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William James Kirkpatrick

Male 1862 - 1922  (60 years)

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  • Name William James Kirkpatrick 
    Born 19 Sep 1862  Nodora, Jackson County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Oct 1922  Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 12 Oct 1922  Rossville Cemetery, Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4427  Rossville
    Last Modified 2 Aug 2018 

    Father George W Kirkpatrick,   b. 2 Feb 1824, Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1880, Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth C (Sarah) Proctor Kirkpatrick,   b. 28 Jul 1834, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Apr 1876, Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Married 19 Apr 1860  Jackson County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F6117  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth L Kassebaum Kirkpatrick,   b. 1862, Olean, Ripley County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 1907, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Married 17 Mar 1887  Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Clifford Kirkpatrick
    +2. Marie Kirkpatrick Gibson
    Last Modified 20 Dec 2017 13:55:53 
    Family ID F6114  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Bertha Mitchell Lambotte (Lambert) Kirkpatrick Poyner,   b. 1873,   d. 1931  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 21 Apr 1909 
    +1. Lois M Kirkpatrick Ginder,   b. 23 Aug 1912,   d. 15 Aug 1994  (Age 81 years)
    +2. James H Kirkpatrick,   b. 22 Jul 1915, Rossville, Shawnee County, Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1983, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 1
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 1
    St. Marys Star
    Sept. 30, 1909
    Transcribed article: “Mrs. Quinlan Asks $10,000.”

    Jilted by Wealthy Widower Sues for Breach of Promise.

    Ten days after he had promised to wed a wealthy widow, the date of the marriage had been set, and the woman had bought her wedding gown and trousseau, W.J. Kirkpatrick, a well-to-do Rossville farmer, is alleged in a $10,000 breach of promise suit brought yesterday in the district court, without warning to have married another woman. Because he trampled her affections under foot, and as balm for her injured feelings, Mrs. Belle Quinlan a wealthy widow and his neighbor, has brought suit for damages.

    All three parties concerned in the suit have been married before. Kirkpatrick and Mrs. Quinlan are both 45 years of age. Mrs. Quinlan has a large family of children. Mrs. Bertha Lambert whom Kirkpatrick finally married, is said to have been divorced. She lived at Rossville.

    The courtship of the plaintiff and defendant, as the petition filed by J.J. Schenck and W.E. Atchison, Mrs. Quinlan’s attorneys, would indicate, was brief. For twenty-five years, they lived in the same neighborhood, but were never more than friends. In January, 1909, Kirkpatrick is said first to have begun to pay attentions to Mrs. Quinlan. The following month they were engaged.

    Friendship grew to affection. Kirkpatrick is said to have visited his fiancé as often as three times a week and they “became acknowledged lovers,” the petition relates.

    When Mrs. Quinlan came to Topeka to visit, she alleges, he came here to see her. He wrote her as often as three times a week. These letters are now in the hands of the plaintiff’s attorneys. The missives the first week are said to have been begun: “Dear Friend.” The following week she was addressed as “My dear little girl.”

    While visiting her in Topeka last February, the two are said to have become engaged and the wedding set for April.

    “Up to about April 11, the defendant continued to manifest and declare his great love and affection for the plaintiff, and by reason of such manifestations and declarations, and his affectionate demeanor, the defendant won the plaintiff’s entire life and affection.

    The petition continues by telling how Mrs. Quinlan bought her trousseau and wedding dress, and made all preparation to leave her home and go to the defendant’s. The children, friends and relatives were told of the approaching marriage.

    Kirkpatrick is alleged to have bought an engagement ring. But when he fitted it the ring was found too small. Kirkpatrick is said to have promised to have it exchanged for one that would fit. This was the only glimpse she was given of her diamond.

    Easter Sunday, April 11, was the great day. Kirkpatrick is alleged to have visited his fiancé in Topeka. He took dinner with her and spent the entire day with her, showing her “such attentions as lovers usually show to each other.” He promised to return the following Sunday.

    Mrs. Quinlan says that up to that time he had never intimated he intended to break the engagement. There is said to have been no trouble between the two. Mrs. Quinlan blissfully awaited the wedding bells. She says they parted that Sunday as affianced lovers.

    April 21, without a word of warning, Kirkpatrick married Mrs. Bertha Lambert, a Rossville widow. Mrs. Quinlan was not told of the marriage even after the ceremony was performed. Kirkpatrick is said after that never to have come near the woman he is alleged to have jilted.

    Because of the humiliation and mental anguish, Mrs. Quinlan says she suffered temporary prostration.

