged. He informed us that this island was the last island that Japan was prepared to defend to the death because after Okinawa, the next fighting would be done on the soil of the Japanese homeland.
We were informed by General Breene t hat the battle for Okinawa would probably be underway in about thirty days; and in the meantime, we should confer with the Navy personnel about supplying us with food, ammunition, gas, etc., after we arrived on Okinawa.
The situation in the Pacific at this time needs an explanation. The United States Navy claimed authority over everything in the whole Pacific. The Navy headquarters for the Pacific was in Honolulu. (If someone wanted to build a cottage on the island of Guam or set up a filling station on Wake Island, he had to get permission from the United States Navy.) The Navy was very jealous about its sphere of influence in the Pacific. This brought about some real fights for control in some of the combat zones that left deep scars!
General MacArthur, when he returned to the Philippines, refused to take orders from the Navy; instead, he issued orders to the Navy! General MacArthur’s top Air Force officer was General Kenney. The B-29s had started bombing raids from bases in India and China, and the Navy would have liked to direct the B-29 operations. General MacArthur claimed that he had the responsibility of the land fighting in the Pacific, and that he and General Kenney should control the B-29 operations.
General Mountbatten was in charge of the British operations in India; and he said that the British should have charge of the B-29 operations carried out in India. Chiang Kai-shek was the ruler of China at that time, and he claimed that he should have charge of the B-29s flying out of China. General Stillwell, who was in charge of the flying in China, felt that he should have charge of the B-29s in his area.
The situation got so bad that the 20th Air Force was created. General Arnold was put in charge and made a five-star general, which made him the same rank as MacArthur of the Army and Nimitz of the Navy. The B-29 operations were carried out by the command of General Arnold. They were never turned over to one zone or zone commander. It’s a long story!
Because of this situation we, as Air Force personnel, had to meet with the Navy personnel because our food, medicine, lumber, clothing, ammunition, bulldozers, tractors, and so forth, had to be transported across the ocean; and the Navy was trained to do this. We made arrangements to have items that we needed in a hurry transported by aircraft.


                                                 Some Impressions of Guam.
Guam had been used by the Navy for a number of years before the Japanese captured it at the beginning of World War II. Most of the inhabitants were hard-working people and loyal to the United States. Guam was a lush tropical island with beautiful beaches and plenty of coconuts available. While the fighting on Guam had concluded before we arrived, there were still many Japanese in the jungle who had not surrendered; and frequently, they wounded or killed some of our personnel. As a result, we had to go out to the island fully armed. It was necessary to restrict ourselves to an area that was heavily patrolled.
[In 1972 I read about a Japanese who had been captured that spring on Guam, who had been hiding on the island since 1944.]
The Navy personnel on Guam had good Quonset huts in which to live, while the Air Force men were given makeshift tents. The Navy had big refrigerated bunkers; and they had ham, eggs, milk, steaks, fruit, and vegetables. The Air Force men were fed K-rations; and their water—heavily chlorinated—came from canvas bags. The Navy officers had an officers’ club, where beer and liquor could be bought. They also had Philippine waiters; and at the tables, they used good silver and tablecloths. The Air Force officers ate out of Army mess kits; and played poker in a tent for entertainment.
Now, you would expect me to gripe at the Navy! I felt that it simply showed that the Navy was smarter than the Air Force, and that I should gripe at my own service for not looking after its own personnel better. I soon got acquainted with Navy officers, who invited me to go out to their ships for meals. I would go to a Navy supply store, and get underwear and clothing by simply asking for it.
I tried to get some information where I could get repairs made to my own fleet of aircraft maintenance units and aircraft repair units. I soon learned that the Navy had no love for the Air Force maintaining ocean-going ships. When I asked an old leather-faced Navy officer where I could be able to get repairs for my ships, I got a gruff reply, “Take them to the Air Force dry-docks.” He knew very well that the Air Force had no yards, docks, or dry-docks in which to repair ships; and to make it worse, I knew it too!
                                                        I Return to Hawaii.
While I was at Guam—waiting to go to Okinawa—I flew various missions throughout the combat zone to Tinian, Saipan, and Iwo Jima. On April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt died; and Vice President Harry S. Truman became President.
We got good news! Air Force B-29s were dropping bombs on Japan every night; and Tokyo had its industrial and business sections largely destroyed by fire. We heard that over one hundred thousand Japanese were killed due to the air raids occurring over Japan: all of this happening before the Atomic bomb was dropped!
We got bad news! Air Force Command wanted me to leave about half of my squadrons at Guam, where they had become accustomed to the B-29 work, and take only about one-half of my men to Okinawa.
I flew back to Command Headquarters at Hawaii, and requested that my entire outfit be kept together. My argument did not change the situation. In a few days I returned to Guam, and we prepared to take our advance cadre and fly to Okinawa, where the bitter fighting had begun for control of the island.

