Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 19, Part 1

By Holice and Debbie

 

CHAPTER XIX--INSPECTOR BYRNES' COMMAND

The Men Who Protect the City from the Depredations of Knaves of High and Low Degree -- Forty Quick-witted, Wide-awake Detectives -- Their History and Record of Arrests -- How They make the City a Safe Abiding-Place for Honest people -- Interesting Tales of Some Celebrated Cases -- The romance and Reality of Crime -- Truth Stranger than Fiction -- A Devoted Band of Police Officers -- Their Struggle and Triumphs -- The Men Who make It Possible for inspector Byres to Retain his Well-earned Laurels.

No jealousy will be felt in any member of Inspector Byrnes' staff at prominence being given to one of the oldest officers on the force, and one of its shrewdest and most successful Detectives, Timothy Golden. As far back as 1859--a quarter of a century ago--he was detailed as Detective in the sixth precinct, and five years later he went to Police Headquarters. His career has been distinguished and useful. Among his many arrests may be cited the following: September , `1859, William Jones, for murder of a stranger in an unoccupied room in Crown's rookery at Worth and Little Water Streets. The murderer got six cents for his bloody work, and left no clue. Several months after golden captured him on an oyster boat at Philadelphia, and he was sentenced for life. The same year he arrested John McCue for the murder of an express driver in a grocery store at elm and Grand Streets, and convicted him. A recommendation to mercy by the jury limited his sentence to nineteen years and six months. In may of 1860 golden convicted eleven porters at H. B. Claflin & Co.'s, who had conspired to swindle the firm, and recovered fifteen thousand dollars' worth of goods. Five month later he arrested Frederick Schacht for the murder of Thomas Kaveny at Pearl Street and City Hall Place. Schacht was a grocer, and a large fund was \raised for his defense, which was so ably conducted by James T. Brady, who afterwards said he would never again defend a criminal, and kept his work, that Schacht escaped with a short sentence. Golden spent three years to collect evidence to justify him in arresting Peter and Mary Heffernan alias James and Ellen Johnson, expert shoplifters, who had accumulated a quarter of a million of dollars. The wife pleaded coverture and was discharged. He forfeited his bail and fled to Canada, but was arrested again in the States, and served one year. His arrest cost him, in all, fifteen thousand dollars. In august, 1864, he brought to book George F. Howe, the accomplice of Smith and Stevenson the bogus bonded warehouse keepers, who, on spurious warehouse receipts, borrowed two hundred and eighty thousand dollars. The arrest was made in Rochester, after a chase through Wisconsin. All the rascals escaped, in a measure, by making restitution. Mark Shinburn, the bank burglar who became a German Baron, and who is now serving a sentence for bank burglary at Viviers, Belgium, was arrested by Golden in August, 1865, for the burglary at the Savings Bank at Walpole, New Hampshire, on the twenty-fifth of April of that year, when eighty-six thousand dollars was stolen. Shinburn escaped while serving a ten years' sentence at the Concord Prison. He also arrested George White, Shinburn's accomplice, who broke jail while awaiting a second trial, and he is now serving a fourteen years' sentence for the Barre, Vt., bank robbery. In July, 1874, he arrested a man who had hypothecated twenty-five thousand dollars in Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad bonds, from George Ripley, the banker, and recovered twenty thousand dollars. The same year he arrested another man for obtaining by burglary, at the office of the commissioners of the Internal Revenue at Washington, D. C., twelve thousand dollars, eleven thousand dollars of which were recovered. Then, in 1867, 1877, and 1878, came the arrest of Charles R. Beckwith, Thomas R. Lewis, and Charles H. Ketchum, who, by conspiracy, forgery, embezzlement, and falsification of accounts, stole two hundred and six thousand dollars from B. T. Babbitt, the soap manufacturer and Ellen E. Peck. Beckwith was sent to prison for ten years; Lewis was followed to London by Golden and arrested, disgorged thirty thousand dollars; and Ketchum made restitution of fifteen thousand dollars.Ellen E. Peck, the alleged "confidence " woman, who, it is asserted, obtained nineteen thousand dollars from Babbitt by pretending to be able to disclose where Beckwith had put his money, is now in the tombs awaiting trial on twelve indictments, viz., five for grand larceny, one for perjury, and six for forgery. Then came, in 1879, the capital arrest of J. R. Robinson, who had obtained two hundred and eighty-seven thousand dollars by forgery, in Pennsylvania.