    Kirkpatrick owns two farms near Rossville and is said to be worth from $25,000 to $30,000. Mrs. Quinlan owns a ranch near the same place, and her wealth is estimated to be equal that of Kirkpatrick’s. –Topeka Capital September 26.
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 2
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 2
    From The Topeka Daily State Journal
    Wednesday, May 18, 1910

    Minced No Words
    Rich in Endearing Terms Are Kirkpatrick’s Letters.
    “When I See My Tax List, I Always Think of You.”
    “The Right Size Now”
    Woman Charming Writer of Love Missives.
    Wrote, “I Can Lay My Head on Your Noble Breast.”

    Many love letters between Mrs. Belle Quinlan and W.J. Kirkpatrick are being read in her sensational breach of promise suit for $10,000 heart balm to heal the wound he inflicted when on their own intended wedding day, he took to himself another widow with fewer children. Progress in the case has become laborious, the attorneys clashing with rapid fire objections and wordy tilts.

    Both the plaintiff and Kirkpatrick have been on the stand today, and Mrs. Bertha Lambert-Kirkpatrick, the widow wed, has been sworn and will be called. Evidence already in shows conclusively that the gay widower divided his spare time from his farm very profitably between the widows who seemed not to be “wise” and consequently not jealous.

    The acquaintance of Kirkpatrick and Mrs. Quinlan leading to so terrible a termination began in an unique manner--from a relation often suspected but never before so thoroughly verified. Mr. Kirkpatrick first met the jilted widow as assessor for Rossville township. Twice, he met her in that capacity and from that grew their affections as admitted on the stand but more clearly shown from letters introduced.

    The First Meeting.
    “When did you first meet Mrs. Quinlan?” asked Attorney L.H. Greenwood of Kirkpatrick.

    “I first met her when I was assessor for Rossville township about five years ago,” he answered.

    Letter No. 8 in possession of Mrs. Quinlan reads:
    “I’m so sorry you have that headache and I can cure a headache fine but not that kind. I remember you as you came to my house as an assessor and helped me figure something about my taxes. Every time I see my tax list now or figure anything, I always think of you. I used to be small then, but I have added flesh since then and I’m sure I am about the right size now. No doubt if you will remember me as I was then.”

    A letter from Kirkpatrick corresponding in time which was at the beginning of their closer relationship reads:
    “Dear Madam: -- They tell me you have gotten larger and fleshy. Of course that would not make you mad as people like to be large. I have to take mine out in big feelings as I am small in stature as you will remember. Now, Mrs. Quinlan, you can look for me coming over the hill some of these days.” Etc.

    The use of “Ha, Ha,” figures peculiarly in these love letters also. In a letter to Mrs. Quinlan the defendant wrote:

    Hat on Ha, Ha.
    “Well if you are in town I will be there about 3 and will see you there somewhere if I should know you with a hat on. Ha, ha.”

    She writes:
    “I thought you would be sick and need a little nursing. Ha, ha. Let me know when you can come so I can prepare to devote my time to you.”

    Again he wrote in a letter to her:
    “My Dear: --I had a headache all morning and stayed in the house all day. I felt just like 30 cents but will get straightened out alright. That is the beauty of living alone—no one bothering you, no one to caress. So went the day.”

    Mrs. Quinlan, on the witness stand, repeated all the allegations of her petition, Kirkpatrick’s attentions to her and his visits to her during January, 1909, their engagement in February, and his last visit to her in Topeka, where she stopped at the residence of her daughter, and the discovery later that he had married Mrs. Lambert. The visit in Topeka had been on Easter Sunday, April 11, and his wedding April 21.

    During their engagement, Mrs. Quinlan testified, he had brought her an engagement ring and tried it on her finger. Finding it was too small, she said, he promised to get her a larger one.

    Kirkpatrick denied that he had ever tried to put a ring on her finger, that he ever had a ring except a big Masonic emblem and a little broken one which he had always worn on his own finger.

    Trip to California.
    She also told of a proposed trip to California, and he on examination, admitted that he had planned one but had never made any agreement with her to go along.

    “Did you ever speak to her about a California trip?” asked his attorney.

    “Yes, I believe I said I intended to go.”

    “Did you ask her to go with you?”

    “I did not. But she said: ‘Well, you had better take me.’ And I said: ‘You wouldn’t go with me.’ And she replied, ‘You just try me.’”

    But the plaintiff’s attorneys have a letter from Kirkpatrick, said to have been written to her in reply to one from her, the morning after their engagement, and which they think will be hard for Kirkpatrick to explain other than that they had some agreement. It reads in part:

    “My Dear Girl.”
    “My Dear Girl: Well, I certainly like the way you start your letter (My dear friend). I thought you more than just a friend, but of course it is a new thing to you, and will have to look over it this time.”

