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rose and announced the Psalm, repeating in his announcement the

Great streams of water from my eyes
Ran down because I saw

How wicked men run on in sin
And do not keep Thy Law. 55

If I had thought I was in agony before, it was because I had not
realized the depths of misery into which this new stimulus would
throw me!

The greatest benefit which I derived from the college came not
from any course or group of courses but from the Chrestomatheon
literary society, 56 the first society of the kind to be organized in the
college. The Chresto colors were brown and gold and its flower
was the sunflower. The society song was :

Chresto, Oh Chresto,

For you our hearts are bold!

Hi-Hi-Ho! Yi-Yi-Yo!

For the dear old Brown and Gold!

O whatever we're doing

We're loyal still to you!

We're Chrestos forever

And to Chresto are true!

The yell was:

Hi! Hi! Ho!
Yil Yi! Yo!
Chresto! Chresto!
Hi! Hi! Ho!

55. From a metrical version of Ps. 119: 136.

56. From the Greek, signifying "usefully knowing" or "useful knowledge."


By the fall of 1895 the college had grown until it was thought
advisable to organize another group, which assumed the name Theo-
moron. 57 The Theo colors were pink and green and the society's
flower was the wild rose. The societies met on Friday night and the
programs consisted of readings, essays, orations, music, both instru-
mental and vocal, the society paper, and debates, which were
followed by a period during which anyone could express his opinion
on the subject, if backed up by evidence. Then, too, we always had
a session of parliamentary law, selecting a chairman and doing our
best to entangle him.

The best I can say as to my participation in the society programs
is that I never failed to take any part assigned to me by the program
committee. 58 It is hard to realize how frightened I was on my first
appearance on a program. The timidity developed during my years
of isolation on the northwest Kansas prairie had never been over-
come. I remember thinking how fine it would be if I could some-
how sink through the floor and out of sight. But I managed, never-
theless, to deliver unto the end John Godfrey Saxe's poem:
There's a game much in fashion I think it's called euchre
Though I never have played it for pleasure or lucre
In which when the cards are in certain positions
The players appear to have changed their conditions,
And one of them cries in a confident tone,
"I think I may venture to go it alone!"

In battle or business, whatever the game,

In law or in love it is ever the same.

In the struggle for power or the scramble for pelf,

Let this be your motto, "Rely on yourself,"

For whether the prize be a ribbon or throne,

The victor is he who can go it alone. 59

1 am still rather fond of this poem.

^ 57. Presumably from two Greek words signifying "God" and "silly" or "foolish."
Two Greek scholars, my former colleague Prof. Deno Geanakoplos and his assistant Christos
Patrinelis, are uncertain what meaning was intended to be conveyed by this rather curious
combination. The most likely interpretation is that the intended meaning is something like
"God's fools" or "the foolishness of God," in reference to the texts: "Because the foolish-
ness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. . . .
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath
chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. . . ."
I Cor., 1: 25, 27. See, also, I Cor. 1: 18-23; 2: 1, 2; 3: 19, 20. Also, "If any man among
you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise."
I Cor., 3: 18. Probably this name was intended as a fling at the emphasis on "useful
knowledge" in the name of the rival Chrestomatheon society. Had "moron," however, been
generally in use at the time as a synonym for feeble-minded, as it was a quarter century
later, it is somewhat doubtful that this name would have been adopted.

58. However, according to her fellow Chresto, Fred L. Weede, the author did serve
as secretary in 1896.

59. John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887). The poem, of which the writer remembered
five out of the seven stanzas, was entitled "The Game of Life." Only the first and last
stanzas, however, are given here, as an example of the poem's character.


One of the questions discussed in the Chresto literary society was
the independence of Cuba. It was debated on two different oc-
casions and I took part in both debates, once on the negative and
once on the affirmative, winning each time. On one of these oc-
casions my opponent was John Kirkwood, 60 who was really a very
brilliant young man and who, I was told, was quite chagrined at
the decision. I understand, however, that he had made no particular
preparation, not thinking it necessary, I presume.

