Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 20, Part 3

By Holice and Debbie


WILLIAM DELAMATER, First Deputy Clerk of the Police Department, was appointed Patrolman on the twenty-sixth day of December, 1866, and assigned to the Nineteenth Precinct for duty. After attending the School of Instruction for the required term, he was immediately detailed to clerical duty in the office of the Chief Clerk--a duty for which he was specially fitted by experience and service as Chief Clerk in the Second Army Corps during the war. On the eighth of April, 1871, he was appointed a clerk, and was promoted Second Deputy Clerk on the twenty-fifth of March, 1881, the rules of the Department being on that date amended for that purpose. After the death of Mr. Hawley, Chief Clerk, Mr. Delamater, was promoted to the responsible position of First Deputy Clerk.

Since April 23, 1870, Mr. Delamater has kept the minutes of the Broad, and devised a system of indexing the same where by any matter of information may be found at a moment's notice. He prepares the quarterly and annual reports of the Department, and formulates the charges and specifications made against members of the Police force. He is one of the most systematic of men, and manages, by reason of punctuality, regularity, rule and application to accomplish an immense amount of work. Mr. Delamater has literary tastes and capacity, and is a contributor to several city publications. On subjects connected with Police affairs he is a Cyclopedia to whom application is, and may be, constantly made. Of temperate habits, quiet and unostentatious demeanor, retiring disposition, and without egotism, he performs his every public duty, and enjoys the confidence of his superiors.

EDMUND C. GAY, Clerk to Committee on Repairs and Supplies, has his office in Room 5 (Treasurer's Office). CHARLES L. GOTT, Assistant to Bookkeeper.

CHARLES A. GRANT is Secretary to Commissioner McClave; HUGH THOMAS is secretary to Commissioner Porter; JOHN MATTHEWS is Secretary to Commissioner Voorhis; and EMANUEL DREYFOUS is Secretary to Commission French. Officer HARVEY is detailed to Commissioner Porter's office. PETER MASTERSON, Records of Lost Children; WALTER E. DERBY, Times Clerk.

In the Chief Clerk's office, the following corps of clerks is employed; William Delamater, First Deputy, Minute Clerk; George B. Stone, Second Deputy Clerk, Force Clerk; George F. Hasbrouk, Arrest Clerk; Thomas J. Doran, Statistic Clerk; Thomas Feeley, Violations of Corporation Ordinances.

THE BUREAU OF RECORDS AND COMPLAINTS is located at the rear of the building, on the Mott Street side, and occupies Rooms 7 and 8. Robert S. Peterson and Seth Hawley, Jr., are in charge. Colonel Parker is Supply Clerk.

JOHN F. HARRIOT, Property Clerk, occupies Room 9, first floor.

The following figures do not show the property left over or unclaimed, and sold at auction. By including which, the value of lost, stolen, and unclaimed property handled by the Police, is, in round figures, a million a year. The unclaimed goods are sold by auction semi-annually, and everything, from a needle to an anchor, and from a thimble to a diamond, is included in these dales. Mr. Harriot's collection has no equal outside of a pawnbroker's shop. It is strikingly miscellaneous in character, and as interesting in its history as Mother Mandelbaum could desire.

Value of property delivered from the office of the Property Clerk, as fixed by the several parties receiving the same, for the year ending December 31, 1884:

First Quarter, March 31


Second Quarter, June 30


Third Quarter, September 30


Fourth quarter, December 31





Delivered to the Property Clerk, in addition to the above, by the several Precincts, Court and Detective Squads, for the year ending December 31, 1884, the sum of


Grand Total


JOEL W. MASON was appointed Mr. Wheeler's successor, May 25, 1880, and remained a Police commissioner until November 24, 1884. He was born in this city about fifty-three years ago. He has been in business here as a manufacturer of chairs for nearly a quarter of a century, and has accumulated a large fortune by his extensive trade. Mr. Mason has been connected with the Republican party from its infancy. At the outbreak of the rebellion he as Adjutant of the Sixth Regiment of New York Militia, of which General Joseph C. Pinckney was the Colonel, and he went with the organization to the field. After three months' service they returned to this city, and Mr. Mason was made Colonel of the regiment, which office he held for twelve years. Mr. McClave became his successor.