    But aside from the love letters of Mrs. Quinlan and Kirkpatrick to each other, there are a lot of love letters and other letters between Mrs. Quinlan and a man known as A.C. Lattshaw. These were all written after the breach of promise proceedings were opened in this case, but have a direct bearing in part and the bone of contention between the lawyers and the court for admittance into the evidence.

    This Latshaw, it is claimed, exposes himself as the most despicable of blackmailers and opens up something entirely new for the Shawnee court to handle. Directly after this suit was begun, he, then living in Topeka, began a correspondence with Mrs. Quinlan and secured a place in her regard, so that she answered some of his letters. Going then to Kansas City and St. Joseph, he wrote continually for money to save him from absolute ruin. The amounts he asked were from $10 to $300.

    “I know you but you don’t know me,” he wrote, “but I love you with my whole soul and I know you will return the affection. God alone will know of our correspondence or know how dearly I love you.” Then he would enter a plea for money and say: “You will save me from absolute ruin by sending this amount. If you love me sent it right away. Of course if you do not love me, I will not ask for money again but work until the skin drops from my hands to earn a place by your side.”

    She answered some of his letters, but refrained from sending money. Then he wanted to meet her and proposed the hotel at Rossville and at St. Marys and she wrote he must come to her house, which he then did.

    Kirkpatrick’s lawyer read a letter from her to him, which read in part:

    “Oh, Darling”—Mrs. Quinlan
    “Write me a long letter if you have time. You say you write to me at the noon hour and can not write at length. Oh, darling, I hope to spend many a noon hour with you in our own home, and when you are in trouble then I can lay my head on your grand, noble, breast and smooth all your troubles away.”

    “Why did you write that?” asked the attorney.

    “Well, that was after I had seen him at my house,” she answered.

    “But you have said you wanted to stop writing to him then why did you write him 29 more letters?”

    “Because I was afraid of him, because I would not give him money.”

    “No, it was because you were afraid he would turn your letters over to the defense in this suit, wasn’t it.”

    Objections were made, but the witness answered, “No.”

    Sent Letters to Defense.
    But that was the entire purpose of Latshaw in getting these love letters from the unsuspecting woman. After he had gotten a number of them, he sent three to Kirkpatrick asking him what he would pay for the whole lot. He set his own price at $50. At the same time he was threatening Mrs. Quinlan to give them to Kirkpatrick unless she forwarded him $150. Neither of the parties ever paid him anything but his evil work has become a great figure in the present case and may have strong influence with the jury.

    Up Late in Parlor.
    Mrs. Alice Thomas of near Rossville was on the stand to tell about Mrs. Quinlan and Kirkpatrick being engaged to be married. Mrs. Nellie French, living near Silver Lake, was on the stand to tell that Kirkpatrick came to see his wife during all the time he was courting Mrs. Quinlan, while she was at her house, helping her through a period of sickness. Jas. Quinlan was on the stand to tell of Kirkpatrick’s coming to see his mother and staying up late with her in the parlor.
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 3
    Marriage- Lambert, Bertha-Kirkpatrick, William 3
    From The Topeka Daily State Journal
    Thursday, May 19, 1910

    No Balm For Her
    Mrs. Belle Quinlan Loses Suit Against Kirkpatrick.
    Jury Refuses Poultice of Coin for Her Broken Heart.
    Wanted Only $10,000.
    Those Love Letters to Latshaw Injured Case of Woman.
    Inconstant Widower Is Now Happy With Another.

    The jury in the Quinlan-Kirkpatrick breach of promise suit came in at noon today with a verdict for the defendant. Followers of the recent jury cases in the district court in which women plaintiffs have gotten anything they wanted are expressing their surprise and Attorneys Schenck and Atchison are preparing a motion for new trial.

    Mrs. Belle Quinlan sought to recover $10,000 from W.J. Kirkpatrick, a wealthy widower of Rossville, because he had jilted her to marry another widow, Mrs. Bertha Lambert. She told on the stand of their love affair and their betrothal. Kirkpatrick in his inning denied everything but that he had been to call on her several times.

    Mrs. Quinlan’s story of his thrice a week calls in the evening was verified by the testimony of her 15-year-old son, James, and the defendant admitted on cross examination that he spent many long evenings with her in the parlor.

