Reported Kidnapping of a Citizen Not Founded On Fact.
STORY PROBABLY OF MALICIOUS ORIGIN
An Independent Reporter, After An Exciting Chase, Finally Runs to Earth the Rumor That Mr. T.R. Kelly Had Been the Victim of Foul Play—Graphic Story of the Affair.
Late last Tuesday evening this city was thrown into a mild state of excitement by the report that Mr. T.R. Kelly, a rising and much respected young pedagogue, the leader of the Silver Cornet Band and an all round good fellow, had mysteriously disappeared at about the hour of 9:30. An investigation was at once ordered, but owing to the lateness of the hour little could be done. A friend of Mr. Kelly, however, stated that in his opinion the gentleman was safe in the arms of Morpheus. Just who Morpheus was, or that individual’s relationship to Mr. Kelly, was not known, but the authorities determined to wait for daylight, and in the meantime hope for the best.
On Wednesday morning, the dismal rumors continuing, the authorities determined to conduct a full and complete investigation and locate Mr. Kelly, if possible. The Independent at once detailed a reporter to assist in the search. In the course of a few hours the reporters indefatigable labors resulted in the discovery that Mr. Kelly was not-, had not-, and in all probability would not-, be missing. The mystery was solved, and soon a feeling of confidence returned, and settled down upon the community like a cloud of adobe dust upon a new spring suit.
The reporter sent in his bulletins from time to time during the progress of the search. Reports from the scene of operations read about as follows:
7 o’clock a.m.—An excited citizen from the north end of Main street has just appeared and asserts that at the hours of 11 the previous evening he had seen Mr. Kelly being hurried toward Provo by half a dozen people. Thought the party was composed entirely of girls, but was not positive. Mr. Kelly has evidently been kidnapped.
7:10 a.m.—Another Main street citizen says he is sure he heard Mr. Kelly calling for help at a late hour yesterday evening. Went and got a pint bottle full, but on his return could find no trace of Mr. Kelly. Poor Kelly!
7:25 a.m.—The mystery deepens. No new rumor has been heard for fully 15 minutes. Maj. R. Taylor Marshall with a force of picked men have gone to search the mill pond.
7:30 a.m.—A telephone message has just been received from County Clerk Jones of Provo, saying that the prepossessing young man who applied for a marriage late last evening was not Mr. Kelly. Party’s name was Smith and hailed from Goshen. Provo marshal is vigilant.
7:40 a.m.—A green looking lad from the rural districts reports that he saw a battered Fedora hat, a bloody axe and evidences of a struggle a mile or two out toward Provo on the line of the Union Pacific. Marshal Storrs has mounted his wheel and gone to Investigate. Can it be that Mr. Kelly has been murdered?
7:45 a.m.—Druggist Peterson is preparing lint and bandages and brewing arnica. The utmost excitement prevails.
7:50 a.m.—Mayor Deal and Alec Robertson are organizing a posse to hunt for Mr. Kelly. Mr. Robertson says Kelly must be found even if it costs as much as six bits.
8 a.m.—A visit to the dressmaking establishment of Miss Rorick elicits the information that last evening after school Mr. Kelly was seen proceeding northward along Main street in company with a Webster’s dictionary, a volume of Euclid and a load of educational cares. He was following an abstracted gaze. It Is hoped that no harm has come to the gentleman.
8:04 a.m.—Maj. Marshall’s men have just made a reconnaissance in force along the left flank of the mill pond. Pond was found to be filled in spots with a clear, transparent fluid thought to be water.
8:10 a.m.—Marshal Storrs has returned to the City hall for repairs. He tried to ride his w heel over a Rio Grande Western cattle guard. Roy lance’s bicycle expert says it will cost $11.57 to repair the machine.
8:15 a.m.—Still no definite news of Kelly.
8:20 a.m.-The Y.L.M.I.A.’s have volunteered to aid in the search. A prll [sic] seems to have fallen over the city
8:24 a.m.—Alec Robertson has a clue, and Joe Loynd and Joe Whitehead have gone to look in the jail.
8:27 a.m.—Mr. Robertson has lost his clue and is writing a notice to hang up in the postoffice.
8:30 a.m.—It is now generally believed that liquor had nothing to do with Mr. Kelly’s disappearance, as he is known to be a man of the most firm and pronounced temperance principles.
8:35 a.m.—Excitement is at fever heat. It is said that Mr. Kelly can tie seen coming through the City hall square.
8:36 a.m.—Can it be Mr. Kelly?
8:37 a.m.—It must be Mr. Kelly!
8:37:30 a.m.—It is Mr. Kelly!
8:40 a.m.—Mr. Kelly is entertaining a surprised party at the City hall.
8:45 a.m.—Mr. Kelly emphatically denies that He was kidnapped or murdered. Doesn’t know Mr. Morpheus—never saw him, in fact. Retired to his apartments at an unusually early hour, and after a prolonged struggle with Euclid, went to bed and slept soundly. Don’t know why people should make fools of themselves on the 1st of April, either.
8:50 a.m.—Mayor Deal and Marshal Storrs are trying to hush the matter up. Alec Robertson has ordered ice water for the crowd.
Source: The Springville Independent, April 3, 1896.