FITZ JOHN PORTER was appointed a Police commissioner by Mayor Edson on October 28, 1884, to fill out the unexpired term of Sidney P. Nichols, deceased. Fitz John Porter, on march 1, 1875, was appointed Commissioner of Public Works by Mayor Wickham, and served one year. General Porter was born in New Hampshire in 1822. He was graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1854, and served with distinction under General Scott in the Mexican War. During the earlier part of the Civil War he was employed in various capacities, and in the fall of 1862 enjoyed the rank of Brigadier General. After the second battle of Bull Run, charges of insubordination to his superior officer, General Pope, were preferred against him. He was court-martialed, convicted, and sentenced to be "forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit under the United States Government." Since the sentence was imposed General porter has made every effort to have the case re-opened. Last winter Congress passed a bill restoring him to the rank of colonel in the army. The President vetoed the bill. It was passed over his veto by the House in its closing days, but not by the Senate. The original sentence, therefore stands. General porter is a Democrat, but not a ember of any of the local organizations.

JOHN R. VOORHIS was born in Pompton Plains, Morris County, N. J., on the twenty-seventh of July, 1829, and, when one year old, was brought by his parents to this city, where he has resided ever since. He attended private schools from his fourth to this thirteenth year. Upon leaving school he procured employment as messenger and clerk, and was thus occupied for three years. Upon attaining his sixteenth year, he went to learn the trade of stair-builder. When twenty years of age he was made foreman of the shop, and six years later he was admitted to partnership in the business.

In 1861, when thirty-two years old, he became the successor and sole proprietor of the business establishment in which he had been brought up. In 1873 he was nominated by Mayor W. F. Havemeyer, and confirmed by the Board of Aldermen, as Commissioner of Excise. The succeeding year eh was appointed by Mayor Havemeyer as Commissioner of Police to succeed Oliver Charlick and served in such capacity until the expiration of the term in 1876. In November, 1879, Mr. Voorhis was appointed by mayor Edward Cooper a Police commissioner to succeed James E. Morrison, and served until July, 1880. The following year Mr.Voorhis was appointed by Mayor William R. Grace a Commissioner of the Department of Docks. He served until May 1, 1885, on which date he was appointed by the Mayor a Commissioner of Police.

Successively, while a Police Commissioner, he has acted as Treasurer of the Board, Chairman of the ex-Street Cleaning Bureau, Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Discipline, Chairman of Repairs and Supplies, etc.

Notwithstanding the number of public positions that Mr. Voorhis has filled, he has never sought office in his life; he never gave a pledge to obtain office, and has always regarded a public office as a public trust.

Mr. Voorhis has always taken a deep interest in politics from a purely unselfish standpoint. He is an adherent of the County Democracy. Mr.Voorhis brings the strict business methods which obtain in the workshop--where he has spent the greater portion of his life--to bear upon his official duties.

Mr. Voorhis is the most democratic of men. His private office at Police headquarters is always open to receive visitors who call on business matters. While urbane and polite, Mr. Voorhis has settled convictions and positive ideas of his own. He is in the habit of running himself and of conducting the affairs of his office with an eye single to the public good.

WILLIAM H. KIPP, Chief Clerk, occupies Room 6.

Captain WILLIAM H. KIPP, the present capable and experience Chief Clerk, succeeded the late Seth C. Hawley. Captain Kipp came into the Department in 1873. He is a member of the bar, and has been a captain in the Seventh Regiment since 1866. He joined the regiment in 1857. During the war he went to three time to the front. He was appointed Chief Clerk on November 14, 1884.

JOHN J. O'BRIEN, Chief of the Bureau of elections, is located as Rooms 7, and 8. His staff is composed of the following detailed Policemen: Henry Hildebrandt, William H. Plunkett, Stephen Walmsley, and Denis F. Ryan.

THIRD FLOOR.--Isaac L. Moe has charge of the Police supplies, and has his office in Room 1. Room 2 is the meeting room of the Board.

