Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 15, Part 2

By Holice and Debbie

 

This is the most important Police District in the world. No officer of Police commands men who have as many billions and vast commercial and financial interest to watch over as Captain Caffrey. Treachery on the part of one of his Patrolmen for a couple of hours would enable criminals to possess themselves of booty amounting to millions. Besides the Sub-Treasury, the Assay office, the Stock exchange, the Custom House, and scores of money brokers and dealers in bullion, there are the following banking institutions in the First Precinct: American Exchange Bank, Bank of Commerce, Bank of New York, Bank of the Republic, Chase Bank, Chatham Bank, City Bank, Continental Bank, First National Bank, Fourth National Bank, Fulton Bank, Gallatin Bank, Hanover Bank, Leather Manufacturers' Bank, mechanics' Bank, Merchants' Bank, Phoenix Bank, Seventh Ward Bank, the third national Bank, the Union Bank, and the United States Bank, and National Bank, the Seamen's Savings Bank, and the following State Banks: Bank of America, Bank of North America, State of New York, Corn Exchange, German American, Manhattan Company, New York Produce Exchange, St. Nicholas, and Seaboard. Brokers' offices are numbered by the hundred, and all the exchanges from the vest and magnificent Produce Exchange are here. An emigrant first lands in this precinct at Castle Garden, and within its boundaries are the Barge Office, and Battery, the Chamber of Commerce, the termini of the Elevated Railroads, and the Consulate of the Argentine republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Chili, Columbia, Corea, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hayti, Italy, Liberia, Monaco, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, St. Domingo., Salvador, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Mementos of the great fires of half an century ago are to be found in several parts of the district. Two sensations, in the Police acceptance of the term, have occurred in this precinct, but there have been several incidents of more than ordinary moment. Many recall with a shudder the horrors of the thirty-first of July, 1871, when the boiler of the ferryboat "Westfield" blew up at the Staten Island Pier, and how that calm and lovely Sunday ended in general mourning for the fate of men, women and children who were killed, maimed, and or disfigured. This accident ended directly or indirectly the lives of more then eighty-five persons. Another thrilling event occurred in Burling Slip on the fifth of April, 1877. John Jewett & Son occupied the warehouse, No. 182 Front Street, as manufacturers of white lead. Orville D. Jewett was a member of the firm, but there was mutual dissatisfaction, and the papers for his withdrawals from it had been drafted. At a quarter past ten o'clock in the morning a hand grenade exploded in the private office on the second floor in Burling Slip, and pistol shots were fired. George W. and Orville D. Jewett, his nephew, were killed, and Mr. Joseph A. Dean was seriously injured. In spite of overwhelming evidence tending to show that Orville D. Jewett threw the bomb, and shot himself with a pistol, the verdict of the Coroner's Jury was vague, to say the least of it.

THE FOURTH PRECINCT.--The limits of the Fourth Precinct are: Fulton Street, Broadway, Park Row, Centre Street, Chambers Streets, Chatham Street. Chatham Square, Catharine Street, and the East railroad track on the East River front. The station house is at Nos. 9 and 11 Oak Street. It was built in 1870 on the site of one of the oldest station houses in New York, and is a comfortable structure, but the approaches to it are narrow, and it is weak in a strategical sense. The officers of the command are: Captain Robert O. Webb; and Sergeants, Richard F. Magan, Peter Ryan, and John Kelly. Magan was made a Policeman in 1870, became a Roundsman in 1873, and was promoted ten years later. Ryan was appointed twenty-three yeas ago, was made Roundsman in 1863, and obtained rank five years later. Kelly has been on the force twelve years; he was appointed Roundsman in 1882, and the next year rose to his present rank.

CAPTAIN ROBERT O. WEBB was appointed to the Metropolitan Police on February 17, 1861, and assigned to the Seventh Precinct. He was promoted to be Roundsman, and sent tot he Ninth Precinct on august 28, 1862, where he served during the draft riots. He was serving as Roundsman in the First Precinct when he resigned in august, 1865. Three years later (August 3, 1868) he was re-appointed on the force and assigned to the Seventh Precinct. He was promoted Roundsman in July 11, 1871, and transferred to the Twenty-eighth Precinct; made Sergeant August 21, 1873, and sent to the Tenth Precinct. He attained his present rank on May 25, 1880.

This precinct has nineteen day posts and thirty-eight night posts. It has ninety-nine Patrolmen, but details and sickness reduce the effective force to about eighty men. Edward Shalvey and Gilbert Carr are precinct detectives, Thomas Mather is detailed to Park Row, George Logan to Hunters' Point Ferry, Mark F. Healy is at the Catharine Street Ferry, George Connor and John Grennan to Roosevelt Street Ferry, Wolf Levy to Chatham and Chambers Streets, Edward McCabe to Fulton and Nassau Streets, Edward G. Walling to the Tax Office, Edmund Ryan on Corporation Ordinances, J. J. Nolan to the Catholic Protectory, John Kiernan to Inspector Murray's office.

The Fourth Precinct takes under its wings the majority of the newspaper offices. Fulton Market, the New York terminus of the Brooklyn Bridge, the "Swamp," where the leather merchants most do congregate, and vast mercantile and commercial interests. Within its limits are much squalor, misery, and exceeding prosperity. Towards its Broadway boundary it takes in some important dry goods houses. The old Second Precinct Station House, at No. 49 Beekman Street, still stands. It is now the office of the Corporation Attorney; and when the gambler Duryea was hacked by Eph. Simmons--the policy dealer in Liberty Street, his body riddled with knife thrusts by Simmons, who broke his ankle in slipping in the blood of his enemy--he was taken there. The Fourth Precinct furnishes many a newspaper story. Dating from the fatal explosion and fire in Hague Street, innumerable tales of horror have been told across its station desk. There was the fire four years ago at No. 35 Madison Street, a "rookery," by which, through the carelessness of a plumber, ten persons lost their lives in a few minutes. On the thirty-first of January, 1882, the Potter Building, at Park Row and Beckman Street, was burned down, and despite the efforts of citizens, Police and fireman, four persons lost their lives. The fatal crush on the Brooklyn Bridge shortly after it was opened is remembered with a shudder. Newspapers sometimes furnish gossip themselves, witness the slaying of Richardson by McFarland in the Tribune office, fifteen years ago.

THE SIXTH PRECINCT.--the Sixth Precinct is bounded by Chambers Street, Chatham Street, Chatham Square, the Bowery, heater Street, Centre Street, Howard Street, and Broadway. It is the finest in the city except the First Precinct Station House, and is a handsome, roomy structure, admirably adopted to Police purposes. The officers are: Captain John McCullough, who signs his name McCullagh, although he says his father spelled it like the great tragedian; and Sergeants John Ryan, Robert Young, William Thompson, and Edward Colgrove. Ryan was a Policeman in 1869,m a Roundsman in 1881, and a Sergeant I a year later. Young joined the force in 1866, became Roundsman in 1873, and attained ranks ix months later. Thompson's records is: Patrolman 1866, Roundsman six months later, and Sergeant 1872. Colgrove, the senior Sergeant, put on the uniform in 1860, became Roundsman in 1862, and attained his present position in 1865.

CAPT. JOHN McCULLAGH, of the Sixth Precinct, is a young man of pleasing appearance, and agreeable manners. By his strict attention to duty and his innate politeness he has made a host of friends. No stronger corroboration of this fact can be adduced than that he is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, Captain on the force, as well in point of years as in point of promotion. Captain McCullagh joined the force in 1870, and was stationed in the Fifth precinct. He was appointed Roundsman in 1873, and Sergeant in 1876, and Captain in July, 1883. He was engaged in the Orange riots in 1872, and also in the Tompkins Square riots.

The precinct has nineteen day posts and thirty-four night posts, and its force of eighty men is reduced by sickness and details to seventy men. David Gerrow and Thomas J. Crystal are the Precinct Detectives. William Looney is detailed to Corporation Ordinances.

The "Bloody Sixth" no longer exists, and much that was written about its dangers and horrors are imaginary. It was mainly a slum of the city, and some parts of the present district need purging. In old times it polyglot and parti-colored population huddled together in kennels, not fit for streets curs, in the neighborhood of the Five Points, where are now the House of Industry, the yard of the disinfecting Corps of the Health Department, and Paradise Park. "Summing" a cockney recreation which became fashionable last year, was fashionable in New York a quarter of a century ago. Society leaders and society dames went to "The sixth" to sup on horrors and experience "sensations" in the gruesome squalor and naked vice they witnessed under the guidance of Police officers. Nearly all the "horrors" of those days were minor affairs, the outcome of vile rum and the most groveling passions, and in these days would hardly make an item for a decent newspaper. Italians, Chinamen and Hebrews are now, in the main, the occupants of the squalid dens in "the Bend" in Mulberry Street and the lower part of Baxter Street, and "elephant hunters,'; as "slummers" are termed by the Central office Detectives--who act as cicerones now-a-days--are treated to a sign of an opium den, the "Big Flat" in Elizabeth Street, and the stale beer or "all sorts" of dives. The Thalia Theatre and Atlantic Garden are in this precinct, as well as the White Street Depot of the Vanderbilt railroads, and the historic Tombs Prison. On the twenty-fourth of December, 1872, the same day that witnessed the destruction of the Hippotheatron and other buildings in East Fourteenth Street, fire broke out at Nos. 81, 83 and 85 Centre Street, and a number of bookbindery girls were killed, and property worth one hundred and sixty-seven thousand dollars was destroyed. The Sixth Precinct has an important Broadway boundary, and vast manufacturing and commercial interests on the Bowery, and in Canal and Centre Streets.

THE SEVENTH PRECINCT.--The Seventh Precinct's boundaries are: Catharine Street, Division Street, Scammel Street, Water Street, Gouverneur Slip, and the east track of the railroad on the East River front. The station house at Nos. 245 and 247 Madison Street is an old structure that needs tearing down to make room for a better one. The officers are: Captain Henry Hedden; and Sergeants, Charles W. Woodward, Myron Allen, Charles O. Sheldon, and Cornelius Weston. Woodward was appointed in 1857; Roundsman, 1861; and ranked in 1862. Allen's dates are: patrolman, 1866; Roundsman, 1867; Sergeant, 1868. Sheldon's dates are, Patrolman, 1865; Roundsman, 1867; Sergeant, 1872. Weston's dates are, Patrolman, 1865; Roundsman, 1867; Sergeant, 1872.

CAPTAIN HENRY HEDDEN was born in Catharine Street in this city in 1837. He joined the force June 16, 1857, and was sent to the Seventeenth Precinct. He was made Sergeant in 1859, and transferred to the Twenty-sixth Precinct. On May 1, 1861, he was sent tot he Fifth Precinct; and in November, 1863, he was transferred to the Sixteenth precinct as Acting Captain, and there placed in command. The following month he was made Full Captain. In the al of 1866 he was transferred to the Twentieth precinct. In 1870 he was sent to the Fifteenth Precinct, and later he was assigned to the Twenty-first Precinct (old Twenty-eighth) in Greenwich Street, and subsequently place din command of the Third Precinct in Beekman Street, thence alternately to the Twenty-third, Thirteenth, Thirty-third precincts, Street Cleaning Department, Ninth and Thirty-second Precincts, to Police Headquarters and finally to his present command. Captain Hedden first distinguished himself while a Sergeant at City hall Station by breaking up a gang of ticket swindlers who robbed emigrants. While in command of the Fifteenth Precinct, he, with the assistance of Detective Sergeant Philip Reilly, worked up the evidence which convicted Ruloff, who was subsequently hanged at Binghamton, this State, for the murder of a clerk while perpetrating a burglary in a dry goods store in Binghamton. Captain Hedden also, by his energy and intelligence, helped to clear up the mystery surrounding the murder of a Jew peddler in Lydig's Woods in the Thirty-fourth Precinct. Captain Hedden was then in command of the Thirty-third Precinct. The murder had been committed by three Negroes, who were arrested and convicted. Captain Hedden, besides these, has been connected with almost every case of importance that his Precinct Detectives had a hand in unearthing, but, with his characteristic modesty, he claims no merit on that score, preferring to give his detectives the entire benefit of such arrests, not seeking for notoriety himself. Captain Hedden has participated officially in the several riots that have taken place in the city since he joined the force, and carries with him honorable scars received in such hand-to-hand encounters.

There are thirteen day and twenty-six night posts. The effective force is but sixty men, although sixty-nine are on the roll. Cornelius Leary and John J. Creed are the Precinct Detectives. The detailed officer is Richard J. Mullen, Corporation Ordinances.

The Seventh Precinct covers territory that was formerly inhabited by New York's staid business men, and the character of its streets is the same as it was thirty years ago. Some of the houses that are now occupied by artisans were the homes of New York's business aristocracy, and were built as few builders can now afford to construct dwellings. Until recently its river front was the most important on the East side, but the new Third Precinct cuts it off. It is what may be called a quiet precinct, peopled by citizens of the lower middle class and petty tradesmen. In some of the quiet streets which run parallel to the East river it is Sunday every day in the week. It rarely furnishes the public with material for small gossip, and the most notable events of the past few years were the burning of Hecker's Croton Mills in Cherry Street, and the mysterious burglary in a Catharine Street pawnshop which set so many detectives and "crooked" men by the ears. Catharine market is within its boundaries, and its river front is infested with a hopelessly dishonest class, which are properly termed "dock rats" by the Police, and "river pirates" by sensational reporters.

THE TENTH PRECINCT.--THE Tenth Precinct is included between the Bowery, Division Street, Norfolk Street, Rivington Street, Clinton Street, and Houston Street. the station house was built for station house purposes, and is yet a good one--after sixteen years of service. It has a separate prison. The officers are: Captain Anthony J. Allaire; and Sergeants Gustavus Dahlgren, George W. Warner, Timothy J. Creeden, and William Kass. Dahlgren's dates are patrolman, 1866; Roundsman, 1874; and Sergeant, 1866. Warner was appointed in 1868; became Roundsman, 1876; and was promoted last year. Creeden joined the department in 1864; was made Roundsman in 1876; and attained his rank three years later. Kass, the Senior Sergeant, was appointed in 1859; was Roundsman in 1870; and was promoted in 1872.

CAPTAIN ANTHONY J. ALLAIRE.--was born in the city of Cincinnati on the seventeenth of February, 1829, and came here while he was quite young. He served his time in this city as a blacksmith, and worked for two or three years at that trade. While so employed he joined the Firemen's Brigade, and was attached to Engine company 41. He was not long in this service when he as made foreman, as a reward for the important services he had rendered.

Capt. Allaire joined the Police force on the twenty-fourth of August, 1860, and was assigned for duty to the Eighteenth Precinct.

In May, 1861, he was made Roundsman, and in three months afterwards Sergeant.

When the War broke out the joined the One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment of New York Volunteers, and in August, 1862, became Captain of Company E. He was present at the battle of port Hudson, Marksville Plains, Bisland, Cross Roads, Vermillion, and several other engagements along the Red River. On august 4, 1864, he was commissioned Major, and in December of the same year he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1865 he rose to the rank of Brigadier-General by brevet for meritorious conduct in the field.

He returned to Washington in 1864, and in a few minutes after his arrival there he was ordered to the front in defense of the Capitol, which was threatened by Jubal Early, who advances Allaire helped to check.

