Los Angeles Herald, 2 April 1904
ST. LOUIS, April 2—William Church confessed today to having murdered Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Yeater, his benefactors, at Warrensburg, Mo, last August. "I cut their throats with my razor while they were asleep," he said. Church "then calmly related the detail" and told how he escaped from the country. "It doesn't keep me awake? at night." he continued. "Now and then I wish I had not done it. I'll take what I got without asking for mercy." The couple had adopted him when he was a. baby. He had believed the Yeaters had made a will leaving their property to a stepson, and this so incensed him that he decided to kill them.
1. Magnolia Opera House on West Pine Street. This was the location of the temporary morgue of the 29 passengers killed in the 1904 World's Fair train wreck near Monserrat, at "deadman's curve". World's Fair Train Wreck 1904, 29 Killed East of Warrensburg
The passenger conductor E. L. BARNES, ran all the way to Warrensburg to report the wreck. Every physician in Warrensburg and hundreds of citizens hastened to the wreck to assist the wounded. Twenty persons were killed outright and seven died within a few hours. The dead were placed on flat cars and brought to Warrensburg.
The dead were carried up the track and laid in rows in an open space until the relief train arrived, while the injured were cared for as well as could be. The scene of the wreck was on the downgrade, on either side of which there was a steep rise. Both trains had put on extra steam to carry them up the opposite hill, and when they met at the curve at the lowest point they were running at a terrific rate. When the trains met the heavy freight train pushed the passenger engine back into the first coach. The tender of the passenger engine literally cut the coach in two in the center and never stopped until it had plowed itself halfway through the car and its passengers, killing those in the forward end instantly, and mangling all within reach in a most horrible manner. Half a dozen who were not killed outright were so terribly injured that they died before they could be removed from the debris. Many of the dead were almost unrecognizable. Arms and legs were dismembered in several cases, and, together with baggage and pieces of wreckage, were tumbled together into a confused mass of bleeding human forms.
2. Just 1 block west of Magnolia Opera House at an old electric power substation area was the site of the last double hanging in Johnson County, in Warrensburg. People came from around the area to site on the sloping ground to view the public hanging just in front of the railroad tracks. In this area numerous hangings were held, just 2 blocks from the old Johnson County Jail on Washington Street.
3. The Old Johnson County Courthouse might be haunted by the ghost of Marsh Foster, he was shot to death here on February 18, 1861, just after winning the county clerk's election. Shot by his opponents son. Some local historians say this killing was the start of the Civil War.
4. The railroad track murder of 1884. Murder and beheading by a train of Carl Steidle, Just East of the Depot
5. The murder of Rembrandt, the talented sign painter. Killed in his workshop where he also lived. On Marshall Street, now housing, ironically a pipe organ company. Some say he can be seen wandering behind Pine Street trying to paint his signs....
Yeater Hall, the oldest resident hall on campus, there is a long history of mysterious happenings. Residents have reported lights coming on in rooms unoccupied and locked, curtains opening on their own. One set of residents reported a commotion at their door one evening and footsteps above their room in a room that was vacant and locked, in fact the entire floor was padlocked and no one was allowed on that floor. Other residents have reported cold spots during the summer in this non-airconditioned hall. A shadow of just a woman's head was seen by two women during a summer cleanup when the hall was supposed to be empty. Men, in this Women`s only hall, feel like they are being watched and male campus maintenance workers have complained of drawers opening and closing in rooms they are working in, when no one else is present. The third floor is padlocked shut, as is the attic. It has been said that if you knock twice on the attic door someone will knockback. Witnesses claim that this is indeed true. The third floor of Yeater hall was used in 2001, it was not until the spring semester of 2002 that it was padlocked. The ghosts are believed to be those of Laura Yeater (the dorm mother when the dorm was new, and whom the dorm was named after), and of a man who served in the military at a time when the dorm was used as housing for the military (there is a base nearby as well).
October Update The most famous and most blown out of whack. An investigator investigated 3 known entities in this hall. The story of the shadow seen by 2 workers was solely investigated by the ghost hunter. There have been times kids state they see things and once a boy was petrified on the stairwell saying he saw something and it took a very long time to get him out of his trance. Most of the information that was originally posted was taken from lectures the ghost hunter gave at the college and the above updates were reported by him. If interested in talking to him, the staff would probably give you information if they check with him first.