He fled to London, thence to Spain , thence to Lisbon, and had set sail for Callao when golden started after him.He never slot track of him; from Peru, up the West Coast of South American, through smith's Channel and the Straits of Magellan to Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro, where he was arrested and surrendered by Dom Pedro. His case was compromised. In December, 1879, James Tounley and Robert May fled to Washington after being foiled in an attempt to obtain one thousand five hundred dollars from the Bank of America, by forging the name of Mrs. Jones, of No. 625 Fifth Avenue. May was the lady's butler, and Golden trapped him by inserting an advertisement for a butler in a Washington paper.Tounley's arrest followed. Both were convicted. Detective Sergeant Golden is, notwithstanding his long service, still hale, and able to do first-class duty, having recovered from a serious illness which for two years threatened to invalidate him permanently.

The old side partners, Holly Lyon and Richard King, have been, and are, terrors to evil doers. Lyon became a Policeman in 1848, and eleven years later began to do duty as a Detective in the Seventh Precinct. King was a Detective in 1865, and went to the Central office in 1873. Their arrests are numbered by the hundred. Goodrich or Goody, for stealing seven thousand dollars' worth of silk from the truck of Dean & Albertson, and recovered the property. "Wash" was sent to prison for five years and "Ed" was discharged. In March, 1870, Daniel Ritner and Francis Degan entered the loan office No. 5 Amity Street, now Third Street, stunned the proprietor, Joseph Jackson, and stole diamonds, jewelry, and money. The Detectives caught the thieves, and recovered the property. Judge Bedford sent the prisoners to Sing Sing for nineteen years and six months. King and Lyon were the captors of the banker and brains of the Masked Burglars, George Millard alias Miller. They caught him in his saloon in West Broadway, January 5, 1874, and secured his conviction and sentence for five years by Recorder Hackett. The same year they captured "Patsey" Conroy, one of the masked burglars who robbed Judge Emott's house at New Rochelle, and obtained for him a twenty years' sentence at White Plains. "Danny" Kelly, John Reilly, "Larry" Griffin, James Campbell, "Denny" Brady, and John Burns, confederates of Conroy, were also brought to justice by these officers. They secured a twenty years' sentence for Michael Wawhee for robbery and felonious assault on George F. Feely, of Saugerties, N. Y. this, in 1874, as well as the capture and conviction of John Green, William Reed, Thomas Anguly, and "Cockney" Jones, for a one thousand five hundred dollars burglary at Edward Ridley's at Gravesend, L. I., and the arrest and conviction of John Durkin, Louis Forside, and John Henry, who robbed Jacob Vanderbilt's house on Staten Island. In February, 1875, they arrested the lads Daniel Horey and James Sweeny, who stole an Adams express wagon and safe, in which was thirty-one thousand dollars in bonds and twenty-five thousand three hundred and sixty dollars in currency. The money, etc., were recovered from their grave in a Nassau Street cellar, and Horey was convicted. Sweeny escaped by turning State's evidence.

Inspector Byrnes' judgment was correct when he secured the transfer from the Twenty-fifth Precinct to the Detective Squad, of Sergeant Isaac Bird, now Deputy chief Detective, and in charge of the squad in the absence of Inspector Byrnes. Sergeant bird was a Patrolman in February, 1859, Roundsman in 1861, and promoted to his present rank in August, 1862. He is now keen, far-seeing, and prompt, and, while he disclaims any title to a record, he could lay claim to much credit for his intelligent and far-sighted management of many cases which have been brought tot a successful issue.

