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approaching term of the district court. Bail was set at $500 each.


Again the Commercial claimed ineptness and downright graft as
the reasons for accusing the Caldwellites. 4

On July 8, 1880, the whole police force was reinstated, 5 but Mar-
shal Horseman was again relieved on August 10 though the re-
mainder of the force was retained. The Caldwell Commercial,
August 12, 1880, reported:

The City Council had one of its interesting seances on Tuesday night. It
labored and wrestled with the police question, throwing the light of its gigantic
intellect upon the subject with all the force and nerve at its command, and
finally wound up by removing Horseman from the position of City Marshal and
appointing Jas. Johnson in his place. Frank Hunt was reappointed policeman,
and Newt Miller added to the force. Newt is an old hand at the business,
having had considerable experience at Wichita.

The Caldwell Post, however, reported on the same date that "Wil-
liam N. Horseman has resigned the office of city marshal."

A continuance was granted the ex-officers in November. The
Caldwell Commercial, November 11, 1880, was still of the opinion
that no case really existed against the men:

The trial of "our boys" who are under bonds to appear at court for the killing
of George Flatt, has been put off till the spring term. It would probably have
been as well if the Judge had dismissed the case entirely as in our opinion
nothing but additional expense to the county will come of it. 6

Horseman's case was finally tried in April, 1881. The Commercial,
April 28, reported his acquittal:

The jury in the case of Wm. Horseman, charged with the killing of Geo.
Flatt, last summer, returned a verdict of "not guilty" last Friday morning [April
22], and Horseman was discharged. The verdict gives general satisfaction.

1. Caldwell Post, June 24, 1880. 2. Ibid., July 1, 1880; Caldwell Commercial, July
1, 1880. 3. Caldwell Post, July 1, 1880. 4. Caldwell Commercial, July 8, 1880. 5. Cald-
well Post, July 8, 1880. 6. See, also, Caldwell Post, November 11, 1880.



Frank Hunt was appointed a Caldwell deputy policeman during
the first week of May, 1880. 1 On May 4 the police court docket first
carried his name as an arresting officer.

Hunt's first press notice appeared in the Caldwell Post, May 27,
1880: "A number of the cavalry boys couldn't forego the pleasure
of indulging too much last Monday night. Result, three of the
noisiest troopers were trotted off to the calaboose, under the kind
guidance of Johnson and Hunt, our vigilant peelers."

In June Hunt assisted City Marshal William Horseman in arrest-
ing two horse thieves. This Post article was reprinted in the section
on Horseman.


When Former City Marshal George Flatt was killed, June 19, and
the city authorities subsequently arrested for suspected complicity,
Hunt was included among that number. This has been more fully
covered in the sections on Horseman and Flatt.

Toward the end of summer Policeman Frank Hunt inadvertently
killed a cowboy's horse when he fired at the herder in self defense.
The Caldwell Post, September 9, 1880, reported:

Last Thursday afternoon the city had a light shooting scrape. It seems that
one W. F. Smith, a herder had liquored up pretty freely, so that the ordi-
nances of the quiet city of Caldwell became a myth and the police even en-
tirely forgotten. He rode around the town now and then flourishing his revolver,
believing no doubt he was lord of all he surveyed. Of course he struck the
"red-light" they all do it. Then he commenced firing a salute; but that was
sufficient signal for the police to appear on the stage and take a hand in the
matinee. When they came, our valiant cow-boy went off, but his arrest being
determined upon, the police scattered out to effect the same. They were told
that Smith was a "bad" one and quite on the shoot. He was the same who
made things lively over in Hunnewell some weeks ago. Policeman Hunt met
him about George's stable, and ordered him to halt. In reply he drew his
revolver, when Frank elevated his shot gun and lodged a buck shot in Mr.
Smith's knee, and killing his horse. A great deal of sympathy was expressed for
the horse. Smith was taken to the police court, where he pleaded guilty to
disorderly conduct, and paid his fine, after which he was taken in hand by Dr.
Noble. We are very sorry that some of the cow-boys who come in here allow
whisky to get the better of them; because when sober, they are as are the
majority of them, as nice fellows as ever lived. We expect them to have all the
fun they can get, but they must acknowledge that the citizens of our town have
a right to insist upon a strict compliance with the city's laws. Visitors had
better bear that in mind, and also the fact that we have a police force deter-
mined to do their duty. This state of affairs is as profitable for people visiting
our city as for ourselves.