The invasion of Okinawa started on April 1, 1945, shortly before President Roosevelt died. Okinawa is an island about twenty or thirty miles long—running north and south—and from four to eight miles wide—running east and west. Okinawa had a good harbor at that time on the east side, which we named “Buckner Bay,” after General Buckner, who was killed during the battle. On the west side of the island, was a small harbor adjoining Naha, the capital.
Okinawa never really belonged to the Japanese! About sixty years before World War II, the Japanese seized the island under the pretense of guarding it against its enemies. At the time that the Japanese moved onto Okinawa, it was a little empire! Its people were industrious and thrifty: they resented the Japanese coming in! However, the Japs established a Naval Training Station on Okinawa, built several air fields, and made it one of the key points for the defense of their mainland. The natives of the island were forced to work for several years building fortifications, and digging vast tunnels under the small mountains on the island, similar to the Ozark mountains in Arkansas. The tunnels built underground were narrow; but they were used like the main street in a city. On one side of an underground tunnel would be kitchens, mess halls, clothing supplies, hospitals, recreation rooms, and about everything that one could normally expect to find on an ordinary street above ground.
As we flew into Okinawa, dozens of aircraft were bombing targets! We had to circle for some time to be identified and to be given permission to land at Yonsan: an airfield captured from the Japs, a short distance north of Naha. We got our gear off the airplane, were assigned a tent to live in, and inquired as to when we could go to Naha and take charge of that airfield. We were told that we couldn’t move into Naha until we got the Japs out of Naha!
We were all tired and went to sleep at 9:00 p.m. About 10:30 p.m., the Japanese bombers came over and really let us have it! The Japs knew the island very well. They knew where we had our planes and our ammunition stored, and so forth; and at the end of about an hour, we got out of the bunkers and went back to bed. In about another hour, we got the same performance again; and about an hour later, the bombing by the Japanese occurred for a third time.
The best way to describe a bombing raid of this kind is as follows: An alarm goes off; you immediately go to a bunker or ditch for protection; you soon hear the drone of the engines of the incoming bombers and see the antiaircraft searchlights swing back and forth in the sky to locate the enemy ships. Then the antiaircraft guns start firing, and it becomes a wee bit noisy.
On one occasion I was looking straight up at the sky, watching a Jap pilot using evasive action to dodge antiaircraft fire and the searchlight. His bomber received a direct hit, and it started in a slow spiral downward, crashing about two hundred yards away. Before the crash I heard a humming noise, caused by one side of the engine of this bomber being blown off; and it landed about fifty yards away.

Well, these bombing raids were wearing out our patience! Colonel McElvain said that he was getting tired of getting up three or four times a night, and going to the bunkers for protection. He said that if the Japs dropped a bomb and it hit the bunker in which he was hiding, it would kill him, and he was just going to stay in his cot and take his chances! Another officer said that the bomb would throw bomb fragments sideways along the surface of the ground, fifty or one hundred yards; but Colonel McElvain said that he didn’t believe it. He said he was going to stay in his cot! On the next night, he did just that. A Japanese bomb landed about a hundred yards away from us, and a bomb fragment went about fifty yards about a foot off the ground, and cut a telephone pole in two. The next morning we showed it to Colonel McElvain. But he was stubborn, and still stayed in his cot!
                                                     The Battle of Okinawa.
The battle of Okinawa commenced with extensive bombardment by the Air Force and from various ships of the Navy. Both Marine and Infantry troops came onto the beach of Naha, expecting tremendous resistance by the Japanese. To their surprise, the Japs did not resist the troops coming onto the beach and proceeding on eastward into the island.
The Marines took the job of going north on the island, and the Infantry took the job of going south. The Marines found little resistance as they proceeded north; but when the Infantry troops started south, they ran into an inferno. The Japs could have resisted the landing on the beach by our troops, but they had allowed twenty or thirty thousand of our troops to land with equipment, trucks, tanks, and so forth before they began a heavy assault.
The Japanese delayed their counterattack too long!
The Japanese, as I have said, had forced the natives to build extensive tunnels and barricades all over the southern part of the island. There were approximately one hundred thousand Japanese troops, at least a hundred and twenty-five thousand civilians, and I would estimate we had about one hundred thousand troops engaged, at the height of the battle.
During the fighting, the Japanese did many peculiar things. Ordinarily, to hold the high ground, you have machine guns and other weapons aimed downward against troops that are trying to come up the side of a hill. The Japanese would permit the troops to come up the hill; and then when the troops started down the hill, the Japs would come out of their trenches and tunnels, trying to shoot our troops. The Japanese told the civilians that they would be killed by our forces if they were captured! As a result, thousands of civilians jumped off cliffs and killed themselves; and other thousands were killed when they refused to come out of caves.