FRANCIS MANGIN, JR., had his start in life in the newspaper business at Police Headquarters, and his fidelity and ability induced his employers, when he had outgrown his usefulness, and, when as a matter of justice, his services demanded fuller recognition, to obtain for him employment in the office of the late Sidney P. Nichols. He was advanced to the position of confidential clerk, and afterwards was made a Policeman, and in time became a Detective Sergeant. His record of arrest is a good one. The following are among the best of them: May, 1883, George Gunsett, receiving stolen goods, sent to Elmira Reformatory; August, 1883, W. D. Biglow, larceny at the Grand Union Hotel, sentenced to three years; April, 1883, Edward Kelly, highway robbery on a woman, sentenced to five years; January, 1883, Ella Bonk alias Ada Forrester, shoplifting; May, 1885, F. B. Tults, E. J. Foster, Gordon R. Cummings, W. McKeon, Matthew Shaw and David Davis, clerks at LeBoutillier Bros., all convicted for robbing their employers; December, 1883, J. J. Wilkins, arrested at Havana for forging checks on Brown Bros. In September, 1884, he caught Charles Stepsic for stealing two thousand five hundred dollars' worth of jewelry from William Schwensen's store, No. 254 third Avenue, where he was employed as a salesman, recovered the property, and convicted the prisoner.

JACOB TOOKER, who is as brave and competent an officer as any on the force, was made a Detective in the Nineteenth Precinct, January 12, 1877. His precinct career was an exemplary one, and at Police Headquarters he has proved himself trustworthy. In January, 1877, he arrested John ford for shooting James Burnham at the "Burnt Rag," in West Seventeenth Street, on the ninth of November, 1876, and Kate Donnelly at Seventy-second Street and Avenue A a week later. Ford received a sentence of seven years. On the fourteenth of February, 1882, Tooker came near being murdered by Thomas alias "Hump" Hennessy. He was "wanted" for robbery with violence, and when Tooker arrested him, Hennessy shot him in the head. Tooker refrained from taking the felon's life, and, though grievously injured, held on to his prisoner until aid came. Hennessy was sent to prison for eight years and a half. In July, 1883, he arrested the confidence woman, Bertha Heyman alias Schlesinger alias Edwards, at Paterson, N. J., for swindling, among others, Edward Saunders, of No. 43 Second Avenue, and was sent to prison for five years.

JOHN or "JACK" WADE, as he is affectionately called, made a Detective In May, 1875, and for years did his full duty in the Tenth District. In April,. 1876, he arrested George Wilson, Patrick Boyle, William Roberts, and Martin McGowan, who drive to Brooklyn in a wagon, entered a jewelry store in Hicks Street, presented revolvers at the proprietor and his wife, and beat them after robbing the place. Each went to prison for twenty years. In November, 1876, Patrick Connors enticed James Colligan, a "sport," into a coach, and took a ride to Central Park, where he and a confederate robbed Colligan, Connors drawing with his teeth a diamond ring off the man's finger so that the flesh came iwht it. Connors went to Sing Sing for twenty years, thanks to Wade's persistent hunt for him. He was instrumental in securing the arrest, in November, 1879, of Joseph and Mary Volkmar, who poisoned Charles Blair at No. 114 Essex Street, and both were sentenced to twelve years imprisonment each. In October of this year he arrested the notorious "Billy" Porter or O'Brien, who broke jail in Raymond Street, Brooklyn, with "Johnny" Irving, afterwards killed by "Johnny, the Mick," in "Shang" Draper's Sixth Avenue saloon. In July, 1883, he captured James Quigley and James Ryan, who stole a trunk and two thousand dollars' worth of silk belongings to Rogers, Peet & Co., and for months later captured the notorious hotel thief "Gus" Gregory, who had set the Police of New York by the ears because of his persistent depredations and his evasion of arrest.

THOMAS W. MULRY, Wade's partner, was appointed a Detective in the Eighteenth Precinct in March, 1877, and he has a clean and creditable record. His chief arrests were: April, 1877, Patrick Lynch, burglary, sentenced for five years; May, 1878, James Creegan, grand larceny, sentenced to five yeas; October, 1879, James McCable, robbery, sentenced to twenty years; august, 1880, Anne Riley, grand Larceny, sentenced to three years and a half; March 1881, John Fain, burglary, sentenced to five years; March, 1884, Arthur Price, forgery, sentenced to five years; and November 3, 1884, "Gus" Gregory, burglary, sentenced to ten years.