When peace was restored in 1865, General Allaire return to New York, and resumed duty as a simple Roundsman. In five days later he was appointed Sergeant in the Fifteenth precinct. On May 23, 1867, he was appointed Captain, and assigned to the Twenty-first Precinct. On July 6, 1869, he was transferred to the Fourth Precinct, which was one of the dangerous localities of New York.

Captain Allaire's record is a long and interesting one. He has been engaged in so many notable cases, and his ability is so well understood and appreciated by the public that a brief summary of the more important cases in which he was engaged will suffice to explain his popularity.

He arrested Daniel McFarland for the murder, in the old Tribune office, of Albert D. Richardson, one of the editors of the paper. The arrest was accomplished in this wise: McFarland had a brother who kept a stationery warehouse on Broadway. Warden Fin and Captain Allaire put their heads together, and hit upon a plan which proved successful. They wrote a letter to the murderer which purported to come from his brother, asking him for an interview. They imitated the stationer's handwriting, so well that his brother took the bait, and was caught in a Union Square Hotel. McFarland, in trying to get to this brother, took all sorts of precautions to avoid arrest, but Warden Finn and Captain Allaire carried out their plans successfully.

While he was in the Fourth precinct, captain Allaire broke up the Slaughter House Gang, whose headquarters were at a gin mill kept by Johnny Dodds at the corner of Water Street and James Slip. Johnny Hope, Patsy Conroy, Denny Brady, and --------- Brickley were habitués of this place.

Captain Allaire also broke up the infamous dens that were located in Chatham Street.

Joe Elliott, Charley Becker, and Clem Harrison, notorious forgers, who passed a worthless check for sixty thousand dollars on the New York Safe Deposit Bank, were also arrested by Captain Allaire. Becker turned State's evidence, and amused the Court during the trial by lithographing a counterfeit sixty thousand dollar check on a apiece of paper. Those arrests occurred while Allaire was in the Fourth Precinct.

In 1877 Captain Allaire was transferred to the Eighteenth Precinct, and broke up the "Dutch Mob" which was composed of Johnny Irving, Sheeney Mike, Dutch Chris, Billy porter, and Little Freddie. They carried on their depredations on Houston, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Streets, east of the Bowery.

Captain Allaire was removed to Headquarters in 1877, and was appointed Instructor to the force. He was transferred to the Tenth Precinct in 1879, and has remained there since.

There are fifteen day and twenty-eight night posts in this precinct. The quota of seventy-eight men is reduced, by details and sickness, to about sixty. Etienne Bayer and Richard Sullivan are the Precinct Detectives, and the detailed officers are; Michael Harris and George S. Smock, Corporation Ordinances; Frank Wilson, Grand Street traffic; Frank Hughes, Grant Street and the Bowery traffic; Thomas E. Fitzpatrick to inspector Murray's office; Frank J. Fuchs to the Internal Revenue office.

German Republican politics, the Grand Street dry goods trade, and lager beer, may or may not be, the chief characteristic of the Tenth Precinct. Its population is largely composed of Teutons, while the typical Hebrew quarters--the Judenstrasse of New York--one that smites the nose and offends the eye, is in the neighborhood of Hester and Essex Street. "Little Germany," as the precinct is called, is thrifty, odorous, bustling and crowded. There is less crime in the tenement population of this precinct than in any other, but when a real "Dutch" tragedy occurs, it is sure to be a ghastly one. Nothing more shocking can be imagined than some of the suicides which have occurred in this district, because of their deliberate planning and their circumstances, regardless of the carving and perforating necessary to accomplish the end decided on. Some of the crimes for gain are European in their character. Take the case of Ernest de Bagnicki or Uhling, who, to secure a life insurance policy of ten thousand dollars on the Merchants' Life Insurance Company, in April, 1874, induced Louise Germs to sham death, put her in a coffin, got her out at the time the coffin should have been closed, pout in bricks, and buried the coffin. He paid for his enterprise by along term in State Prison. The most horrible tragedy that ever occurred in this city, one that furnished the bloodiest, most revolting spectacle of a murderer, who killed himself after slaying his victim, was at No. 194 Orchard Street, where, on the nineteenth of January, 1878, James Jacques or J. W. Johnson, a profligate Chicagoan, hacked Mrs. Anna Surman with a razor, pistoled her, and then shot himself. No one who saw the room and the dead persons will ever forget them. Fires are frequent in this precinct, but are generally small affairs in crowded buildings, with the result of burning the inmates out precipitately. The last great fire in this precinct was the burning on the twenty-ninth of November, 1883, of the old Stadt Theatre and other buildings, with a loss of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Ludlow Street Jail and the Essex market Police court and Prison are in the Precinct.