As our troops moved south, they had to get the Japanese and civilians out of the caves and tunnels in order to protect themselves and their supply lines. I shall give an incident that illustrates how the fighting proceeded. Just south of Naha, our troops found an entrance to a cave. They set up a loudspeaker and had a Japanese prisoner tell the people in the cave, whether civilians or soldiers, to come out and surrender, and that they would not be harmed. No one came out! Our troops then fired some artillery into the cave. When the shooting stopped, a little child came running out of the mouth of the cave, followed by her mother. Both were hysterical as a result of the explosions in the cave; both had sustained various burns. They said that there were some eight hundred soldiers and about four or five hundred civilians in the cave. The woman and child were given first aid treatment. The woman then got on the loudspeaker and told the people in the cave that she had not been harmed. She urged them to surrender, and told them that they would not be harmed, and that they should surrender at once. No one came out of the cave! The troops then put the Japanese man back on the loudspeaker, and he told the people in the cave that unless they came out and surrendered within five minutes, we would put explosives in the cave and set them off, thus causing the death of most of them. The five minutes elapsed and no one came out. So explosives were placed in the tunnel and exploded; and, of course, everyone inside was killed, and the troops moved on.
Most of the caves had several outlets that could be fairly well concealed by small trees, and sometimes when a large explosion was set off in a cave, you could see smoke and dust shoot up in three or four points, perhaps a couple of hundred yards away.
The fighting continued both day and night! Many people might think a battlefield would be dark by night. Actually, we had searchlights sweeping the skies and we had lots of flares, some of which were attached to small parachutes. The field was as bright as Broadway during the night! The Air Force was constantly bombing; and the Navy was busy protecting our ships coming in with more ammunition, food, medical supplies, and so forth.
The Kamikazes sank dozens of Navy ships. They were fearless in their attack! They were coming after us in large numbers, diving not only at ships but at other military objectives. (The Kamikazes were young Japanese pilots, who dove with their airplanes and explosives directly at their objectives. They did not drop bombs or fire machine guns. Each of them had been given a funeral ceremony before he would go on his mission; and all were proud to try and dive their airplanes into a ship or a fuel supply, and blow themselves up along with their object, for it was an honor to serve their Emperor.)
I had about a dozen planes in one of our squadrons parked for the night when a young Kamikaze pilot left Formosa and flew over to Okinawa, diving into our parked aircraft, killing himself. He would have wrecked all of our aircraft except that his bomb failed to explode.
The Japanese had one more unusual aircraft, which we called a “baka” bomb! It was really a tube about twenty feet long with stub wings. The wing spread of this aircraft was about twenty feet. It had very simple controls, like an airplane. The front six or eight feet was filled with high explosives; the middle section contained the cockpit for the pilot; and the rear end usually contained four large rockets to furnish power for the device.
The Navy ships had become pretty accurate at shooting down the Kamikazes, which would come diving in at a speed of three or four hundred miles an hour. This “baka” bomb was a much smaller target, and would come in at around twelve hundred miles per hour. This device was hooked under a big Japanese bomber, which would get within fifty or sixty miles of the intended target, make a dive at top speed, and then release the “baka” bomb with its pilot; and then the big bomber would head back to a Japanese air field in safety.
The pilot of the “baka” bomb would set off one of his rockets, and this would zoom him back up in a high trajectory; he would start down again, building up his speed, set off another rocket, and up he would go again; ready to repeat this action until sighting his objective from perhaps twenty-five thousand feet in altitude. As he started down on his final dive, he would set off his last rocket, and really come wheeling in.
There were a number of “baka” bombs used; but the Japanese did not start using them until about the close of the war. By this time our fighters flew so far north toward Japan that it was almost impossible for a Jap bomber to get near enough with his “baka” bomb before getting shot down.

We became interested in taking over the old Japanese air field at Naha, and using it for the Air Force. I wanted to go up to the front line and talk to General Buckner and get an idea of when we would get into Naha. Reaching the front line was difficult! It was necessary to be identified, obtain permission, and get special passes to make it into where the fighting was going on. This was a good idea, for otherwise, there would be a bunch of sightseers and also spies running around everywhere where they had no business.
I had no permission to go further than I was. But one day I found that I had a jeep at my disposal; and I just decided that I would take it to the front line and see if I could talk to the General. Before the day was over, General Buckner was killed. I got hit with some shrapnel and ended up in the field hospital! I would never have been wounded if only I had not been in a place I had no business to be. The more you see of people getting hurt or killed, the more it makes you believe that nothing is going to hurt you until your number comes up; and then when it does come up, nothing is going to save you!
While the battle was going on, I got on a truck that was driving across the Japanese landing strip. I got off the truck in order to examine a Japanese steel hanger. The truck proceeded on about a hundred yards. It hit a land mine! The truck was demolished and everyone on board was killed.
On another occasion, we had a few bottles of whiskey flown in from Manilla, and fixed up a hut which was called our officers’ club. One evening an officer and I stepped out of the club to go to bed in our quarters. He stepped on a land mine and was killed, while I escaped uninjured. In addition to land mines, the Japanese had left some clever booby traps; and after a number of men had been injured picking up what they thought were souvenirs, it got so that a soldier would first put a bullet through anything that he saw: whether it was a teakettle, a vase, or a photograph.
I never saw a musical instrument in Okinawa! They may have had small instruments of some kind which they carried with them, or else they buried what they could not take. I never saw any pianos, organs, radios, violins, or anything of that kind.
As the fighting proceeded to the south end of Okinawa Island, many Japanese soldiers infiltrated back into our area, wearing civilian clothing. We had a large ammunition dump with thousands of bombs, rockets, flares, and other ammunition. I am positive that some Japanese soldier, who was dressed as a civilian working at the ammunition dump, set fire to the dump on the 4th of July—destroying the greater part of the ammunition which we had on hand.
In order to try and locate groups of Japanese soldiers that had gotten in back of our lines, I took a small airplane that could fly at tree-top level and went through ravines, close enough to the ground to spot any activity. Evidently the Japs had an ammunition dump that they had abandoned and that they wanted to get rid of, so they had come back to destroy it. It was just my luck to be over a cave filled with ammunition when the Japanese exploded it; and my airplane and I went soaring dizzily up into the clouds like riding a small atomic bomb. Needless to say, I was scared to death; but then when I saw the humorous side of the situation, I said, “While Colonel Walker was out looking for some Japs to kill, they damned near killed him!” Understand, the Japs were merely trying to blow up their ammunition dump and not trying to kill me; but again, I was at the wrong place at the right time.