    Dual Love Match.
    Kirkpatrick’s admissions on the witness chair established the fact that he spent his days with Mrs. Bertha Lambert and his evenings with Mrs. Belle Quinlan. Mrs. Lambert, during the nine weeks of the thickest of the fray, was staying with a Mrs. Nellie French near Silver Lake. She stayed there to take care of the house for Mrs. French, who was ill, and remained when the children were ill. Mrs. French testified that Kirkpatrick came three or more times a week to spend the afternoon with Mrs. Lambert, but always left in the evening because of the sickness in the house.

    It would seem then that leaving the French home Kirkpatrick would drive back into his own neighborhood and call on Mrs. Quinlan. The widow Quinlan seems not to have known anything of the dual love affair. On the other hand, Mrs. Lambert said, on the stand, that she knew of Kirkpatrick going to see the other widow before he married her.

    But the great weakness in the plea of Mrs. Quinlan for a heart poultice lay in the fact that she had been induced by A.C. Latshaw to write him endearing, mushy, gushy letters after she had started her suit, and which he turned over to the defense. The jury could not help but feel that the woman was too susceptible and was not deeply and permanently injured by the jilt from Kirkpatrick.

    Letters Hurt Case.
    The letters of Latshaw to the woman, and hers to him, were exhibited and read during the trial, along with letters between Mrs. Quinlan and Kirkpatrick until the whole suit reverted to the thrashing out of the letters and what they stood for. The verdict might easily be made to read, “Too much love in black and white” and include the moral, “She who learns love by mail should not preserve the letters.”

    The jurors in the case were: L.H. Neiswender, foreman; E.H. Hewins, Peter Davis, William Cline, Henry Reisner, Henry Schuler, Mrs. Weisser, John McKimmeny, R.D. James, R.C. Hatfield, P.C. Goforth, J.E. James.
    Last Modified 29 Jun 2018 16:21:08 
    Family ID F6115  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 Sep 1862 - Nodora, Jackson County, Indiana Link to Google Earth
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  • Documents
    Obituary- Kirkpatrick, William
    Obituary- Kirkpatrick, William
    William James Kirkpatrick was born in Nodora, Jackson county, Indiana, Sept. 19, 1862. Moved to Hastings, Minnesota, with his parents in the spring of 1866; resided there for several years, removing to Kansas and settling on a farm north of Rossville, known as the Reser farm. Here he grew to manhood as the eldest son of G.W. and Elizabeth Kirkpatrick.

    He was united in marriage to Lizzie Kassabaum in 1887. Two children were born to this union. He became a Christian early in life uniting with the Presbyterian church of Rossville. In 1910 he was united in marriage to Bertha Lambert of Rossville. Nearly all of his life has been spent in Shawnee county, Ks. He was a trustee of Rossville township for a number of years. A 32nd degree Mason, a member of lodge No. 111 A.F. and A.M the M.W.A., the A.O.U.W. and the Degree of Honor.

    He was a kind, loving and thoughtful husband and father. He will be sadly missed but the Heavenly Father has called him home. He leaves a wife and four children to morn his loss. Lois and James Kirkpatrick of Topeka; Clifford K. Kirkpatrick of Los Angeles, Ca.; Mrs. Marie Gibson of Chanute, Ks., and one step-son William Lambert of Silver Lake. One sister, Miss Anna Van Vleck of Rossville, a half-sister, Mrs. Sarah Holmes of Indianapolis, Indiana, thirteen nieces and nephews.

    William Kirkpatrick Funeral Held Here Today
    William J. Kirkpatrick, aged 60, died Tuesday afternoon at his home, 1206 North Jackson Street, Topeka, after a long illness. He had been very low for more than a week.

    The deceased is a former resident of Rossville where he spent most of his life.

    He was a member of Hesperian Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Rossville, of Topeka Chapter No. 5, Royal Arch Masons, of Topeka Commandeer No. 5, Knights Templar, A.O.U.W. and Degree of Honor, of Rossville and Evergreen Camp, M.W.A. of Rossville.

    The funeral service was held today at 2:30 in the Presbyterian church, conducted by Rev. Peck of North Topeka, assisted by Rev. H.L. Nelson. A short service was held at the home at 12:30 for the Topeka friends.

    He is survived by his wife, two sons, James at home, and Clifford, of Los Angeles, Ca.; two daughters, Lois of the home address, Mrs. Marie Gibson of Chanute, Kan.; sisters, Mrs. C.E. Van Vleck, Rossville, Mrs. L.W. Holmes, Indianapolis, Ind.

    He passed away at his home, 1206 N. Jackson, North Topeka, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m. at the age of 60 years and 20 days.

    [Note date of marriage to Bertha Lambert was April 21, 1909, not 1910 as listed in the obituary.]