Skip to main content

Full text of "Hands up! in the world of crime : or 12 years a detective"

See other formats


« ■•* 






















Chicago's famous detective 



1700 Arrests — 125 Criminals Sent to Penitentiary — 
$75,000 Worth of Lost and Stolen Property Re- 
covered — 75 Young Girls Rescued 
from L<ives of Shame. 



Copyright, 1901 


Copyright, 1906 


Clifton R. Wooldridob 




In presenting this work to the public the author has nts 
apologies to make nor favors to ask. It is a simple his- 
tory of his connection with the Police Department of 
Chicago, compiled from his own memoranda, the news- 
papers, and the official records. The matter herein con- 
tained differs from those records only in details, as many 
facts are given in the book which have never been made 
public. The author has no disposition to malign any 
one, and names are used only in cases in which the facts 
are supported by the archives of the Police Department 
and of the criminal court. In the conscientious discharge 
of his duties as an officer of the law, the author has in 
all cases studied the mode of legal procedure. His aim 
has been solely to protect society and the taxpayer, and 
to punish the guilty. The evidences of his sincerity ac- 
company the book in the form of letters from the highest 
officers in the city government, from the mayor down to 
the precinct captain, and furnish overwhelming testi- 
mony as to his endeavors to serve the public faithfully 
and honestly. No effort has been made to bestow self- 
praise, and where this occurs, it is only a reproduction, 
perhaps in different language, of the comments indulged 
in by the newspapers of Chicago and other cities, whose 
reporters are among the brightest and most talented 
young men in all the walks and professions of life. To 
them the officer acknowledges his obligations in many in- 
stances. Often he has worked hand-in-hand with them. 


They have traveled with him in the dead hours of the 
night, in his efforts to suppress crime or track a criminal, 
and have often given him assistance in the way of sug- 

He now submits his work and his record to the public, 
hoping it will give him a kindly reception. 

General Superintendents of Police 
from 1855 to 190) Inclusive. 

Oirraa Puker Bradley, Af 


td Jana, 


Austin J Doyle, • Appointed No*. 18, 1881 



Frederick Eberaold. " 

Cot. 98,1886 

nnUaiD TntUe, ■ 




George W Hubbard. . " 

April 17, 1888 

WW Kennadr. 




Frederick H Manb, •• 

Jan. 1, 1890 

Elmer Wuhbotn. . 




Robert W MoClaoghry, " 

May 18. 1891 

Jacob R«hm, - . . 




Michael Brensan. - ** 

Sept. U. 1893 

Hichsel a Hiokay, 



7. 1876 

John J. Badenoch, *• 

AprU, 1896 

Valerius A. Saavey, • 

• • 


». 1878 

Joseph Eipley, . •• 

April U, 1897 

SimoD O'Donnell. 




Jowipb Kiplay, R»«ppoiiit«d April, 189S 

William J. MoOsrigla, 



Franoia O'Neill, - Appointed April W, 1901 





Chicago. III., June 7. i90i. 

To Whom It May Concern; 

Officer Clifton R. Wooldridge, of the 
Chicago Police Department, has compiled a 
book touching upon his experience as an 
officer. I desire to state that I have 
known Officer Wooldridge for a number of 
years, and consider him an able and effi- 
cient officer. I feel confident that officer 
Wooldridge 's experience as an officer 
is sufficiently interesting to be published, 
and will prove good reading. 




"THE author feels that he is entirely justified in pointing to 
' the endorsements whioh follow here. They are from his 
superior officers and others in the legal and department of 
justice, both in the city and state. He submits them together 
with his life work, and feels they will add interest to the contents 
of this book. 


Chicago, Ilu, March 5, 1901. 
To Whom It Mav Conxern 

Detective Clifton R. Wooldridge and his 
work have been known to me ever since I 
liave been state's attorney. He has been 
instrumental in producing evidence in a large 
number of cases against keepers of disreputable 
houses and proprietors of gambling resorts, to 
which work he has been giving his exclusive 
attention under the direction of the police chief. It is with pleasure that 
I am able to say that Detective Wooldridge has conducted all his cases with 
zeal and intelligence, and I know that he is one of the most energetic officers 
on the Chicago police force. 

Very respectfully. 


State Attorney for Cook County. Illinois. 


Attorney at Law. 

Chicago, February 26. 1901. 
Clifton R. Wooldridge. Chicago. 111. 

Dear Sir : — I take great pleasure in say- 
ing that I have known you well, and duriug 
my term as state's attorney of Cook county, 
there has never come to the courts a better 
equipped police officer than you. I know 
. .. . „.,^...,^^^c,, that no man on the police force did his work 

I. M. LONObNllCKHK. , .^ , 

with as much zeal and efficiency as you, and 
that you are a worthy man and officer in every respect and deserve the 
commendation of all good citizens. 

Very respectfully, 




Chicago. December 28, 1897. 
To Whom It Mav Concern: 

This is to certify that 1 have known 
Clifton R. Wooldridge for seven years past. 
He has been a police officer in the Chicago 
department for a number of years, and during 
my terra as state's attorney of Cook county I 
have found him to be one of the most effi- 
cient o£Scers in the department. He has 
thorough knowledge of evidence and is an expert in preparing a criminal 
case for trial. 

I have the honor to remain, 

Very respectfully 




Office of Genekal Si;rERiNr£NDENT. 

Chicago. 111., May 9. 1901. 
To Whom It May Co.ncern: 

Having known Detective Officer Clifton 
R. Wooldridge ofi&cially since 1893. I take 
pleasure in testifying to his fidelity and effi-_ 
ciency in the performance of his duty. 

Such qualities has he displayed that he is 
usually detailed on police work requiring intel- 
ligence, persistence, and integrity. He is 
working out of my office. 
' Officer Wooldridge is the special aversion of the criminal element, and 
when he is assigned to any particular line of police work, I am satisfied that 
the very best possible results will be accomplished. 


General Superintendent of Police 



Office op General Superintendent 

Chicago, III., October 5, 1900. 
To Whom It May Concern: 

• This is to certify that I have known Clif- 
ton R. Wooldridge, detective officer of this 
department, for many years. I have always 
found that Officer Wooldridge could be abso- 
lutely relied upon to perform any duty 
assigned to him in an intelligent and fearless 
manner. He has an exceedingly good record 
10 this department, and I feel that I am making no mistake in commending 
him to the public Bespeaking for him your kind consideration and assuring 
you all my appreciation for any courtesy extended, I am. 
Most respectfully. 


Chief of Police. 



JoLiET. February j, 1898 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridce. Chicago. III. 

Dear Sir : — Replying to your inquiry as to 
my recollection of your record as a police 
officer in Chicago during the period that I 
served as general superintendent of the Chi- 
cago Police Department, I beg to say that it 
was first-class in every respect. I recollect 
the fact that you were detailed specially to 
work in the levee district where street walk- 
ing, panel houses, and the worst character of critne prevailed, and where you 
were not only subject to bribes, but also frequently targets of perjurers and 
scoundrels of every degree. You came out from every ordeal unscathed, and 
maintained a character for integrity and fearlessness in the discharge of your 
duties that warranted the highest commendation. If my endorsement of 
your services and character is worth anything to you. it gives me pleasure to 
make this statement 

Respectfully yours. 

Ex-Warden. Illinois State Penitentiary, Ex General Superintendent of 
Chicago Police, and present Warden of United States Prison at Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. 


December 30, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. VVooldbidi.e. Chicago, 111. 

Dear Sir : — I lake much pleasure in add- 
ing my name to the very many others who are 
justly commending you for your vigilance and 
marked success in the apprehension and con- 
viction of criminals, during your connection 
with the Police Department While at the 
head of the department, I found that you were 
efficient and energetic, and so far as I have 
learned from observation and reports, you have always dischargtd your 
duties in a manner highly praiseworthy. 

Yours very respectfully. 



Relired Superlatendent"f Polica ' 




Office of General Supekintendent. 

Apnl 10. l8g7 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridoe, Chicago. 111. 

Dear Sir . — Before I retire from the com- 
mand of the Police Department, I desire to 
thank you for your bravery and loyal service 
as a police officer during ray administration. 
The work assigned to you while I have been 
at the head of the department, which was 
that o{ exterminating the panel houses which 
infested the leVee district and of suppressing street walking and gambling, 
has been well done. The character of this work being such that bribes 
were frequently offered by the criminal classes, it became necessary to 
select men of perfect integrity for the service, and I feel it due to you 
to say that I am entirely pleased -with the way in which you have carried out 
the instructions of this department, and I now know that I made no mistake 
in selecting you for this trying duty. Recent investigations satisfy me thai 
you have succeeded well, and therefore it affords me great pleasure to com- 
mend you for your bravery and fidelity to your duties. 
Yours respectfully, 

Ex-General Superintendent of Police 


October 29, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldriuce, Chicago. 

Dear Sir : — It affords me great pleasure 
to testify to your splendid qualities as a police 
officer. I knew you at the time I was Super- 
intendent of Police, but I knew you better at 
the time I was Inspector, and then learned 
your real worth. I can truthfully state that 
you were a brave and efficient officer, devoted 
to your duties, knew no fear, never faltered in 
your work, at all times and under all circumstances, honest and temperate, 
and a gentleman in all that the word conveys. I am. 

Very truly yours, 


General Superintendent of Police. ' 


January 26, 1898. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

Dear Sir.— It affords me great pleasure 
to add my testimony to that of many other 
commanding officers of this department as to 
the valuable service you have rendered the 
City of Chicago as a police officer in ferreting 
out crime and arresting and successfully prose- 
cuting cFiminals. Such services as you have 
.endered this city, should and will be recognized in the fature. 
Very respectfully yours, 



Retired Superintendent of Police. 


February 16. igot. 
Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

Dear Sir: — I take pleasure in saying that 
during your long service in the Police Depart- 
ment I have had ample opportunity to observe 
your work in the various positions I have held 
in this department, namely: Lieutenant, Cap- 
tain. Inspector, and Assistant General Super- 
intendent of Police. I have been intimately 
associated with you and know that in the 
performance of your dulics you have no peer. The particular class of police 
work which has fallen to your share is the most odious and difficult required 
of an officer, and the fact that you have met with such phenomenal success, 
bears testimony of your ability and worth. It gives me pleasure to speak of 
you in this way. You have a record in the Chicago Police Department which 
stands unequaled. 

Very respectfully. 



Assistant General Superintendent of Polic» 


Chicago, April 4, iSq3. 

It affords me great pleasure to say to 
whomever may be concerned, that I have 
known Officer Clifton R. Wooldridge for the 
post six years, a large part of which time he 
was undef my supervision while I was Inspec- 
tor and Assistant Chief of Police of the Chicago 
Police Department, and bis very thorough 
manner of performing police work is com- 
meiKlable to all lovers of proper and rigid 
enforcement of the city ordinances and the laws of the State of Illinois. 

For several years past OfiBcer Wooldridge has been detailed on the most 
repulsive of all work connected with the Police Department, that of breaking 
up the female houses of robbery and of keeping the iiiraates of such places 
ofT the streets. His success on this detail is -well known and will ever be 
appreciated by his commanding officers. 

Determined persistency and never-ending effort on the part ot OfiBcer 
Wooldridge, together with the ability he invariably displays in landing per- 
petrators of any and all sorts of crimes, has placed terror in. the 'bosoms of all 
wrong-doers with whom he has come in contact, and bis labors as a police 
officer deserve the praise of all upright citizens. Very sincerely. 



Ex-Assistant General Superintendent of Police. 


December q. 1897. 
To Whom It May Concer.v: 

I, the undersigned, hereby certify that 1 
have known Detective Clifton R. Wooldridge 
personally for the past ten years, and know 
him to be an efficient, trustworthy and pains- 
taking officer, and one in whom the utmost 
confidence can be safely placed. His public 
record in this department is convincing proof 
of the truth of my assertions. I can and do 
cheerfully recommend hira for favorable consideration. 
Very respectfully yours. 

joiiv n. siir.\. 


Inspector of PoUca. 



December 25, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge. City. 

Dear Sir .—It is with the greatest satis- 
faction that I notice from time to time the 
many arrests credited to you, and the success 
(ul prosecution of noted and dangerous crimi- 
nals. I know welj the many evil and unscrup- 
ulous influences that confront an honest -^cer 
in the discharge of his duty. In maintaining 
your integrity you have displayed intelligence, 
impartiality, and incorruptibility. The lime is now close at hand when such 
men as you cannot be kept down. You must and will come to the front. I 
feel it an honor to b« able to say that I was General Superintendent of Police 
when yon first became a member of the Police Department. Your keen, 
honest face, prompt, intelligent speech, quick and independent manner of 
action were enough to convince any one that you were qualified for any 
duty to which you might be assigned. I have often wished that I had a 
dozen more men upon whom I could rely as implicitly as upon you. I write 
this letter not to flatter you, but to encourage you, and hope that some day 
you may be rewarded according to your merits. 

