AIR MAIL FLIER TOOK FLIGHT INTO REALM OF LOVE, AND CRASHED.  Aviator Also Was a High Flyer in Finances – Cleaned Up $16,000 But Gave it Back.  And Now he’s in Jail, Lacking $500 for Bail.

Burrton, Kansas July 7, 1924 – Winning $16,000 in a somewhat shady speculation on a Kansas City race track – Conscience stricken finally because of the wife and family of his victim being in hard circumstances, and returning $10,000 of the sum – Falling in love with a Burrton girl, who rejected him because of his hazardous occupation, a flyer in the government mail service – Giving up his position as an aviator in the government air service rather than give up his Burrton sweetheart – Finally arrested on a charge of having stolen papers from the home of John Luther at Burrton –

Like A Dime Novel.

This, and a whole lot more, is the rather romantic experience, as related by himself, of Jack Lawson, aviator, government secret service agent and air mail flyer. County officials of Harvey County, who have the psuedo aviator and secret service man in the county jail at Newton say he is a big fake, and that the whole story he tells is a hoax. And yet, there are certain things about it all that point to his being just what he claims to be.  Lawson arived in Burrton several weeks ago  He bore documents that showed he was an air mail service flyer, off on furlough, and he said he had come to Burrton to look for an old buddy in the air service whom he heard had lived there.

Then Fell In Love.

While seeking his buddy, he fell head over heels in love with a Burrton girl.  The hardest tumble he ever had experienced, the aviator admitted. But the maiden of his heart refused to seriously consider any aviator’s wooing.  She had once kept company with a locomotive fireman, she said, and there was worry enough about him.  She wasn’t going to take on any sky pilot.  “All right; I’ll give up the air service rather than give you up,” he declared.  And that night he resigned, by wire. He could afford to according to his story, for shortly before coming to Burrton he had won $16,000 cash in a deal at Kansas City.  He showed some $1,000 bills at Burrton as part of his clean-up.

Sent Back The Money.

“But I sent back $10,000 of the money to the wife of the loser in the deal,” he explained.  “My conscience hurt.  I knew she and the family were in trouble.  So I went fifty-fifty and better and sent  back ten of the sixteen.”  But Jack Lawson’s career in Burrton came to a rather scandalous end.  He was accused of having robbed the home of John Luther, while the latter was working north of town.  Certain papers stolen from Luther were found in Lawson’s pocket when he was arrested by City Marshal Joe Parker, as he stepped from an A.V.I. car.

The Mystery Of The Papers.

“I did not steal those papers,” he protested.  “On the contrary I rescued them from men who tried to steal them.  Those papers are of great value and importance.  I am a government secret service man.  When my case comes to tial I will be completely exonerated.  There was a conspiracy to get these papers.  Two men were in it.  I caught them leaving the Luther house.  I overpowered them and took the papers from them.  The whole affair will be cleared up shortly.”

Now He’s In Jail.

But Harvey County officials put Lawson in jail, just the same, whether government sleuth or not.  And of his $16,000 which he brought to Burrton not enough was left to put up $500 cash bond to keep him from jail.  The case will be tried before Justice Saylor in Burrton on July 19.  And the Burrton maiden, for whom Jack had sacrificed his position in the air mail service, doesn’t seem to be shedding any tears.  “He flew too high,” was her comment. (The Hutchinson News, Hutchinson Kansas.  July 7, 1924.  Page 9.  (c) Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Harvey County Genealogical Society.  All Rights Reserved).

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