Hunt was himself killed a month later, just a few days after he
had been relieved from the police force. The Caldwell Commercial,
October 14, 1880, said:


Last Friday night [October 8], between the hours of ten and eleven o'clock,
Frank Hunt was shot while sitting by a window in the Red Light dance hall,
on the corner of Fifth and Chisholm streets. The particulars, so far as devel-
oped, are about as follows: During the evening Hunt had some difficulty with
one of the cyprians belonging to the house, and considerable bad blood was
engendered between Hunt, the woman and her "man." Shortly before the
shooting Hunt had taken part in a dance, and after it was over sat down by
a window on the north side of the room. A few moments after a shot was fired,
and Hunt jumped from his seat exclaiming, "I'm killed! He did it out there!"
at the same time pointing to the window.

City Marshal J. W. Johnson and D. W. Jones, who was assisting Johnson that
night as special policeman, being present, immediately ran to the east door of


the hall, but finding it fastened Jones made his way out in front. Meantime
Johnson forced open the east door, got out and ran around to the north side
of the house. As he did so he heard some one running near the stage barn,
and followed after, but it being dark he could see no one, and whoever the
fleeing party was he escaped.

Hunt was taken care of as soon as possible, placed on a table in the center
of the room and Dr. MacMillan sent for. On his arrival an examination was
made, and it was found that Hunt was shot in the left side, near the back, the
ball entering between the ninth and tenth rib. Hunt was removed to a building
on Main street, and on Saturday morning a dispatch was sent for his brother,
D. M. Hunt, who lives in Ray county, Missouri. Subsequently Hunt was re-
moved to the Leland Hotel, where he died about noon on Monday. His brother
reached Caldwell sometime during Sunday night, and was with him up to the
time of his death.

Immediately upon the death of Hunt a coroner's jury was summoned, by
Squire Kelly, and an inquest began. A post mortem examination of the body
was made by Drs. Noble & MacMillan, when it was found that the ball had
passed through the upper portion of the tenth rib, through the liver and the
lower part of the stomach, and lodged to the right of the stomach.

On Tuesday D. M. Hunt returned to Missouri, taking the body of his brother
wtih him, and it will be buried at Lathrop, Clinton county, where his parents

J. Frank Hunt was a young man, aged 29 years [the 1880 U. S. census listed
Hunt as 27 years old]; was born in Ray county, Missouri, where he was raised.
His parents afterward removed to Lathrop, Clinton county, where they now

Frank came to Caldwell about a year ago. Last year he was appointed
on the police force, which position he occupied until the last meeting of the
Council, when the force was reduced and Hunt was discharged. During all
the time he was on the force Hunt was strictly temperate, quiet and unobtrusive,
prompt and strict in the discharge of his duties. While he made some enemies,
as such a man always will, he made more friends, and was generally regarded
as one of the best men on the police force.

As to who fired the fatal shot there are many conjectures, but pending the
investigation of the coroner's jury it is not worth while to give them. Every
effort is being made to ferret out the assassin, and if found it will go hard with

The jury is composed of the following citizens: B. M. Odom, L. G. Bailey,
S. Donaldson, R. Bates, E. C. Henning and W. B. Hutchison. When it shall
have finished its work and made a report we will endeavor to give the main
points of the evidence brought out in the examination.

The Caldwell Post, October, 14, 1880, reported that 17-year-old
Dave Spear was the suspected murderer:


Last Friday evening this city was again thrown into an excitement over
another murder. About ten o'clock some cowardly assassin shot Frank Hunt
and inflicted, what afterwards proved a fatal wound. Hunt was down at that
den of iniquity, the Red Light dance house, and while sitting at the north
window in the dance hall, some one shot him, the ball entering his body on the


left side, passing over and fracturing the tenth rib and lodging in the ninth
costal cartilage on the right side. The shot was fired through the open win-
dow, by some person standing outside. Who that person was is only a matter
of rumor and suspicion. Doctors Noble & MacMillan attended to the wounded
man until his death, which happened last Monday. A jury was at once sum-
moned by Judge Kelly, who, in the absence of a Coroner, acted in his place.
The jury consisted of W. B. Hutchison, B. M. Odom, S. Donaldson, R. Bates,
L. G. Baily, and C. H. Henning. The State is represented by L. M. Lange,
Esq. The session of the Coroner's jury being held in secret the testimony
is not accessible; but enough is known of their proceedings to assert that a
thorough examination is being made to feret out the guilty party.