Yours respectfully. 

Retired Assistant General Superintendent of Police. 


January 28, tgoi. 
I have known Detective Officer Clifton R 
Wooldridge for about ten years and during part 
o( the lime he worked under ray command. He 
is temperate in his habits and fearless in the 
discharge of his duties, and may be relied upon 
to perform any work assigned to him with 
good judgment and ability. As an officer of 
this department he bears a reputation second 
to none, for he has more than once distin- 
guished himself in arresting desperate and notorious crimmals at the risk of 
bis life. It gives me great pleasure to commend him to the public 

Very respectfully, 

Assistant Superintendent of Police. 


December 33, 169?. 
To Whom It May CoNrxRN: 

Clifton R. Wooldridge was under my com- 
mand for .two years while I was Captain of 
Police at the Harrison Street Station, and I 
have always found him to be an efficient offi- 
cer, absolutely honest, sober, fearless and 
trustworthy. He has never been known to 
shirk any duty assigned to him and is always 
willing and ready. He is the hardest working 
police officer I ever knew, and I cheerfully recommend him to the favorable 
consideration of the public. - 

Very respectfully yours. 




Inspector First Division. 

April 4, i8v8. 
To Whom It May Concern: 

I have known Detective Clifton R. Wool- 
dridge for a number of years, the greater part 
of which time he served und^r me while I was 
Chief Inspector of the Chicago Pc^ice Depart- 
ment, and take great pleasure in stating thaC 
he is undolibtedly one of the hardest working 
and most painstaking men I have ever seen in 
the police station. I have always found him 
willing and eager to take tip any phase of criminal prosecution, and his invari- 
able success at running to earth evil-doers of all classes has brought to him a 
most enviable reputation. In criminal cases with which he was connected, he 
succeeded and tabulated his evidence so concisely that the different police 
justices strongly commend his manner of handling criminals. I am confident 
that if all police officers would follow his example in this particular, there 
would be a notable decrease of crime. 

Very respectfully years. 



Ex-Inspector of Polio*, 


January at, i^t. 
To Whom It May Concern: 

This is to certify that I have known' 
Detective Clifton R. Wooldridge for a number 
of years. During his long service in the Police 
Department he has had many difficult assign- 
jnents. and through all of them has performed 
his duties in a remarkably efficient manner. 
Mr. Wooldridge is an officer on whom can be 
placed any responsibility with the knowledge 
beforehand that he can be relied upon to do his full duty. It gives me pleas- 
ure to express myself as to the worthiness of Mr. Wooldridge, and I bespeak 
for bim every consideration and courtesy. 

Very respectfully yours. 

LUSE kalas. 

CI>^^ "^^^^^^^ 

Inspector Commanding Fourth Division. 


January 17, 1901. 
To Whom It May Concern: 

I have known Clifton R. Wooldridge for 
toe last ten years. As a police officer Mr. 
Wooldridge is par-excellence, absolutely with- 
out fear, courteous in his treatment to both 
superiors and inferiors, prompt to obey, and 
with a detective ability so strongly developed, 
it almost appealed to me as an extra "sense." 
In fact, he has what is known in police circles 
as "intuition," and that in a very marked degree. If I wanted to secure the 
arrest of a desperate man, I would put Mr. Wooldridge in charge of the case 
in preference to any one I know, as with his bravery he has discretion. Mr. 
Wooldridge is a man of education, refinement and consummate ability. He 
is a natural bom org^anizer and a leader of men. All the qualities that go to 
make up and constitute a successful and efficient commanding officer are 
possessed by Mr. Wooldridge. 

Very respectfully yours. 


Inspector Commanding^ Second Division. 


Chicago, May i, 1892. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

Dear Sir: — During my term of office at the Harrison Street 
Police Station, I desire to say that in the performance of your 
duties you displayed ability, honesty and integrity in all cases 
to which you were assigned. I have always found you prompt, 
fearless and incorruptible, the qualities requisite of a police officer 
at the most important station of a metropolis like Chicago. Your 
heart is in the right place, and while I have always found you 
stern and persistent in the pursuit and prosecution of criminals, 
you were ever kind and considerate, and I can truthfully say that 
more than one evildoer was helped to reform and was given 
material assistance by you. 

Very respectfully, 


Captain of Police. 


January 5, 1895. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

Dear Sir: — Having personally known you for the past six 
years, I had special opportunity in my capacity as Captain of 
Police to observe your work and intimately know your conduct 
as a police officer and a guardian of life and property. I take 
pleasure in stating that I have always found you to be an honest, 
sober, industrious and efficient officer, who meritoriously dis- 
charges his duties, together with exceptionally good judgment 
in emergency, and accounts of heroism are on record in the 
Police Department to which I respectfully refer, and state thai 
you are one of the best and cleverest officers in the department. 
Respectfully yours, 


Captain of Police. 


I February 13, 1901. 

Dear Sir: — It gives me pleasure to say that in the years I 
have served in this department I have never seen a more fearless 
officer than you have been. Your name has been absolutely free 
from scandal, and your work in time of danger has made you 
nothing short of a hero. As a successful detective you possess 
all the requisites, which include sobriety, a clear head, good judg- 
ment and integrity of the most pronounced type. 
Very truly, 

Captain Fifteenth Precinct. 


January 5, 1895. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

Few words are required of me to express my appreciation of 
your excellent qualities as a police officer. While I was in com- 
mand of the Stanton Avenue Station, you rendered good and 
valuable service to the department and the public of Chicago. 
You possess those qualities which go to make up an efficient 
officer, and those qualities are intelligence, honesty, sobriety, re- 
liability and trustworthiness. I have never known you to shirk 
any duty to which you were assigned, and have always found 
you willing and ready for any kind of work. 
' Very respectfully, 


Captain of Police. 


May 17, 1901. 
To Whom It May Concern : 

This is to certify that I have known Clifton R. Wooldridge 
as a police officer for over ten years, and during the year 1896 
he was under my command. 

I always found him to be absolutely fearless in the discharge 
of duty, irreproachably honest, and at all times he displayed a 
thoroughly comprehensive knowledge of the duties of an officer. 

He is possessed of great detective ability and may be relied 
jjpon to discharge in an efficient manner any task assigned to 

Captain, Commanding Third District. 


May I, 1897. 
This is to testify that I have Igiown Clifton R. Wooldridge 
for the past five years, he having been a member of my com- 
mand during the greater part of that time. I have always found 
him to be a trustworthy and efficient officer, and I cheerfully 
recommend him as a man upon whom reliance can be placed in 
all cases. Very respectfully, 

Captain, Commanding Second District 



January 20, 1898. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wcx)ldridge, City. 

Dear Sir: — During the six years in which I was intimately 
associated with you in the Police Department, I found you to be 
without exception the best and most efficient officer in the service 
of Chicago. Your police record will prove that my assertions as 
£0 your efficiency are entirely true. This record cannot be ex- 
celled by any member of any police force in the country. I am 
glad to be able to vouch for your ability and integrity as an 

Captain Third Precinct. 


The following letters from the lieutenants of police, in 
the City of Chicago, under whom and with whom De- 
tective Clifton R. Wooldridge worked, show the esteem 
in which he is held by them : 


Chicago, January 21, 1898. 
It affords me great pleasure to testify to the honesty, integ- 
rity and efficiency of Officer Clifton R. Wooldridge. My acquain- 
tance with him covers a period of thirteen years. During a por- 
tion of that time he was in my command, and I have always 
found him thoroughly reliable, competent and alert in everything 
pertaining to his duty. 

Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant of Police, Eighteenth Precinct. 


Chicago, December 21, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge was under my command as^ de- 
tective and patrolman for two years, and it gives me pleasure to 
testify to his ability and good character. He at all times shows 
the citizens of Chicago and his superior officers that he realizes 
what are the proper duties of a police officer. He is worthy of 
any confidence that may be placed in him. 
Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant, Commanding Third Precinct 


February 20, 1893. 
I have known Police Officer Clifton R. Wooldridge since 
1889, and he was under my command for two years. I regard 
him as one of the most faithful, trustworthy and efficient men 
who ever traveled under me. 


Lieutenant of Police, Second Precinct. 


October 31, 1898. 
I have known Clifton R. Wooldridge, detective, for ten 
years, and take pleasure in saying that he is an honest, sober and 
clever officer. I have frequently had occa'sion during my com- 
mand at the Second Precinct Station to congratulate him for 
his excellent police work. He is certainly a valuable acquisition 
to the police force. Respectfully, 


Lieutenant of Police. 


November i, 1897. 
It is with pleasure that I add a word of praise for Detective 
Clifton R. Wooldridge. I have known him for the past eight 
years; have traveled by his side, did detective work with him, 
and was fortunate to have him in my command at the Harrison 
Street Police Station. I never knew him to shirk his duty; I 
never heard a word against his character. 

Lieutenant, Thirty-eighth Precinct. 


August 28, 1898. 
It affords me pleasure to testify to the many good qualities 
possessed by Clifton R. Wooldridge as a police officer. I have 
known him personally for the past seven years, and I have always 
found him to be an honest, sober and efficient officer, who dis- 
charged his duties unflinchingly. He is known as a fearless 
gHardian of the peace, as well as a careful protector of the 
people's lives and the people's property. 
Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant of Second Precinct. 


April 15, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. Woolmudge, City. 

Dear Sir: — While I was police magistrate at the Harrison 
Street Police Station I had favorable opportunity and frequent 
occasion to view your work as a police officer in this department. 
I feel it a privilege to say that I have always found you fear- 
less, active and efficient and one of the cleverest men on the 
force. Knowing the many hardships and obstacles a police officer 
has to contend with, I wish to give special commendation to your 
comprehension of your duties, and the manly and disinterested 
manner in which you execute them. 

Very truly yours, 

Police Magistrate. 


December 13, 1897. 

To Whom It May Concern: 

It has been my pleasure to know Clifton R. Wooldridge for 
the last ten years. During two years of this time I served as 
police magistrate at the Armory. In that time scarcely a day 
passed during which he would not appear as a witness before me 
in a criminal case, and I had advantageous opportunity to ob- 
serve his conduct as an officer. In my experience for five years 
as a police justice I never met a more efficient officer than he. 
In all his prosecutions he was trustworthy, fearless and honest, 
and my recollection now is that the records at the Armory Sta- 
tion show that he made more arrests of criminals than any of 
those on the roll. He seemed to have but one object in view, 
and that was to do his duty all the time. 
Very respectfully, 


Justice of the Peace. 

city of chicago, 
jjepartment of 'police. 

December 4, 1897. 
I have known Clifton R. Wooldridge personally for the last 
ten years, and can say without hesitation that no more efficient 
officer in his line has ever been on the force in this city, and 
his secret-service work is unequaled. His record in this depart- 
ment is an enduring testimonial to his ability, energy, industry 
and faithfulness. Very respectfully, 


Justice of the Peace. 



Chicago, June 2, 1897. 
Mr. Clifton R. Wooldridge, City. 

My Dear Sir: — Having recently severed my connection with 
the Armory Police Station, I feel called upon to let you know 
in this manner the regard I have for you as an officer and at- 
tache of my court. The efficient work done by one officer in 
the first district, and yourself especially, calls for unlimited 
praise. Of all the officers who came before me with their pris- 
oners for trial, and taking in consideration the large number of 
cases in which you were interested, you always appeared to 
more thoroughly understand your case and to have better evi- 
dence to sustain your complaint than any other officer reporting 
to that station. The dignity and reputation of police courts are 
largely in the hands and control of the officers working there- 
from, and I can say that if all of them would enter into the de- 
tails of their work with the interest and businesslike manner 
you have always displayed, there would be less crime and more 
praise for the police force of Chicago. 
Very truly, 


Justice of the Peace. 


February 30, 1898. 
Officer Clifton R. Wooldridge worked under my command 
at the Harrison Street Station as detective during the period of 
about two years, and I can safely say that his record during 
that time has rarely been equaled and never excelled by anyone 
in this department. Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant, Second Precinct. 


Chicago, December 13, 1897. 
Clifton R. Wooldridge was under my command for about 
one year as a police officer. During that time I found him a 
thoroughly reliable man in every respect. He was always 
straightforward in all his dealings and at all times reliable. I 
consider him one of the best officers in the department. 
Very truly yours. 

Ex-Lieutenant of Police. 



December 13, 1897. 
To THE Public: 

I have known Clifton R. Wooldridge for the past ten years. 
When I was magistrate at the Armory I had special opportunity 
to become well acquainted with him, and have watched him and 
his actions and work for years. There are some men on the 
police force for whom too much good cannot be said, and he is 
one of them. He has no superiors and few equals. As an officer 
he is absolutely honest, sober, fearless and trustworthy. He has 
made a record for himself through his acts of kindness, deeds of 
heroism and good police work. He has served this state and city 
faithfully, and it gives me pleasure to add my testimony to his 
worth and merits. Very respectfully, 


Justice of the Peace. 


