There was much agitation regarding the contamination of the city water caused by the North Canadian River. This bad feeling was coupled with the deplorable way in which the municipality allowed refuse to be dumped in certain sections of the city. The complaints charged that these were causing a menace to life and was a disgrace to the city.

MENACE AND DISGRACE TO THE CITY

There was much agitation regarding the contamination of the city water caused by the North Canadian River. This bad feeling was coupled with the deplorable way in which the municipality allowed refuse to be dumped in certain sections of the city. The complaints charged that these were causing a menace to life and was a disgrace to the city.

Suit was filed by Nathan S. Smith on July 12, 1909. He claimed suit of $11,795 for several charges of damages. He claimed several health charges and property damages from the negligence.

He said the conditions on South Kickapoo, near several houses, and directly in front of his residence, were so horrible that it was hard to believe they would exist in a civilized society. He said a large hole, extending several feet on the center of the street, was filled with every kind of rubbish imaginable. He also mentioned that especially after a rain, the odor was unbearable.

NEW COUNTRY CLUB HOUSE FORMALLY DEDICATED

A delightful informal opening of the Shawnee Country Club House attracted a large crowd during the evening of July 22, 1909. The party continued until late in the night. It was the largest crowd ever assembled in Shawnee on popular pleasure grounds.

KERFOOT ARRESTED

On July 27, Mayor Frank Stearns swore out a warrant for the arrest of C.W. Kerfoot, on the charge of maintaining a public nuisance. The cause for the arrest was made by the city. A few days earlier, Kerfoot had cut off a sewer tap extending from the Park Hotel on north Beard Street to the main trunk line of the Shawnee Sewer Company.

Kerfoot said the reason for this action was that the landlady of the hotel had refused to make payments of her sewer tax and was much in arrears. The mayor said that after the tap was disconnected from the main sewer line, the former was still continuing to use the services.

The sewage from the hotel ran through the pipe in the yard and began to fill to such an extent that it soon boiled over. At this juncture, it made a horrible odor, making it a danger to public health. The mayor also said Kerfoot had done this before and was given warning about the problem.

When Kerfoot was brought before Police Judge Ross Lockridge, he refused to post a $50 bond, guaranteeing his presence for his later hearing. This led to him being placed in the city jail beneath City Hall.

Kerfoot did not like the environment surrounding the narrow cells in the basement. He further said that the various odors emanating from the cold plastered walls, the hard cement floor, and from the blankets spread over the iron cots, did not appeal to his stomach. It made him sick.

He wanted to withdraw into a larger area of atmosphere, a place where he would be free to more elaborate surroundings. He suggested that the unbecoming abode was not for a man of the business world. He was quite willing to post his bond after the stay.

Mayor Stearns was in no hurry to release him just yet. In fact, he commented to the judge about it.

“Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Let him remain there awhile, it will do him good.”

It wasn’t long before Kerfoot made the arrangements for his bond and hastily left the City Hall and proceeded down Broadway Street.

NEW STANDING ON COUNTY SEAT ISSUE

State Chief Justice Matthew John Kane overruled the latest motions for demurrer filed by Tecumseh in the case against the county seat election. They alleged that a vote of 62.7 percent was necessary to remove the seat of county government to Shawnee in the election back on February 10. There was supposedly no repeal from this decision.

Everyone thought this ruling settled the county seat question for all time. However, Tecumseh still had the option of digging up a guaranty for the costs of further procedure. If they went ahead, pushing the main charges of fraud in the election, there was still hope for them to maintain the county seat.

The costs were heavy, and the chances appeared to be slim for success. For those reasons, it was generally suspected that they would not continue to pursue this line.

In Justice Kane’s decision, he allowed Tecumseh 10 days to answer the ruling. With the positive-thinking Shawneeites, it would only be a matter of a few weeks before all the county records were transferred to its city.

LOCKRIDGE DECLARES KERFOOT NOT GUILTY

In the case of the City versus C.W. Kerfoot, President of the Shawnee Sewer Company, and an employee, M.L. Henderson, Police Judge Russ Lockridge handed down a decision. He said that neither violated a city ordinance or created a nuisance. Henderson, under orders from the president of the company, disconnected the sewer at the Park Hotel on north Beard Street for non-payment of the sewer rental. The court held that if any nuisance had been created, it was done through the persons who used the sewer after it was disconnected.

The defense represented by J.H. Maxey, claimed that the nuisance was created not by them, but by the continued use of the lateral lines after the connection had been cut off. Also, that they were justified in using this means of collecting their rent. The city attorney claimed that the sewer company had other remedies to collect the rent. They could use an injunction proceeding or by suit.

(These stories and hundreds more will appear in the comprehensive history of the city of Shawnee, coming in 2019/2020. It will contain 1,200-1,500 pages, with stories related to the city and surrounding area that related to the Shawnee history. Hundreds of photos will adorn the pages throughout the account. It will contain a fully-indexed section, with approximately 10,000 names, and hundreds of former and present businesses list. Also, a glossary with the lists of former office holders in the city and county will be added. A memorial/tribute section will allow you to memorialize someone in your life, or maybe a tribute to a business or organization.)