[A. T. SHINNEMAN.]
AUGUST 14, 1879.
LETTER FROM JOHN C. ROBERTS RE SHINNEMAN.
RECAP: HE STATED THAT THE PEOPLE OF WALNUT TOWNSHIP ARE FOR SHINNEMAN....Mr. A. T. Shinneman at the age of sixteen entered the war of 1861, served till its close, and was honorably discharged from the service. Thus early in life he was inured in the trials and hardships of the fiercest war that has raged in modern times, and which have so effectually marked his career from that time to the present. Besides he has had the requisite experience in the line of duty pertaining to the office of Sheriff. We can say of a truth, as can a great many more, that he has performed duties without any compensation whatever and that too, when the proper officials refused to act at the time called upon to do so.
For instance, when A. B. Graham's horse was stolen, not one of the proper officials could be prevailed upon to perform their duty. Not so with Shinneman. He was willing to go and did go, although he was not the officer elected to perform that duty, neither was he the deputy. Had he been Sheriff at the time the Arkansas City bank was robbed, instead of lounging around town, he would have pursued those desperadoes in person, and the probabilities are that he would have succeeded in securing them.
With A. T. as sheriff, cattle thieves, horse thieves, and desperadoes of all kinds will give Cowley County a wide berth, as they well know that they will have more than a mere pigmy to contend with.
TRAVELER, SEPTEMBER 10, 1879.
The nominating convention held at Winfield last Saturday placed the following ticket in the field: Sheriff, A. T. Shinneman [?], Winfield; County Clerk, Capt. Hunt, Winfield; Treasurer, J. N. Harden, Dexter; Register, Jacob Nixon, Vernon township; Coroner, Dr. Graham, Winfield; Surveyor, N. A. Haight, Winfield; Commissioner for 2nd district, Mr. Harbaugh, Pleasant Valley township.
[ARTICLE RE CANDIDATE A. T. SHENNEMAN.]
SEPTEMBER 11, 1879.
A. T. SHENNEMAN.
He is a native of Waynesburg, Ohio. While a small boy his parents moved with him to Illinois, where he was brought up and educated. When a mere boy, at the age of fifteen, in 1862, he enlisted in the 68th Illinois volunteer infantry, but was soon transferred to the 70th Illinois cavalry, in which he served with distinction to the close of the war.
It is a compliment on his young patriotism to state that when he entered the service, his stature was only five feet seven inches; and when he came out, he had elongated to the height of six feet one and one-half inches, his present stature, and had grown immensely in the esteem of his comrades in arms.
After the war he emigrated to Kansas as the young State of his permanent home. He was one of the early settlers in this county, where he has made a very large number of the most enthusiastic friends, as the compliment of his nomination by so overwhelming a vote over one of the best men in the county, by delegates fresh from the people and farmers of the county, fully proves.
He has had in this county much experience in the line of services which pertain to the office of sheriff, in which he has exhibited in an eminent degree the qualities which are wanted in such an officer. Cool, courageous, shrewd, energetic, and with all, pleasant and gentlemanly, we predict that will prove one of the best officers that Cowley county ever had. Such as he could not get office from the brigadiers in Congress, for his early experience in fighting for our nationality and against states rights heresies has made him a steadfast, unflinching, and working Republican.
[BOLD THIEVES: RHONIMUS AND HIRED MAN.]
JANUARY 1, 1880.
Mr. Rhonimus, proprietor of the "North end meat market," and a hired man, Henry, were arrested last week for stealing cattle. It seems that these gentlemen, in order to make the meat business as profitable as possible, have for some time been systematically stealing the beeves that supplied their market. It has been known among the stock men of this and Elk counties for some time that thieves were operating among their herds, and the matter was placed in the hands of Sheriff-elect Shenneman, who shadowed the above-named gentlemen, and at last caught them killing one of the missing beeves near the fair ground and promptly arrested them. Mr. Jones, of Windor, has lost fourteen head of cattle by these depredations, and parties on the line of Elk county have missed as many more. It seems that the gentlemen were not partial as to the kind of meat taken, and sometimes stepped aside from their regular line of business to gobble a hog or two, and sometimes three, from the large herds of W. J. Hodges, at the stock yards, near the depot.
A preliminary trial was held before Justice Buckman, last Friday, but the case was continued till this week, and the prisoners remanded to jail in default of bail.
JANUARY 22, 1880.
Last Monday night Sheriff Shenneman arrested one Marion Roe for the seduction under promise of marriage, of Ella Onstott. He was brought before Justice Buckman, and his bail fixed at $1,000. "Coming events cast their shadow before."
