I found a true thriller this time!!

My husband’s grandparents were held up at their farm by 5 escaped prisoners from Ft. Leavenworth.

Thankfully, they weren’t hurt.

The Emporia Gazette, Emporia, KS, 10 Apr 1945
2014-12-28_0018Five Disciplinary Prisoners Escape
Flee Ft. Leavenworth In Truck, Garbed In Officers’ Uniforms

Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., April 10 – Five prisoners at the U.S. disciplinary barracks were sought today after overpowering their guard and five fellow prisoners and kidnapping a truck driver in making their escape.
Lt. Col. William Wurgler, public relations officer at Ft. Leavenworth, said the men fled Monday from the post golf club where they had been working. All were dressed in stolen Army officers’ uniforms.
Their trail, Wurgler said, led to a farm house three miles north of Lawrence, where Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Weeks reported they had been tied up in a bedroom of their home and their car, a 1931 model A Ford, stolen.
At Lawrence, Sheriff Rody Skinner said the Weeks car was found abandoned north of Williamstown on highway 59 and that Pete Tenpenny of that locality had reported his 1934 Plymouth coupe was stolen.
Overpower Guard.
Wurgler gave their account:
Guarded by a soldier armed with a carbine, the men were part of a 10-man detail assigned to the golf course.
Between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., the five overpowered their guard and when the five other prisoners attempted to intervene in the guard’s behalf they, too, were overpowered. The fugitives then tried the guard and the other five prisoners together with wire and rope.
One of the prisoners then donned the guard’s uniform and led his four companions up Grand Avenue to the student officers’ quarters, where all slipped into Army officers’ uniforms.
Then they attempted to start a car parked nearby. Jame McCaffery a laundry truck driver, noticed the men were having trouble and when the prisoners saw him looking at them, they rushed him, put him in the back of his truck, bound him with rope and drove off in the laundry truck.
The truck got as far as three miles north of the airport at Lawrence, where engine trouble developed. Taking McCaffery along, they walked to the Weeks home.
Sheriff Skinner said the men arrived about 9 p.m. and remained until 2 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks were tied up in a bedroom and McCaffery was left bound on a sofa. The two Weeks children, Elizabeth Ann, 4 1/2 years old and David Lyle, 17 months, were not disturbed.
Cook Meal
Mrs. Weeks said the men cooked their meal in her kitchen.
When they left they took three of the Weeks’ ration books, a shaving mug, some “A” gasoline coupons and departed in the Weeks’ model A Ford.
After freeing himself McCaffery called his wife and Ft. Leavenworth authorities.
The prisoners were listed as Richard R. Gombert, 28, Pittsburgh, Pa; Donald Hass, 25, Kent, Wash.; Pat L. Hardmen, 22, Thomaston, Ga; Clifford J. Meeks, 20, Atlanta, Ga, and Lewis C. Mathis, 20, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

  • Nick Woods - February 13, 2015 - 5:52 am

    Glad you found this, Jennifer. I remember this event. In fact, the men also took a battery from the phone so no one could call out if they got free from their ropes. Dad took the laundry truck driver over to a neighbor’s after it got light so he could call his wife and Dad called the Sheriff. The went on the tractor. Mom W.ReplyCancel

  • Jo Henn - March 11, 2015 - 10:05 pm

    Wow! What’s exciting story — well, pretty terrifying if you were living it! But an exciting read!ReplyCancel

  • Jo Henn - March 14, 2015 - 1:05 pm

    I just wanted to tell you that I’ve included this post in my NoteWorthy Reads post for this week: http://jahcmft.blogspot.com/2015/03/noteworthy-reads-6.html.ReplyCancel

    • Jenn - March 22, 2015 - 8:12 pm

      Thanks Jo!!! I appreciate it!! :)ReplyCancel

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

This is the marriage of Miss Pearl Sherlock to Napoleon Bonaparte Thornton. It was published in the 9 Aug 1949 issue of the Alton Evening Telegraph.

I love the descriptions of her clothing.  I don’t know much about fashion, so I had to look up Brooks Cadwallader to see who it is.  Here is a blog post I found with some more info on it.
2014-12-28_0011Thornton-Shearlock Wedding

N.B. Thornton and Miss Pearl Shearlock were married this afternoon at 1 o’clock in the rectory of Old Cathedral, with Msgr. W. T. Sloan officiating. The couple dispensed with attendants.

Miss Shearlock wore a champagne suit, accented with a Brooks Cadwallader scarf, and brown acessories.

After the wedding Mr. and Mrs. Thornton left on a honeymoon strip. They will be at home, at 1810 State street, after September 1.

Mr. Thornton, son of the late City Attorney James P. Thornton and Mrs. Thornton, is a veteran of World War 1. He served in France with Battery C, 43rd Artillery, A.E.F.

Mrs. Thornton is the eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Shearlock. Until recently she was in the Wood River office of Shell Oil Company.

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top

Miss Annie Ward lived a long life and never married.  I haven’t yet figured out who her mother was.  I can’t seem to find mention of her. I know that she had 5 siblings, and that their father was Edward Thornton (a brother to my 3rd great-grandfather, James Patrick Thornton).  Her mother’s father was Patrick Ward, a well-known man who held many different offices in Alton, Illinois.  She appears to have lived with him for many years (before his death).  You will notice that her last name is listed as “Ward” instead of “Thornton”.  Her siblings went by Thornton, although a couple of them used Ward as a middle name.  I need to do some further investigating to see what may have happened to her.  2014-12-29_0009

Miss Annie Ward Dies at Age 83
Succumbs at Home of Nephew

Miss Annie Ward, 83, died Tuesday at 1:50 p.m., at the home of her nephew, Philip E. Blackburn, 418 Belleview, where she had resided since last November. Her death followed by two days that of a brother-in-law, John B. Ehret, 83.
Miss Ward was a granddaughter of the late Patrick Ward, one of the early city clerks in Alton, and she lived with him.
She was born at Virden, Ill., Jan. 25, 1844, but came to Alton in childhood and with exception of 27 years when she was housekeeper for the Rev. Father N. Costello in Granite City, had spent all of her life in Alton. She was a graduate of Ursuline Convent and a member of one of the early classes to receive diplomas at the school.
During the past 12 years, Miss Ward had suffered injuries at several different times in falls, but had recovered to the extent that hse could be up and about the house.
Tuesday morning, when she arose she complained to Mrs. Blackburn of chest pains, and after taking a drink of water decided to go back to bed. Soon after she had been helped to her room by Mrs. Blackburn she became ill and Mrs. Blackburn ministered to her until she could summon aid of neighbors.
Later Miss Ward lapsed into a coma and died before a doctor could be found to attend her. Death apparently was due to a heart attack.
While in frail health, Miss Ward had been able to get about in her nephew’s car, and Sunday he had taken her to church and to visit her niece, Mrs. Frank Womack, following the death of her father, John Ehret.
Miss Ward had been closely associated with her niece and brother-in-law and shock of death of Mr. Ehret is believed to have brought about her fatal attack of illness.
With exception of her nephew Blackburn, and niece, Mrs. Womack, she leaves no relatives.
Funeral rites will be conducted Friday at 10 a.m., with solemn requiem high mass in Old Cathedral. Burial will be in Greenwood cemetery. The body is at Staten funeral home where friends may call after 7 p.m., today. The rosary will be recited Thursday at 8 p.m.
Annie

Share on FacebookTweet this PostPin Images to PinterestBack to Top
F i n d   i t
B l o g r o l l
T a g s
B u t t o n