Roy Martin shot through the heart by a negro in Kansas City, Kanas.
Roy Martin a student of the Kansas City, Kan high school was shot and killed at Kerr Park in that city at 4 O 'clock this afternoon by a negro boy, Gregory by name. The bullet went through Martin's heart. Martin and several other high school boys were practicing running on the track in Kerr's Park and were annoyed by several negro boys on a hill near by. The negro boys made insulting remarks to the white boys and the latter advanced toward them. Gregory drew a pistol and fired into the crowd of white boys, hitting Martin. The negro boys fled and none was captured. The dead boy lived at 953 Minnesota Avenue with his mother, Mrs. Emma Martin, the owner of the Home Hotel.
The murder of Roy Martin, a freshman in the Kansas City, KS. High School, by Louis Gregory, a negro, at Kerr's park yesterday afternoon, caused a demonstration by t he white pupils at the High school building at Ninth street and Minnesota. Avenue in that city between 8 and 9 o'clock this morning. There are eighty negro pupils regularly attending the high school and when these pupils went to school this , morning they were prevented from entering the building by the 700 white pupils. The building was surrounded by the boy pupils, while the great doorways were blocked by the girls Every window in the big building was filled with girls
Out on the streets a crowd of several hundred persons had gathered. There were negroes as well as white people in the crowd and fifteen or twenty policemen, some of them in citizens clothes formed a line along the curb between the high school boys a and the crowd.
On the stone steps at the southwest entrance to the building, .M. E. Pearson, superintendent of schools, Mayor B. Gilbert, Prof. W. C. McCrasky, principal of the high school and several of the men teachers on his staff were assembled. They realized the gravity of the situation and counseled the boys to moderation. "It's no use, no negro pupil can enter this building, at least until Roy Martin is buried," the boys declared.
It was useless to argue with the boys. The 8:30 o'clock
bell rang as usual, but nobody Paid any attention to it.
"We are not accusing the negro pupils of the high school with being responsible for Roy Martins death, but we want to show how we feel about cold blooded murder," one of they boys told a reporter for The Star.
The greatest demonstration, however, was by the girls. They formed in lines at the front entrance determined, as they said, not to let a negro inside the building, They did not want the white boys to go inside, either. The demonstration' on the part of the girls came when Prof. A.A. Brooks, one of the oldest teachers in the school talked to the boys from the front steps about being more careful in their expressions of resentment and conduct towards the negro pupils who were innocent of any crime towards the whites. This angered some of the hot headed youths and they wanted to pull Prof. Brooks from the steps. Besides Prof. Brooks, other teachers had been doing quiet work and members in the senior class decided they had better go inside the Study hall, They started up the steps, but were met by the lines of girls who declared that the seniors stay outside with the other students and help "drive the negroes away" in case any should try to enter the building.
The seniors resorted to football tactics and rushed through the line
of girls into the building. The
girls jerked them and stamped their feet and some of them struck at the seniors with their fists.
The action of the seniors in entering the building did much to quiet
the feeling among the other students. The professors assured
the more radical white scholars that no negro students should enter the building that day.
Some of the citizens in the crowd went among the negro students who were standing in groups on the outside. The negro pupils were advised to go to their homes, and by so doing it was suggested that the trouble would blow over in a few days. Most of them took the advice readily and quietly walked away, Only a few, however, remained, and these withdrew several blocks. The crowd then dispersed.
After that the pupils were grouped together with their teachers in the classrooms, but the first hour of the school had been lost and many of the pupils were too wrought up to pay much attention to their studies
Many of the girls who had passed through all of the excitement were
now in tears, being unable to longer stand the
strain. Prof. McCrosky, principal at the school, went from one room to another. He is well liked by all of the pupils, and when
he talked to the boys and girls his words had the effect of quieting them. Still, they were firm in their determination to keep the negro pupils from reentering the school.
In Kansas City, Ks., there has never been a separate school for negro pupils, although movements in that direction have been made repeatedly, but without success. The demonstration today is the first open rupture between white and black pupils.
"The situation is very grave," said Superintendent Pearson at noon today.
"We are doing everything to allay this excitement and
I think we will succeed." A delegation of negro preachers and lawyers called on Superintendent
Pearson. He told them they could help the situation wonderfully by counseling, moderation among the negro people of the City. They agreed with him that that was the thing to do.