As I stated before, the Japanese told the native Okinawans that if they surrendered to the Americans, they would be tortured and killed. All around our quarters were hills filled with tunnels, which I have described. Every now and then, natives who had been hiding in the caves would finally come out to get food and water. I remember one woman, who might have been forty years old, but who looked to be about seventy-five. She was about five feet tall, and couldn’t have weighed more than eighty pounds. She came out of a cave with a sack about the size of a fifty-pound flour sack that was filled with Japanese currency. She expected to be killed or tortured! She offered me the money, expecting in turn, that her life would be spared. She must have had several thousand dollars in Japanese currency, which was good money any place except in Okinawa, where we were using military currency. I told the old lady to keep her money. I sent one of the men down to the mess hall to get her some chocolate, bouillon, bread, butter, salt, and sugar. Tears came to her eyes, and she bowed in deep appreciation of this act of kindness, and went her way. I took a picture of this lady, and still have it among my souvenirs.
The Japanese, as well as the civilians, had trouble getting food. They soon tried to rob our mess halls for something to eat. One evening I came back to my quarters and heard a noise. I caught a Jap soldier trying to get away. He had tried to steal some food. I called in the guard and an interpreter, who quizzed the soldier as to how many comrades he had in his group and where they were located. We waited until daylight and took him to the entrance of the cave, and told him to go in and bring his comrades out; or we would blow up the cave. After a few minutes he came back, bringing his comrades. They all surrendered and were put in the prison compound.
                                                  The Typhoon on Okinawa.
Being raised in Kansas, I had seen cyclones, tornadoes, and hurricanes; however, I had never had any experience with a typhoon until one hit Okinawa. Actually, a typhoon is just a giant cyclone! The wind blew about 125 miles per hour from one direction, then the center passed by, and the wind blew from the other direction at the same velocity for another twelve or fifteen hours. Of course, the natives were used to typhoons. Their little huts were built of stone and placed on the side of a hill near trees, where they had protection against the violence of the wind. Everything which the United States had on Okinawa was erected of flimsy wood or corrugated metal or canvas tents. Except for a Quonset hut or two that survived the typhoon, everything else that we had was blown away: smashed or completely wrecked. Our airplanes were tossed around and totally wrecked or seriously damaged. Fortunately, we had flown all of the planes that we could to the other islands when we got word of the typhoon. The Navy suffered a terrific loss. Dozens of big ships were blown up on the rocks and beaches, and destroyed.
In Naha harbor, there was a large ship blown up on the beach; and a second ship had been blown across it, and was lying atop the first one. Then later, a third vessel blew ashore and lay across both of the first two. I talked to Navy officers, who had years of ocean experience. They all said it was the worst typhoon they had ever seen!

One officer on a Navy vessel tried to get away from the island on one of these ships; and with his engines wide open and full speed ahead, the ship was driven backwards. They dropped two anchors to try to keep the ship from being blown back, and even with two anchors and the engines, the ship was blown back onto the beach. The typhoon lasted only two days, but it destroyed millions of dollars of our property.
One humorous thing occurred that I must mention. I had a friend named Captain Parker, of English descent, who was my co-pilot; and I had an adjutant by the name of Kuykendall, who was of German ancestry. The two of them had scrounged around and came up with a little lumber, with which they built for themselves a little hut about eight feet square, where they had two bunks, and a footlocker apiece. Their quarters were regarded as “deluxe.” Both men were filled with energy, and to be cooped up together in a dog-house after so long began to get on their nerves. During the typhoon, in addition to the tremendous wind, of course, there was heavy rain at the same time. Parker left his “deluxe” quarters in order to see if he could put some bags on the wings of the airplanes to save them. He returned after several hours to the dog-house: soaking wet and worn out. Kuykendall was propped up on a couch reading a magazine, as dry and cozy as a bug. Parker changed his clothes. We were using rebuilt Jap hangars at that time; and someone called for Parker to go down to one of the hangars. Parker returned in a couple of hours. Again, he was soaking wet! He observed that Kuykendall was having a highball in that nice dog-house, enjoying the typhoon. Parker looked for some dry clothing. All he could find was his best uniform, all carefully pressed, which he had been saving until he returned home. Parker proceeded to put it on: shirt, blouse, and shoes. Then Parker addressed Kuykendall, “This is the time of the day when an Englishman has his whiskey and soda. Will you pass me the whiskey?” Kuykendall responded that he was not going to serve as a butler to some damned Englishman. Parker told Kuykendall that he was just a damned German; and that the one thing he hated more than a nigger was a German. Kuykendall said that an Englishman was just a damned nigger turned inside out. At that remark, Parker slugged Kuykendall, and Kuykendall hit back. That got the fight going! They fell out of the dog-house, wrestling and fighting with a hundred mile an hour wind around them in pouring rain; and they fought in the mud a little longer. They both looked like they had been dredging the bottom of a river! They began to see the humor of the situation, put their arms around each other, and then marched back into the dog-house and had their whiskey and soda.
                           The Fight Between Commands for Control of Okinawa.
When I was sent to Okinawa, it was anticipated by my command, the 20th Air Force, that I would be in command of the Naha Air Base.
Shortly after I arrived, the AFPOA sent in a Colonel McElvain, who outranked me, and he took over the command. He was a wonderful gentleman, and we remained close friends until his death in 1971. McElvain remained in command for about two weeks; then the Far Eastern Air Command sent in a Colonel who outranked all of us, and he took over command.
Then the Air Service Command sent in a Brigadier General by the name of Cook, who was an excellent officer, and he took over command. Another command sent in a General by the name of Bertrandis, who took over the command.
Then command was taken over by Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle of the 8th Air Force. He was brought over from Europe and assumed command. I was on Gen. Doolittle’s staff. I had met him at Wright Field at Dayton, Ohio. He was then a major, and he was getting things in shape for his raid on Tokyo in the spring of 1942.

