Library presentation focuses on Kansas’ past ‘crime stoppers’ – anti-horse thief societies

The Friends of the Osage City Public Library and Kansas Humanities Council will host a presentation of “Kansas Anti-Horse Thief Societies”, by John Burchill, at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at the library.

Burchill will talk about when Kansas was once the center of operations for bands of horse thieves, with many independent anti-horse thief societies formed to combat the thefts. The national Anti-Horse Thief Association was especially strong in Kansas. By 1910, Kansas held the most members, was home to The Anti-Horse Thief Weekly News, and consistently had residents hold offices in the national order.

So effective were these organizations that local law enforcement were often the first to join, and the Kansas Bank Commissioner called for their assistance to help fight bank robberies that plagued the state.

Burchill is an author of “Bullets, Badges and Bridles: Horse Thieves and the Societies that Pursued Them” and a criminal justice historian who teaches at Kansas Wesleyan University.

There is no cost to attend the presentation at the Osage City Public Library, 515 Main St., Osage City. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the library at 785-528-3727.

Graphic Dodge City Public Library; information thanks to Gwen Crane.

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