Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 17, Part 3

By Holice and Debbie


The thirty-third Precinct takes care of the lines of the Vanderbilt railroads which trend eastward, the Portchester Railroad, Fleetwood Park, dozens of breweries, Jordan K. Mott's foundries, North and South Brothers Islands, Riker's Island, the wreck of the Hussar, the coalesced villages of North New York, Mott Haven, Melrose, Inwood, Port Morris, and Woodstock, and many manufactories. Its population is as much mixed as in any Police district. It has villas of greater or less pretensions on the Sound, and Negro shanties bound avenues bordered with homes for all classes, and country lanes, tenement house localities, and wastes, rocky knolls, and fetid swamps. It is a district o great promise, but sanitarians and engineers will have to do all that science can suggest before one-third of what is now bare ground can be covered with habitable houses. One of the greatest problems of the age for this district is the sewerage question and the treatment of the Bronx river banks.

THE THIRTY-FOURTH PRECINCT.--The Thirty-fourth Precinct is mapped out as follows: Central Avenue, Kingsbridge road, Van Cortlandt Avenue, Williamsbridge Road, Bronx River, Westchester Avenue, Lyons Street, West Farms Road, an imaginary line to One Hundred and sixty-ninth Street, Union Avenue, Boston Road, Broadway, Horton Street, and town line of Morrisania. The station house is at No. 1925 Barthgate Avenue. It was originally Tremont Town Hall, and afterwards a schoolhouse, and is among the most curious Police buildings in the country. It has one story and an attic, and is perched upon rocks which are covered with turf so that it has the appearance of a fortification. The cells are underground. It was once a sub-station under the Metropolitan Police. Plans have been prepared to have boxes at the end of remote posts to send telegraphic signals to the station house. It is a mounted Police precinct, and the stables are in the rear of the station house. The officers are: Captain, John M. Robbins, and Sergeants, Thomas Huff, James S. Mead, Joseph Stewart, and William H. Webb. Huff's dates from 1858; he was Roundsman in 1860; and three years later was promoted. Mead was Patrolman in 1869, Roundsman in 1871, and Sergeant in 1876. Stewart's dates are: Patrolman 1866, Roundsman 1871, and Sergeant, 1876. Webb was appointed in 1867, became Roundsman in 1871, and was promoted in 1876.

JOHN M. ROBBINS was born in this country in 1830. He joined the force during the early stage of the organization of the Municipal Police, and, at the time of the re-organization of the Police Department in 1857, he was appointed a Patrolman of the Metropolitan Police. Captain Robbins is a man of sound judgment, quick intelligence, and as a Captain he has done some very clever work in arresting criminals.

The Thirty-four Precinct is a more rural district than the Thirty-third Precinct, but grounds is daily cleared for dwellings. It takes in the villages of Tremont, Adamsville, Belmont, Fordham, and St. John's College and West Farms. Five years from now its population will be trebled. Crime is almost a curiosity in this precinct, but Lydig's woods are yet shunned because of the murder in them, on the seventeenth of December, 1875, of a poor Jew peddler by William Thompson, William Ellis and Charles Weston, Negroes, who were captured by inspector Thorne and Captain O'Donnell, and were executed at the Tombs.

THE THIRTY-FIFTH PRECINCT.--The thirty-fifth Precinct's boundaries are: Inwood Street, Dyckman Street, Sherman's Creek, Harlem River, Farmer's Bridge, Kingsbridge Road, Central Avenue, Van Cortlandt Avenue, Williamsbridge Road, Bronx River, northern boundary of New York and North River. The station house is at No. 6 Kingsbridge Road. It is an irregular, comfortable structure, with a separate prison, and was turned into a station house by the owner, Joseph H. Godwin. The precinct is a mounted one, with boxes for signals from far-off posts. The officers are: Captain, Peter Yule; and Sergeants, A. W. McDonald, John T. Wright and William M. Taylor. McDonald was Patrolman in 1876, Roundsman next year, and Sergeant in 1878. Wright's dates are: Patrolman 1858, and Sergeant 1868. Taylor was appointed in 1875, was Roundsman in 1876, and was promoted in 1884.

CAPTAIN PETER YULE was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 14, 1830, and was brought to this country by his parents when he was three years old. He was appointed a Patrolman on the Metropolitan Police on February 27, 1858, and was assigned to the Fifth Precinct, and did patrol duty for ten years. On March 12, 1868, he was detailed to Commissioner Brennan's office. He was made a Sergeant on May 4, 1870, and detailed to the Detective Office. Subsequently he was transferred to take charge of the Sanitary Company, as acting Captain. In November following he attained his present rank. He remained in charge of the Sanitary company until December, 1876, when he was sent to the Street Cleaning Bureau, under Captain Gunner. In July, 1877, he was placed in command of the Sixteenth Precinct, and in November following he was transferred to the Nineteenth Precinct, where he remained until the organization of the Twenty-eighth Precinct, in January, 1878. On August 4, 18798, he was given command of the Thirty-fifth Precinct, at Kingsbridge, where he has remained up to the present time.

Of the seven day posts three are mounted, and horsemen cover sic of the twelve night posts. The effective force is thirty-two, out of thirty-four men, W. H. Dakin is the Precinct Detective.