LATER: Roe was released from custody Tuesday; and accompanied by the friends of the lady, repaired to the office of Judge Gans, secured a marriage license, and when last seen the party were in quest of a preacher.
Winfield Courier, January 29, 1880.
Mr. Frank Finch has been appointed to a deputyship under Sheriff Shenneman.
[ONE OF THE JAIL BREAKERS CAUGHT.]
Winfield Courier, FEBRUARY 12, 1880.
Last Wednesday, Dick Rhonimus, young McMahon, and another prisoner effected their escape from the county jail in a very mysterious manner. The next morning two horses were missing from Rev. Henderson's stable. Monday afternoon McMahon, one of the escaped prisoners, was brought in, together with one of the stolen horses, by Messrs. P. F. Haynes and J. B. Splawn, of Silverdale township. The particulars of his capture are as follows.
Thursday morning a man stopped at the house of Smith Winchel, in that township, and asked for his breakfast, stating that he was hunting a man with a horse on which he had a chattel mortgage. Mr. Winchel gave him something to eat, and went with him when he started to get his horse. He noticed that the horse had neither saddle nor bridle and was being ridden with a rope over his nose, which aroused his suspicions, and he called in several of the neighbors and stated the circumstances, when it was decided to go after the stranger and make him give an account of himself.
They came within sight of their man near the state line, and had their suspicions confirmed by his putting whip to his horse and making for Salt Fork. After following the thief for about a day, two of the party turned back, leaving Splawn and Haines [FIRST TIME THEY HAD HAYNES ... ???] to continue the pursuit. They followed the trail until dark and on the following morning were again on the track, determined to take him in if it took all summer. They followed the trail all day Friday and Friday night and Saturday discovered the horse, which the thief had abandoned while trying to get back into the state. They kept the trail by learning from time to time where the thief had tried to get something to eat. Sunday morning they rode into South Haven and found their man in a livery stable.
A warrant was procured and they started for home with the prisoner. On the way up they came through Arkansas City, where McMahon's mother resides, and the prisoner was allowed an interview with her. Mrs. McMahon is a respectable, hard-working woman, and her grief at seeing her boy under such circumstances was heartrending. She sold a cow, the only one she possessed, and purchased him a suit of clothes, the ones he had on being in tatters.
On the way home McMahon conversed freely with his captors, confessing the whole affair and stating that someone opened the jail door and let them out, but refused to tell who the party was. Monday afternoon the prisoner was turned over to Sheriff Shenneman by the captors, who received the $50 reward offered for his return. The smile that illuminated our Sheriff's countenance, when told that one of his birds had come home to roost, was a sight to behold. The most remarkable fact about the matter is that McMahon's time was almost out, and on the very day when he was returned to the jail as a horse thief, his time would have expired.
Winfield Courier, February 19, 1880.
Last week Sheriff Shenneman got on the track of Rhonimus, the escaped cattle thief. Rhonimus had relatives in Elk City and dropped in to see them; but the constable had been notified of his escape, and was on the lookout for him. As soon as the constable learned of Rhonimus' presence in the vicinity, he laid his plans to capture him. Rhonimus, hearing that he was in a bad fix, made a break for his horse, but was compelled to leave it and take to the timber on foot. The constable telegraphed to Sheriff Shenneman, who started at 1 o'clock Friday night and by Saturday was on the thief's trail. After following for some time, all trace of the thief was lost, and Mr. Shenneman returned home Sunday. The horse, belonging to Mr. Henderson, was recovered; but was too lame to bring along and was left at Elk City.
Winfield Courier, March 4, 1880.
Sheriff Shenneman started to Leavenworth with Reynolds, who was convicted of grand larceny at the last term of court and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary.
Winfield Courier, March 4, 1880.
Sheriff Shenneman has notified all persons against whom he holds tax warrants that the same were in his hands for collection. Many have come in and settled, thereby saving mileage. He now notifies those against whom he holds warrants that on and after the 9th inst., 10 cents per mile will be added.
Winfield Courier, March 11, 1880.
Last Friday evening one Ollie Martin was arrested by Sheriff Shenneman and turned over to Constable Wilson of Cedarvale. Martin is charged with attempting to rape Mrs. Garrigas of that place, the Tuesday preceding his arrest. He will probably learn a trade at Leavenworth, which is a smaller punishment than such villains deserve.
Winfield Courier, March 25, 1880.