Chicago, December 28, 1897. 
Clifton R. Wooldridge served under me as a patrolman for 
a period of three years at the Harrison Street Police Station, 
and was always an able and efficient officer, and thoroughly fear- 
less in the discharge of his duties. 

Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant of Second Precinct 

Table of Contents. 

Preface.. 5 

Testimonials 20 

Biography of the Author. . 31 

Saved Five Lives Z7 

Panel Houses 40 

Emma Ford, the Levee 

Terror 47 

Desperate Encounter with 

Robbers 56 

Rescued a Young Girl.... 59 

Arrests a Safe Blower 60 

All Were Moved to Tears. 62 

Take Them for Jays 66 

Makes Dive-Keepers Re- 
spect Him 69 

Five Hundred Caught in a 

Raid 74 

Women Smoked Out 79 

Traces a Murderer 80 

Captures Gang of Boy 

Thieves 83 

Found Him in a Trunk... 85 

Detective an Aeronaut 89 

Confidence Games 91 

Was a Victim of the Graft- 
ers 112 

Had a Winter Roof Gar- 
den 113 

Robbers Show No Sym- 
pathy 115 

Rides a Thief to Jail 120 

Paid for His Own Extras 129 
Devils in Sheep's Clothing 131 
A Brave and Heroic Act. . 134 
He Yielded to Temptation 134 
Mystery of Rose Wallace. 137 
Lost Morals and Money. . 150 

Too Much Jones 152 

Mary Hastings* Career. . . 153 

Pumped Lead at Him.... 172 
Chain Saves His Life.... 175 
Saved Family from Starva- 
tion 180 

Found Their Match 185 

Hid the Money in Her Hair 187 
Detective Plays the Dude 188 
Shoots a Gambling King. . 191 
Closes School for Crime.. 195 
Veteran is Robbed and 

Beaten 199 

Ostrich Feather Gives a 

Clue 201 

Use a Tunnel to Escape.. 203 
Too Much Revenge....... 206 

Spider and the Fly 208 

Opium and Its Evils 210 

Interested Whole World. 223 
Whiskey Made Him Steal 248 
Girl Enticed from Home. 249 
Crook in a Farmer's Garb 250 
Thieves Slug a Farmer..., 252 
Terror of Clark Street. . 253 
Fled Across the Continent 256 
A Desperate Encounter. . 262 
Long Term for Bicycle 

Thief 26s 

Breaks Up a Cock Fight. 266 
Resort to Fire Escape... 269 
Ruffian Assaults a Child.. 272 
Purse Snatcher is Pun- 
ished 275 

Footprints in the Snow . . lyd 
Catches Three Burglars.. 278 

Shot by a Maniac 280 

Joke on a Police Justice. . 283 
Prevents a Safe Robbery 285 
Jealousy Causes a Murder 287 
Used a Horse and Tackle 289 


Highway Robber is Caught 292 
Cleans Out a Poolroom. . 294 
Preacher Goes to Prison. . 299 
Lands a Thief in Prison. . 300 

Fought for His Life 303 

Noted Female Bandit.... 305 
Cleans Out "Coon Hollow" 312 
Wore a Gainsborough Hat 319 
Gives Detective a Black 

Eye 322 

Cat Unearths a Murder. . 323 

Thieves Give Clews 329 

Clever Counterfeiters Are 

Caught 334 

Ran a Fake Poolroom... 2i2i7 
Lake Front Park Raided. . 344 
Recovers Stolen Passes... 346 
Woman Robs a Soldier. . . 349 

Rescues a Stranger 352 

Makes a High Dive 353 

Harrison Street Station. . 355 
Lottery Companies Raided 365 
Mob Follows a Prisoner. 370 
Woman Murders Compan- 
ion y7'2 

Clever Tool Thief Caught 376 

Birds Give Alarm 377 

The Negro and His Razor 379 

Prevents a Burglary 380 

Mob Clamors for a Thief 383 
Four Well-known Officers 383 
History of the State Street 

Terror 385 

He Saved His Star 388 

Could Not Stop a Wedding 389 

Murder Will Out 393 

Burglar in Woman's Cloth- 
ing 395 

Tries to Hide Her Shame 396 
Women Gamble in Stocks 399 


Girls in Bondage 401 

Not So Green As He 

Looks 403 

Robbed of $5,000 404 

He Used Bogus Checks. . 405 
All Thieves Are Desperate 408 
Officer is Roughly Handled 410 
Tries to Rob the Detective 413 
Tried to Dodge the Camera 415 
Smoked in the Street.... 416 
Ambitious "Pony" Moore. 418 
Pake Investment Compa- 
nies 426 

Detective as a Ragpicker. 431 
Leads in Strike Duty.... 440 

Was Not a Marine 446 

Villain at Last Convicted 450 
Detective Turns the Tables 454 
Justice Overtakes an Un- 
grateful Man 458 

Clever Capture of a Clerk 459 
Shoplifters Are Caught... 464 
"Stalled" for Two Robbers 466 
Colored Robbers Caught. . 468 
Thirty-Seven Thugs Are 

Caught 470 

Robbers Wear Out Wit- 
ness 471 

Tried to Corner Chewing 

Gum 476 

New Way to Rob 479 

Rifled the Letters 481 

He Painted the Windows 482 
Troublesome Box Car 

Thieves 485 

Two Policemen Sentenced 487 

Passion for Robbery 491 

Raid on a Steamboat 494 

Took Desperate Chances. 496 
Ticker in the Ice Box 498 

Index to Illustrations. 

\ Page. 

The Rescue 30 

Interior View of Panel House 41 

Making the Arrest 60 

Detectives Dressed as Cattlemen 67 

Raiding a Bucket Shop 76 

Was Hid in a Trunk 87 

Hoisted in a Barrel 90 

Seven Different Confidence Games 97 

Shivering on the Roof ; 114 

On the Prisoner's Shoulders 121 

Putting on the Extras 130 

Incidents at the Police Station 140 

Escaping from Den of Vice I55 

"Drop that Gun, or You are a Dead Man!" 168 

The Battle with the Robbers 174 

The Shooting in the Hallway 177 

Scene of the Shooting 193 

Tunnel Under Panel House 204 

Party of Smokers in a Chinese Opium Joint 212 

The Chinaman's Recreation 217 

The Attempt to Escape in Toronto 234 

Climbing the Fire Escape 270 

Girl Making Her Escape 273 

Night Scenes on the Levee 314 

Whitening Her Face 320 

" Pony " Moore. 419 


CLIFTON R. WOOLDRIDGE was bom February 
25, 1854, in Franklin county, Kentucky. He re- 
ceived a common school education, and then start- 
ed out in the world to shift for himself. From 1868 to 
1871, he held the position of shipping clerk and collector 
for the Washington Foundry in St. Louis, Missouri. 
Severing his connection with that company, he went to 
Washington, D. C, and was attached to the United 
States Signal Bureau from March i, 1871, to December 
5, 1872. He then took up the business of railroading, 
and for the following nine years occupied positions as 
fireman, brakeman, switchman, conductor and general 
yard master. 

When the gold fever broke out in the Black Hills 
in 1879, Mr. Wooldridge along with many others went 
to that region to better his fortune. Six months later 
he joined the engineering corps of the Denver & Rio 
Grande railroad and assisted in locating the line from 
Canon City to Leadville, as well as several of the 
branches. The work was not only very difficult, but 
very dangerous, and at times, when he was assisting in 
locating the line through the Royal Gorge in the Grand 
Canon of the Arkansas, he was suspended from a rope, 
which ran from the peak of one cliff to the other, with 
his surveying instruments strapped to his back. This 
gorge is fifty feet wide at the bottom and seventy feet 



wide at the top, the walls of solid rock rising three thou- 
sand feet above the level of the river below. The work 
was slow and required a great deal of skill, but it was 
accomplished successfully. 

Mr. Wooldridge went to Denver in 1880 and engaged 
in contracting and mining the following eighteen months. 
He then took a position as engineer and foreman of the 
Denver Daily Republican, where he remained until May 
29, 1883. The following August he came to Chicago 
and took a position with the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul railway. In 1886, he severed his connection 
with the railroad and founded the "Switchman's Jour- 
nal," He conducted and edited the paper until May 26th, 
when he was burned out, together with the firm of Dono- 
hue & Henneberry, at the corner of Congress street and 
Wabash avenue, as well as many other business houses 
in that locality, entailing a loss of nearly $1,000,000. 
Thus the savings of many years were swept away, leav- 
ing him penniless and in debt. He again turned his at- 
tention to railroading and secured a position with the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad and had accu- 
mulated enough money to pay the indebtedness which 
resulted from the fire, when the great strike was inaug- 
urated on that road in February, 1888. The strike in- 
cluded engineers, firemen and switchmen, and continued 
nearly a year. On October 5th of that year Mr. Wool- 
dridge made application for a position on the Chicago 
police force, and having the highest endorsements, he was 
appointed and al'^g^ned to the Desplaines Street Station. 
It was soon discovered that Wooldridge as a police 
officer had no superiors and few equals. Neither poli- 
tics, religion, creed, color, or nationality obstructed him 
in the performance of his police duties, and the fact 


was demonstrated and conceded times without number 
that he could not be bought, bribed, or intimidated. 
He selected for his motto, "Right wrongs no man; equal 
justice to all." His superior oihcers soon recognized the 
fact that no braver, more honest or efficient police officer 
ever wore a star or carried a club. 

The mass of records on file in the police headquarters 
and in the office of the clerk of the criminal court demon- 
strate conclusively that he has made one of the most 
remarkable records of any police officer in the depart- 
ment. Up to, and including, July i, 1901, Mr. Wool- 
dridge saw over twelve years of experience and train- 
ing in active police work. Ten years of this time he 
was located in what is commonly known as the Levee 
district, a territory where criminals congregate and 
where crimes of all degrees are committed. The fol- 
lowing brief synopsis shows the work performed by 

During his service on the police force he made 17,000 
arrests, the name, date, charge, and disposition of each 
case being accurately kept by him. Of these arrests, 
1,175 wt^re made on criminal charges, and 125 of these 
were -convicted and sent to the state penitentiary. From 
1,000 to 2,000 were sent to the House of Correction, 
while from 3,000 to 5,000 paid fines, and the others re- 
ceived jail sentences. During this time he recovered lost 
and stolen property to the value of $75,000, which was 
returned to the owners through him and the department. 
Seventy-five girls under age were rescued by him from 
houses of ill-fame and a life of shame, and returned to 
their parents or guardians, or sent to the Juvenile School 
or the House of the Good Shepherd. He closed and 
broke up fifty opium joints, and in the year 1896 closed 


fifty-two panel houses that were then in operation on 
the levee. During the months of October and Decem- 
ber, 1898, he closed twenty houses of prostitution on 
Michigan avenue, and in the same months closed and 
broke up forty-five panel houses. In October, 1899, 
twenty-eight panel house keepers were, through the ef- 
forts of Mr. Wooldridge, indicted and convicted. Fol- 
lowing this, he secured ihe indictment of the landlords 
who rented the houses. This last stroke broke up en- 
tirely the panel house business in Chicago. 

Mr. Wooldridge's criminal knowledge of this class 
of people, which came through his contact with them 
daily, made him one of the most valuable officers in 
the department. It is well known in police circles that 
he has refused at different times bribes of from $500 to 
$4,000. He has in his library a scrap-book containing 
the clippings of city papers and police bulletins giving 
him credit for criminal arrests and convictions, recovery 
of stolen property and meritorious conduct, which will 
cover a space of 130 square feet. 

As a further testimonial to his worth and efficiency 
as a^ police officer, Mr. Wooldridge has complimentary 
letters from eight general superintendents of police, 
three assistant general superintendents of police, six in- 
spectors, six captains, nine lieutenants, six police jus- 
tices, and three state's attorneys. He also has letters 
from the superintendent of the National Bureau of Iden- 
tification and the superintendent of the local Bureau of 
Identification, besides a letter from the mayor of Chi- 
cago, Carter H. Harrison, and from the Chief of 
Detectives, Luke P. Colleran. 

Mr. Wooldridge has during the past few years been 
working out of the office of the General Superintendeui" 


of Police. He has had charge of a detail of officers in 
many important cases, among which may be mentioned 
the great building trades strike of 1900, in which 60,000 
men were thrown out of employment. He also had 
charge of a detail of men in the Railway Men's Union 
strike of 1894, in which he performed valiant services 
and prevented the destruction of much property. Many 
other similar cases might be mentioned, such as being at 
the head of a force to suppress gambling, pool selling 
and serious infractions of the law, in all of which cases 
he secured results which were so satisfactory to the city 
administration and the' police department that he has 
been continued on duty from the office of the Chief of 
Police ever since. 