JAMES J. LANGAN, a thoroughly efficient member of the Detective Squad, was appointed a Detective Sergeant in May, 1882. In February, 1883, he arrested and convicted the tramp thief, William Barlow, who took a pocketbook from Miss Christina Sherwood on the steps of the Fourth Avenue tunnel, and left no clue to his identity. In November, of that that year he caught William E. Brockway and L. R. Martin, who had forged fifty-two thousand dollars in bonds of the Morris and Essex Railroad Company, and both were convicted. In August, 1882, he arrested and convicted Terence McQuade, the dog catcher, who wantonly murdered a boy named Doyle who clamored for the release of his pet dog at One Hundred and Tenth Street and Tenth Avenue. In August, 1883, he succeeded in bringing to justice Patrick Carroll and John Talbot, who blew open two safes at No. 19 Burling Slip; and in July, 1884, sent to prison William Parks and George Johnson, who knocked down and robbed William Kruskopp, of No. 112 Elizabeth Street.

JAMES McQUIRE., was taken to the Central Office in 1881, and he has a record of arrests that demonstrated his aptitude for his profession. Some of his best arrests were: November, 1882, Edward Farrington, grand larceny, sentenced to two years and a half; same year, Michael Dempsey, alias :Slugger," and Paul Dewitt, alias, "Big Peter," and W. H. Livingston, burglary, all convicted; April, 1883, Joseph H. Thompson, alias "Doc," Titus C. Frank Morris alias Robert Langdon, forgery, each sentenced to five years; David C. Bliss, alias "Doc," April, 1883, larceny of twenty-eight thousand dollars in bonds, sent to State Prison for two years; February, 1884, Frank Donohue, Frank Thomas and George Raymond, burglary, sentenced to four years each; August 1884, Leonard C. Davis, bigamy, sentenced to one year.

GEORGE RADFORD has handled more "gilt-edged" cases then any Detective ever in the Department. He came to the Detective Office in 1859, and is still doing excellent service. Some of his cases are as follows: In November, 1862, a box containing three hundred thousand dollars was stolen from Riggs & Co.'s deposit vault in the Bank of North America. Radford had no clue, but he arrested Charles Kingsbury and Robert Taylor, and made matters so warm for the thieves that they sent the box and its contents intact to Radford, at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The prisoners were discharged, it being next to impossible to identify them. In January, 1877, Cyrus C. Clark was caught by Radford trying to negotiate a loan of twelve thousand dollars on twenty-one excellent forgeries of the one thousand dollar bonds of the Central Pacific Railroad, and was sent to prison for five years. In March, 1866, John P. Moore's residence at 100 Madison Avenue, was entered by a "second story" thief, who stole sixty four thousand dollars in Government bonds and money. After several weeks of investigation, and with only a small steel jimmy as a clue, Radford arrested two "second story" men, "Troy" Dennis and Hugh Carr, and recovered forty-seven thousand dollars of the bonds, but the prisoners were released because the evidence against them, although positive to the officer, was insufficient for a jury. Carr afterwards committed suicide. Dennis was killed in 1876 at No. 64 West fiftieth Street while committing a "second story" robbery, by a coping stone falling with and on him. In September, 1878, Charles Baker alias Walter Whelpley went to Morton Bliss & Co., banking house, No. 25 Nassau Street, with a forged bill of lading and drew a bill of exchange for two thousand one hundred and fifty-nine pounds sterling. He received a check for ten thousand four hundred and twenty-seven dollars, and when the forgeries were discovered, Radford hunted up Baker and recovered the checks. Baker was sent to prison for three years. he also arrested and sent to prison for twenty years, Joseph Murray, one of several desperadoes who, at the Central Park Savings Bank, on the third of April, 1871, knocked the cashier down, and grabbed four hundred and forty-five dollars in a package. In June, 1879, he arrested and convicted George H. Clark alias "Philadelphia Pearsall" for stealing an envelope containing a United States one thousand dollar bond at Kountze Bros., No. 12 Wall Street, and recovered the bond.