Shortly after the death of Frank Hunt, David Spear, of this town, was
arrested under a warrant from Justice Kelly, and is still held in custody.

Hon. Thomas George, of Wellington, is engaged to represent Spear, and
is admitted to the coroner's jury.

We understand that Hunt made statements before his death; but of course
they are as yet denied us for publication.

We cannot refrain from saying that it is our opinion that if the Council
had listened to our protestations against the running of the "dance house,"
this murder would not have happened in our place. The POST again and again
lifted up its voice against it, and calling to mind what like dens have done for
other cities. Our words have proved true, and we charge the Council with
being blameable for these shameful, horrid happenings in our midst. Both
the murder of Flatt and of Hunt goes straight back to the Red Light dance

The post mortem examination of the remains was performed Monday after-
noon, by Drs. Noble & MacMillan, and revealed a wound which must have been
of itself necessarily fatal. After passing through the abdominal wall the
bullet pierced both the pyloric end of the stomach and left lobe of the liver,
and was found embedded in the 9th costal cartilage. The arteries were then
injected with a preserving liquid and the body turned over to the brother of
the disease [sic] who took it back to Missouri for interment.

The city looses in the death of Frank Hunt an able and efficient officer and
valuable citizen, and his friends have our sincerest sympathy, both on our
own account and from the fact that one so promising should have come to his
death under such painful circumstances.

LATER. The Coroner's inquest concluded its work this noon, and found
the following verdict: "That said J. Frank Hunt came to his death from a
pistol ball fired from a pistol held in the hand of David Spear, on the night
of October 8th, between the hours of 10 and eleven o'clock, and that this was
done feloniously and with malice aforethought, and they further find that one
Lumis or Loomis, at that time engaged as night-watch at the Red Light saloon
in said city of Caldwell, was an accessory before the fact.

Spear is under arrest and closely guarded, and we understand that Loomis
was caught at Wellington by Sheriff Thralls.

Spear was tried on October 22, 1880, but was released. 2 No
further mention was found of Loomis.

1. Caldwell Post, May 6, 1880. 2. Ibid., October 28, 1880.


James Johnson was appointed policeman on the Caldwell force,
April 12, 1880. The marshal and assistant, appointed the same day,
were William Horseman and D. W. Jones. 1

The first record of an arrest by Johnson appeared in the Caldwell
Post, April 29, 1880:

On Saturday evening [April 24], one of Uncle Sam's boys, was indulging
in the, to him, pleasing enterprise of breaking window panes. He carried a
six-shooter, and hinted that no officer could take him, but as soon as Dan Jones
and James Johnson heard of the matter "they gathered him in" and gave him
quarters in the cooler. Afterwards a sergeant came and paid his fine and
took him to camp where he was drilled in the old fashioned, but very dis-
agreeable, manual of "right shoulder and left shoulder log/'

In May Frank Hunt arrested Lum O'Connell for "fast riding on
the streets." 2 The Post, May 6, 1880, reported that Johnson had
made the arrest:

A young man from the country, came to town last Monday, riding on a
mule. He got loaded up with "tanglefoot" and on starting for home was
very joyful. He manifested his happiness by running his mule up Main street
and informing the public that "by G _ he was going home." Policeman John-
son interfered with his arrangements, and informed him that he couldn't "go
home till morning," and that for that night he had to remain in the cooler.
The morning found a more sober, sadder and we hope a wiser young man.

The Caldwell police court docket recorded O'Connell's fine as $3
and cost.

Johnson and Frank Hunt, who by then was also a Caldwell police-
man, arrested three drunken soldiers on May 24, 1880. The Post,
May 27, recorded the act: "A number of the cavalry boys couldn't
forego the pleasure of indulging too much last Monday night. Re-
sult, three of the noisiest troopers were trotted off to the calaboose,
under the kind guidance of Johnson and Hunt, our vigilant peelers."

