Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Hudsons of Paola, Kansas

The Hudsons moved to Paola, Kansas in April of 1912. They had been married a year before in North Industry, Ohio and by all accounts it had been a rough year. Anna was a flirty type and during the stick-up-your-butt years of the Edwardian period that meant you were a loose woman, although there seems to be quite a bit of circumstantial evidence she actually had an affair. Her husband, Rollin, was a year younger than she and was the son of Jonathan and Emma Hudson of North Industry. Jonathan was a Justice of the Peace in Stark County, Ohio and was reported in the papers to have been a prime mover in the Republican party. How likely this is I don't know. A Justice of the peace in Ohio made roughly the equivalent of $26,000 a year in 1910. Rollin worked for a time as a "cone grinder" in an automobile factory and eventually, the factory dust forced him to change professions - to a coal-man - go figure.

The source of most of the young couple's marital problems seem to be a man named Roy "Hooky" Adams, a friend of Anna's from Akron, Ohio. In the short time they were married, Rollin would "leave" Anna three times and they were often seen arguing in public. When they first moved to Paola, they lived with the George Cole family a few blocks from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (the Katy) railroad line and the Frisco coal chutes. Sometime in May the Hudsons moved into a five room cottage across the street from the Cole family and Rollin would overnight with the Coles a few times after blowouts with Anna. Rollin was a hard worker who seldom missed days and was always trying to better his position. But he also had a short fuse and tended to "disappear" for unknown reasons. One day he went to the Frisco chutes to get some coal and disappeared for a week. He had gone up the line to the town of Beagle to take a coal job there and hadn't told anyone. The problems with the marriage were likely two fold; Anna's incessant flirtations and Rollins volatile personality probably made for some interesting conversation among the neighbors and definitely lead to some red herrings after they were found murdered in their bed.

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