Collapse Of Union Jail Kansas City, Missouri
Collapse Of Union Jail
Kansas City, Missouri
MPR Artist's Conception
© MPR Virtual Museum Collection
Union authorities acting out of frustration for losing most all of their encounters with the guerrillas, decided to banish all Southerns in the area who were helping these men defend their homes. Federal officials issued orders to execute anyone giving aid to the Partisan Rangers.
In the mid summer of July 1863, Federal Occupational troops began to arrest and detain many area women (mainly those related to Missouri Partisan Rangers) who were said to be spying and gathering food & information for the Partisan Rangers.
Among the women detained were close relatives of prominent Partisan Rangers. These included Mary and Josephine Anderson who were sisters of Bill Anderson.
These women were to be detained until arrangements could be made to transport them to St. Louis, where they would be tried.
All the prisoners were incarcerated into a 3 story building named The Longhorn Store and Tavern located on the site of 1409 Grand Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri.
The Longhorn Store and Tavern was a fairly new structure, and was built in 1856. Awaiting transport, The Longhorn Store and Tavern had been converted into a make shift jail house for women.
On August 13, 1863 the 7 year old building suddenly collapsed.
Four women were killed including 14 year old Josephine Anderson, sister of William T. Anderson. Bill's other sister, Mary Anderson was badly injured (both legs broken).
Also arrested and incarcerated during the collapse were Charity Kerr, sister of John McCorkle (killed), Mrs. Nannie McCorkle, sister-in-law of John McCorkle (uninjured), Susan Vandever, cousin of Cole Younger (killed), Armenia Whitsett Selvey, cousin of Cole Younger (killed).
Here is where the criminal event takes place...
The inner structures and supports of the building were actually weakened by Federal troops so as to make it collapse. Many of the guards had been drinking and celebrating after the collapse, and were overheard bragging and boasting as to the sabotage!!!!
Obviously premeditated undermining of the building by troops intent on harming the women out of spite and anger towards the Partisan Rangers.
And even more plainly - MURDER!!!
The intense anguish Bill Anderson, The Youngers, McCorkle and others felt was overwhelming. This one particular act of premeditated murder laid the emotional and heart felt groundwork for the Raid On Lawrence on August 21, 1863.
Additionally, a mere four days after the jail collapse, (August 18, 1863), General Ewing issued the General Order #10 which illegally drove Missouri Partisan families from their homes in West Central Missouri.
As one member of the Missouri Partisan Rangers, John McCorkle, prophetically stated "We could stand no more."
It was then that The Missouri Partisan Rangers called to assemble on a local farm and to swore to avenge the murderous deaths of their loved ones and get their revenge.
That revenge would come in the form of the Lawrence Raid a mere eight days later.
And is often quoted, the Lawrence Raid is referred to as "The Pay Back."