At one time while he was serving the city as patrolman 
he was recommended by his superior officers for the 
Carter H. Harrison medal for meritorious services on 
■account of saving the lives of five persons from a fire, 
which occurred at a Clark street hotel. He has been 
under fire from criminals, whom he has attempted to 
arrest, innumerable times and bears the scars and marks 
of many conflicts with desperate men. His life has 
been threatened hundreds of times and many conspiracies 
have been made to kill him, but in all cases he has 
escaped serious injuries and it is sometimes said in the 
police department that he bears a charmed life. In pre- 
senting this work to the public, he makes no claims 
beyond his merits and those merits are supported by the 
state and city records, which are at all times open to 
the inspection of everyone. It is a simple history of 
his twelve years' connection with the Chicago police force 
and reveals many things which have not heretofore been 


brought to light in the execution of the duties of police^ 
men and detectives. 

It may be of great interest to some, and he hopes 
it may be of sufficient interest to engage the attention 
of a great many who are not familiar with the duties 
and perils attending the lives of officers of the peace. 

Hands Up! In the World of Crime. 



Deeds of heroism are often performed by officers 
while- in the discharge of their duties, many of which 
are soon forgotten, but those who witnessed the daring 
rescue of three women and two children from a burning 
building, January 4, 1894, at two o'clock in the morning, 
by Detective Wooldridge, will never forget that act. 

This incident occurred at the \yaverly Hotel, 262 and 
264 Clark street. The house was on fire, and great 
clouds of smoke were bursting from every window and 
doorway. Detective Wooldridge rushed to the scene 
"as quickly as possible. Nearly all the seventy-five 
guests of the hotel had been aroused and had escaped. 
There was the wildest confusion among them and the 
crowd which gathered. 

Then came from the top floor of the building a feeble 
cry of "Help !" It was learned that three women and 
two children were imprisoned by the smoke and flames. 
Their only chance of escape was by means of a set of 
narrow stairs which wound around the elevator shaft, 
and to attempt to leave by this means would be certain 
death by suffocation. 



Firemen and friends of the imprisoned and helpless 
women and children had made repeated efforts to reach 
them, but each time they were driven back by the smoke 
and flames. 

Wooldridge took in the situation at a glance. That 
feeble cry for help was too strong an appeal to his man- 
hood to be unheeded, even if he went to the rescue at 
the imminent peril of his life. He quickly tied a silk 
handkerchief over his mouth, and, dashing through the 
blinding clouds of smoke, he stumbled and groped his 
way to the rooms of two of the helpless women. He 
took them out, and in a short time, which seemed like a 
century to him and the anxious watchers below, landed 
them, more dead than alive, in the street, where they 
were quickly given medical attention and revived. 

Though nearly exhausted from the efforts and half 
suffocated with the smoke, the heroic officer had not fin- 
ished his mission of mercy, and he rushed again into 
the burning building to save three other lives. He fought 
his way inch by inch up the dark, winding stairway on 
his hands and knees, until he reached the rooms occu- 
pied by Mrs. E. C. Dwyer and her two children. One 
of the children was five years old and the other was a 
baby only three months of age. 

The serious problem of getting these three people- out 
of the burning structure presented itself to the detective, 
but ther^ was no time to lose. He solved it quickly. 
The two children were placed in a quilt, the four corners 
of which were diagonally crossed and tied together. 
The detective lifted this precious bundle and slipped his 
head beneath one of the knots, thus fastening the chil- 
di'en on his back. Two wet towels were placed over 
Mrs. Dwyer's mouth. Then he took her hand and led 


her down through the bHnding, suffocating smoke, grop- 
ing his way, step by step, until he reached the street, 
where he fell from utter exhaustion. Wooldridge was 
laid up several days from the effects of his heroic efforts, 
but he did not suffer seriously and was soon on duty 

Officer Wooldridge was rewarded for his actions on 
this occasion by a recommendation from his superior 
officers for the Carter H. Harrison medal of "Merito- 
rious Services." While Carter H. Harrison, the elder, 
was mayor of Chicago, he gave each year to the bravest 
officer on the force a medal. The recipient of the medal 
was selected according to his record by the chief of 
police, inspectors, and captains, and it was usually pre- 
sented at the annual review. On account of the death 
of the mayor that year the medal was never presented. 





So much has been said in the public press about "panel 
houses" that it is deemed expedient to devote a few 
.pages in this work to a detailed description of them. 
With the accompanying illustration it is believed a very 
clear conception can be had of them by the reader. 

A panel house is the invention of thieves of both sexes, 
and in them hundreds of thousands of dollars have been 
stolen from the unsuspecting victims of vicious women. 
T't'^y >Vwed a long time in the levee district of Chicago, 



which is that portion of the city bounded by the river 
on the north, Twenty-second street on the south, Lake 
Michigan on the east, and the Chicago river on the west. 

The poHce gave these places the name of panel houses, 
the proprietors calling them simply houses of ill-repute 
or sporting houses. A panel house may contain, two or 
more rooms, a whole flat, or an entire building, and is 
adapted to the accommodation of a few or a large num- 
ber of visitors or victims according to the designs of 
the owner. 

The rooms for guests are usually small in dimension, 
and contain but one bed. If there is only one door, holes 
are bored in this, in order that every move of the visitor 
may be seen by some one on the outside, to whom a 
signal is given at the proper time to enter and secure 
the visitor's money. 

This signal is usually given by a movement of the 
hand or foot of the companion of the intended victim. 

The victim is always told to lock the door himself, 
which he does and is satisfied that it is safe and securely 
fastened against intruders. He is sadly in error, how- 
ever, because the bolt of the lock can be worked from 
the outside. This is done by the use of a small nail 
dr any piece of metal or wood which will fit into the 
slot in the woodwork of the door where the . lock is. 
This slot is about an inch and a half long and one- 
sixteenth of an inch wide. A small hole has been made 
in the bolt of the lock, and the tumbler or spring in the 
lock, which is operated by turning the key, has been 
partly filed away to permit the bolt to be worked back 
and forth by the use of the nail without causing the 
key to turn or to make any noise. 


This slot in the door is so small that it can never be 
discovered except by accident or close inspection. 

The hinges of the door have been well oiled, and it 
is opened without attracting the attention of the victim, 
who is occupying the bed at . the opposite side of the 
room. If perchance any noise is made by the thief, the 
lights are instantly extinguished by a confederate, and 
the intended victim is held fast until the thief makes hi.«', 
or her escape. 

If no noise is made the thief gets all the money and 
valuables to be found and goes out quietly, and the 
victim upon dressing discovers that he has been robbed. 
He finds the door securely locked and knows that his 
companion did not go near his clothes, and therefore 
could not have taken his money. 

Sometimes he is induced to believe that he was robbed 
before he entered the place, or that he had lost his 
money, and goes away without complaining to the police. 
A three-room flat with doors opening into each other 
on the side is the best adapted to working the above 
described panel game. Although no panels are used in 
this case, it is included in what is known as panel house 

Another method used by panel house keepers is to 
have secret closets tuilt in their rooms in which the thief 
conceals herself until the proper opportunity presents 
itself to rob the victim. 

Another method, and the one which gave these houses 
their name, is a moving or sliding panel. These are' 
placed ingeniously in the walls or doors and are operated 
by secret and invisible springs. 

These panels are usually concealed by pictures or cur- 
tains. In the room containing these panels, there is 


only one chair or sofa, which is placed against the wall 
or door beneath the panel. This is done for the purpose 
of forcing the victim to place his clothes, when he has 
undressed, near the panel, he being compelled to use the 
sofa or chair for a clothes rack. 

The thief keeps informed of everything that occurs 
in the room by peering through the holes in the wall 
or door, and at the proper time quietly slides or removes 
the panel, reaches in for the victim's clothes, rifles them 
of money and jewelry, puts them back in their place, 
and when the poor dupe discovers his loss, he is con- 
fronted by a mystery which he is unable to solve. 

In some cases long poles are used to get the victim's 
clothes. If they are by accident or intention laid ofi 
beyond reach of the thief's crafty hand, this pole with a 
hook frequently accomplishes the designs of the robber. 
Of course, in every case the plunder is divided with the 
companion of the victim. 

The lock used on the doors of these rooms is the en- 
terprise and ingenuity of a well-known saloon keeper 
who at one time owned several panel houses. He sold 
a number of these locks to the keepers of other panel 
houses, for which he received several hundred dollars 

In cases of robbery keepers of panel houses try in 
many ways to prevent their victim from complaining 
to the police. One of these plans is to have a man or 
boy stationed in front of the houses, who is called a 
trailer. When the victim of robbery leaves the house 
this trailer is informed by signs made from a window, 
how much money has been taken. The trailer then fol- 
lows the victim, and if it is ascertained that he is going 
to the police station he is intercepted and taken back 


to the scene of the robbery, it having been suggested 
that he may be able to get some of his money back or 
to get some assistance. If it is found that the victim is 
a stranger in the city, she will offer to procure his trans- 
portation to his home, declaring that he was robbed by 
an outsider and protesting that she could not possibly 
afford, to allow such a thing to occur in her house. 
Sometimes this stops a complaint at the police station, 
and the victim leaves the city a poorer but wiser man. 

To show the vast extent to which this panel house 
thieving is carried, it is only necessary to state that 
$1,500,000 were stolen annually in 1892, 1893 and 1894. 

Ten thousand dollars have been taken this way in 
the levee district in one night, and from fifty to one 
hundred cases of larceny have been reported to the 
police in twenty-four hours. 

Ten thousand dollars have been offered by these panel 
house keepers and those who shared their ill-gotten gains 
for the removal of Detective Wooldridge from the secret 
service work of the city. These thieves often had the 
protection of a certain class of politicians, and it is said 
of some officials also, who participated in the profits of 
their highway robbery. 

It is but giving credit to whom it belongs, however, 
to say that Mayor Carter H. Harrison, during his sev- 
eral terms as the city's chief executive, gave support 
and encouragement to all efforts to wipe out these panel 
houses. He, like other good citizens, looked upon them 
as a burning disgrace and a low form of lawlessness 
that should be exterminated. 

Detective Wooldridge, in his vigilance and determina- 
tion, closed fifty-two of these panel houses in 1896. He 
closed and broke up forty-five of these places in the lat- 


ter part of 1898, and in 1899 he secured the indictment 
and conviction of twenty-eight panel house keepers at 
one time. Following this, he secured the indictment of 
the property owners who rented houses to these thieves, 
and this last stroke put an end to the panel house busi- 
ness in Chicago. 

Through the excellent work of Detective Wooldridge, 
seven of the toughest strong-arm footpad women in 
the world were sent to the penitentiary. Their thefts, 
according to the police records, are said to have amount- 
ed to $425,000. The names of the women follow : Em- 
ma Ford, Pearl Smith, Flossie Moore, Minnie Shouse, 
Mary White, Alice Kelly, and Mattie Smith. 

The names and addresses of the twenty-eight panel 
house keepers who were indicted and convicted through 
the efforts of detective Wooldridge are given below : 


Maggie Spencer 209 Plymouth Place. 

Ed. Speed 147 Plymouth Place. 

Mamie Johnson 147 Plymouth Place. 

Lucy Smith 374 S Clark Street. 

Gypsy Vernon 374 S. Clark Street. 

Jessie Woods 362 S. Clark Street. 

Delia W^oods 364 S. Clark Street. 

Mary Phillips 329 S. State Street. 

Laura Mack 329 S. State Street. 

Ruby Bennett 404 S. Clark Street. 

Emma Dent 419 S. State Street. 

Pearl White 396 S. State Street. 

Lizzie Hall 480 S. State Street. 

Tillie Madison 166 Custom House PI. 

Maggie Grady 455 State Street. 

Tillie* Louis 455 State Street. 

Maggie Grady 49 Hubbard Court. 

May Marshall , 49 Hubbard Court. 

Lena Shields 49 Hubbard Court. 


Sadie Cair , 196 Plymouth Place. 

Hattie Briggs 390 S. Clark Street. 

Hattie Briggs 368 S. Clark Street. 

Lillian Eastman 509 State Street. 

Mamie Mcrran 377 State Street 

Nellie Bly 

Mary Summers 420 State Street. 

Annie Michael 1233 State Street 

Jessie Vernon 18 Harmon Court. 



There have been in Chicago many criminals and 
tough characters, both men and women. All grades of 
vice and lawlessness have held sway at different times, 
but there never was a thief, footpad, highwayman, rob- 
ber, burglar, safeblower who was more desperate and 
hardened in the sins of the levee than the notorious 
negro woman, Emma Ford. 

She was a terror to the police, the courts, and even 
to her associates. She was so steeped in crime that 
even while in prison at different times she could not 
control her desire to fight or steal. It was her occupa- 
tion ; her delight. She could not live without being 
engaged continually in some dishonest or lawless act. 