We were under so many different commanders, that we didn’t know from day to day, who we were serving under. But that was just one of those things that exists in the military.
General Arnold, a five-star general in command of the Air Force, came out along with General Kenney, Commanding General of the Far Eastern Air Force; other generals came in from the Philippines and the Pentagon. Apparently they knew who was in supreme control, but I don’t think anyone else ever did!
                                          Incidents I Shall Always Remember.
I was very proud of the men in my outfit, and I know that many of them were proud of me and that they would do anything I asked them to do. Originally, the B-29s were bombing Japan at an altitude of around twenty-five thousand feet. High winds resulting from the tremendous fires on the ground made accurate bombing difficult. When General LeMay was placed in charge of the bombing, he sent the B-29s in at low level to be sure the targets selected would be hit. At the high bombing altitude, our planes used lots of oxygen for our crews. When we quit the high-level flying, the oxygen truck (which probably cost the government a pretty penny) stood unused on our field. One of my men came in one day and told me that he could take that oxygen truck and start making ice for our outfit. When you realize that the water we drank came from a canvas bag hanging out in the sun, into which had been dumped a lot of chlorine; and that if you were fortunate enough to get a can of beer from the Navy, or a Coca-cola, it would be hot, you can understand what it would mean to have ice! I told my man to go ahead and make some ice. In about three or four days, he was turning out about three or four hundred pounds of ice per day. That ice was more precious than diamonds! We used to trade ice for souvenirs, food, whiskey, or anything else. In the meantime, I had some pilots fly to Manila and back frequently, where General MacArthur had his headquarters. Somebody at MacArthur’s headquarters got a new electric ice box for the use of Lt. General Doolittle when they heard he was headed for Okinawa. Well, some of my boys saw the ice box and thought that Colonel Walker had done a lot more for them than General Doolittle would ever do, so they decided that they would bring the ice box back for me; and they installed it in a room that I occupied for my quarters. I didn’t look at the back of the box. If I had, I would have seen written instructions to see that no one got the ice box except Lt. General Doolittle. Anyway, I was delighted! With some ice, I could have a highball occasionally with some of the men.

But there is one more chapter to this ice box story. We lived on K-rations, and they became quite monotonous. The Navy got good food for their men; but the Air Force and the Army never did. One day some of my men were in Manila and went over to the quartermaster and got several truckloads of dressed chickens, ham, butter, and eggs, and maybe some other scarce commodities, and brought them back to Okinawa. The provisions were drawn for twenty-five hundred men; but at that time most of my men were still in Guam. Actually, I had only about five hundred men on Okinawa. My boys then filled up all the lockers in our mess hall with this food; then filled my ice box until it was jammed full, and didn’t say a word to me about it. Soon we were receiving radio cables from Manila, wanting to know if we knew who had gotten away with all the prize food. I didn’t know, but knowing my men, I had a good idea. I called my executive officer in and told him I understood that Manila was complaining about some food and that there would probably be a search of the mess halls of various squadrons on our base, and that I hoped that none of the missing food would be found in our mess hall. Evidently he got my message, for I talked to him at seventeen hundred hours. At about eighteen hundred hours, there was a knock on the door of my quarters and there stood two or three high ranking officers, who were observing proper military protocol, and they asked me if I had any objections to them searching the mess hall. I told them I had no objections and invited them to come in for a drink for I was just preparing to open my ice box and get out a bottle of medicinal whiskey. They refused, saying that they had a number of mess halls to check and would be happy if I accompanied them in checking our own mess hall. We searched the mess hall and found no trace of any food, chickens, hams, butter, eggs, or fruit. The officers drove me back to my quarters and again I asked them if they cared to come in and have a drink, and they declined, saying that they had many mess halls yet to check. I was relieved that they didn’t find anything in our mess hall, and stepped over to my ice box and opened the door. Out tumbled hams, eggs, chickens, fruit, and other delicacies which my men had thought I deserved.
I thought about the matter that night and decided that perhaps I should report the incident to the officer in charge of the investigation. So the next morning I drove a mile or so to his quarters. There was a buzzer that I pressed several times, but no one came to the door. I finally decided to drop the matter, and returned to my quarters. Later I found that at the time I was pressing the buzzer, the officer was shaving with an electric shaver and he had to disconnect the buzzer to get enough current. The moral of this story is that, if you are going to commit a crime, be sure the detective has an electric shaver.
                                             Some Observations On Okinawa.
The Japanese were pretty clever camouflaging their aircraft. They would land on a short strip, and frequently taxi their fighter aircraft as much as a mile into the jungle where they had made the civilians build them some one-plane hangars. Their method was unique. The civilians would dig a high round pile of dirt about eight feet high; then they would cover one-half of this with about eight or ten inches of concrete. Then they took the dirt from under the concrete, which left the concrete looking like an inverted saucer. The dirt they took out was put on top of the concrete shell, planted with grass and shrubbery, making camouflage for the planes.
One town, just south of Naha, was completely run by women (including the mayor, chief of police, and so forth). This was very unusual because at that time Oriental women stayed out of public life. I asked why! I was told that most of the men in the town were fishermen, and they would be gone for three or four months at a time, and the women had to take over running the town.
They sold land based upon how many rugs square it was. A “rug” was three or four feet square.
If a man was arrested for being drunk, he was put in a bamboo cage and a guard kept striking him with a sharp pointed bamboo stick to keep him awake until he appeared in court.
I went by a schoolhouse and there was no playground, no basketball court, football field, or swings. I asked why there was no sports equipment at the school. They looked at me as though I was crazy. They said, “This is a school. They come here to learn, not to have a good time.”

