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June 12, 2015

1893 Rube Oglesby Loses a Leg in a Train Accident - Becomes a Missouri Supreme Court Case

H. Rube Oglesby, loses leg in MoPac Work Accident
Missouri Supreme Court Rules Against
St. Paul Globe August 14, 1901
How Quiet, Systematic Work by a Beautiful Young Woman Won a Missouri Nomination for Railroad Commissioner for Her Crippled Lover,
Victim of a Railroad Accident
When Miss Elizabeth Houts, of Warrensburg, Mo., began, a year ago, a remarkable political campaign to elect her sweetheart Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner of that State, she soon found her greatest auxiliary to be the
time-honored truism, "All the world loves a lover." Rube Oglesby, her fiance, who coveted the official prize was unknown in the State outside his own county. He was unschooled in politics, and scarcely knew how to set about attaining his ambition. The modest, sweet-faced pup of a girl to whom he was betrothed therefore determined to aid him. It was with rare tact and method that she made the candidacy of Mr. Oglesby known in every one of the one hundred and fourteen counties of Missouri. From her home she Miss Houts possesses both beauty and intelligence. Her figure is slender and graceful and she has big, luminous brown eyes and a bright and animated face. Her manner Is frank and confiding, her laughter joyous and. infectious. Indeed, her whole personality is pleasing to an uncommon degree. Moreover, she writes as entertainingly as she talks, and can give a sympathetic twist to an appeal for votes that goes straight to the heart.  She is a school teacher by profession, and is employed, In Warrensburg, the idol of her pupils. Her father owns a beautiful country place a few miles out of town. Bequeathed to the family by her grandfather, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Western Missouri. There the young teacher has always passed her leisure hours, with out a thought of the complications and demands of a political campaign.  The facts leading up to the campaign of Oglesby for Railroad Commissioner are hardly less remarkable than the campaign itself. Twelve years ago "Rube," then a boy of twenty, was employed by a Missouri railroad, and was considered one of the best brakemen that ran on a box car.- He had no conception of fear.
H. R. Rube Oglesby, Warrensburg, MO
A whistle for brakes meant just what it said to him, whatever the conditions might be. He would crawl over the tops of freight cars and set brakes with a train jumping along at forty miles an hour and a wind in his face that few men, would care to meet on the ground.
On a bitterly cold Sunday morning in December, 1893, Oglesby's train pulled out of Independence only a few minutes ahead of a passenger train. The; engineer knew he must keep out of the way of the passenger, and so he "cut loose," as the railroad men say. He went down a long bill at terrific speed. Suddenly a call for brakes was made. Only one of the crew—young Oglesby— responded. The cars were swaying and rolling like a tiny boat in a storm. There was no chance for "Oglesby to keep his feet". Over the tops of those pitching and plunging cars he crept and set four brakes. Suddenly a rotten car, four cars ahead of him, broke squarely In two. The rear half dropped on to the, roadbed, The cars behind it began going into the ditch. "Rube" had no time to turn around. He had only time to jump. Like a ball to the hands of a boy he was tossed, not up and away from the train, but down, between the two cars. He fell and the bone was crashed.
FOR ten long, weary weeks Oglesby lay In a hospital, close to death. Three amputations were made, when the sufferer finally recovered he had & six-inch stump, where his right leg had been. He sued the railroad company for damages, and a Jury gave him $15,000. The case went to the Supreme Court, and was tossed back and forth between the upper and lower tribunals until, finally, after ten years of strife and expense, the Supreme Judge reversed the finding and said that Oglesby was not deserving of a cent. Then it was that he made up his mind to become Railroad, Commissioner of Missouri. And Miss Houts made up her mind to aid him. When Miss Houts under the management of the campaign she knew no more of typewriting than she did of politics. But she acquired a practical knowledge of both in an amazingly brief time. A typewriter and manifolding outfit were Installed In her boudoir—now trans formed Into a den—and from here began to flow that steady stream of letters to every nook and corner of the State—a deluge of letters that made known the candidacy of "Rube" Oglesby, wherever there was a Post office or a delegate to secure. In six months Miss Hoots wrote 90,000 letters and sent out as many circulars. Of course, many letters were put through a copying machine, and this saved considerable work, the labor she assumed was enormous; Wherever she knew a man - with a  vote or wherever one of her friends knew a man with a vote, there presently Uncle Sam laid down one of her envelopes containing a personal appeal for support for Oglesby. During all. this time Miss Hout's work in the her roost was In no wise neglected. After it was over for the day, end preparation was made for the morrow, she wrote and sent out an average of six hundred letters to every one of these counties. Not only did she devote herself to the work, but she enlisted the services of her girl friends as well. Once when a sewing society met the members were calmly informed that the evening would be devoted, not to embroidery, but to addressing envelopes. Appeal was made to each of the seven hundred delegates to the State convention. And when the nominating body met at Jefferson City, Miss Houts was on hand with fifteen of her prettiest and most enthusiastic girl friends and three charming young matrons. Gallantry is not dead in Missouri. Oglesby, was nominated with a whoop and a hurrah, and his friends say his election on the ticket headed by Folk for Governor is sure to follow. They also say that a wedding will probably antedate the election.would seat herself at her typewriter and the click of her machine could be heard in her room till the small hours of morning.
Missouri contains one hundred and fourteen counties, and Miss Houts conducted a campaign in all of them. There had been elected to the State convention in these counties seven hundred and ten delegates, and she acquainted herself with the affiliations, political and personal, the sympathies, tastes and peculiarities of every one of them. With this Information In hand she made her tactical more soft the State checker-board. The greatest single achievement of this remarkable young campaigner was in the case of the delegation from St. Joseph, the third largest city of the State. By her own exertions she induced a number of leading citizens of Warrensburg and from other points In the State to go to St. Joseph a week before the primary election and work for Oglesby. The result was that she secured the entire, delegation. One clever step adopted by Miss Houts Mr. Oglesby credits with giving him more than one close county. In most counties where primaries were held the name of the first candidate to pay his assessment was placed first on the ticket. This position of priority was much coveted by the candidates for Railroad Commissioner. Miss Houts discovered a way of obtaining It. Without waiting for the county committee to name the amount of the assessment, she forwarded a blank signed check to a trusted friend in the county, with instructions to fill It out and hand it to the county committee the day the assessment was fixed. This plan worked like a charm, and. explains why the name of Miss Houts' friend so often was first on the county primary ticket.
One week Miss Hoots spent fourteen hours in the long distance telephone booth. In one day she sent out several thousand letters, spent an hour or more telephoning, dispatched a score or more of telegrams, made a dozen trips to the bank, the photographer's, the printer's and the newspaper offices, and still found time to attend to her household duties and take her daily ride.
Chicago Tribune  July 26, 1904 1904/07/26
Life Romance of Rube Oglesby (Warrensburg, MO)

