Paul Kirkman is an author, historian, and speaker who will present a program at the Bates County Museum on Saturday, August 19th at 10:30am. Paul’s fascination with early law enforcement and the criminals of that era has been the driving force behind him completing years of research. “Hoosegows, Calabooses, and Squirrel Cages: 19th Century Jails” is a provocative topic that elicits a variety of imaginings.
Standing in dozens of towns throughout Missouri are stone, brick, and iron reminders of frontier justice from one-room calabooses like the one in Rich Hill, to the old sheriff’s residence/jail in Butler, all the way to the State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. Paul presents a snapshot of crime and punishment from Missouri’s past. Stories both humorous and soulful are attached to many of the old jails, and they reflect Missouri’s wild and difficult youth. The unsung and underpaid lawmen will be discussed as well.
Living in Independence with his wife and daughter, Paul has deep ties to this region and can tell stories of relatives who fought at the Battle of Westport. He has his Bachelor of the Arts in history from Columbia College and has worked as an archival assistant in the Archives of Kansas City Department of Parks, Recreation, and Boulevards. He is a speaker for the Missouri Humanities Council and the State Historical Society of Missouri Speakers Bureau. Paul has published Forgotten Tales of Kansas City, Battle of Westport: Missouri’s Great Confederate Raid, and he has coauthored Lockdown: Outlaws, Lawmen & Frontier Justice in Jackson County, Missouri with archivist David Jackson.
The Museum is proud to present this free program. A donation luncheon will be held following the presentation on Saturday, August 19th at 10:30am in Robertson Hall at the Bates County Museum.
For information contact 660-679-0134.