The Navy was target happy as the Kamikazes had caused them lots of trouble. Whenever they thought that a Japanese airplane might be near, they laid down a big smoke screen in the harbor to conceal their ships. One evening they put down a smoke screen that covered the harbor and also covered our runway on the adjoining air base. One of our aircraft carrying about fifty men had flown over the Pacific, and was about out of gas. The pilot made his descent and could not see the runway because of the smoke. He veered off course and hit the side of a mountain, killing all on board.
When I got orders to return to the United States, I had my choice of traveling on an aircraft carrier, the Hoggatt Bay, or flying over as a passenger. I was tired of flying. I knew that I would have to make stops at Guam, Johnson Island, Kwajalein, Hawaii, and maybe others, and I thought that an aircraft carrier would get me home in eight or ten days. I knew that I would get a nice cabin, good food, and the other luxuries of the Navy, so I got aboard the Hoggatt Bay. They gave me a beautiful cabin to share with another colonel, and immediately over the loudspeaker came this message, “Now hear this, we are leaving Okinawa and will arrive at the Golden Gate, San Francisco, in twenty-one days, ten hours.” When I landed in San Francisco, there was a telephone call for me from Senator Clyde M. Reed, who had formerly been Governor of Kansas. He wanted me to run for the governorship of the State of Kansas. There were also newspapermen and reporters, quizzing me about running. I told them that I would not make up my mind until I had arrived home. I called Maybin and we visited by long distance, and I asked about the children and Maybin’s mother, who was living with us. Maybin told me that her mother, a wonderful and loving person, had died and been buried a few days before, and that was one of my regrets in not being home sooner.
From San Francisco we went to Fort Carson, near Denver, Colorado, to be discharged. My arm was still in bad shape, but I knew that I complained about it, the doctors would insist that I take medical treatment for several months; and of course, they will not discharge a person from the service who is under medical care. I wanted out badly, after five years away from home. I claimed that I was fit as a fiddle. The officer in charge was Colonel Monty Parrish, whose aunt was Mrs. Jack Lane of Winfield, Kansas. Mrs. Lane was a good friend of Maybin and me, and she had written a letter to Colonel Parrish, telling him that Colonel Walker might be coming through Fort Carson to be discharged, and for him to be nice to me. Colonel Parrish and I became very good friends, and remained so for many years. When I was discharged, I was asked if I would accept a commission as a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve; and of course, if I did accept, I would be subject to be called back into service at any time.
When I got my discharge, I felt like I had ended my military career. Maybin came out and met me in Denver, and we went to a nice restaurant that evening to celebrate my discharge from the military. We thought that we were where no one would bring up anything about the Air Force or things of that kind.
I ordered a glass of wine for Maybin and a martini for myself, and when the waiter brought the drinks, he said, “Well, Colonel Walker, it’s good to see you!” I recognized him as one of the boys who had been with me. He had been discharged and was back in civilian life.

As a reserve officer, I was called back on active duty many times. I was first called back for duty during what is known as the Berlin Air Lift, when the Russians would not permit vehicles to get in or out of West Berlin; and everything in the way of food and supplies, including coal, was taken in by aircraft. I was called back to active duty and made many trips back and forth to Washington, D.C., serving on a board consisting of six Air National Guard officers, six Air Force Reserve officers, and six regular Air Force officers. This board has been in existence for many years, and it was quite an honor to be selected as a member of it. This board controls the activities of all Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve Air Force units of the United States.
When the war started in Korea, I was called back on active duty, and the secretary of the Air Force came before our board and stated that all of the aircraft of the regular Air Force was tied up in Germany and elsewhere, and that they had no planes to spare for the Korean war. I got the Reserve personnel to send twenty-five squadrons, and the National Guard did likewise. It was the National Guard and Reserve aircraft that fought the air war in Korea.
One day in 1954, my office phone rang. It was a call from the Pentagon wanting to know if I could be in Washington, D.C., the next day, to go to Vietnam. The French had been fighting the North Vietnamese for several years, and their troops were surrounded and about to be killed or captured at a place called Dien Bien Phu. I doubt that many people know that the United States was furnishing France about seventy-five percent of the cost of its war against North Vietnam. I may be wrong, but that is the figure I have heard from many responsible sources.
I told Maybin of my orders to go to Vietnam, and we flew to Washington, D.C., that afternoon, and I got some additional medical shots and a passport; and left the next day in a four-engine C-54 airplane with about fifty Air Force officers. As we left Washington, D.C., it was snowing quite heavily. We flew non-stop to Great Falls, Montana, where we were issued heavy clothing and took off for Anchorage, Alaska. It was still snowing, and the temperature was 60 degrees below zero. It was almost as cold inside the airplane because our heater was on the blink. About halfway to Anchorage, one of our engines started using too much oil; and we finally had to cut off the engine, feather the prop, and go on to Anchorage with three engines. When we landed at Anchorage in the snow, we found that the engine had quit because the outside air was so cold that the oil vapor fumes coming from the engine had frozen into a big ball of ice, causing the pressure to build up in the crank case and blowing the seal on the propeller shaft. The mechanics said it was no unusual thing to occur; but fortunately, it only knocked out one of our engines. It could have easily knocked out all four. We took on some gas at Anchorage and flew out along the Aleutian chain of islands, landing on the farthest island in the chain, which had an airfield. It was dark, cold, windy, and snowing. Conditions are so bad there that everyone lives underground. We ate and slept underground for a few hours, and then took off for Tokyo. We landed at Tokyo, where there were some fourteen inches of snow, in one of the largest snow storms ever experienced. We had actually flown halfway around the world in a continuous snow storm.

