Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brevet Schmevet it's Freedom Baby!

Looks like Saturday is out, so Sunday Me, Crusty and whom ever (Lewis) decides to join us are going to Gunn City. High Noon! If this place doesn't sound like the perfect place for you to ride through with pink, assless chaps (redundent . . . all chaps are assless right?)
Why Gunn City? . . . Because it's called Gunn City, and most of all these people have a low tolerance for B.S. I mean if part of your city's slogan is " death to tyrants". Then your going to get my interest. So will a 75 miles.
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For a brief description visit here
http://www.casscounty.com/gunncity.htm
For a more detailed description visit her
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Basically the chairman of the county court, attorney for the local Railroad Company, and a couple others tried to rip off the citizens of Cass County. Which is important to note since Gunn City wasn't an official City until after the Masacre. If hyper links don't appeal to you, and you just want the blood and guts of it all . . . here you go.
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1872 (April 24)
The malefactors were exposed and indicted. As they awaited their trial, scheduled for May 6, 1872, they became frightened by local residents' growing anger at their corruption.
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1). J. C. Stephenson, chairman of the county court
2). J. P. Cline, attorney for the Railroad Company
3). T. E. Dutroe
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a Harrisonville Councilman who had signed their bail bonds, decided to escape by the eastbound train on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad on the evening of April 24, 1872. Twelve miles outside Harrisonville, near Gunn City (formerly Bryson), the train ground to a halt before a crude barricade. At least fifty Cass County men began firing at the train. "Turn out the bond thieves," raged the crowd.

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J. C. Stephenson was dragged from the train. They fired more than forty bullets into him and "vented their fiendish fury" according to the Kansas City Times.
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J. P. Cline drew a revolver and fired several shots into the crowd, wounding two men. Then jumping from the cars, he attempted to escape but fell. Three bullets pierced him, one passing through the head. Stephenson was killed in the baggage car. A shot severed both jugular veins and a blow from some sharp instrument split his skull nearly to the eyebrow. He died immediately.
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T. E. Dutroe was shot in the back of the head, the ball lodging over the left eye. He died in about four hours. It is not believed that Dutroe was one of the conspirators, but was killed because of his intimate association with them, after the crime was divulged.
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The mob swelled to two hundred as its members continued to batter the corpses with bullets in "one of the most terrible and atrocious massacres of the nineteenth century." Passengers recognized twenty of the mob before they rode off.
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The mob achieved its purpose: its members had recovered $174,000 of the bonds that the ring had not yet sold, thus saving taxpayers from having to pay for that portion.
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Special investigators John F. Philips and F. M. Cockrell . . .
(The name Cockrell should ring a few bells in the heads of people who frequent 350 highway between Blue Spring and Warrensberg)
http://cockrellmercantile.com/
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. . . reported to Governor Brown that the best way to prevent vigilantes from unleashing "a forward military movement and a new carnival of blood" was not to prosecute them, but instead to "open to them the ways of peace, and return to their homes the fugitives…"
Nolle Prosequi
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Forty-four men, including some of the most prominent, were indicted for the killing; twenty-nine were brought to trial; a nolle prosequi (is a Latin legal phrase meaning "not to pursue.") was entered in several cases, and all others were acquitted. Several of the indicted men were sued for damages by the families of those killed, but the suits were finally dismissed.
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In suits brought for the recovery of the bonds, the conspiracy was made plain:
J.C. Cline $50,000 or $55,000,
R.S. Stevens received $35,000,
Stephenson or his son $12,000,
Higgins' share was about $3,000.
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For Missouri public officials who violated local opinion, the message from Gunn City was more urgent. All but two of the "bloody bonds" were ordered to be destroyed. The two remaining bonds were framed and still hang today in the Gunn City Hall and the Cass County Clerk's office with this reminder inscription to local officials:
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"This bond is to be framed and preserved in a public hall, that the public servants of Cass County may remember when they trample upon the rights of the people and refuse to hear their prayers, that they will appeal to a higher power and serve an injunction that will stick--which means death to tyrants."
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Now parallel the people of 1870's Cass County, with the people of today. If those people had big screen TV, Play Station, and cell phones that make blueberry pancakes like we have now, I wonder if those people would have gotten away?
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M. K. Zook built the first house in the town in the winter of 1871, for a store, general merchandise. WHy is this important? Because we will be riding down Zook street to get through Gunn City.
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May 9th, 1872 (2 weeks after the massacre) the town was laid out and named after O. B. Gunn, one time chief engineer of M. K. & T. R. R. . . . Coinsidence?
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Exiting Gunn City we will be taking Old Drum Road and Old Drum Bridge . . . . Old Drum? . . . Yep, I got the answer for that, What, or Who is Old Drum?
http://www.warrensburg.org/drum.htm
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The carcass of Old Drum is still buried at the corner of Old Drum Rd. and E. 239th St.
Old Drum Road Bridge
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Also we will cross J.W. Cummins Road Bridge
http://bridgehunter.com/mo/jackson/cummins-road/

2 comments:

A Pilgrim's Porridge said...

Man, thanks for sharing this. I wish I was ready for a ride of this nature b/c it sounds fantastic. I've got a few weeks to get in shape before any rides like that.

dmar836 said...

.....and I have to work! Really wish I could make it. I like these kinds of historic rides!