In the fall of 1897 took place the first intersociety contest. There
were four events: debate, oration, essay, and recitation, each as-
signed such a number of points that the winner of the debate and
of one other event would win the contest, or so that, on the other
hand, the winner of all events but the debate would win the meet.
The contest was supposed to be carried on in a friendly spirit, but
instead the rivalry became bitter. Friendships were interrupted,
couples broken up, and feelings in general were tense. The debate
question was: "Resolved, that United States Senators should be
elected by popular vote," with the Chrestos taking the affirmative. I
was offered a place on the debate team, but didn't have enough con-
fidence in myself to accept; in addition I didn't feel that I had
enough time, as I was planning to graduate in the spring and was
doing four years' work in three. Standing room was at a premium
the night of this contest, as all college programs open to the public
were well patronized by the community. The Chrestos won all the
events but the essay and were indeed jubilant, the Theos being
correspondingly depressed.

Commencement week finally arrived. Our class 61 was the first to
give a Junior-Senior banquet, held at the home of Mr. W. J. Squire.
The program consisted of music, readings, and toasts. I was to
toast the faculty under the title of "The Row Behind the Table"
my first attempt at this sort of thing. In fact, I had never even
heard a toast, much less give one. Few toasts I have heard
since, I think, would conform to the definition found in the diction-
ary, and mine was no exception. My little "speech," rather than
toast, started off with an apparent misunderstanding of what was

60. John M. Kirkwood, B. S., 1897; L. L. B., Kent College of Law.

61. Class spirit in those days ran high, and each class had colors, a yell, and a sense of
rivalry for other classes. The colors of the class of 1898 were cream and scarlet, and were
the first to be flown from the lightning rod at the peak of the Cooper Hall cupola. The
perpetrators were John U. Brush, Orin A. Keach, Paul Stormont, and needless to say
Fred L. Weede, who got up to the roof through two trap doors and, on descending, blocked
the one to the third floor so that they could not be used by members of rival classes. At-
tempts to get the flag down, by methods which included trying to snag it with hooks
attached to a kite string, all failed for two days, until "a little nervy fellow named Burns,
somehow managed, at the risk of his life, to climb along the edge of the roof, get into the
third floor from an unlocked window, and unblock the trap door, after which it was easy
to bring up a ladder and pull down the colors.


intended by the r-o-w behind the table, which I interpreted as mean-
ing a quarrel among the faculty rather than the faculty themselves,
who were accustomed to sit behind a long table, facing the student
body, at chapel. At one point I represented the seniors as repeating,
from a metrical version of one of the Psalms, the words: "More un-
derstanding now I have/ Than all my teachers far." 62 I was con-
siderably embarrassed by the preparation for the ordeal, carrying it
out, and gracefully accepting the inevitable complimentary remarks
which followed. This was one of the many times in my life when
I have promised something which I knew was impossible, but which
I managed to do in some sort of a way.

Commencement was the evening of June 17, 1898, closing with
the presentation of those diplomas for which we had labored so
many weary hours. Each of us, ten in number the largest class in
the history of the college up to that time delivered an oration.
Mine, modestly entitled "The Problem of Life/' began with the as-
sertion, "Philosophers of all ages have grappled with grand and most
stupendous questions, and among these is the problem of life,"
quoted Sir Isaac Newton's remark that he felt he had spent his life
playing with the pebbles on the seashore "whilst the great ocean of
truth lay all undiscovered before me," ** and concluded with a quota-
tion from Revelation 22:5, which I managed to work in somehow:
"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither
light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall
reign forever and ever." One afternoon, while rehearsing this
speech in the chapel, an old gentleman who was doing some paint-
ing in the room at the time, turned to me and, with apparent earnest-
ness, gravely enquired, "Who is the author of that or did you write
it? It is wonderful." In a way he was probably right.

In addition to the ten orations there was a solo by John Brush, a
piano solo by Vera Strong, a trio by Belle Smith, Mabel Grandy, and
myself, and a chalk-talk by Paul Stormont. The other members of
the class were Orin Keach, Stella Stormont, William Finley, and
Otto Newby. Two of our number became ministers in the United
Presbyterian church, 64 one, a college professor, 65 three, public

62. Ps. 119:90. This passage was naturally a favorite with pious but prankish under-

63. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). See John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations (Boston,
1948), p. 184.