In this respect she was much like the habitual opium 
eater. She craved for crime, and if the opportunity 
for it did not come her way she would go out and look 
for it. She has been arrested hundreds of times. She 
has served terms in prison, until, black as she is, she 
almost shows the easily distinguished prison pallor. 


It is estimated that in her career she has stolen $ioo,- 
ooo. She has done as much perhaps as any one else to 
make the levee district of Chicago famous. 

She is a remarkable specimen of physical ., develop- 
ment. Six feet tall, straight as an arrow, weighing 
two hundred pounds, and black as a starless midnight, 
she looks like an African giantess. She has muscles 
of steel, and is as fearless as she is ferocious. She 
dreaded nothing, and was always ready for the excite- 
ment of a highway robbery or the satisfaction of eluding 
an officey. She would never submit to an arrest except 
at the point of a revolver. No two men on the police 
force were strong enough to handle her, and she was 
dreaded by all of them. 

Emma's criminal career began soon after she was 
born. She first saw the light of day at Nashville, Tenn., 
where her mother ran one of the worst dives in that 
city. It was called the White Castle. Crime therefore 
came easy to her, and she proved such an adept pupil 
that, before she was out of her teens, the black giantess 
found Nashville too warm for her. She wa's placed on 
a train together with her sister, Pearl Smith, and told 
not to come back again. 

The first stop made by the colored pair was at St. 
Louis, Mo., where they both were arrested for robbery 
and sent to Jefferson City penitentiary for one year each. 
They next turned up in Chicago, and for larceny Emma 
Ford was sent to the House of Correction for one year, 
and Pearl Smith to the Joliet penitentiary for one year. 
They were no sooner out, however, than they again 
got into trouble for holding up a stockman, at the 
point of the gun, at Custom House place and Taylor 


street, while the man was on his way to a train, re- 
lieving him of a large amount of money. 

They boarded the first train that left Chicago, and 
were next heard of at Denver, where they attempted to 
rob a ranchman, who gave fight, and was killed by them. 
Both were arrested, found guilty and sentenced to be 
hanged, but they succeeded in getting a new trial, and 
finally secured their freedom through some flaw in the 

The acquittal of these two criminals stirred up such 
a storm of indignation that a mob was at once organized 
with the intention of lynching them. Then the women 
began a mad race for their lives. They jumped into a 
carriage, and the driver was told to "burn the street" 
to the railroad depot. Off went the team at full 
speed. The mob found that the intended victims 
had flown, and it started in pursuit. The driver 
lashed his horses into a run, and the vehicle turned the 
street corners on two wheels. On came the panting 
mob, the leaders gaining on the tired horses. The depot 
was reached just as a train for the east was pulling out. 
The fleeing women jumped from the carriage and caught 
the railing of the rear platform of the last car in time 
to escape the clutches of the maddened throng which 
was in pursuit. The women pulled themselves on the 
car just as the would-be lynchers rushed into the depot, 
and thus made their escape. 

Both returned to Chicago and took up their old work 
of robbery on the levee. 

Detective Wooldridge has arrested this Colossus of 
the levee a number of times, but it always took one, and 
sometimes two, revolvers to persuade her to submit. In 
1894, Emma Ford and Alice Kelly robbed Perry James, 


a colored porter in the employ of A. G. Spalding & 
Co. James was born in the West India islands, ana 
he had traveled all over the world. He had been a sailor 
and served in the war of the rebellion, where he was 
wounded and for a time drew a pension, but with all this 
experience he fell into the hands of these two female 
footpads. On the. day of the robbery he had drawn his 
salary, and together with his pension he intended to 
make a payment which was then about due on his home. 
On his way home he stepped into a saloon at Harrison 
and Dearborn streets, and while there exposed his money, 
which was seen by the two women. This incited the 
robbery which followed. 

James reported his loss to Inspector Lyman Lewis at 
the Armory, and gave a minute description of the 
women. A descriptive state warrant was procured, and 
Detective Wooldridge was sent with James to locate 
and arrest the guilty parties. 

From the descriptions given the detective suspected 
that Emma Ford and Alice Kelly had committed the 
robbery. He soon located the Kelly woman and ar- 
rested her. 

After looking for two hours for the Ford woman he 
saw her some four hundred feet away. She also saw 
him and made an effort to escape by running into 120 
Plymouth place, where she had a room. She was closely 
followed by Wooldridge and James, and the building 
was searched from ground floor to garret, but without 
avail. They were about to give up the search, when, 
while passing through the hall which led out to the street, 
Wooldridge's eyes caught something that seemed to 
move in the wall. Upon investigation it proved to be 


a blind panel door which led into a closet, and in this 
closet Emma was found. 

When discovered, she stepped forth, her eyes shining 
like balls of fire, with head erect and every nerve strung 
to its fullest tension. She looked for all the world like 
a ferocious lion. She demanded in a loud tone what 
was wanted, and when told they had a warrant for her 

arrest, she replied, "Go to h 1 with your warrant, 

you can't arrest me," and she made a spring to get 

Wooldridge, however, caught her by the collar and 
sleeve of her dress and everything was stripped from 
her body from neck to waist on one side, and in several 
bounds she reached her room at the end of the hall, 
twenty-five feet away, closely followed by the detective. 

Emma, and her sister who came to the rescue, at- 
tempted to close and bar the door, but Wooldridge placed 
his foot in the doorway, and then the women tried in 
vain. The officer's clothing was torn and his arm and 
hand badly lacerated, and the thick soles of his shoes 
were so mashed up that he never could wear them again. 

When they found that they could not close the door, 
Emma Ford seized an iron poker three feet long, and 
with it she tried to brain the detective, but he thrust a 
revolver in her face before she had a chance to use the 
poker, and then she weakened and threw, the poker down. 
He kept her covered with the gun and finally landed her 
in the station. 

Pending the trial of this case, she secured bonds and 
managed to rob Frank Adams, Charles Smith and C. 
Reid, three stockmen, on Custom House place. Detect- 
ive Wooldridge again arrested her. She resisted and 
pulled from her bosom an ugly-looking dirk with a blade 


nine inches long, and was in the act of striking him 
with it ; but the detective discovered her intention in 
time to avoid the blow, and shoved two guns into her 
face, compelling her to drop the knife. She was again 
safely landed behind the bars. Ex-State's Attorney W. 
S. Elliott, who prosecuted her, now holds the knife. 

The three stockm.en followed her into the station, and 
while she was being booked, with the quickness and 
agility of a cat, she turned on Frank Adams and filled 
his eyes with cayenne pepper and snuff, nearly blinding 

For the robbery of James she was arraigned for trial 
on April 25, 1892, before Judge Frank Baker, found 
guilty of larceny and sentenced to the penitentiary for 
five years. She was also arraigned the following day 
on an additional charge of larceny, together with her 
sister, and again found guilty before the same judge. 
She took the entire blame from her sister, and was sen- 
tenced for five years additional in the penitentiary. 
Alice Kelly was given two years in the penitentiary by 
the same judge on March 19. 

While confined in the county jail, she amused herself 
one day by gathering up a German guard and immers- 
mg him in a water trough near by. 

Several months later, while the State Senate Commit- 
tee was prosecuting an investigation at the penitentiary, 
she was seized with one of her mad fits, and sailed into 
the laundry women with flat irons. Six or eight guards 
rushed upon her and she was overpowered. It was then 
discovered that half a dozen of the colored women were 
disfigured. For this contretemps she was placed in soli- 
tary confinement for weeks. 

Only one man, of the large number she has robbed, 


aver got the best of Emma Ford. Once she held up 
a cowboy and took from him all his money, amounting 
to $150. He rushed to the police station and reported 
the robbery. The officers were very busy, and he thought 
they were too slow in sending out after Emma. 

The cowboy was in a hurry, and said he would go 
aftet- her himself, and he went and found her. She was 
near the Polk street depot when he saw her. 

Walking close up to her, he pointed two big six 
shooters at her face. 

"You've got $150 of my money! Now shell out, nig- 
ger!" he said. 

"Go and get a warrant out and have me arrested, 
then," replied the big colored woman, who wanted time 
to hide the money. 

"These are good enough warrants for me," returned 
the cowboy, significantly, as he poked the revolvers a 
trifle closer to her face. "Now I'm going to count 
twenty, and if I don't see my money coming back before 
I reach twenty, I'll let go both guns." 

When he reached eighteen, Emma weakened. She 
drew out a wad and held it out toward him. But the 
cowboy was wise and would not touch the roll till she 
had walked to the nearest lamplight, under the escort of 
his two guns, and counted out the $150. 

The cowboy then returned to the station, told the 
officers what he had accomplished, and treated the crowd. 

Emma had a way of ingratiating herself into the 
graces of her jailers by her brute strength and smooth 
talk. Even while in jail she plies her trade, merely to 
"keep in trim," as she styles it, and she will "touch" 
the watches and jewelry of visitors and others. She 
boasts of this, too. 


While in the Cook county jail, she once robbed the 
jailer's assistant, even after he had taken precautionary 
measures. F. H. Burmeister was the assistant jailer 
whom she robbed. He was taking Emma and another 
woman from the jail to the criminal court for trial. Hav- 
ing heard of the reputation his big prisoner had for 
picking pockets, he told her that he would button his 
coat in order that she might not "touch" him. When 
he handed his prisoners over to the deputy sheriff, Emma 
Ford called him back. 

"Come here, Mr. Burmeister; I have something for 
you," she said. 

The guard returned, and she presented him with his 
own gold watch. In going downstairs she had slipped 
her hand under his coat, into his vest pocket, un- 
fastened his watch, and placed the chain latch in his 
pocket without his knowledge. 

Another one of her boasts is the robbery of former 
Jailer Morris while he was taking her to the peniten- 
tiary to serve a term of ten years. Speaking of this 
episode, Emma Ford said : 

"Mr. Morris and I rode in the same seat to Joliet. 
I thought Fd just open his eyes, so I copped his turnip. 
When we got to Joliet I says, 'My goodness, Fd like to 
know what time it is.' Mr. Morris searched his pockets. 
No watch. He looked at me, but I swore I never saw it. 
I told him that perhaps he left it in the jail. He kept 
whining about it, so when I got to the big gate at the 
penitentiary, I says, 'Here, Mister Jailer, is your watch. 
If I didn't think a good deal of you, I never would give 
it to you.' " 

When arrested in Denver, she assaulted a jailer and 


picked him up by the whiskers. Not content with this, 
she jerked them out and threw the hair in his face. 

Emma Ford was released from the penitentiary after 
serving a large part of her term. She at once returned 
to Chicago and to the Ifevee district, but she found 
that it had changed very much during the long years she 
had been serving the state as laundress at Joliet. She 
was not long, however, in finding some of her old associ- 
ates, nor in returning to her old tricks of fleecing 

On March 27, 1899, she robbed W. S. Duncan, a trav- 
eling man from Boston, of $42. Mr. Duncan was walk- 
ing to the Polk street depot late in the afternoon of the 
day and had a satchel in each hand. Emma Ford came 
up behind him, threw her arms around his shoulders and 
hugged him so tight for -a. moment that he was almost 
breathless. During this brief demonstration of her 
strength and affection, she separated the traveling man 
from his roll of bank notes. 

She was arraigned for trial twice in this case. The 
first time the case was called her atttorney, W. S. Elliott, 
who was state's attorney in 1892, and secured her con- 
viction, was engaged in another court, and it was passed. 
The second time the case was called, w'nich was in Sep- 
tember, 1899, W. S. Duncan, the prosecuting witness, 
was brought to Chicago from Boston to testify, but just 
as it was taken up, it was found that W. S. Elliott, the 
attorney for the defense, had secured an understanding 
with Charles S. Deneen, the state's attorney, that the 
case should not be called until he returned from the 
East, where he was attending the Grand Army encamp- 

Then a postponement was made until September 12, 


when it was discovered that Mr. Duncan had to go Easi 
and could not return for six months. Emma was en- 
titled to a trial or her liberty, at this term of court. De- 
tective Wooldridge advised the attorney to accept a prop- 
osition which her attorney would submit, to the effect 
that his client would plead guilty and take a sentence of 
one year in the House of Correction. 

In thirty minutes she was sentenced by Judge Bren- 
tano, and that ended the case. 

Emma was released from prison in September, 1900, 
and immediately went back to her old life of crime on 
the levee. She was arrested again in December for rob- 
bing a man near the Polk street depot, for which she 
was held to the grand jury and indicted. She was tried 
before Judge Smith, and on January 2, 1901, was sen? 
ienced to another year in the House of Correction, where 
she is at present. During the three months she was «■*■ 
liberty, she confessed that she had stolen over $400 



When the mercury stands at thirty degrees below zero 
and the detective has a long and difficult night assign- 
ment, he is put to one of those tests which try men's 
nerves and their metal, but the officer who thinks of 
nothing but his duty does not permit the weather to 
deter him. 