The three, James E. Whipple, Dan Sulivan, and John Kelly,
were found guilty of drunkenness and disorderly conduct and were
fined $1 and cost each, according to the police court docket.

On May 15, 1880, Thomas J. Ingram had charged Policeman
Johnson with assault. After a trial before the Caldwell police
judge, James D. Kelly, Sr., the case was dismissed and Johnson re-
leased. 3 On June 3 Ingram tried to kill Johnson. The Caldwell
Post, June 10, 1880, reported:

On last Thursday night about twelve o'clock, Mr. J. W. Johnson, our
efficient policeman, was informed that one T. J. Ingraham had a pistol contrary
to the ordinances of the city. Mr. Johnson stepped up to Ingraham and asked


him if he had a revolver, to which he replied, "Yes, you son-of-a-b h," and,

pulling the revolver from his coat pocket snapped it three times in Johnson's
face. Fortunately the cartridges did not explode, and Johnson, grasping the
revolver, after a severe tussle succeeded in arresting the cuss. He was fined
the next morning by the police Judge for carrying concealed weapons, ten
dollars and costs, and he is now working out his fine on the streets. We believe
he should be arrested under a state warrant for assault with intent to kill.

The police court docket, June 3, 1880, merely carried this terse
statement of Ingram's sentence: "Sent to Prison."

James Johnson was among those of the Caldwell city government
arrested for suspected complicity in the murder of George Flatt,
June 19, 1880. This has been more fully covered in the sections
on Flatt and William Horseman.

About a month after the Caldwell police force had been rein-
stated, Johnson was promoted city marshal in place of Horseman.
The Caldwell Commercial article, August 12, 1880, reporting this,
was reprinted in the section on Horseman.

The majority of arrests made by the Caldwell police force in the
summer of 1880 were of minor importance. Drunkenness, fighting,
carrying weapons, gambling, and prostitution constituted the gen-
eral run of arrests recorded in the police court docket.

A typical week was that of August 17 to 23, 1880. The Caldwell
Post, August 26, stated that "police court fines for the week ending
August 23d, 1880, amounted to $52.75, of which $29.00 was paid
and $23.75 was worked out on the streets." The docket, however,
recorded fines totaling $44 plus costs. Three arrests for drunken-
ness were made a man named Cole was fined $1 and cost on
August 18, L. C. Porter was fined $3 and cost on August 21, and
the case of "John" was dismissed on August 22.

Charles Reinhart and A. C. Jones were arrested on August 18 for
"loud and boisterous and profane language." Reinhart was fined $5
and cost of $18.75. Jones' case was granted a continuance. On
August 20, 1880, H. Kinney was fined $5 and cost for "running a
gaming table."

All the other arrests that week, five in number, were for being
inmates of "houses of ill fame" or for operating such places. Lucy
Breno, August 17; Ida Wickham, August 19; and Maggie Deming
and Jennie Burk, both August 23, were all fined $5 and cost each for
being "inmates." L. E. Brown was fined $10 and cost on August 19
for operating a house.

Caldwell, like all cowtowns, relied on sinners to support its city
government. Liquor (dramshop) Licenses, and gambling and pros-


litution fines were the primary sources of city revenue. Since Cald-
well police court records were available, a study of the various fines
has been made. This concentration on Caldwell, however, does
not imply that the town was any more or less immoral than any of
the other cowtowns.

During the cattle season of 1880, which ran from about April 15
to October 15, 207 arrests were recorded in the Caldwell police
court docket. Fines assessed on the 188 convictions resulting from
these arrests totaled $833. If court costs could be accurately com-
puted and added to this figure it would then total at least three
times that amount.

The leading cause for arrest that summer was prostitution and the
keeping of a house of prostitution. Sixty-two such arrests were
made netting the city $390 exclusive of costs. In addition prosti-
tutes were arrested 15 times for drunkenness and creating a dis-
turbance, which added $44, again exclusive of costs, to the treasury.
Besides this, five arrests, though not explicitly stated, were probably
of prostitutes and an operator and added another $30 to the till.
Thus prostitutes accounted for 82, or 40% of all the arrests made in
Caldwell those six months, and for $464, or 56%, of the total amount
of fines assessed.