64. John U. Brush and Orin A. Keach.

65. Otto W. Newby, professor of Logic and Literature, C. M. C.; dec. 1906.


school teachers, 66 one, an accountant, 67 one, a horticulturist. 68 One
of the girls married shortly after graduation 69 and another's health
failed so that she was unable to enter any occupation. 70 Only five
are now living, 71 and we are widely separated. We kept a class
letter going for 29 years, but it eventually disappeared.

We had had a good time together. Even though there were only
ten of us, we could, whenever the occasion presented itself, give our
class yell noisily enough to satisfy any reasonable person:

Hip hip rah zoo,
Alia fa alia boo
Ad frontem straight.
Cooper, class of '98! 72

66. Sophia Belle Smith, Emma Vera Strong, and Cassie (Catharine) Emma Wiggins,
the writer.

67. William Paul Stormont.

68. William L. Finley, landscape gardener.

69. Mabel Latham Grandy (Mrs. T. J. English).

70. Estella Myrtle Stormont, dec. 1909. She is, however, listed as "Teacher (retired)."

71. By February, 1957, the number had been reduced to two: Mrs. T. J. English and
Paul Stormont.

72. According to the writer, this yell was supposed to be in three languages: English,
Latin, and Greek. "Alia fa alia boo" is a phonetic version of the line intended to be Greek.
Fred L. Weede, author of the yell, tells me that the idea arose in a Greek class of which he
was one of three members, which went into the language so far that they read "Prometheus
Bound," by Aeschylus. They became interested in certain irregular verbs, such as
LAMBANO (receive), to such an extent that they would greet one another on the campus
with parts of such verbs. "Alia fa alia boo" is an attempt at a phonetic rendering of
EILAPHA (I have received) ELABON (I received). Information on the Greek by courtesy
of Dr. Geanakoplos.


Some Notes on Kansas Cowtown Police Officers
and Gun Fighters Continued




WILD Bill Hickok began his career as a Kansas peace officer
in 1858. On March 22, though only 20 years of age, he was
elected constable of Monticello township, Johnson county. On
April 21, 1858, Gov. James W. Denver issued Hickok's commission
and the act was recorded in the "Executive Minutes, Kansas Terri-
tory," now a part of the archives of the State Historical Society.

Records of the United States War Department, Office of the
Quartermaster General, show that on October 30, 1861, J. B. Hickok
was hired as wagon master at Sedalia, Mo. His pay was $100 a

Similar records from the Office of the Provost Marshal General
show that a William Hickok (Wild Bill?) served as a special police-
man in the corps during March, 1864. In the section on "Scouts,
Guides and Spies, 1861-1866" this item was found:
The United States, to William Hickok Dr.
March 10" 1864 For

Services rendered as Special Police under the
direction of Lt. N. H. Burns A Pro Mar Dist S. W.
Mo at Springfield Mo from March 1" to March 10"
1864 inclusion being 10 days at $60.00 per month.


I certify that the above account is correct and just; that the services were
rendered as stated, and that they were necessary for the Public Service, as per
my Report of "Persons and Articles," Abstract of Expenditures for March 1864.

N. H. Burns

1 Lieut 1 Ark Inf. Actg. Pro. Mar.

John B. Sanborn

Brig. Genl. Comd.

On the reverse this terse sentence was written:

Disapproved and ordered filed by Col Sanderson, for the reason that no
authority was issued by the Pro Mar Genl of Dept of the Mo, for the employ-
ment of this man. Wm K Patrick

July 20 '64 Auditor

NYLE H. MILLER and JOSEPH W. SNELL are members of the staff of the Kansas State
Historical Society.

NOTE: Appearance of the first installment of this series in the Spring, 1960, Kansas
Historical Quarterly, has resulted in numerous requests for additional copies. If interest
continues the entire series will be reprinted and offered for sale under one cover, with ad-
ditional information and perhaps an index.



A like reference to service from March 11 to March 31 was also

The United States, to Wm Hickok Dr.
March 31" 1864 For

Services rendered as Special Police under the
direction of Lt W. H. McAdams Pro Mar Dist S. W.
Mo. at Springfield Mo from March 11" to March
31" 1864, inclusion being 20 days at $60.00 per
month $40.00

I certify that the above account is correct and just; that the services were
rendered as stated, and that they were necessary for the Public Service, as per
my Report of "Persons and Articles," Abstract of Expenditures for March


Lt. 24" Mo. Vol. Pro. Mar. Dist. S. W. Mo.

John B. Sanborn

Brig. Genl. Comd

And on the reverse the same terse sentence:

Disapproved and ordered filed by Col Sanderson, for the reason that no
authority was issued by the Pro Mar Genl of Dept of the Mo, for the em-
ployment of this man. Wm K Patrick

July 20 '64 Auditor

Near the end of the Civil War, Hickok wrote this letter:

CASSVELLE, Mo., February 10, 1865.
Brigadier-General SANBORN:

I have been at Camp Walker and Spavinaw. There are not more than ten
or twelve rebels in any squad in the southwest that I can hear of. If you want
me to go to Neosho and west of there, notify me here. It was cold; I re-
turned back.


General Sanborn replied:

Springfield, Mo., February 11, 1865.
Cassville, Mo.:

You may go to Yellville or the White River in the vicinity of Yellville and
learn what Dobbin intends to do with his command now on Crowley's Ridge,
and from there come to this place.

Brigadier-General, Commanding. 1

It was in Springfield that Hickok shot and killed Dave Tutt. The
Springfield Missouri Weekly Patriot, July 27, 1865, gave the killing
only scant notice in its "locals" column:

David Tutt, of Yellville, Ark., was shot on the public square, at 6 o'clock
P. M., on Friday last, by James B. Hickok, better known in Southwest Missouri


as "Wild Bill." The difficulty occurred from a game of cards. Hicock is a
native of Homer, Lasalle county, Ills., and is about twenty-six years of age.
He has been engaged since his sixteenth year, with the exception of about two
years, with Russell, Majors & Waddill, in Government service, as scout, guide,
or with exploring parties, and has rendered most efficient and signal service
to the Union cause, as numerous acknowledgements from the different com-
manding officers with whom he has served will testify.

Wild Bill was tried and on August 5, 1865, was acquitted. The
Patriot reported on August 10:

The trial of Wm. Haycock for the killing of Davis Tutt, in the streets in
this city week before last, was concluded on Saturday last, by a verdict
of not guilty, rendered by the jury in about ten minutes after they retired to
the jury room.

The general dissatisfaction felt by the citizens of this place with the verdict
in no way attaches to our able and efficient Circuit Attorney, nor to the Court.
It is universally conceded that the prosecution was conducted in an able,
efficient and vigorous manner, and that Col. Fyan [sic] is entitled to much
credit for the ability, earnestness and candor exhibited by him during the
whole trial. He appeared to be a full match for the very able Counsel who
conducted the defense. Neither can any fault be found with the Judge, who
conducted himself impartially throughout the trial, and whose rulings, we
believe, gave general satisfaction. As an evidence of the impartiality of his
Honor, we copy the instructions given to the jury, as follows:

1st. If they believe from the evidence that the defendant intentionally
shot at the deceased, Davis Tutt, and the death of said Tutt was caused thereby,
they will find defendant guilty, unless they are satisfied from the evidence
that he acted in self-defense.

2d. That defendant is presumed to have intended the natural and probable
consequences of his own acts.

3d. The defendant cannot set up in justification that he acted in self-defense
if he was willing to engage in a fight with deceased.

4th. To be entitled to acquital on the ground of self-defense, he must
have been anxious to avoid a conflict, and must have used all reasonable means
to avoid it.

5th. If the deceased and defendant engaged in a fight or conflict willingly
on the part of each, and the defendant killed the deceased, he is guilty of the
offense charged, although the deceased may have fired the first shot.

6th. If it appear[s] that the conflict was in any way premeditated by the
defendant, he is not justifiable.

7th. The crime charged in the indictment is complete, whether there was
malice or not.

8th. If the jury have any reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt,
they will give him the benefit of such doubt, and acquit him.

9th. But such doubt must be a reasonable doubt, not a mere possibility.
It must be such a doubt as leaves the mind disatisfied with a conclusion of guilt.

10th. This rule, as to a reasonable doubt, does not apply as to matters
set up in justification.

llth. If the defendant claims to have acted in self-defense it is his duty


to satisfy you that he so acted, and it is not sufficient to create a doubt in your
minds whether he so acted or not.

12th. The jury will disregard evidence as to the moral character of deceased,
and as to his character for loyalty, as the character of the deceased could afford
no excuse for killing him.

13th. Every murder includes in it the crime of man-slaughter, and if the
jury believe that the defendant has committed the crime of murder in the first
or second degree, they will find him guilty under this indictment of man-slaugh-
ter, the crime charged in this indictment.

14th. The Court instructs the jury that they may disregard all that part of
the evidence of Tutt's declaration to Lieut. Warner.

15th. The Court instructs to disregard all Werner's testimony.

16th. That the jury will disregard any threats made by Tutt against Hay-
cock prior to the meeting at the Lyon House in Haycock's room.

Those who so severely censure the jury for what they regard as a disregard
of their obligations to the public interest, and a proper respect for their oaths,
should remember that they are partly to blame themselves. The citizens of
this city were shocked and terrified at the idea that a man could arm himself
and take a position at a corner of the public square, in the centre of the city,
and await the approach of his victim for an hour or two, and then willingly
engage in a conflict with him which resulted in his instant death; and this, too,
with the knowledge of several persons who seem to have posted themselves
in safe places where they could see the tragedy enacted. But they failed to
express the horror and disgust they felt, not from indifference, but from fear
and timidity.

Public opinion has much to do with the administration of justice, and when
those whose sense of justice and respect for law should prompt them to speak
out and control public sentiment, fail to do so, whether from fear or from
indifference, we think they should not complain of others. That the defendant
engaged in the fight willingly it seems is not disputed, and lawyers say and
the Court instructed the jury to the same effect that he was not entitled to
an acquital on the ground of self-defense unless he was anxious to avoid the
fight, and used all reasonable means to do so; but the jury seems to have thought

About the end of January, 1867, the February issue of Harpers
New Monthly Magazine arrived in Kansas. The lead article, au-
thored by Col. George Ward Nichols, was destined to make James
Butler Hickok nationally famous. Then, as now, printed versions
of Hickok's career became the subject of controversy. The Leaven-
worth Daily Conservative, January 30, 1867, said:

QUEER. The story of "Wild Bill," as told in Harper's for February is not
easily credited hereabouts. To those of us who were engaged in the campaign
it sounds mythical; and whether Harry York, Buckskin Joe or Ben Nugget is
meant in the life sketches of Harper we are not prepared to say. The scout
services were so mixed that we are unable to give precedence to any. "Wild
Bill's" exploits at Springfield have not as yet been heard of here, and if under
that cognomen such brave deeds occurred we have not been given the relation.


There are many of the rough riders of the rebellion now in this city whose
record would compare very favorably with that of "Wild Bill," and if another
account is wanted we might refer to Walt Sinclair and also to the Park Stables.

One of the most spirited criticisms appeared in the Springfield
Patriot on January 31, 1867. The editor of that paper, having known
Hickok during the war years, apparently felt especially qualified to
criticize the article. He wrote:

Springfield is excited. It has been so ever since the mail of the 25th brought
Harper's Monthly to its numerous subscribers here. The excitement, curiously
enough, manifests itself in very opposite effects upon our citizens. Some are
excessively indignant, but the great majority are in convulsions of laughter,
which seem interminable as yet. The cause of both abnormal moods, in our
usually placid and quiet city, is the first article in Harper for February, which
all agree, if published at all, should have had its place in the "Editor's Drawer,"
with the other fabricated more or less funnyisms; and not where it is, in the
leading "illustrated" place. But, upon reflection, as Harper has given the same
prominence to "Heroic Deeds of Heroic Men," by Rev. J. T. Headley, which,
generally, are of about the same character as its article "Wild Bill," we will
not question the good taste of its "make up."

We are importuned by the angry ones to review it. "For," say they, "it
slanders our city and citizens so outrageously by its caricatures, that it will
deter some from immigrating here, who believe its representations of our

"Are there any so ignorant?" we asked.

"Plenty of them in New England; and especially about the Hub, just as

Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 47 of 59)