We spent time in Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and other places, to ascertain what the United States Air Force could expect in the way of airplanes, pilots, mechanics, and so forth, if we decided to help France. I should mention that at the end of World War II, the United States had given thousands of airplanes and parts to these countries I have mentioned.
We got the facts, and some six weeks later presented them to the Pentagon. The decision of whether or not to help the French would be left in the first instance, to Congress. The powerful leader in Congress at that time was Lyndon Baines Johnson; and he decided that the United States should not give any help to the French in their effort to defeat the Vietnamese. In a short time the French were defeated, and surrendered to the Vietnamese; and we lost our chance to have the countries that I have mentioned, with the assistance of the United States, head off the war that the United States has been fighting in Vietnam. Ironically, it was Lyndon Baines Johnson himself, without consulting Congress, who issued the orders for our ships and aircraft to start fighting in Vietnam.
My love for my country took a large part of my energy and time. I was on active duty, away from my home and office, for almost ten years, and I was on reserve status for another ten years. Looking back, I do not regret it! Seeing the dangers that result from having people criticize the efforts of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen to protect us, I think there is no better way to close my story than to state that every student in school and college should be taught to respect the sacrifices made by those who wear the uniform of our country, and to overlook the mistakes they make, and to follow the principle stated years ago, in a slightly different manner, “My country, may it ever be right, but right or wrong, My Country!”














                                               Some Famous People I Knew.
At the American Legion convention in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1920, I saw Marshal Foch, Marshal Petain, General Pershing, and Admiral Beatty, and many other notables. Later on I saw Nehru and other rulers. I did get to know some rather famous people, and I will name a few.
William Allen White, the newspaper editor of Emporia, Kansas, and I were very good friends. I worked for his paper for about a year, and when I was in Colorado I was invited to his home many times. When World War II started in Europe, I helped him in the organization he worked up, called “Defend America by Aiding the Allies.” He was a wonderful gentleman.
I became acquainted with Frank Borman, one of the first men to circle the moon.
One of my dear friends was General Leon W. Johnson, who was raised near Moline, Kansas. He led one of the big raids of the Air Force on the Ploesti oil fields, for which he received the Medal of Honor.
I met dozens of the best pilots of TWA, Eastern, United, and American Airlines; but the best pilot I ever met and flew with was Dan Medler, one of the early day TWA pilots, and he flew anything. Not only was he a very good pilot but he was a very interesting and delightful gentleman to be with.
One of the most interesting women I met was Senator Hattie Carraway, the United States Senator from Arkansas. She had succeeded her husband when he passed away, having been appointed to fill his unexpired term. Then she ran for the six-year term. Huey Long of Louisiana came over to Arkansas and managed her campaign; and Hattie just loved him. She said he had told her, “Now, Hattie, you don’t have to say anything except just what I’m going to tell you. You tell everybody that you’re for the American Flag and you are for honesty in government, and American Motherhood, and that those people running against you must be against those things, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying to defeat you.” Evidently Huey was right, for she received a tremendous amount of votes and was elected to a six-year term as U. S. Senator.
I met “Wild Bill” Donovan, who organized the SOS that later became the CIA. I also knew Tom Dewey quite well, and he was an able, distinguished gentleman; but he was never able to let his hair down and get in step with the rank and file of the people.
I knew Jess Willard and Joe Louis. Both of them had held the heavyweight boxing title.
I knew Henry Ford the 2nd, and was well acquainted with Jackson Barnett, perhaps the most famous Indian in the United States.
I knew naturalists Enos Mills and Charlie Hewes at Estes Park, Colorado.
I knew Harold McGugin, the distinguished congressman. I also knew Senators Charles Curtis, Lister Hill, Arthur Capper, Clyde M. Reed, Frank Carlson, and Bob Dole.
I worked for Walt Mason, the famous poet. I was well acquainted with Hugo Black of the United States Supreme Court, and with Ernest Bradley, a famous athlete.
I met Mr. Nixon numerous times and National VFW Commander Wayne Richards was a close friend of mine.