Monroe City Democrat., January 31, 1907

This case has quite a history. In January, 1894. by his next friend. Charles T. Oglesby, plaintiff, brought his original action. The case was taken to Bates County on change of venue. Here a verdict of $15,000 was given in favor of Oglesby and the case appealed to the Supreme Court, where the judgment was 'affirmed three times and finally reversed and remanded on.
May 30, 1899.
On a second trial a change of venue was taken o Pettis County by the defendant and there a verdict, of $15,000 was again returned in favor of
Oglesby. The case was again appealed to the Supreme Court, where it was reversed June 15, 1903. On the ground that the plaintiff had no cause for action. It was this decision by the Missouri Supreme Court, after three times affirming the first verdict that resulted in the Supreme Court fining a Warrensburg editor $500 for contempt of court in criticizing the mandate.
On May 13, 1904, the plaintiff again commenced action m the Circuit Court of Johnson County-and a change of venue was taken to Cass County, where it remained pending till January 21, 1907, when the plaintiff entered a nonsuit. Two days later the action was brought for the third time in the Circuit Court of Johnson County. The suit was filed through O. L. Houts, attorney for Oglesby.
OGLEBY'S STATEMENT. Jefferson City, Mo., Jan. 24.
Rube Oglesby says his case is in his lawyer's hands and that he is powerless to prevent them from bringing suit. He presumes that it was brought now as the statute of limitation covering the case would- soon act as a bar to further litigation. Love and politics are mixed up in the case. Mr. Oglesby, better. Known-over the state as Rube, was a brakeman on the Missouri Pacific and in a smashup lost a leg. When he lost the leg and brought suit be had a pretty and true sweetheart in the person of Miss Elizabeth Houts. Rube lest the case but Lizzie was true and it was through her efforts and fine electioneering that he first secured the nomination for the position be now holds.  Although he was defeated. Time wore on and Rube a cripple without money, without friends, but with a tenacious purpose held on and finally got the office he wanted. In the meantime his sweet heart secured the position as teacher in the schools at Joplin, Mo., where she now is Dame Rumor says: She and Rube will be one in the Spring time. If that be true, it is another case of, all's well that ends well.