Laura Yeater's Spirit Lives On
By Emily A. Michael
Yeater, its patron, was well known for her philanthropy and a strong sense of caring for single women. She headed up fundraising efforts to build the hall and even became the hall's first housemother, watching over the eight residents with the care and devotion of a real mother. For generations, students have whispered she is still there, watching over her girls. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, it's easy to believe that Laura Yeater haunts the residence hall named after her. After all, many of her personal furnishings and household items are still in UCM's oldest residence hall.
Yeater came to Warrensburg to teach English in 1900 after graduating from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. One year later she became head of the Latin and Greek departments, a post she held for 15 years. Coming from an all-women's university, Yeater was appalled at the male-dominated culture of UCM, specifically the housing situation. She saw the need for a female dormitory, a place where women could have available facilities and good living conditions at a minimal cost.
With the help of a wealthy mentor back East and a prominent women's organization, Yeater made her vision a reality. She estimated the new residence hall would cost about $225,000. By promising to raise half of that goal, she enlisted the help of Helen Gould, the eldest daughter of American financier Jay Gould and the creator of a scholarship that Yeater had received to fund her education at Wellesley. Gould was then a member of the National Board of the YWCA, and through that organization, several other projects and a lot of hard work, Yeater raised her half.
On May 10, 1941, Yeater saw her dream come true. After a 25-year absence from campus, she returned for the dedication of the Laura J. Yeater Hall for Women. "Giving my name to the residence hall for women on the Warrensburg campus is a touching tribute and it is quite wonderful," said Yeater all those years ago.
The Alumni Association is seeking Yeater Hall residents for a reunion this fall. Send them your contact information at email@example.com
Just as Yeater considers Gould a vital link to her education, many women feel the same way about Yeater.
"When I enrolled at Central Missouri State Teachers College in 1941, I was assigned to Yeater Hall Room 315 where I lived for two years," says Myra Seafoss Hiles, a 1945 and 1975 UCM alumna. "No one had lived in that room, and I have always been so proud to have lived in a brand-new room."
When asked if Yeater Hall is haunted, she responds by saying, "Of course the third floor of Yeater Hall is haunted - by all the eager young women who lived and learned there!"
Diemer Hall, It was on the second floor, was a private room with a private bath on the south end of the hall. Feelings of being watched. Two witnesses experienced the bathroom sink turning itself on and filled up with hot water.
Osborne/Phillips Hall, a residence hall that is shut for an undisclosed reason. Rumors of it being haunted, October Update: The hall was shut down for financial reasons and low resident numbers, not for anything supernatural. Though an orb has been reported.
North Ellis first floor, north end of the hall, feelings of being watched, One witnesses alarm clock fell off the dresser and skidded into the far wall, and another time it flew from the dresser shattering, they also say they witnessed an apparition appear in the mirror.
Houts/Hosey Hall is supposedly haunted by a girl who killed herself while she was pregnant. Her ghost is said to walk the halls, knocking on doors, and calling for her baby asking where it is. Shadows are seen under the doors when no one is walking by. During a séance 2 different room numbers where given and one of them was a room that was not used, the other room of a suite used by a community advisor (like an RA). This room’s door looked very different from the rest of the doors, had a sort of darkness above it. And was very obviously off limits to residents. Rumor is that the numbers of the rooms in that building had been reassigned so that no one would hear about the room the suicide victim lived in and not want to live in it. This could be just a rumor, though. This is the legend of Sarah. An eye witness to both the séances reports the findings were fake – that nothing happened.
Hawkins Hall, where a student hung himself. October Update: Hawkins has been closed for many years so you will not find many that remember it being open. It is now an education center and no sightings have been made for about 7 years.
Other ghost sightings possible?.
Behind the Amtrak Station where Carl Steidle was murdered, then dragged onto the tracks and decapitated, 1884.
In the trees on the Southwest corner of West Pine Street and Warren Street. This is where the "Hamilton Brothers" where hung in 1884 for the murder of Carl Steidle. 15,000 attended the double hanging.
Rembrandt, the sign painter was murdered his studio/home which is now pipe organ repair company on Marshall street by the railroad tracks.
The old Johnson County jail, on the southwest corner of Washington and West Market. It is now a medical supply company. Untold prisoners mysteriously died in this building. The historical society says maybe up to 20 prisoners died in here.