Poley Tincher of Hutchinson, Kansas, was one of the outstanding politicians of the country, and I often worked with him. I met Dean Acheson, a most brilliant man.
I knew George Matthews Adams, the columnist. I knew General Omar Bradley.
I met William Jennings Bryan. I met Clarence Darrow, and I had various visits with John Foster Dulles, the great Secretary of State.
I knew Jimmy Doolittle very well and was an officer on his staff in the Air Force for a time.
I met Dwight Eisenhower many times, and Herbert Hoover, also Andrew Mellon, the great money-maker from Pennsylvania, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I also met Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of Teddy Roosevelt, many times.
I met General George Marshall; Alfalfa Bill Murray, the Governor of Oklahoma; and Will Rogers, the humorist.
One of my good friends in the Air Force was Joe Foss. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was Governor of South Dakota, and organized the American Football League.
I met Charles Lindbergh several times. I met Huey Long numerous times, I met Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred up the great fight in Congress about communism.
I was personally acquainted with Harry Colmery and Dike O’Neil, both of whom became National Commanders of the American Legion.
Gen. Leo Donovan: While I was Base Commander of Alliance Air Force Base, he was in charge of the training of Army units for a time. After the war he was a member of the court that tried the Japanese war criminals and sentenced Tojo and others to death.
Gen. F. S. Borum: I left Wright Field in 1942 to go with him and helped organize the Troop Carrier Command. He was the first Commander of the TCC in the United States, and went to the United Kingdom to set up TCC for the campaign there.
Col. Reed Landis: A great fighter pilot in World War I. In WWII, he came back into the Air Force with rank of Colonel and became commander of the Troop Carrier Command and ordinarily would have been promoted to Lt. General and myself and other Commanders of large units would have been promoted to Major Generals. Although Landis was Commander of TCC for a long period of time and did a good job, he must have been at “outs” with the top brass and never received a promotion, and of course, held back the advancement of others under him.
Aimee Semple McPherson: Perhaps the greatest evangelist in the world excluding Billy Graham. She frequently came to Arkansas City to visit with her friend and co-worker, Mrs. Anthony Carlton, who brought her out to Maybinsyde Farm to go horseback riding on some of Maybin’s horses.

J. N. (Poley) Tincher: Jasper Napoleon Tincher, affectionately called “Poley,” was a great man, a fine lawyer, and noted Congressman. In Congress he was a member of the select few, including Harry S. Truman, later to become President; Carl Vinson, later to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Nicholas Longworth, Speaker of the House; and others who met daily in the office of the Speaker of the House to “Strike a blow for Liberty,” as a drink of bourbon was called by them. Poley was a lover of good harness horses, many of them champions, including Evelyn Harvester, who set a world’s record as did her sire and one of her colts. Poley gave Maybin Evelyn Harvester and the beautiful hand-made phaeton now in the Cherokee Strip Museum.
Joe E. Derham: My good friend and fellow officer. We worked together and lived together at Wright Field. He went to the European theater and died soon after WWII ended.
Harry T. Howard: He was my first boyhood friend and our friendship lasted until his death. He was the cause of my going to Kansas University and taking a law course.
Jackson Barnett: He was the richest Indian in the world and a real gentleman. I learned a lot about Creek Indians from him and it was during the trial in Los Angeles, where I represented Jackson, that the opposing psychiatrist learned that a peacock does not lay eggs.
Walt Mason: A tramp poet addicted to drink whom William Allen White hired and cured of his drinking trouble. Mason wrote a poem each day, and George Matthews Adams syndicated them in over a hundred newspapers, and Mason became rich. When I was going to the College of Emporia, Mason gave me a job as his chauffeur and furnished me a nice room in his home.
William L. White: Son of William Allen White. He became a well known author in his own name and wrote such stories as, “Queens Die Proudly,” and “A Journey with Margaret.” Since the death of his father he has run the Emporia, Kansas, Gazette and also maintained a New York office.
Wayne Richards: I helped him get in the Air Force and he served as a pilot in WWII. After the war he became active in the V.F.W. I managed his campaign for local offices in V.F.W., for the State Department offices, then the National offices until he became National Commander of the V.F.W. He, in turn, named me head of various National committees and we went to France to dedicate the first United States Cemetery for WWII dead. Through these contacts I met Generals Eisenhower, Marshall, Bradley, Ridgeway, and Johnson, also kings, presidents, and potentates. Mr. Nixon, then Vice President, was our good friend.
Nelson Swift Morris: Heir to two fortunes of the Swift Packing Company and the Morris Packing Company. He served in World War I, was badly burned as a passenger on the dirigible Hindenburg when it burst into flames when landing in New York from an overseas flight. He was in one of my squadrons in WWII for a time. He and his wife were unassuming, charitable, and most patriotic people.
Frank McDougall: An excellent pilot who served with me in the United States and overseas in WWII and was a delightful friend.
I would be amiss not to mention my mother, one of the best business women I have ever known. My father had the faculty for making friends with every person he ever met.
The best lawyer I ever saw in all departments, was W. L. Cunningham, with whom I had the good fortune to serve.
Maybin, my good wife, is probably the most diplomatic and certainly the kindest person I have ever known. She can walk out into the yard where there will be cats, dogs, birds, and other animals, and they will instantly sense that she is their friend and will come to her. I can try the same thing and will have no results. She is one of nature’s children and a brilliant woman, a great cook and a lover of drama, good music, and art.

Yes, I have met people all over the world, brilliant and bad, good and indifferent, but people all over the world are about the same; they will be good to you if you are good to them. There are more good people than bad, and you will find in people, about what you are looking for. Most people are like a mirror. They will reflect back that which you impart to them.

                                                                   l’en voi

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum