Sunday, January 2, 2022

Home and Away

James Reeves Walkup was born August 10, 1836 in Marion County, Indiana before moving with his parents to West Virginia. He married Annie Lee on March 6, 1856 but she passed away in June 1857. He married Hannah Maddock the following year. After making his money with the West Columbia Coal and Mining Company, the Walkups came to Kansas in 1867 where James started out as a farmer before moving to Emporia around 1880 where he became involved in railroad contracting and selling grocery stores. Hannah passed away May 1, 1884 and James focused his attention on work and politics. Rumor had it that James was a very promiscuous man, visiting prostitutes, having affairs, and even keeping a mistress half his age.

James Walkup
In December 1884, James went with Eben Baldwin to the New Orleans World Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. On the recommendation of a man in Baton Rouge, they stayed at a boarding house run by Mrs. Elizabeth Wallace. There, he met Dora and Minnie Wallace. Dora was musically talented and was married to another man, but Minnie, at 15-years-old, won James' infatuation. For months, James begged Mrs. Wallace for Minnie's hand in marriage. Finally, both Mrs. Wallace and Minnie agreed but wanted to visit Emporia first. Here, James pleaded to get married as soon as possible. They agreed as long as the wedding was in Ohio--since neither was a resident of Ohio, they married in Covington, Kentucky on July 22, 1885. They then quickly returned to Emporia so that James could show off his 16-year-old bride.

A rather oddly written article talking about Walkup
leaving Emporia to get married.

When James returned from a business trip to Topeka on Saturday August 15, complaining of feeling unwell. He was attacked by cramps on Sunday and while he was well enough to attend a city council meeting and doctors treating him for poison, he never fully recovered and died on August 22, 1885. Only one month after his wedding.
Minnie Wallace Walkup

Mrs. Minnie Walkup lived the good life with James, spending most of her time lounging around their home or going shopping. On August 13, Minnie inquired about some strychnine at a pharmacy. When she asked for more the following day, saying she had left it somewhere while shopping, she was refused. She then went to another drug store and asked for more strychnine. She was denied her purchase when she refused to fill out her name and the reason for her purchase. On the 20th, another drug store sold her four ounces of arsenic and, upon hearing that James Walkup was ill, the druggist informed authorities and Minnie was placed under house arrest. The trial began in October 19, 1885, with the defense's argument being that James Walkup was being treated for abdominal distress and syphilis with arsenic and opium and Walkup's newly manifested addiction was the cause of his demise. However, an autopsy revealed no signs of syphilis or arsenic addiction. While the prosecution's case was very open and shut--Mrs. Walkup purchased strychnine and arsenic and Mr. Walkup died of arsenic poisoning--the defense went about defaming James, calling witnesses to testify about his constant arsenic use to treat is sexual diseases and talking to doctors who had been paid to treat not only Mr. Walkup but also his whores.
Headline to the 8th day of the trial.
Emporia Daily News, 10/27/1885.

After fifty-two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilt. Minnie Walkup was acquitting of murdering James Walkup. Mrs. Walkup's age definitely played a role in her acquittal as jurors would later say they were afraid of sentencing her to death and some jurors even acquiesced that Walkup should've been killed. Most agreed, however, that Mrs. Walkup married Mr. Walkup specifically to kill and get his money. Minnie Walkup, and her mother, left Emporia on November 19.

Minnie went with a few older men when back in New Orleans and then moved to Chicago where she continued to entertain men in a back room. In 1897, Minnie met John Berdan Ketcham was was recently divorced and dying of alcoholism. Minnie spirted him away to Wisconsin for a secret wedding, Ketcham signed a new will leaving everything to Minnie, and died twelve days later. An autopsy was performed and no sign of poisoning could be found and though Ketcham's family challenged the will, Minnie prevailed and inherited $250,000--the same amount that she got from Walkup. In 1900, Minnie took up with DeLancy Louderbeck. When Louderbeck's wife died, he changed his will to leave a quarter of his estate to Minnie. He soon died of cyanide poisoning. Seeing as how Louderbeck died in Chicago while Minnie was in Europe, there was no evidence that he was poisoned by her. Some theorize she had an accomplice while some posit that Minnie lied about being married to another man and he committed suicide.

Minnie's life after that gets a bit fuzzy. Some news claimed that she was married to an English soldier but no name is given. A passport was issued to her in 1915 with her destination as London. Minnie, living as Estelle Minnie Keating, passed away May 10, 1957 in San Diego, California.

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For whatever reason, the Comic Kingdom website is down so we're gonna miss out on half the comics today. Let's get on with the three comics I am doing today.

Ziggy
So this is how Ziggy dies.

panel from Ripley's Believe It Or Not
Grape-Nuts was probably named for the way the cereal looks like grape seeds and nutty flavor or because they called glucose 'grape sugar'. We'll never know because inventor C.W. Post wasn't clear.

So Ripley's is now just taking suggestions from people who peruse cereal websites?

The Born Loser
You would think that Brutus would be used to losing by now. Just make it a fun little game. A fun little loser game.




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