Detective Wooldridge was traveling a beat in uniform 
during one of the coldest nights in the wmter of 189I; 


when at two o'clock in the morning he found a drunken 
man on the sidewalk at Thirty-third and State streets. 
Efforts of the officer to arouse the man were unsuccess- 
ful, and he at f^rst could not tell whether the man was 
drunk, injured or freezing to death. He knew that if 
he left him there he would soon freeze, and he went to 
a patrol box across the street and called the patrol 

Wooldridge had just recrossed the street, when two 
men emerged from the alley going north. Both of them 
seemed to be carrying something concealed under their 
clothes. A street car was approaching the corner, south 
bound, at a rapid rate. Wooldridge started towards the 
men to find out who they were, where they came from, 
and why they came out of the alley at such a late hour, 
and also what it was they had concealed about them. 

The two men, as can be readily conjectured, had not the 
least kind of a desire to meet such an officer as Wool- 
dridge, and immediately started on a run to catch the 
street car. 

- Wooldridge, however, closed in on them just as they 
were boarding the car, and tried his best to stop one 
of them, who let a bottle of brandy fall just as he was 
jumping on the car. The car was crowded at the time, 
and they forced their way through, jostling the passen- 
gers right and left until they reached the front platform 
and found Wooldridge there ready with the "goods." 
They immediately whirled about and started back for the 
rear platform . The passengers in the car were again 
knocked right and left in the eagerness of the men to 
escape the officer. But when they reached the rear of the 
car, Joseph Keating, one of the two, jumped off almost 
into the arms of Officer Wooldridge. 


Keating pulled a bottle from his inside coat pocket 
and struck at Wooldridge with such force that the bottle 
broke off at the neck and fell to the street. Officer 
Wooldridge, however, promptly knocked the man down 
with his club, but he was on his feet in a second and 
arose with another bottle of liquor which he tried to use 
on the officer as before, but the latter proved too quick 
for him, and knocked him down again and again, break- 
ing his bottle to pieces and raining blow after blow with 
his club, which soon subdued him, whereupon he sub- 
mitted to arrest. 

The wagon rounded the corner at this time on a fast 
call for assistance,' and Keating and the drunken man 
were both placed in the wagon. 

Keating's partner, Edward Williams, had escaped. But 
a light fall of snow was on the ground, and Wooldridge, 
leaving Keating and the drunken man with the wagon 
men, followed the tracks of the other man down the al- 
ley to Thirty-third street, when he discovered him a block 
away. Wooldridge bounded to the other side of the street, 
and having rubbers on, made no noise as he ran. 

The first thing the officer did was to drop his heavy 
overcoat, belt, and club, for Wooldridge came from old 
Kentucky, where they raise the best thoroughbred running 
stock in the v/orld, and he went into the chase to test 
both the endurance and speed of the man who was mak- 
ing his escape. 

In relating his experience afterwards, Wooldridge said 
he never ran so fast in his life, and in describing it, he 
says : "Trees, lamp-posts, and houses were passed so 
rapidly, that they looked like teeth in a fine comb." Will- 
iams, the escaping prisoner, was overtaken at Cottage 

resk^vtev a young girl 5i» 

Grove avenue and Thirty-third street, nearly a mile from 
where he had met the officer. 

He was taken t( ) the Stanton Avenue Police Station, 
where he was searched^ and on the two prisoners were 
found eight bottles of brandy, two boxes of cigars, one 
hundred pennies, and a door key. 

Separating and placing them in the sweat-box, one 
soon weakened and confessed to entering a saloon at 
Thirty-seventh and La Salle streets, owned by McNally, 
taking the above mentioned goods, and also exchanging 
their clothes with the saloon keeper. 

They were held to the grand jury, indicted, and ar- 
raigned for trial March ii, 1892, and sentenced to one 
year each in the House of Correction. 


In 1897 Detective Wooldridge discovered that a young 
girl was being kept in a den of vice in an alley near Har- 
mon Court by Irene Moore. He at once rescued her, 
and she was sent to the Erring Woman's Home by Justice 
Richardson. It developed that the girl was Bessie Henry, 
sixteen years old, from a small town in Indiana. She 
was an orphan and had been living with her aunt and 
uncle, but the latter was out of employment, and it was 
decided that she should come to Chicago and seek em- 
ployment. When she arrived here she had but little 
money left, and that was soon gone. She then found shel- 
ter with a colored woman on Third avenue, and was 
taken from there to Irene Moore's house, where the de- 
tective found and rescued her. 





While the police of the whole count'"y were looking for 
Matt Kelly, a notorious and expert safe blower. Detective 
Wooldridge located and arrested him May 17, 1895, but 
it was only after a thrilling experience for the officer. 

Cfosi /"firtrif wmtex 

Tn»OV<tP< V^HIfH 
V^OOLtDlDdl wfMT TO 
AfCH Af£lV 

(.tuiii or ofricit 


Kelly originally came from St. Louis, where, accord- 
ing to his own statement, he had killed one man and 
seriously wounded two policemen. He served a four 
years' sentence in the Missouri state penitentiary, and 


had been released only a short time when he capie to 


The Chicago officials wanted Kelly on a charge of as- 
sault on a Mrs. Sterling, who lived on State street. He 
had been located at 41 1 State street, where he was living 
with a woman. 

On the night of May 16, 1895, Officer Wooldridge, ac- 
companied by Officers Kern, O'Connor, and Cameron, 
went to this place, and Officer Wooldridge, having placed 
his men downstairs in proper position, went upstairs in 
search of the man for whom he was looking. All the 
doors were locked, and entering the next building, 
Wooldridge went to the second floor, and opening a 
window, crept out along the narrow ledge until he 
reached the window of Kelly's room. He pushed up 
the sash and was faced by Kelly and the woman. 

"Go back or I will kill you," said Kelly, as he thrust 
a revolver into the face of the officer. 

Wooldridge had meanwhile secured a good hold on' 
the sill of the window, but was not yet in a position to 
defend himself, and the woman was trying her best to 
push him off. She succeeded in loosening one of his 
hands, and for an instant the nervy officer thought he 
would have to fall. 

With an almost superhuman effort, the officer raised 
himself, and drawing his revolver, thrust it into Kelly's 
face, ordering him to throw up his hands. Both Kelly 
and the woman yielded without further resistance, and 
Wooldridge had the satisfaction of marching his pris- 
oners to the station. 

Kelly was a blacksmith by profession, made his own 
tools, and was a dangerous crook. He served one term 
in the Joliet penitentiary for house breaking. When ar- 


raigned for the assault committed in Cliicago he was 
given a fine of $25 by Justice Brad well. 



Tears are seldom seen in the eyes of detectives and 
magistrates, but when one of Detective -Wooldridge's 
prisoners finished his story in the Harrison Street Police 
Court, nearly every eye in the room was dimmed. In 
1893 a robbery had been committed, and Wooldridge ar- 
rested a man who acted suspiciously. 

When the man was taken into court for preliminary 
trial, it was easy enough to suspect him of having been 
guilty of a crime. He seemed to sink under a weight 
of guilt. The magistrate, addressing the prisoner, asked 
him a few questions, and then turning to the detective 
who made the arrest, he inquired : 

"What caused you to suspect this man?" 

"Well, your honor, he happened here a few days 
ago, before the robbery was committed, and being of a 
suspicious character, I watched him. I asked him his 
name and he said it was Brown, but shortly afterward 
I heard it was Smith. I lost sight of him on the night 
of the robbery, but early the next morning I saw him 
trying to sneak out of the town, so I thought he ought 
to be arrested." 

"I think," replied the magistrate, "that you acted 
rightly in making the arrest. Now," turning to the pris- 


oner, "can you explain your conduct, and why you go 
under two names?" 

''Judge, first let me explain why I have two names, 
and that will explain my conduct. Understand now thai 
I do not ask for mercy. That time has passed. I am 
now hardened. I will not detain you long, but I ask 
you, and this is all I do ask, that you believe me. Two 
years ago I was the master mechanic in a large railway 
machine shop. I received good wages, and my family, 
consisting of a wife and two children, lived as well as 
any family in town. I was most happily married, and 
.sometimes at evening when my little boy climbed up and 
begged me to tell him just one story, I wondered if such 
happiness could last. 

"One day I was discharged. I was never more as- 
tonished in my life. I humbly asked the cause of my 
dismissal, and was grufifly told that it was because I was 
not wanted any longer. They should have given me no- 
tice, still I did not complain, as I recognized their right 
to employ whom they pleased. When I went home and 
told my wife, she put her arms around my neck and said, 
'Never mind, dear, you can soon get another place.' 
The very next day I started out in search of work. I had 
spent all my life in machine shops, and could do no other 
kind of work. I went to a town not a great distance away 
from home, and applied for work. 

" 'I believe we are needing a man,' said the superin- 
tendent. 'What is your name?' 

" 'John Smith,' I replied. 

"He went into an inner office, and after remaining a 
few minutes, he returned and said, 'No, we don't want 

"By this time my money was nearly gone, but I had nol 


the heart to write home for more, for I had left but 
enough, all I had, to sustain my family a few weeks. I 
went to another town, certain that I should obtain work, 
for one of the machine shops had advertised for men. 
The head man asked me my name, and then, pointing 
to a bench, told me to sit down and wait until he came 
back. He was not gone long. When he returned, he said : 

" 'Don't.want you.' 

" 'My dear sir,' I replied, 'I am a skillful workman, 
and only ask you for a trial. Then if my work don't 
suit you, I'll leave.' 

"'You'll leave anyway,' he replied, as he turned away.- 

"By this time my money was exhausted, but I could 
not stop ; I must push my way onward. I wrote to my 
wife, telling her that I had not succeeded in getting work, 
but I thought my prospects were good. I told her to 
write to me, giving as my address a distant town. I had 
hoped to get over the road, but failed. I knew why. 
A prominent railroad official told the engineers not to 
let me ride. After walking many miles, I reached the 
town and applied for work. 

" 'We don't want you,' said the superintendent. 

"'Why?' I demanded. 

" 'Because you are blacklisted.' 

" 'My God, man, what have I done ?' 

" 'I don't know, and I don't care a damn ; but you are 

"I went to the postoffice. I found a letter addressed 
in an unfamiliar hand. I was disappointed. I had hoped/ 
to receive a letter from my wife. Here is the letter. 
Read it, judge." 

The justice read as follows : "It is my painful duty to 
write this. Your wife having greatly exposed herself in 


moving from the house which belonged to a railroad 
official, she had to move, and in doing so contracted a se- 
vere cold and died of pneumonia. Your little children are 
at my house," 

"That is the letter I received, judge. Several weeks 
ago I heard my little boy was dangerously ill, and not 
expected to live. I dragged myself to this town, where 
I learned that my little girl and boy, upon whom I had 
centered my hopes, had died of diphtheria. I could do 
nothing. I was crushed with grief and broken down 
with despair. Then I changed my name so that I might 
earn money enough to take me to the graves of my wife 
and children. I did not commit the robbery. I want no 
lawyer. I leave it with you. As I previously remarked, 
I ask for no mercy. I am in your power. Use me as you 

The old magistrate, a man who spent his early days 
at the anvil, arose, approached the prisoner, pressed 
something into his hand, and said : 

"God knows that my heart bleeds for you. When you 
stand over the graves of your wife and children, remem- 
ber an old man who has seen his last loved one buried." 

Wooldridge, who had listened as attentively to the 
man's story as the judge, asked the court to dismiss the 

When the stranger stepped outside, Wooldridge again 
arrested him, but this time no charges were made. "Come 
with me," he said. The detective took his prisoner to his 
own house, where he was told he could remain free of 
charge until he found work. The following day Wool- 
dridge succeeded in getting the stranger a good position, 
which he still holds, although his salary has been in- 
creased several times. 




At an early hour on the morning of December 29, 1895, 
a farmer with his money pinned to his hat might have 
walked on the levee with perfect safety. Even the 
Twelfth street viaduct was as quiet and peaceful as a 
graveyard. This desirable state of affairs was brought 
about by Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert of the 
Armory Police Station, 

On the evening before the two detectives disguised 
themselves as Texas ranchmen. Dressed in long bear- 
skin overcoats and sombreros, they sallied forth on their 
crusade. Wooldridge's regulation police force mustache 
was also appropriate to the costume, while Schubert 
would have passed anywhere as a Rio Grande cattle 

The ruse was a perfect one and worked as successfully 
as molasses coated paper in fly time. Confidence men, 
shell workers, and sand-baggers followed them like 
wolves after a lone prairie traveler, while women who 
are known as "touchers" decided upon the style of their 
new bonnets as soon as the ranchmen hove in sight. 