Chief of Police Murray of Kansas City, Ks. is prepared to suppress any
serious demonstration an the part of either
white persons or negroes. The action of the negroes last night around the jail after the negro Louis Gregory had been taken there has caused Chief Murray to issue orders against allowing armed bands of negroes to congregate on the streets. The white persons who passed the courthouse and county jail yard between 2 and 4 o'clock this morning were insulted by negroes with shotguns and Winchesters, who demanded to know why they were
passing in that direction.
This condition of affairs became so aggravated that Sergeant Hedrick with a squad of police went to the jail yard to drive the negroes away. He was met with armed resistance. About fifty negroes with guns and revolvers drawn defied the officers. Some of the leaders among the negroes will be arrested today if they can be found and charges of felonious assault and resisting officers placed against them.
The cool and deliberate way in which Sergeant Hedrick and other policemen
faced the fifty armed negroes gradually drove from the courthouse and jail
yards was probably the cause of averting a race riot early this
morning. No negroes will be allowed to congregate around the jail today and tonight
The negroes were in groups on the streets last night and were insulting to the white people. At Fourth street and Minnesota Avenue two white men were standing talking. A crowd of negroes came up and demanded to know what they were talking about and used threatening language. The negroes seemed to want trouble.
Chief of Police Murray this morning distributed several Winchester rifles among his men and the city will be closely patrolled by policemen armed with rifles tonight .
A crowd of fifteen or twenty negroes were standing in the enclosure beside the track. and as the boys passed the judges stand the negroes would jeer them using insulting remarks.
The white boys paid little attention to the negroes until finally Martin, who was captain of the team, told them to stop. John Alpine, a student, had just made a circuit of the track and at the judges stand the negroes renewed their taunts. Martin told them to let the boy alone. Then someone in the crowd of negroes said "Shoot him" Lewis Gregory then drew a revolver and fired at Martin. Martin threw up his hands and fell. He did not speak The negro kept on firing and the next shot, aimed at Clarence Mook missed. Another was fired as Mook fell to the ground, but it missed him also. In the excitement Louis Gregory, the negro who fired the shots, escaped, but he as found by the police last night at the home of a brother
Dr. D.M. Shively, coroner of Wyandotte county, Dr. C.M. Stemen and Dr. P.M Tracy made a postmortem examination of the body of Roy Martin this morning at Raymond's undertaking rooms, where the body is being prepared for burial The bullet from a 38-caliber revolver passed through the heart and ranged upward into the left lung, shattered the right rib and lodged in the muscles behind.
Coroner Shively says no inquest will be held as the negro Gregory admits doing the shooting and for the further reason that the race hatred is so strong just now that trouble is feared
Louis Gregory this morning, in a confession to Oscar Haner, jailer of
Wyandotte County, said that he shot at another boy and missing him, hit
Martin. An hour later, in a statement to Dr. D. M. Shively, coroner,
Gregory said the shooting was purely
"I had my hand on the trigger," said Gregory, "and was pointing the pistol towards some boys to d rive them back, when someone rushed up behind me and made me jump and I pulled the trigger and shot accidental"
The police of Kansas City. Ks. arrested two of the negroes this
afternoon who took Part in the demonstration at the jail last night.
The negroes arrested are W. M. Napper , 826 New Jersey Avenue, and
M L Williams, 923 Everett Street. Napper was armed with a rifle and
led the crowd of negroes last night. More arrests will be made.
The trial of Gregory by a jury in the district court, should he be bound over, will not be held until the June term of the court. He probably will remain in jail until that time
Complaints were also held in the North side city court charging six negroes with inciting a riot and resisting officers, which is a felony under the Kansas law. The Negroes which surrounded the jail Tuesday night armed with Winchester rifles and revolvers; Philip Scott, W.L. Wilson, Albert Anderson, James Black and Will Cunningham. All of these were with Napper. Other Negroes will be arrested today and such a vigorous prosecution made as will probably prevent a repetition of the scene around the county jail Tuesday night.
The better class of Negroes in Kansas City, Kan, have done much to prevent the riot which at one time was threatened. There was no demonstration of mob violence on the part of the white people towards the murderer of Martin.
The better class of negroes deplore the fact that some of their race took upon themselves to fly to arms and otter insults which in many places would have caused a race war.