Sheriff Shenneman, after a most diligent pursuit, captured Moore, the second of the escaped prisoners, in Kansas City last Friday. Moore had just got into a fight and been arrested by the police.
THE WINFIELD COURIER MARCH 31, 1881.
Sheriff Shenneman returned from an ineffectual effort to bring back a man who forged a draft for five hundred dollars and sold it to the Arkansas City bank. The police in Chicago captured the man and sent for Sheriff Shenneman. On the way back, when the train was pulling out from a station early in the morning, the prisoner jumped off. The train was immediately stopped and the sheriff got off and spent several days and nights trying to recover his man, but was compelled to return home Monday evening without him. The Sheriff purchased shackles for the prisoner in Chicago, but after reaching the train found that the locks were defective. He then resolved to stay awake and guard his prisoner. He had been up two nights, had traveled over a thousand miles, and was worn out; and as the night advanced, began to get drowsy. The prisoner took this opportunity and jumped off as the train started from a station. The sheriff has offered $100 reward for his capture, and as he escaped with hand-cuffs on, he will certainly be re-captured.
[COMMENT ABOUT SHERIFF SHENNEMAN.]
MAY 19, 1881.
MR. EDITOR: Please allow me through your paper to correct a little false report in regard to Sheriff Shenneman. It was circulated through town some two or three weeks ago that he had acted ungentlemanly in regard to allowing me to visit the prisoners at the jail. On the contrary, he has always acted a perfect gentleman with me, and I must say I think it would be a little difficult to find one who would act his part as well as he does.
REV. G. M. KELLY.
Winfield Courier, June 2, 1881.
Sheriff Shenneman captured two horse thieves last week. They had stolen horses from Labette county, and Friday he took them to Chetopa. After turning his prisoners over to the proper authorities, he learned that the "Vigilantes" were gathering, and intended to hang the prisoners that night. He imparted this knowledge to the constable; but that officer, not seeming to heed the warning, prompted Sheriff Shenneman to take the prisoners around a back alley, get them into a hack, and he drove them to Oswego without being interrupted. He afterwards learned that about twelve o'clock that night, a large party of men surrounded the jail, and their cuss words were long and loud when they found that their prey had flown.
[SHENNEMAN VICTORIOUS: RECAPTURES ESCAPED PRISONER.]
JUNE 30, 1881.
Our readers will remember that several weeks ago, Geo. Haywood, whose real name is Richard Lennix, was arrested in Chicago, on the strength of a photograph sent there by Sheriff Shenneman, who wanted him for passing forged paper on the Cowley County Bank, that Shenneman went to Chicago, and through many difficulties, got his prisoner, and started home with him; and that on the way, the prisoner jumped from the train in full headway and escaped. Shenneman had taken from his pockets a letter written in a female hand from Canton, Illinois, and signed "S." By means of this letter, he found who "S" was and concluded that sooner or later Lennix would visit this "S", who was his sister. So he employed the post master at Canton, the marshal of Canton, and the sheriff of that county to watch for him.
Last week he got a telegram from the sheriff informing him that the prisoner was caught. Shenneman answered at once to hold on to him until he got there, and started for that place. Habeas Corpus proceedings were instituted for procuring the prisoner's discharge, and when Shenneman arrived, the Habeas Corpus was being heard before the County judge, who soon discharged the prisoner.
Shenneman grabbed him at once and there was a row, the judge leading the mob and threatening due vengeance on Shenneman. By rapid motions and strategic generalship, Shenneman got his prisoner slipped into a wagon behind the fastest team that could be procured, and putting the horses to their best speed, rushed through opposing crowds and escaped, followed by many pursuers. He beat them all in the race and got his prisoner to a station twenty miles distant, put him on board, and sped back to Winfield, where he has his bird safe within the walls of the Cowley county jail.
Mr. Shenneman is enthusiastic in his praises of Sheriff D. J. Waggoner and other officers of Fulton County, Illinois: Thos. Burleigh, City Marshal, and John Sutton, night watchman of Canton, Illinois. They assisted in securing the prisoner and helping Shenneman to get him away. He noted their unbending integrity, for he knows positively that they were offered five hundred dollars to allow Lennix to escape.
This Lennix proves to be one of the most wily and successful counterfeiters in America. He has victimized large numbers of businessmen in various parts of the United States and Canada, has many smart accomplices who have aided him to escape many times, and who still work to get him out of limbo. He has finally got a sheriff after him who never gives up and will keep his eye on him to prevent him from escaping again. The prisoner has plenty of money and his accomplices have plenty more, so that everything will yet be done that can be done to get him out.