ROBERT L. WOOD. Stationery Clerk, is located in room 5; GEORGE F. MELLISH and DANIEL J. CRAIG, Stenographers, have their offices in rooms 6 and 7; and Room 8 is the Police Trial room and School of Instructions.

FOURTH FLOOR.--JANITOR' WEBB'S APARTMENTS TAKE UP Rooms 1, 2, 3, and 4. Room 5 is set apart for lost children, who are placed in the care of Matron Webb. Rooms 6, 7, 8, and 9 are used as storage rooms for books and records.

FIRST FLOOR.--The First Inspection District (Inspector William Murray) have their offices in Rooms 1, 2 and 3.

INSPECTOR MURRAY'S staff are: District Sergeants William Meakim and Alexander B. Wartz; Roundsmen Charles Tiernan, John Harley, and Thomas O'Brien, who receive the return in the morning from the several precincts comprising the district. Two Roundsmen and one Sergeant are on duty at a time in the office; and the other two Roundsmen and Sergeant are on patrol visiting the precincts, they being on duty at al times, day and night. Their duty is to exact a strict compliance with the rules and regulations throughout the district. They make their rounds in plain clothes.

THE SANITARY COMPANY.--Room 5, in the basement, is set apart for the Sanitary Company and Steam Boiler Inspector. This branch of the Police force is divided into two squads; the Steam Boiler Inspection and Engineer Bureau, and the Tenement House Squad. The former has supervision over, and annually inspects, and tests by hydrostatic pressure, all steam boilers and engines in the city, certifies to their condition, condemns those found unsafe, and prevents their further use.

There are upwards of seven thousand places where steam boilers are in iuse in the city, underneath buildings, sidewalks, and the streets. The lower part of the city is completely honeycombed with steam boilers, and only for the careful and constant supervision by the attaches of this bureau, boiler explosions, with great loss of life and property, would, no doubt, be frequent. They also have the supervision over all persons who take charge of and operate steam boilers and other steam apparatus in the city, and it is a misdemeanor for any person to operate such without a certificate of qualification from the officer in command of the Sanitary Company.

These examinations number eight thousand a year, and about one-third of the applicants are refused certificates for incompetency.

Sergeant WASHINGTON MULLIN has been in command of this Company for the past four years. he was appointed on the force October 6, 1864, previous to which he served his apprenticeship as a machinist and engine builder.

The force under his command are selected for their particular knowledge of the duties required in this branch of the service, and consists of the following officers: Henry Wheeler, Acting Sergeant; George E. Smith, and Frederick R. Fielding, Examining Engineers; George W. Church, Thomas O'Brien, Warren Harrington, and Owen Wheeler; Boiler Inspectors: Henry M. Quinn, Boiler Record Book: Francis B. Fabri, Engineers' Record Book: John Minnick, George E. Woolfe, John W. McGloin, Patrick Colligan, Joseph Gilligan, and Bernard Tully, Inspectors: Wm. H. Palmer, Wagon Driver; William Luther, Doorman.

The Tenement House Squad consists of thirty men, detailed to enforce the Health ordinances, and to make inspections of all tenement and lodging houses, ascertaining the sanitary condition of such, reporting all violations of the sanitary code to the Board of Health, and abating all nuisances under the direction of that Board.

Acting Sergeant John W. Haggerty, is Superintendent of the mechanical department at Police Headquarters./ he has been twenty yeas in the department, and has charge of fifteen men.

Thus we see that the Marble Palace, as it is sometimes called, is a veritable human kaleidoscope. Here we find the vast machinery of our municipal Police concentrated, and here are the mainsprings of Police official life and action.

Outside and beyond, at their several posts, move on their several part s the men who protect life and property, who keep in subjection the army of criminals whose energy is untiring, whose evil influences are ever living forces, and who are a constant menace to society and good government.

The Police Surgeons are: Charles Phelps, John H. Dorn, Samuel B. McLeod, Stephen G. Cook, Augustus W. Maclay, F. Leroy Satterlee, Sigismund Waterman, George Steinert, Francis M. Purroy, William A. Varian, Samuel K. Lyon, William F. Fluhrer, David Matthews, Benjamin F. Dexter, Reese H. Voorhees, Benjamin Wood, Jr., John H. nest, Martin A. McGovern.



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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