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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Museum Minute: Doctor hangs for murder

Museum Minute
April 15, 2021

Museum Minute presents:  This Week in History (According to Herrman’s Archives)

Middle of April in the Year…

1903, April 17 – Dr. James L. Gartrell Hanged – Gallows behind Jail on Lyon St. 

                           Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas:  
                           Former Texas Senator Ruined by Drink and Drugs
         Butler, Mo. April 17 – Dr. James L. Gartrell aged 68 years, was hanged here today for the murder of D. B. Donegan.  Before the trap was sprung he spoke he spoke a few words of advice to young men and touched slightly on his career.  The Doctor in 1880-1882 was a member of the Texas senate.  Whiskey and drugs ruined him.  He accepted the hospitality of Donegan, a colored miner, on a wagon tour to the south, slew him with an ax while he slept and robbed the corpse.  Gartrell was once probate judge of Refugio County, Texas, and lost several fortunes.  Eight children, two of them bank cashiers in Texas, declined to aid him after his arrest.

Note:  My Grandpa, the late, Fred Wheatley’s father took him and his brothers to this hanging and told them to stay on thestraight and narrow in life or this could be their fate as well.  He was 12 years old at the time.  Grandpa would laugh and say he guess ‘it took’ because he never got in trouble with the law.

1890 – Three saloons have opened in Butler.  With the $1,000 city license and the $500 county license, the must be money to be made in selling booze.
1895 – A late night storm floods Rich Hill.
1884 – A big GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) meeting is held at Adrian with the gigantic supper provided by the Howerton Hotel.
1895 – Rich Hill Marshal Beaty says any loose dog not collared & licensed will be shot.  Cows & livestock at large are subject to confinement and will cost $20 a head to be released.
1896 – William Hubbard of Deepwater Township kills, what is reported to be, the largest wolf every seen in Bates County. 
1913 – Lucky Bill’s Big Wagon Show exhibits at Hume, featuring ‘Little Cupid’ the educated Shetland pony, the 8thwonder of the world.
1884 – In a monster hail storm, some places around Virginia have 3 feet of the hail piled up.
1888 – Martin V. Owen, who served in the War Between the States with ‘Fighting JO Shelby’, is elected president of the Adrian Banking Company.
1844 – Captain William Waldo sails the steamer “Maid of the Osage” to the Harmony Mission area past Papinville.
1903 – Cole Younger visits his sister, Louisa Kelly, two miles Northeast of Amoret.

Updated Obituary - Kirby M. Kropf

Kirby M. Kropf, 72, of Harrisonville, MO passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family Wednesday, April 14, 2021. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. To honor Kirby’s courageous six-year battle with cancer, donations for cancer research can be sent to the University of Kansas Cancer Center at

Kirby was born December 2, 1948, in Kansas City, MO, a son of Jack Monroe and Marjorie Helen (Mudd) Kropf. He was a lifelong Harrisonville resident and a 1966 graduate of Harrisonville High School. Kirby was united in marriage to Stephanie Larsen, February 6, 1971, in Harrisonville.

After graduation from high school, Kirby worked for Don Farr Foundations and later became an automobile/small engine mechanic, working at various garage and muffler shops. Of those positions, the one he enjoyed the most was fine-tuning his knowledge of small engines from master-mechanic, Earl Lemmer. He retired from NCC Muffler & Brakes, Belton, MO, in 2014. Kirby helped his father run the Commercial Street Lounge, formerly the Polka Dot Lounge, in Harrisonville for several years. During his spare time, Kirby loved spending time in the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing; however, his most cherished moments were spending time with his family.

Kirby was preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Kevin Kropf. He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, of the home; a son, Kyle (Jenn) Kropf, Olathe, KS; a daughter, Julie Anne Bretz (Rodney Breit), Harrisonville; six grandchildren, Shelbi (Nicholas) Tinsley, Harrisonville; Savanna Williams, Columbia, MO; Serenity Getty, Harrisonville; Alex Kropf, Madison Kropf, and Isabel Kropf, Olathe, KS; six great-grandchildren, Ezekiel Tinsley and Eleanor Tinsley, Harrisonville, MO; Jayden Williams, Beau Williams, Aurora Williams, and Nova Williams, Columbia, MO; two sisters, Kelly (Rick) Howard, Urich, MO and Karen Myers, Harrisonville, along with a host of nieces and nephews.