The second leading cause for arrest was drunkenness and creating
a disturbance. Fifty-three such arrests were made (including the
15 mentioned above ) which accounted for $101 in fines. This con-
stituted 26% of the total arrests made and 12% of the total assessed

Gambling was third in number of arrests with 31 or 15% of the
total, but second in amount of fines assessed with $149 or about 18%
of the total.

Twenty-six arrests and $82 in fines were assessed for carrying or
shooting weapons in the city. Swearing, fighting, reckless riding,
assault, resisting arrest, keeping a dog, lack of a saloon license, steal-
ing, and causes not stated made up the remainder of reasons for

The tinkling of tainted coins as they dropped in the police court
coffer undoubtedly inspired this purchase, mentioned in the Cald-
well Commercial, August 26, 1880: "The police force of our city
now sport neat silver badges a donation from the city council."

Seven times during the season arrests were made for the unlawful
discharge of firearms within the city limits. Fines ran from one to
five dollars and costs, the costs generally being several times higher


than the smaller fines. The Caldwell Post, September 9, 1880, men-
tioned the low number of such arrests:

This city has been comparatively free from the infernally reckless firing off
of revolvers inside the limits and offenders have generally been "gobbled."
Only once or twice the guilty parties have escaped. Last Monday night there
was quite a brisk firing around town, presumably by some chaps so full of fire
within that it made their revolvers go off accidentally (?). The accident plea
is too thin, and ought to be very strongly corroborated if it should be taken for
"good fish" in the future. The Police Justice has determined to give every
person who shoots within the city limits, without authority to do so, the full
benefit of the law. He is determined, so far as in him lies, to put a stop to that
nuisance, which endangers the life of our citizens.

The whole town must have been law abiding, according to this
statement made in the Post on September 16, 1880: "The police
court is terribly quiet. No arrests, no drunks, no nothing. If the
police keeps up this kind of racket, the calaboose will lose all its
interest and only be fit for a chicken coop."

To the Caldwell Commercial the quiet did not justify the dis-
charging of all but Marshal Johnson from the police force, an act
which was accomplished on October 4. On October 7, the Com-
mercial said:

Some of these odd days or nights the City Council will awake to the
realizing sense that one policeman is too small a force for the preservation of
order in a town the size of Caldwell. Economy is a good thing for com-
munities, as well as individuals, but it don't lie in the direction of an inadequate
police force.

The Commercial was right. The next day, on October 8, Frank
Hunt, the recently discharged assistant marshal, was shot and
killed. Though Marshal Johnson and a special policeman were in
the same building in which Hunt was killed, they failed to catch
his murderer. The article reporting Hunt's death was included
in the section on Hunt.

The admonitions of the Commercial and the murder of Hunt ap-
parently did not immediately impress the city council with the
need for a larger force. When these items appeared in the Post,
October 21, 1880, Johnson was still the only policeman in Caldwell:

Several violators of the city ordinances have been arrested within the last
week. Experience, it seems, should convince the disorderly element that they
cannot, with impunity, violate the laws. Our policeman is watchful, and
stickles for the right. Those who feel that they can not exist without indulging
in a spree or making hurrah plays are recommended to betake themselves to
the quiet woods or boundless prairies, where the mule-eared rabits and viscious
mosquitoes roam, and where Jim Johnson goeth not.


Manipulators of six-shooters in the dark hours of night should feel satisfied
by this time that they are too much for a police force of one. In a city the
size of Caldwell, with a police force of one man, they can easily fire their pistols
and escape without detection. It is believed that the prime object is to tantalize
the force, who, we know, has did his utmost to discover the perpetrators. As
their sport is an annoyance to good citizens they will accept a discontinuance
of the same as an individual favor.

On November 1, 1880, a second man was placed on the force
and the owner of the Red Light dance hall and saloon, George
Wood, hired his own policeman and placed him under the direction
of City Marshal Johnson. The Post, November 4, 1880, said:

Joe Dolan was appointed Assistant Marshal, at the late meeting of the
Council, and one Reed was appointed special Policeman at the Red-Light.
Mr. Reed is under full control of the city and Marshal, but is paid by Mr.
Wood, at whose request he was appointed. Reed also furnished a good and
sufficient bond for the faithful execution of his duties.

Maggie Wood, wife of the Red Light's owner, was, by the way,
one of the chief contributors to the Caldwell city treasury through
the intermediate office of the police judge. The United States

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