South side clothing "cappers" rubbed their hands to- 
gether in glee when the detectives passed them, offering 
them every inducement to come in and buy. By midnight 
nearly a hundred evil-doers had rushed blindly into the 
hands of the law, while the patrol wagon was kept busy, 
conveying those who were arrested to the Harrison Street 



So well are the women acquainted with the appear- 
ance of the Harrison street detectives that they keep out 
of their way. In order to catch this class of criminals 
the detectives donned their disguise. 

After leaving the Armory, the two "cattle drivers" 
were not molested until they reached the thick of the 
woods in the neighborhood of Clark and Polk streets. 


Here they were accosted by a party of colored women! 
who admired, their bearskin coats. One of the numbed 
v/as so taken with Detective Wooldridge's costly gar-» 
ment that in inspecting it she accidentally slipped her 
hand into the officer's pocket. Wooldridge opened his" 
coat and displayed his star, to the astonishment of the 
woman who had expected "ready money." 


After the wa^on had departed with the prisoners, the 
two officers walked down the street. At the viaduct they 
were met by a good-natured gentleman who was glad 
to see them and was perfectly willing to take them to the 
grand display of fireworks over on the lake front. 

Wooldridge '' 'lowed he'd like to go," and Schubert 
said that "seein' as how their train wasn't a-goin' fur 
some time, he would like to go hisself." Upon reaching 
the nearest electrical connection, the "Texans" changed 
their minds and rang for the patrol. The genial man was 
carted to the Armory and the officers went on with tKe 
good work. 

The next one to walk into trouble without looking for 
it was a merry "shell man." He was sure the "ranch- 
men" would win any amount of money if they were 
willing to risk a small sum. "You know, my friends," 
said he, with a pleasant smile, "nothing ventured, noth- 
ing won." 

"Yes," ventured Wooldridge, "that's one of those 
rules that work both ways. If you had adopted for your- 
self the motto, 'Nothing ventured, nothing lost,' you 
wouldn't have made a monkey of yourself. You may 
consider yourself under arrest." 

It was some time before the "shell man" understood 
the situation and he declared, as the wagon left with 
him, that it was the cleverest case of "con" on the part 
of detectives that he had ever seen worked. 

On Wabash avenue and Peck court the officers were 
singled out as victims by Dollie Hart, who is considered 
one of the most skillful panel workers in the city. She 
discovered her mistake when it was too late and found 
herself the victim. 

So rushing was the business that Detectives Wool- 


dridge and Schubert found it necessary to cail for as- 
sistance. They were reinforced by Detectives Donovan, 
McNulty, Daly, McMahon, Powers and Moriarty. The 
latter named, dressed in citizen's clothes, stayed in the 
shade and took care of those arrested. Fifteen girls were 
turned over to them at one time and the combination 
looked like a box party on their way home from one of 
the theaters. 

The crusade was kept up until the streets were cleared. 
Those who escaped arrest by staying in hiding after 
being posted by friends, were too frightened to show 
themselves again during the night. 

At twelve o'clock not a piano was playing on the levee. 
The streets were deserted and peace reigned over all, 
The "standing room only" sign was hung up at the 
Armory and late arrivals were hung up on pegs. Pro- 
fessional bailers stood around in the general office and 
chuckled to themselves, while those lawyers who can't 
leave the station at nightfall were filled with glee. 

The novel method adopted by the two detectives was 
a good one and farmers could have walked on the levee 
with perfect safety for many a day thereafter. 



In 1892 Detective Wooldridge taught the levee saloon 
keepers a lesson they will never forget and caused them 
to have more respect for him than they were wont to 
show to police officers. 


At that time William Smith, a brown-skinned negro, 
twenty-four years of age, a thief and gambler, had won 
the affections of Hattie Briggs, who was over six feet 
tall, weighed two hundred and twenty pounds, was as 
blaok as a stick of licorice, old enough to be his mother 
and as ugly as any one could imagine. 

Hattie conducted a low dive, thieving joint and house 
of ill- fame at 388 Clark street and another at 120 Custom 
House place. It was a poor day when five or ten cases 
of robbery or larceny did not occur in het houses. She 
was raided two and sometimes three times a day, but 
she cared nothing for the small fines imposed on her. 

Hattie Briggs started William Smith in the saloon 
business at 388 Clark street and at 192 Custom House 
place. She was making so much money she hardly knew 
what to do with it and she intended if the wave of pros- 
perity continued, to buy up all the saloons on the levee 
and the houses of prostitution, as well as control the 
gambling, elect the mayor, control the city council and 
police force. 

William Smith's head was "swelled" worse than hers. 
He was on April 28, 1892, a business man, liquor mer- 
chant, sport, politician, and dude. He wore a silk hat, 
light lavender pants, white vest, patent leather shoes with 
white gaiters over the ankles, a gold watch with massive 
chain, diamond studs and finger rings, carried a gold 
toothpick behind his ear, four different colored pencils 
in his vest pocket, and had a messenger boy, in uniform, 
to carry his orders and messages. Smith conducted two 
of the most disreputable saloons in Chicago, which were 
patronized by the strong-arm women, thieves, panel 
workers, grafters, and people of questionable character. 

Detective Wooldridge was at this time traveling from 


the Harrison Street Station. While passing along Cus- 
tom House place he discovered Jennie Paine, alias "Gin- 
ger Heel," robbing a farmer. Seeing Wooldridge, she 
fled into Smith's saloon, where he followed and placed 
her under arrest. Smith stepped from behind the bar 
and demanded if he had a warrant for her arrest, and 
said if he did not, he could not take her or any other 
person out of his saloon, 

Wooldridge told him to attend to his business, that 
it was not his affair whether he had a warrant or not. 
There were at least one hundred and fifty of the toughest 
characters on the levee in the saloon at the time, drink- 
ing and having a good time, and they all came to Smith's 
assistance and informed Wooldridge that he could not 
take the woman. He realized that to take her meant a 
fight and possibly either kill or get killed, so he thought 
he would take the safe side and went out. When he 
reached the door he informed Smith that for interfering 
with him when in the discharge of his duty he would 
take out a warrant for his arrest. Smith replied that if 
he did he would have his star and have him discharged 
from the police force. He said he wanted it distinctly 
understood that he had a pull and any one who bothered 
him would find it out. 

Wooldridge went to the station, found Captain Shippy, 
who was then in command there, and told him just what 
had occurred at Smith's saloon. He called Lieutenant 
Arch and commanded him to take enough men, go to 
Smith's saloon, and clean it out, but before the order 
could be put into execution, Wooldridge requested him to 
countermand it, let him take a warrant for the place the 
following day, and proceed according to law, which he 


At 2 p. m., a detail of twenty men, eight in citizen's 
clothes and twelve in uniform, was sent with Wool- 
dridge to Smith's saloon to serve the warrant. The forces 
were divided, part of the men being sent to the rear 
and part to the front. Wooldridge, fifty feet in advance, 
entered the saloon. He found Smith arrayed in all his 
glory behind the bar and informed him that he had a 
warrant for his arrest. 

Smith reached down, and securing a huge revolver, 
placed it in the waistband of his pants, with the handle 
sticking out, and stepped out from behind the bar with 
one hand on the gun. Advancing on Wooldridge, he de- 
manded in a loud tone of voice, "What was that you 
said?" The words had hardly left his mouth, when 
he received an electric shock from Wooldridge's billy, 
which struck him under the ear, and caused him to spin 
like a top and land in the corner in a heap. Several of the 
toughs started to Smith's assistance, but about this time 
in walked six officers through the front door. 

This threw the inmates into confusion and they made 
a rush for the back door, only to run into the arms of the 
four officers in uniform. In all, twenty-three persons 
were arrested. 

William Smith and D. Dempsy were fined $ioo each, 
and the most of the others from $io to $50 each. 

Inspector Lyman Lewis and Captain Shippy took quite 
an active part in the prosecution. Smith's saloon li- 
censes in both places were revoked and the inspector and 
captain notified all present that any saloon keeper in the 
future who denied admission to any officer or interfered 
with him in the discharge of his duty would be served 
in the same way. 

After this every saloon keeper on the levee was ready 


to furnish any information or assist Wooldridge when- 
ever he called upon them. 

Inspector Lewis called Wooldridge to his office and 
gave him orders to break up the house of prostitution run 
by Hattie Briggs and drive her off of Clark street. He 
procured warrants covering each day for two weeks and 
then called at her house and told her that she must close 
her house of ill-fame and move off the street. 

She reached into her bosom and produced a roll of 
bills six inches thick, saying in the most abusive lan- 
guage that her tongue could utter that she was in the 
Harrison street district before he came there and would 
be there when he was gone and forgotten and that she 
had money to burn. 

Wooldridge was joined by two more officers, a war- 
rant was served upon her and she was taken to the 
Harrison Street' Station. She was released on bail at 
6 p. m., was again arrested at 8 p. m., and sent to the 
Desplaines Street Station, released at ii p. m., and again 
arrested at i a. m., and sent to the Thirty-fifth Street 
Station and secured bail and arrived home in time for 

Wooldridge took several officers with him to the 
Thirty-fifth Street Police Court, where she was tried and 
fined and while she was paying her fine he took a car to 
Harrison street, where she was again fined. He then 
went to the- Desplaines Street Police Station, where she 
had another case, and she was again heavily fined. 

By the time Hattie paid her fines and arrived home, it 
was I p. m. She was again arrested and sent to the 
Thirty-fifth Street Station. She returned home at 7 
p. m., and then was arrested and locked up in the Harri- 
son Streef Station. The thing was kept up for ten days, 


and one morning about sunrise two large furniture vans 
backed up at Hattie Briggs' house, 388 Clark street, and 
she moved south and the Harrison street district was 
free from one of the worst dive keepers on the levee. 



There have been many exciting scenes on the Board of 
Trade and in that vicinity from the time that B. P. 
Hutchinson, known as "Old Hutch," ran a corner in 
corn, on down to Joe Leiter's wheat deal and later when 
young Phillips got all the former cereal in his grasp, but 
there has never been such an uproar among traders nor 
such wild disorder in the shadow of that great specula- 
tive mart as was produced on July 31, 1900, when De- 
tective Wooldridge jumped into the pit. 

Wooldridge did not try to corner the wheat market 
and he had no use for corn. He had no desire for pork, 
lard or peanuts, but he ran a corner that day which 
made the big deals of "Old Hutch," Leiter and Phillips 
look like child's play in comparison. He went after big- 
ger game than that of grain or provisions. He made a 
corner in speculators and in a few minutes had four hun- 
dred of them in his grasp, and it was not a future de- 
livery contract either. It was a spot transaction and he 
carried his goods away with him — in a patrol wagon. 

In other words, he made a raid on the bucket shops and 
arrested all the speculators he could find. In the clamor 
that followed men almost lost their senses. One of the 


speculators under arrest tried to commit suicide before 
he was put into the patrol wagon. Men of prominence 
in the speculative world mingled with those who made 
dollar deals and they sat side by side in the "Black 
Maria," which gave them a free ride to the police sta- 
tion. It was the most cleverly arranged and executed 
raid ever recorded in police annals. It was ordered by 
Chief of Police Kipley and the execution of it was put 
in the hands of Detective Wooldridge. He was given 
a large force of men to assist him and the force included 
detectives and a large detail of officers in uniform from 
Central and Harrison Street Stations. 

Wooldridge laid his plans so well that practically .every 
one of the four hundred taken to the station were under 
arrest some time before they knew it. All the officers 
compared their timepieces before going to work in order 
that there might be no mistake. It was known just how 
long it would take the patrol wagons to reach the places 
raided and the general movement was made accordingly. 

Before the raid was begun, teii patrol wagons were in 
readiness for use at a given signal. The horses had been 
harnessed and hitched an hour before they were needed 
and when the signal came and they dashed through the 
streets with the horses under whip, there was an excite- 
ment which has not been equaled since the famous Hay- 
market riot. 

The wagons wheeled into Pacific avenue and Sherman 
street simultaneously and the prisoners were packed in 
them like figs in a box. Dozens of trips were made be- 
fore all the men under arrest could be taken away. 

Wooldridge had thoroughly drilled and instructed his 
men before the raid began. They were divided into 
squads and sent to the different bucket shops in the 



vicinity of the Board of Trade and were sent in such 
perfect order that every squad reached its destination at 
exactly the same minute. The doors and all other places 
of exit were instantly closed and the crowd notified that 
every one was under arrest. 

In an instant, it seemed, the blue wagons dashed up 
and as fast as one was loaded it was driven away on a 


run and hurried back to get another load. This was kept 
up for more than two hours and when all the prisoners 
were landed in the police station, the corridors and cells 
were packed almost to suffocation. 

At each place the telegraph wires wefe CUt as fast as 
electricians, who accompanied the officers, could get at 
them and after the work there was such a mass of sev- 
ered and tangled wires in the places raided that it took 
experts two weeks to get them back in place and make 
proper connections. 