One of the shrewdest and most trustworthy men on the staff is PHILIP REILLY, who became a Headquarters Detective in august, 1866. A full account of his arrest would, like those of many of Inspector Byrnes' staff, fill this book. The following is a summary of the most important or singularly creditable ones: December, 1866, Sam Moody and William Sewell for burglary, convicted and sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment. August, 1870, Edward Howard Ruloff, hung for murder seven months later. October, 1874, arrested Robert Murray alias "Bobby, the Milkman," for burglary; he was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. December 30, 1874, arrest of George alias "Rat" Riley for burglary; he served a term of ten years. February, 1875, James G. Twiss, highway robbery; sent to jail for eighty years by Judge Sutherland. May 31, 1876, Jacob Schinholz, burglar; sent to prison for ten years by Judge Gildersleeve. February 10, 1877, arrest of William Veltman and William H. Leitch, for forgery on the Mercahnts' Exchange Bank; they were sent to prison for ten yeas by Judge Sutherland.

PATRICK DOLAN AND CHARLES HEIDELBERG, old, experienced, and successful Detectives, merit special mention as intelligent partners and useful public servants. Dolan was appointed a Detective in the sixth Precinct, in March, 1869, and Heidelberg has been a Detective fifteen years. Much of their work of late years has been deterrent, or their labors have been with other Detectives, all of whom have shared wit them and Inspector Byrnes the honor of the success. Dolan, in May, 1874, arrested Joseph Callamon and Joseph Frechton for swindling John Riche out of a satchel of gold coin, recovered the money, and convicted the rascals. Three years later, he convicted Charles F. Clark and Charles Wirgasen of highway robbery, and the next year sent Amber Jourdan to Sing Sing for five years, for grand larceny at the residence of M. Curtis, No. 27 Washington Street. next year he convicted Jeremiah Manley and John Keenan of a large dry goods robbery.

Heidelberg, in 1881, made scores of good arrests, among which were the following: Joseph W. Milne, who stole one thousand two hundred dollars from the First National Bank of Fall River; David Butler, a Negro, charged with burglary at Elizabeth, N. J.; Henry Rodley, a Negro, charged with forgery; William d. Batchelder, the blackmailer. Next year he sent to prison Frederick Fischer, James Mannard and Charles peters, charged with burglary at Albany; Morris a. Schwab and Henry Williams, charged with stealing five hundred dollars from Mrs. Helen M. Lewis, of Charleston, S. C., and Frank Talcott and William Brown, who stole two cases of velvet Lord & Taylor's. In 1883 he convicted a private Detective who had been swindling credulous and ambitious Germans out of sums varying from ten to ten hundred dollars, by pretending to appoint them Detectives, and giving them an elaborately engraved commission.

A bright and highly interesting record is that of JOSEPH M. DORCY, who was appointed a Detective in the Tenth Precinct in January, 1872. Barely two months later he arrested Michael De Rosa, an Italian, who, on account of jealousy, murdered Giovanni Pabricco, in the rear of No. 37 Mulberry Street, with a dirk. De Rosa as caught under a heap of rags at No. 41 Mulberry Street, and went to prison for three years. His very brilliant arrest of John Dolan for the murder of James H. Noe, the brush maker, at No. 275 Greenwich Street, on the twenty-second of August, 1875, is yet remembered. Noe was fatally wounded by Dolan on a Sunday morning while he visited his store to see if everything was in order. Dolan was robbing the place, and attacked when surprised. The only clues was a monkey-headed slung-shot left behind and Mr. Noe's watch, which was pawned in Chatham Street. the crime was brought home to Dolan, and he was executed March 15, 1876. Dorcy also arrested and secured the judicial taking away of Edward Reinhardt, who murdered his wife, Mary Ann, on Staten island, July 19, 1878, and buried her body at Silver Lake. On the twenty-second of June, 1883, at Grand Rapids, Michigan he arrest Dirck C. Horseling, who embezzled two thousand five hundred dollars while tax collector in the Netherlands, and Marshal Erhardt sent him to Holland. Three weeks later on he arrested Pietro Edwardo Martingo, charged with forgery and embezzlement to the extent of one hundred and sixty thousand dollars on the Banca Subeapine, of Turin, Italy. The culprit decided to go back without extradition proceedings. The most stirring of his adventures was the arrest, on the twenty-first of June, 1882, of Canon Leon L. J. Bernard, who embezzled one million four hundred thousand dollars of the See of Tournai, Belgium. The chase after the reverend scoundrel began through the principal south-western cities, then to Mexico, and finally at Vera Cruz. Dorcy secured Bernard's arrest at the Hotel Telegrafo, at Havana, by a telegraphic message which arrived in the nick of time. Dorcy secured information which enabled the See of Tournai to recover one million two hundred thousand dollars.