Sedalia Democrat March 15, 1909
At 7 o’clock Sunday morning Miss Elizabeth H. Houts, a Joplin school teacher, formerly of Warrensburg, and ex-fiancee of Rube Oglesby ex-railroad commissioner, with whom she quarreled, was married to C. T. (Charles True) Bunce, cashier of the Miners’ bank at Webb City. Bunce he man about whom Miss Houts and Oglesby are said to have quarreled. When Oglesby was a candidate for railroad commissioner Miss Houts stumped the state, making speeches, seeking his. nomination and later his election. He was successful and the couple were bethrothed within a short time. Then came the announcement that the engagement was broken, and within a short time a second announcement that Oglesby had married another. Miss Houts refused to discuss the marriage of her ex-fiance and wouId assign no reason for the breaking of their engagement. While Miss Houts was engaged to Oglesby she visited in Central Missouri, and upon her return to Webb City, before going to her home at Lakeside, near here, she was met at the train by a man who accompanied her home. Oglesby, it is said, learned of this and the engagement was broken as a result. The man who met her at the station was C. T. Bunce. According to friends of Miss Houts, it was she who broke the engagement with Oglesby, Only a few friends and relatives of the couple were present at the ceremony. Immediately after the marriage the two left for an extended honeymoon trip.
Elks Lodge Warrensburg, MO H. R. Rube Oglesby
(Beverly Hale Bunce. His father's name was Charles True Bunce. Charles True Bunce's father was Col.William Mortimer Bunce. His mother was Susan Madison Hill. Susan Hill was a descendant of Hannah Cole, whom was possibly a "pioneer mother of Missouri. Susan's father married Angeline Cole, who was the daughter of Hannah Cole.) Born in Falls, Idaho, USA on 16 May 1919 to Charles True Bunce and Elizabeth B Houts. Beverly Hale married Josie Cobbs and had a child. Beverly Hale married Mary Carolyn Trautman and had 2 children. He passed away on 28 Sep 1980 in Warrensburg, Missouri, USA.)

Elizabeth Houts Bunce
Birth: Jun. 22, 1873
Johnson County, Missouri, USA
Death: Jun. 23, 1954
Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri, USA
Marriage: Mary Ann Shouse
Married: 1 OCT 1908
Parents:  Charles Thomas Oglesby (1834 - 1917) Ella Rubey Oglesby (1848 - 1926)
Spouse: Mary Ann Shouse Oglesby (1874 - 1959)
Children: Harriett Frances Oglesby Harrington (1909 - 1975)

Notice of Death
Henry Rubey Oglesby, life-long resident of Johnson County, died at his home, 305 North College Avenue, Warrensburg, at 4:40 a. m. Wednesday, after a 10-day illness. He was 81 years old Tuesday, having been his birthday. Funeral services await arrival of a son, H. R. Oglesby Jr., and his family of Mission, Kan., who have been in the east on a business and vacation trip, A daughter, Mrs. Arch Skelton, Lexington, was in Warrensburg and another daughter, Mrs. Ward Wilson of Deal, N. J., arrived there Wednesday night. Mr. Oglesby was born June 22, 1873, at Knob Noster, son of C. T. and Ella Rubey Oglesby, pioneers of Johnson County. His mother was a niece of Kit Carson, noted frontiersman. In 1882 the Oglesby family moved to Warrensburg, where the son was reared and where he attended the old Warrensburg Normal, now the Central Missouri State College. He married Mary Ann Shouse Oct. 1, 1908 and they were parents of the three children, who with their mother, survive, as do nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mr. Oglesby was employed by the Missouri Pacific railroad for a number of years, later was state railroad and warehouse commissioner, was United States fuel administrator during World War I, later being with the Department of Internal Revenue, from which he retired several years ago. He was a member of the Methodist Church, and was the oldest member of the Elks Lodge in Warrensburg, having joined the Sedalia lodge No. 125 before a lodge was organized in Warrensburg. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite order and the Shrine. 

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