There is some fear that when the negro students try
to enter the high school Monday Morning there will be similar trouble to
that which occurred yesterday morning when the white boys and girls refused
to allow any of the negroes to enter t he building The feeling
among the high school boys and girls seems t be as strong today against
the negroes as it was yesterday. The white students do not agree
on the best plan to be pursued. Some think it would be the proper
thing refuse to allow the negroes to enter then the white students should
leave the school in a body and return to their homes and await the
development of some plan to provide a separate high school for whites and
blacks. Most of the students favor the latter plan.
Many of the citizens will attend the meeting of the board of education in rooms in Carnegie Library building tonight, when the plans to settle the race differences will be discussed. It is a question which has been discussed many time by the board of education and the Mercantile club, but financial difficulties and the law have prevented a solution.
Race Excitement Caused by Murder of Ray Martin Abates,
But It is Feared it Would Be Unwise To Open
There is little excitement in Kansas City, Kan.,
today because of the race troubles resulting from the murder of Roy Martin,
a white pupil, by Louis Gregory, a negro. The situation, however,
is still grave and many citizens, white and black, are engaged in a calm
discussion as to the best means of remedying the trouble and preventing
a further demonstration. There is a strong sentiment in the city
in favor of separate high schools, but under existing laws the board of
education is powerless to provide separate schools. Many citizens
favor the plan of suspending the high school for the balance of the students
attempt to enter high school for the balance of the term, as it is feared
that should the negro students attempt to enter high school with the white
students Monday morning further trouble will occur.
"It would be wrong to attempt to have a mixed school Monday morning,"
said a business man today who is well acquainted with local conditions.
"The Negroes must not be forced into the schools at this lime. Everything
should be done to allay this
feeling between the races and the more we force matters the more serious the situation will grow.
"While we must uphold the majesty of the law as much as possible, at the same time we must deal with local conditions in such a way as not to bring disgrace on ourselves by precipitating a race war. Let the white people and the negro work together in trying to solve this problem for the best interests of all concerned."
This view of the situation seemed to prevail among all classes. Both the negroes and the whites admit that the only way to avoid serious trouble is to close the high school to both whites and blacks for a while longer, at least.
Agitation has been started in Kansas City, Kan., to secure the passage of a special Bill by the Kansas Legislature providing for separate high schools for the whites and blacks. The white people favor the separate high school plan and many of the better class of negroes realize it is the only solution of the racial differences in that city. The republicans are the only ones who have yet nominated a full legislative ticket, and this morning each candidate was asked to express himself on the separate school proposition. Dr. S.S. Glasscock, candidate for representative said: "In my opinion there should be separate schools for the two races. It becomes more apparent every day. The more intelligent class of negroes appreciate that fact, and if the majority of the people demonstrate that they want a separate high school, I will Introduce a bill in the next legislature making such provisions if I am elected."
James F. Getty, candidate for state senator said: "I don't think it's the proper time to discuss this matter while both sides are very much worked up over the situation. If I am fortunate enough to be elected to the state senate I shall try to do what the majority of the people want me to do. If they went a separate school, I shall do my utmost of secure the passage of a law to that effect."
C.K. Robinette, candidate for representative said "If I am elected to the legislature and the people want such a bill passed, I shall work for it with all concerned and what that is will have to be determined.
Negro Preacher Arrested
The Rev. E. T. Green, the negro minister of
the Baptist Church on N. 3rd Street, between State and Nebraska Avenues
in Kansas City, Kansas, was arrested by police in that city yesterday
on charges of being one of the leaders in the mob demonstration at the
jail Tuesday night. It is said by the police that the minister not
only carried a rifle but made speeches inciting the negroes. He was
locked up on a charge of investigation in the city jail.
A crowd of people, white and black stood on the sidewalks on Minnesota Avenue, State Avenue, and Ninth Street to see what was going on, but the police were on hand to prevent any disturbance.
About 8 o'clock a crowd of students began collecting on the northeast corner of Ninth and Minnesota Avenue, just across from the high school building. By 8:15, there were probably 200 students in the crowd. They were orderly and were discussing the nest plan to pursue. Some declared that they would not enter the school with the negroes. Others argued that there were only six weeks more of school and as they had endured negroes in the high schools for several years, they ought to be able to stay with them six weeks longer. The great majority of the boys seemed to take that view of it, and after the ringing the first bell, began to enter the school building. At 8:30 only about twenty-five boys and perhaps a dozen girls remained outside. However, many white pupils returned home when they saw the negroes entering into the building, and many did not leave home fearing trouble.