THOMAS HICKEY, who became a Central Office Detective in April, 1880, if one of the most unassuming, and, at the same time, one of the bravest and most trustworthy officers of the Detective Bureau. He has been chiefly engaged in looking after the interest of Mammon in Wall Street, and how well he and his associates have done their duty is seen by the absence of reports of depredations in the financial centre. Hickey has found time to do some excellent Detective work. In November, 1880, he arrested and convicted Henry Freeman for stealing three thousand dollars from a safe at the New York Post-office. In February, 1881, a tray of diamond rings was stolen from the show window of Alexander Newburger, No. 531 Sixth Avenue. Hickey soon had the thieves, James Murphy, John Dunn, John Leonard, and "Milky," McDonald, under arrest, and their conviction followed. A month later, three thousand five hundred dollars' worth of laces were stolen from the truck of Lahey & Dubard, No. 100 Grant Street, and the thieves, Henry Lissee, Henry Hart, August Hartrott, and Marcus Raymond, were soon on their way to prison. In September, 1882, he secured the conviction, and sentences of fifteen years each, of George Earle and Ambrose Schlag, for burglary at the residences of Percy L. Pine and Colgate Hoyt, on the banks of the Hudson. The same year he arrested Henry Hart and Marcus Raymond for stealing twelve thousand dollars' worth of baggage from a Dodd's Express Wagon. In February, 1883, he convicted David Kidney and John Carmody of robbing Adolph goldsmith and his messenger, in Greenwich Street, of a cash box containing one thousand five hundred dollars; and the same year he caught Albert Viloecky, who is now serving a life sentence for beating out the brains of a countryman near Pittsburgh, Pa.

MICHAEL CROWLEY was taken from the Fifteenth precinct to Police Headquarters in March, 1881. He had made an enviable reputation long before, and has continued to be shrewd and energetic. The record of his arrests are: W. C. Rhinelander, of No. 243 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, for attempting to kill John Drake, at No. 79 Cedar Street; Frank Frisbie, for stealing five thousand dollars from the Bank of Portland, Oregon; H. F. Graybill, for forgeries on Miller & Bros., Philadelphia, and the Savannah Steamship Company; Bernard Rose alias Russell, for a five thousand dollar burglary at Hammerslough Bros.'s at 724 Broadway and William Meineck, for the murder of Katie Braderhoff, at Elmira.

RICHARD O'CONNOR, Sergeant of Detectives, was detailed as a Central office Detective at the District Attorney's office, in October, 1873. He is accounted as not only having a complete knowledge of all criminals worth knowing, but with having a better knowledge of criminal law and proceedings than many practicing lawyers. He, in June, 1874, caught John H. Short, who was sent to prison for twenty years for robbing Jacob Vanderbilt's house on Staten island, he convicted George Miles alias Bliss, for the Barre, Vt., bank robbery, in September, 1875. November 9, 1875, he arrest John Green for a burglary at Oxford Furnace, N. J. and secured his conviction. In August, 1876, he caught David Jones alias Peyton, who had committed a burglary at Baltimore, Md., and he was sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. Attilla Beyer, who robbed District Attorney Phelps' house, was arrested by O'Connor in august, 1876, and was sent to Sing Sing for ten years. In September of that year he arrested Daniel O'Brien, alias Captain sparks, for stealing three thousand dollars' worth of diamonds from a Long Branch hotel, and he was sent to Trenton Prison for ten years.

 

Next

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

You are the [an error occurred while processing this directive] Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since August 22, 2004

[Police Index][NY History & Genealogy][AHGP]