JOHNSON, Grace - 1907 - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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JOHNSON, Grace - 1907

Source: Richmond Palladium 26 Oct 1907

Grace Johnson, the 14 year old girl who recently ran away from Kingman, Ind, and who was located in Richmond Friday by Chief Bailey, is again a fugitive. Friday afternoon, after Chief Bailey and City Missionary Elizabeth Candler, had talked with the girl, she was sent to the Home for the Friendless to be held there until her case could be more fully investigated.

This morning about 8 o’clock some person in Boston, this county, telephone to police headquarters stating that a young girl had walked into the place about 3 o’clock this morning and that she was tired and hungry.  This man stated that the girl was given something to eat and that she then told several people that she was going to New Hope in search of work.  When last seen the girl was on a road leading south from Boston.  As the direction she was taking would not take her to New Hope, it was suspected the girl was a runaway so the local police were notified.

Chief Bailey suspected that the girl seen at Boston might be Grace Johnson so he telephoned to the Home for the Friendless and inquired if the Johnson girl was there. The chief was informed that in some unknown manner the girl had succeeded in escaping from the institution and that her whereabouts were unknown. No explanation was made as to why the police were not promptly informed of the disappearance of the girl. Chief Bailey sent Officer Vogelsong to Boston and it is thought he will be able to overtake the girl and bring her back to Richmond.

For a short time prior to her being taken into custody Friday the Johnson girl had resided in Richmond and has been employed as a domestic. At police headquarters Friday afternoon she stated to Chief Bailey and Mrs. Chandler that she is an orphan and had lived most of her life in West Lebanon, Indiana. About a year and a half ago, she stated she went to Kingman and obtained employment as a domestic in a family by the name of Radcliff. Later she obtained employment in the family of Dr. Kendall. Later she left Kingman and went to New Hope, walking all the distance. Chief Bailey is inclined to believe that the girl did not tell the whole truth and he thinks there is something ack of her disappearance from Kingman. He states that so far as he knows the girl was not enticed away from Kingman by a man.


Source: Richmond Palladium 27 Oct 1907

Constant reading of dime novels and “penny deadfalls” is responsible for the erring ways of Grace Johnson, the 14-year-old girl of Kingman, Ind whose life has been a rather eventful one in the past few weeks. This is the opinion of Superintendent of Police Bailey.

“Now are you right sure that you walked from Kingman, Ind to New Hope?” asked Bailey of the girl when she started in on her account of her trip from Kingman which has caused so much excitement.
“Sure I did. Then I have walked many miles besides. I have traveled much since I left the home of Dr. Kendall,” replied the girl.

“Nice shoes you have. They are almost new, aren’t they?” continued Bailey.

“Yes, they are almost new. I bought them with my own money!”

“Did you walk all that distance in those shoes?” inquired the chief of police.

“Yes.” Said the girl

The shoes showed no signs of wear whatever, and then Bailey’s opinion that the girl had been giving him a “pipe,” resulting from an overbalanced imagination was strengthened, while his suspicions that the girl was influenced by something in telling her traveling yarns, were aroused and asked,

“Say, did you ever read any dime novels?”

“Oh, yes, I’ve read lots and lots of them,” said the Johnson girl.

“Thought so,” grunted the chief.

Bailey says the girl must be stirred by an unquenchable desire to do something out of the ordinary, and she has been spurred on by the romanticism and impossibilities expressed in absurd and cheap literature. That the girl’s mind is abnormally developed along this line is the firm belief of the hief. He says that a girl of her age would never dream of the things which she has accomplished in the past few weeks had it not been for this. She will remain at the Home for the Friendless under arrest until Dr. Kendall comes from Kingman to get her.

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