To the senior class of about seventy-five students
who are due to graduate within four weeks, much credit is due. for an amicable
settlement for the race troubles. They are just at the point
where they are completing their high school education, and any show
of rebellion or demonstration on their part would deprive them of the honors
of the graduation exercise and the much sought "sheep skin." Then
there were a hundred juniors who within the next few weeks will have to
make their "points" before they are admitted into the senior class next
Many parents accompanied their children to the school and compelled them to enter.
Among the first to conduct his boy into the building was Colonel Charles Wood, who in 1883 left West Point because of a negro student there. Colonel Wood was adjutant general in Tennessee under ex-Governor Taylor and commanded a volunteer regiment during the Spanish American War. He is a Southerner and went to Kansas City, Kansas from the South in March. He is part owner of the T. C. Creel lumber company, His son is 13 years old and had only been in the High school three weeks. Colonel Wood said his son would finish the term.
Several special officers and detectives were on duty early to prevent any demonstration the part of white students. Their services were not needed except to take charge of a drunken man who was looking for trouble. H. Rom, who lives at 1045 Barnett Avenue , while under the influence of whiskey, joined the crowd of boys shortly after 8 O'clock and began to talk about whipping the first negro who dared to enter the high school grounds. He had not proceeded very far in his speech when Mayor T. B. Gilbert who was present, ordered an officer to take him to the station. The man was armed with a bottle of whiskey.
The students who remained on the grounds outside the building after school began said they did it because either expected many of the students who had gone into the building would refuse to recite in their classes with negroes and walk out. In this they were mistaken as everything moved along smoothly on the inside and there was not the slightest show of rebellion.
In assessing the fine, Police Judge Trembly said the demonstration on the part of the negroes had done more to arouse the bitter feelings between the blacks and the whites than the murder itself.
William Cunningham, and James Black, negroes were fined $100 and $75 respectively on a charge of carrying concealed weapons and refusing to submit to arrest on Wednesday night when the officers were guarding against another armed demonstration.
The arraignment of Gregory was delayed until today because of the race feeling which ran so high in the murder. He was bought to the courtroom by Jailer Oscar Hahner. The negro was badly frightened and trembled as he stood before the judge. He was returned to the jail to be held without bond.
Roy Martin's Slayer in Court
Saw Martin Shot Down
Witnesses Tell Of Murder of Kansas City, Kansas School Boy
Gregory, the Negro, Was Pointed Out Today in Court
The first witness called was Allen M. Brooks of 1936 N. Sixteenth Street, a carpenter who was working at Kerr's Park the day of the murder. He described the shooting and pointed out Louis Gregory as the one who fired the shot. Mr. Brooks said the negro boys were annoying the white boys some of whom were running on the race track.
"Who fired the shot?" asked Attorney John Hale, who is aiding in the prosecution.
"That boy there," replied Brooks pointing with his umbrella at Louis Gregory.
Gregory showed no sign of emotion and Brooks continued.
"Martin then fell and the negro boy, still holding the smoking revolver, ran from the park. I hastened to where Martin lay. As I reached him he gasped two or three times and then died."
Under cross examination by Dorsey Green, Gregory' attorney, Mr. Brooks did not depart from his story of the shooting.
The state next introduced a plat of Kerr's Park showing where the shooting took place. J.L. Lasky who laid out the park was introduced to testify to the correctness of the map.
Wallace Hickman of 528 South Harrison Street of Kansas City, Mo. the next witness gave his account of the shooting which bore out the testimony given by Brooks. Hickman rose from the witness chair and showed how Gregory drew the revolver and fired. He testified that after killing Martin, Gregory turned and fired at a boy, Mook by name,.
The state placed Dr. D.M. Shively, Dr. C.M. Stemen and Dr. P.M Tracy who held the autopsy on Roy Martin on the stand. They testified as to the path of the bullet and that the wound caused his death.
John Carlson, a High school student testified also, telling practically the same story as the other witnesses.. The state then rested its case. The defense began its presentation at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
During the whole trail, the court made only two rulings on the admission of testimony. One objection was made by the defense and sustained, and the other objection by the state. In appealing a criminal case to the supreme court in Kansas the defendant has to give security for costs. Gregory's parent are not able to secure the costs necessary to maintain an appeal.
Gregory murdered Roy Martin, a Kansas City Kas. High SChool boy, on April 12, at Kerr park, west of that city.