Rich Hill swearing in ceremony

Rich Hill City Clerk Casey Crews is shown swearing in newly elected North Ward Alderman Juan Thompson, South Ward Alderman Terry D. Bonham and Mayor Jason Rich during the Board Meeting held last night.

News from the Cass County Clerks Office

Due to a tie in Peculiar Ward 2, we will be having a Special Runoff Election for that race only. 

The election will be held on May 4, 2021. We will begin absentee voting in our office on Monday April 19th. Again, this is for Peculiar Ward 2 only.

 - Courtesy of the Cass County Clerks Office 

Winery Open today on the south side of the square

BHS now has a fishing team

This year, BHS started a fishing team. Team members were Rains Craft and Peyton Jackson. They competed in the first ever fishing tournament at the Lake of the Ozarks.

On Saturday for the PTA tournament they placed 47th out of 113 boats. They weighed in 3 fish for a total of 8.89 lbs. The weather was not their friend at 40 degrees and raining ALL. DAY. LONG!

The exact words from the boys -- "It was brutal!!" Boat Captain Dale Craft was beyond impressed with them not giving up to weigh in early. They wanted the 5 fish limit.

Sunday for the NYFA tournament, with beautiful weather, the boys weighed in 5 fish totaling 14.22 lbs. They placed 12th out of 247 boats. Peyton Jackson snagged a 5.64 lbs. fish placing 5th for the Big Bass.

Next tournament is May 1st and 2nd at Table Rock Lake.

Obituary - Kirby M. Kropf

Kirby M. Kropf, 72, of Harrisonville, MO passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. A Celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

A complete obituary will be posted when information is available.

Obituary - Betty Quick

Funeral services for Betty Quick of Butler will be 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel (660-679-6555) in Butler. Visitation will be prior to services from 1-2 p.m. Sunday at Schowengerdt Chapel. Burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler. 

Contributions to Passaic Church or BaCo Transport (Senior Center Taxi). Online condolences,

Betty J. Quick, age 89 of Butler, Missouri died Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at her home in Butler. She was born June 18, 1931 to Virgil and Mabel White Blankenship in Pleasant Gap, Missouri.

Betty is survived by two daughters, Kay Marchesi of Omaha, Nebraska and Nancy Wilson and husband Delmer of Rockville, Missouri; one brother, Bob Blankenship and wife Sharon of Carthage, Missouri; five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; George in 1998; one son, Ivan Quick; and one brother, Bill Blankenship.

Due to Covid, the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel respectfully asks that everyone wear a mask and practice social distancing.

3rd Annual Scot Lesmeister Memorial Shoot

From the Belton Police Department

By now, many of you know about our community video partnership where you can register your cameras with BPD to help us solve crimes. Well, has it worked? Here's just two examples.

On 4-10-2021 a suspect wanted for an assault which occurred on night shift watch was identified by a day shift officer on patrol. When the suspect saw the officer, he dropped a bag by a vehicle and continued walking. The suspect was stopped and arrested for the assault. The suspect denied possession of the bag which contained a felony amount of narcotics. 

The officer wanting to obtain further evidence for the felony drug charge utilized the CVP database and located a home which captured the suspect carrying and dropping the bag.
On 4-13-2021, officers took a report of an assault. The suspect in the assault denied being near of the victim, but again the CVP database was utilized and captured the crime on video.

In both of these cases, the cooperation of the camera owners was key in solving the crimes. If you have a camera system, are willing to help and haven't registered your cameras yet; please visit click "Community Policing", click "Community Video Partnership" and then click "Camera Registration". It really is that simple to get involved and help your community.

Need a job?

Looking for a great place to work? Join our team at Butler Center!

Available positions:
Full time Evening CNA
Full time Night CNA
Full time/ Part time Night RN/LPN

Daily pay offered
Sign on Bonuses

Apply in person
416 South High Street
Butler, MO 64730

Butler Chamber Business of the Month

Congratulations to Principal Financial Group, chosen as the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month. As leader of Stephens | Heffner Financial Partners, Brad Stephens has been in the financial services industry since 1997. He is very passionate about the teams vision, “with love for what we do and those we serve, we work to empower people, improve lives and help them work towards their success.” This is evident not only in his business - working with individuals, businesses, and union organizations to plan and achieve financial goals; but also in the community - being involved in and supporting local organizations. 

Pictured are Duane Lawson, McKayla Hines, Kelly Lawrence, Dana Arnold, Brad Stephens, chamber member Cindy Carrillo and chamber executive director Barbara Lawrence.