THE ELEVENTH PRECINCT.--The eleventh Precinct is included between Rivington Street, Clinton Street, Avenue B. Fourteenth Street, and the East River. The station house, or quarters, are upstairs in Union Market, corner of Sheriff and Houston Streets, where they have been for the past thirty years. The rooms have just been furbished up at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars, and enough money has been spent on this old place to build a large and commodious station house, as good as any in the city. The officers are: Captain William Meakim; and Sergeants, Michael Collins, Andrew Doyle, Judson Golden, and John Kelly. Collins was appointed in 1870; was Roundsman in nine years; and won rank last spring. Doyle's dates are, Patrolman, 1861; Roundsman, 1867; and Sergeant, 1868. Golden's dates are, Patrolman, 1875; Roundsman, 1883; and Sergeant, 1885. Kelly's dates are, Patrolman,. 1870; Roundsman, 1882, and Sergeant, 1885.

ACTING CAPTAIN WILLIAM MEAKIM, of the Eleventh precinct, was promoted to the rank of Captain on April 7, 1885. In 1868 he became a Patrolman in the Sixth Precinct under Captain Jourdan. He resigned two years later to go into business, but again became a member of the force in February, 1873. In 1878 he gained the rank of Sergeant, and was with Inspector Murray until after the death of Captain Cherry, when he was sent to take charge of the Eleventh Precinct. Captain Meakim's ability is unquestioned. He was associated with inspector Murray in a number of important criminal cases, and the detective instinct is strongly marked in him.

This command has ten day and twenty night posts. Of the sixty-two men on the rolls about twelve are sick or detailed. The Precinct Detectives are John Sheridan and Patrick Brennan. The detailed officers are: James Keenan, Seventh Street Ferry; George Grassick, Tenth Street Ferry; Michael Hefferman, Houston Street Ferry; Edward Brucken, St. Francis Hospital; and William Dalton, Ordinances.

This command deals almost daily with the poorer class, and it has a large German and Hebrew population in the streets near Clinton Street and Avenues C and D, and an Irish and American population near the river front. Within the precinct are the mooring quarters of the Harbor Police, St. Francis Hospital, the Houston, Seventh and Tenth Streets ferries, and large manufactories on the river front north of Houston Street. Besides these, there is St. Bridget's church, on the spire of which Father Mooney, on the day of the German jubilation over the humiliation of the French nation, caused to be placed French tri-colors in testimony of the valor of the vanquished, and returned a characteristic answer when a committee from the socialistic celebrants in Tompkins Square waited on him and represented that they could not be responsible for the consequences if the flags remained. They did remain, and the priest was not molested or subjected to further bullying. Crimes of note are rare in this precinct. Now and then a newspaper affects to believe that the "Long Hairs" or "Short Hairs" or some other "gang" has the district in terror, and magnifies a squabble between some graceless idlers, but the Police, as in other precincts, have the loafing element under control. Union Market is under the station house.

 

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Our Police Protectors, History of the New York Police, Published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund, by Augustine Costello, Published by Author, 1885.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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