This command takes in a vast stretch of promising, but, in part, uninhabited territory, clean from the Hudson River to the Bronx river, which is here almost a pellucid brook. Within the boundaries of this district are Mount St. Vincent's Academy, Jerome Park, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Kingsbridge, Oloff, Mosholu, Van Cortlandt Lake, Edge Hill Park, Woodlawn Village and Cemetery, Williamsbridge, and many splendid villa residences, especially along Riverdale Avenue. The country parts of the precinct are wooded ion many places, and the boom of the gun, the whirr of the quail, the whistling flight of the woodcock, the bound of the rabbit, and the scurry of the squirrel are by no means rare sounds and sights, and the irresistible temptation to cockney nimrods to wage war on the farmers here makes Sunday and holidays unbearable, in spite of ordinances and Policemen.

CAPTAIN ELBERT O. SMITH, of the Harbor Police board "Patrol," was made Captain on the twenty-seventh of February, 1885. He has an excellent record. He was born on Long Island in 1844, and when a boy, enlisted in the Untied States navy. Afterwards he was employed by W. H. Webb as engineer on the steamship Arago, plying between New York and Bremen. Later he was Lieutenant-engineer in the Peruvian Navy on the Pachita and Unione. Then he returned to Mr. Webb's service, and was engineer of the Keystone State of the Bermuda Line. He became a Policeman in 1873, was made a Roundsman in a year, and was promoted to a Sergeantcy in 1876.

THE LATE CAPTAIN JAMES KEALY was born in Massachusetts in 1844. He was only in his twenty-second year when he was appointed on the police Force, October 30, 1863. He was detailed for duty in the Eighth Precinct. On the eighth of December, 1868, he was detailed as Special Detective at the St. Nicholas Hotel on Broadway, and her it was that he was called upon to arrest Charles J. Guiteau, since then so infamous as the assassin of President Garfield. Guiteau paid his bill with a bogus check, and Detective Kealy took him into custody.

On the fourteenth of March, 1875, Detective Kealy was transferred from the Steamboat Squad to the Detective office, and on the twenty-fourth of March of the following year he was promoted Roundsman, and on the nineteenth of May he was made Sergeant. He was placed in command of the Detective Squad. On the thirteenth of September, 1878, Sergeant Kealy was raised to the rank of Captain. He did much to improve the Detective force under his command, and was a most upright and zealous officer. Later he was transferred to the command of the Fourteenth Precinct. His death took place on January 4, 1884.

THE LATE CAPTAIN EDWARD TYNAN was born in Hudson, N. Y., November 30, 1843, where he went to school until the breaking out of the war, when he volunteered in the One Hundred and Ninth Regiment, and became a member of Company A. On April 14, 1863, at the Irish Bend, near Port Hudson, he was wounded, and was confined to the hospital until February of the following year. He then returned home in order to recuperate his health. He remained in Hudson until August 6, 1864, when he joined General Sheridan's command in the Shenandoah Valley. Young Tynan, at the time he was wounded, had been promoted tot he rank of Sergeant. He was now raised to the rank of First Lieutenant, and afterwards placed on General Molineux's 's staff. At the termination of the war Tynan was appointed a Provost Marshal, and assigned to duty at Madison, Georgia, where he remained until November, 1865.

Captain Tynan joined the Police force as patrolman in March, 1867, and was assigned to duty in the fifth Precinct. In one year he was promoted to the rank of Roundsman, and on August 3, 1870, he was promoted Sergeant in the Twelfth Precinct. On March 2, 1872, he was made Captain of the Tenth Precinct. While here he broke up several gangs of thieves, who, in the night time had almost complete possession of the third Avenue Railroad. He was also instrumental in the arrest and conviction of Albert Baker and Robert Grey, noted criminals, who were sentenced to five Years at Sing Sing.

After two other changes, Captain Tynan was finally located in the fourth Precinct, which is considered to be one of the toughest in the city, and where the services of a vigorous man like Captain Edward Tynan were required. His death took place in this city. he was regretted and beloved by all.

The city of New York owns the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth (the Harbor Police Boat "Patrol"). Twenty-sixth (the City Hall), Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, Thirty-first, Thirty-second, Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth, and Steamboat Squad (Police Head quarters) Precinct Station Houses. The Nineteenth Sub-Precinct (Grand Central Depot) and sub-stations of the Steamboat Squad are stations owned by corporations, companies and the United States Government, and are rent free. The Second Precinct Station House is owned by the W. B. Ogden estate, and a rental of one thousand two hundred dollars per annum is paid for it. The Goelet estate owns the Twenty-fifth Precinct Station House and office of the Second Inspection District, and receives a rental of one thousand five hundred dollars per annum. The estate of Cortlandt-Otten owns the station house of the Thirtieth Precinct, and the rent is eight hundred dollars. Joseph H. Goodwin owns the Thirty-fifth Precinct Station House, and receives on thousand seven hundred dollars per annum for it. Charles E. Quackenbush owns Parepa Hall, Eight-sixth Street and Third Avenue, where are the offices of the Third and Fourth Inspection Districts, and the rent is four hundred and eighty dollars per annum.



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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