In one place the proprietor telephoned for his attorney 
ivhile his customers were being loaded into the wagon. 
Wooldridge ordered the electrician to sever the wires, 
when the lawyer demanded that it be stopped. 

"You are violating the law," he said, "and you and the 
city will be held responsible for this outrage and I give 
you notice now to not touch these wires." 

"I am an officer of the law," said Wooldridge, "and 
know what I am doing. All men are alike to me and if 
you interfere I will arrest you and load you Into the 
patrol wagon with the other prisoners. This case will 
be tried in court and not here. I am here under orders 
of court in the discharge of my duty and want no inter- 

With that the detective snatched his knife from his 
pocket and with one slash severed the wires from every 

In some instances the operators at the telegraph in- 
struments tried to give a warning to other bucket shops 
of the raid and when the occupants of the places so 
warned tried to make their escape, they found every 
egress barred and were compelled to submit. 

Bucket shops located at the following places were 
raided and dismantled : lo and 12 Pacific avenue, 25 
Sherman street, 14 Pacific avenue, 10 Pacific avenue, 210 
Opera House block, 7 Exchange court, 19 Lyric Theater 
building, and 37 Dearborn street. 

At one place eighty-eight m.en were taken and at an- 
other the officers arrested forty-two. Fourteen of the 
prisoners were women and one of these fainted as she 
was being taken to the patrol wagon. 

At the police station there was the greatest con fusion 
ever known after a raid. Professional bondsmen reaped 
a harvest and it took many hours for all of those arrested 


to get released. A great deal of time was consumed in 
getting the bonds filled out. Few of the prisoners would 
give their real names unless compelled to do so. 

Many threats were made against Detective Wooldridge 
by some of the prisoners, but he declared in every case 
that he had sufficient evidence to justify him. The men, 
he said, were violating the city and state law and he was 
only doing his duty in arresting them. He said that he 
had proof that each was conducting a bucket shop. 

The derks and employes on the regular Board of 
Trade indulged in much merriment at the expense of the 
victims of the raid, and not only these but every one in 
the neighborhood added as much discomfiture as possible 
to the prisoners. 

In a few minutes after the patrol wagons dashed up 
and the report had spread that a raid on the bucket shops 
was in progress, the streets in the vicinity of the Board 
of Trade were so packed that it waS impossible to pass 
through them. It was a surging mass of humanity so 
dense that the wagons had much difficulty in getting 

The prisoners were arraigned for trial the next and 
following days and nearly all were fined. 

Only one firm made a strong fight against being ad- 
judged guilty of conducting a bucket shop and this fight 
was based on the fact that the head of the firm was a 
member of the Board of Trade. While it was practically 
proven that the firm was doing a bucket-shop business, 
no fine was imposed in this case, the court dismissing 
the defendants on a technicality. The head of this firm 
was finally put on trial by the Board of Trade on the 
charge of conducting a bucket shop and was found guilty 
and expelled. 




Lizzie Davenport, a colored woman, kept, in 1892, a 
thieying panel house of prostitution at 202 Custom House 
place, one of the worst dives in the city, which was pat- 
ronized by some of the cleverest strong-arm women and 
pickpockets that ever operated in Chicago. Among them 
were Flossie Moore, Pearl Smith, Ida Anderson, Marcelia 
Logan, Emma Ford, Minnie Shouse, Lena Blake, Lizzie 
Walker, Hattie Washington, Mamie Ward, Hattie Fisher, 
Mollie Chapman, Jessie and Nettie Allen and several 
others. It has been estimated that $500,000 have been 
stolen in the various houses kept by the Davenport 
woman. A greater part of the victims were strangers 
passing through Chicago, who were picked up around 
the Polk Street Depot. It was not an unusual thing for 
ten or fifteen robberies to occur in this house within 
twenty-four hours. 

Lookouts and sentinels were always stationed to report 
the approach of the police, because every officer and de- 
tective in the Harrison Street Station was known to 

When a "pull" or raid was made on this place it was 
necessary to close every avenue of escape and to move at 
a given signal from all quarters, and this took a large 
number of men. 

This house contained many rooms, closets, and hiding 
places in which the inmates took refuge behind closed 
windows and barred doors, but even this did not secure 
protection against the Chicago police officer armed with 


warrants. The doors were frequently broken, and so 
Lizzie had a large closet built with massive oak doors, 
which nothing apparently could penetrate, except a can- 
non ball from the most powerful gun. She called this 
her fort, and made up her mind that she was secure from 
further raids from the police. 

This worked charmingly for a week or more, when 
one day a number of robberies had been reported, and 
Detective Wooldridge was given a warrant for Lizzie and 
all inmates, with instructions from Captain Shippy that 
they must be brought in. He first secured an auger, half 
a pound of red pepper, and a detail of ten men to assist 
him. Going to the house, he found ten women, eight 
of whom succeeded in getting mto the fort, and, barring 
the door, defied arrest. 

Wooldridge bored several holes in the door, filled cot- 
ton full of pepper and ignited and placed it in the holes 
which he had bored. He then took a heavy piece of 
paper, made a funnel, and blew the smoke into the fort. 
The inmates coughed, sneezed, and begged for mercy. 
They were all arrested, and you can rest assured they 
never took refuge in the "fort" again. 



There are some interesting facts in connection with 
a murder case in which Detective Wooldridge ran down 
and brought to justice the criminal. On June i6, 1893, 
Thomas Hennessy shot and killed Michael O'Prien. On 


June 23, Detective Wooldridge arrested Fred Harris on 
a charge of being an accessory to the murder. After 
Harris was taken to the station, he made a confession to 
the officer. 

He said that several nights before the shooting of 
O'Brien, the latter and Hennessy held up a man on the 
West Side and got from him a considerable sum of 
money. When they divided the cash, O'Brien kept $500 
more than his share, which enraged Hennessy. He swore 
then that he would some time get even with O'Brien. 

On the afternoon of June 16, Harris, Hennessy, and 
another man were standing near the corner of Wabash 
avenue and Harrison street, when O'Brien approached 
Harris. Hennessy then handed Harris a revolver and 
told him to shoot O'Brien. He refused to do so, and 
Hennessy then todk the revolver from him and fired two 
shots at O'Brien, both taking effect, killing him almost 

Harris, Hennessy and the other man, whose Viame 
was thought to be O'Connel, fled and left the city. They 
boarded a freight train and went to Joliet. Later they 
boarded another train and finally reached St. Louis. After 
reaching that city, Hennessy and the other man left 
Harris, and the latter, not knowing that O'Brien was 
dead, came back to Chicago. 

When this confession was made, Detective Wooldridge 
went to work on the case, and after several weeks suc- 
ceeded in finding some witnesses, and thus, link by link, 
made a strong case of murder against Hennessy. 

The facts were laid before Joseph Kipley, who was 
then inspector of the Harrison Street Police Station, and 
through the efforts of Wooldridge, a large number of 


photographs and descriptive circulars were made and 
sent out to all the important cities in the country. 

Wooldridge finally, through persistent and untiring 
work, located Hennessy in St. Louis, where he was ar- 
rested. An officer from the Central Station was sent 
there, and Hennessy was brought back to Chicago. The 
officer who brought Hennessy back claimed all the credit 
for locating and arresting him, and spurned the offer 
of Wooldridge to assist him in hunting up the wit- 
nesses and preparing the case. 

The result was that when the prisoner was arraigned 
there were no witnesses, and the case was not ready for 
trial. The officer who had charge of the case even failed 
to appear, and this so enraged the assistant state's attor- 
ney, that he sent for Inspector Kipley, who called the 
officer who had charge of the case and Detective Wool- 
dridge into one of the vacant jury rooms at the court- 
house and delivered to them a severe lecture for not 
having on hand the witnesses and evidence on which to 
proceed with the case against Hennessy. 

He even threatened to prefer charges against them for 
the neglect of duty and bring them before the trial board. 
He declared that he had given the officers two weeks and 
nothing else to do but to prepare for this case and find 
the witnesses. 

Wooldridge did not care to have this undeserved lec- 
ture laid against him, and told Inspector Kipley that he 
had offered to assist the other officers, and that they had 
spurned the offer and refused his aid. 

Wooldridge was then told to go out and find all the 
witnesses in the case. Wooldridge traveled all night 
through alleys, highways and byways during one of the 
worst rainstorms of the season, and the next morning 


when Ihe court opened he had five witnesses on hand. 
Hennessy was found guilty on December 2, 1893, and 
given twenty-five years in the penitentiary at hard labor. 
The case was tried before Judge Philip Stein. 



One cold night in December, as Detective Wooldridge 
was going home on a Wabash avenue car, the conductor 
called out to the passengers : 

"Look out for valuables. There are pickpockets 

This attracted the attention of Detective Wooldridge, 
who knew that many complaints had been filed at the 
Harrison Street Station of a well-organized gang which 
was operating along Wabash avenue, and that they were 
lifting everything they could lay their hands on. Four or 
five officers had been detailed to locate and break them 
up, but without success. 

After the conductor called attention to the nightly 
depredations, Wooldridge kept his eye open. In front 
of him sat a gentleman who resided on Thirty-sixth 
street. He wore more or less jewelry and was very 
portly. At Twelfth street five or six young men jumped 
on the grip car, on which they were riding. One crowded 
into a seat beside the gentleman. Another pushed him. 
from behind, and before he realized what it meant they 
were searching his pockets. 

Wooldridge drew his revolver, and the thieves jumped 


off the car and disappeared. He thought they lived in the 
neighborhood, and he followed them some distance to 
see if he could locate them. They ran east on Four- 
teenth street, then through the alley, and came out on 
Thirteenth street. Then they went to State street and 
into a doorway at 1301. 

This was a large rooming house kept by Mrs. Smith. 
Wooldridge hid on the opposite corner of the street, and 
watched the house for two hours. He saw several boys 
enter the same building with bundles, who would remain 
only a short time, when they would be out again, and 
very soon return with another bundle. They would go 
to the third story, front room, and could be seen through 
an uncovered window. 

Wooldridge went to 1301 State street the following 
night about dark in company with several other officers, 
and they succeeded in getting in and reaching the third 
story without being discovered. Two boys were found 
in the room with enough plunder to load a patrol wagon, 
consisting of clothing, laundry, robes, whiskey, cigars, 
butter, groceries, poultry, and, in fact, almost everything 
that could be thought of. 

The two boys were placed under arrest, and Wool- 
dridge sat down to await the coming of the other boys, 
first placing an officer downstairs behind the door, with 
instructions not to allow any one to go out, but not to 
interfere if they came upstairs. They walked into the 
trap, one after another, until seven had been caught. 
One named Pearson had a fresh wound in his hand, 
which, it was afterwards learned, he had received while 
in the act of committing a burglary. He was also recog- 
nized as the youth who a year previously tried to kill a 
shoemaker at 2518 State street. 


One of the boys confessed and told Wooldridge that he 
would find the rest of the gang at 1536 Wabash avenue, 
where the officer surprised them before they had gotten 
up, and arrested nine, making in all, sixteen. 

Upon investigation, it turned out that Dan Dean, one 
of the gang, was the captain, and each day had the work 
laid out as follows : In the early morning they would 
go out and steal papers from the doorsteps, and make 
money for their breakfast; during the day they loafed 
around the big stores on State street, picking pockets ; 
at dark they worked the laundry and grocery wagons, 
halls for overcoats, and when there was a rush on the 
street cars they would work them. Later on they laid 
for robes, horse blankets, etc. 

It took the police many days to find the owners of the 
goods recovered. Half a load was recovered at 1536 
Wabash avenue. 

They were arraigned before Justice Bradwell, Decem- 
ber 12, and fined from $10 to $75 each. One of the 
worst gangs of thieves that ever infested Chicago was 
broken up. It is estimated over $2,000 worth of prop- 
erty was stolen by them before they were caught. 



The trained eyes and keen senses of a detective never 
overlook as unimportant a piece of furniture as a trunk 
when he is trying to find a thief, and here is a case in 


which Detective Wooldridge handled a piece of baggage 
in such a way as to cause the contents to call for help. 

In October, 189S, Wooldridge was detailed to locate 
and arrest Ben Brennan, who was wanted for larceny 
and for jumping his bonds. He found that the man he 
'wanted was stopping at 1232 Wabash avenue, and early 
on the morning of October 28, he took several officers 
with him and surrounded the house. 

It was some twenty minutes before they could gain ad- 
mission, and when they did, Brennan was not to be found. 
Before the door was opened Wooldridge heard a whis- 
pered conversation, also a noise like the sliding of doors, 
which convinced him that Brennan was in the house, and 
he went to work to make a thorough search of the prem- 

Every closet and hole that a man could hide in was 
examined, and they were about to give it up, when Wool- 
dridge's eye caught sight of a large trunk which looked 
like a drummer's sample case. 

He asked Rosie Brennan, who was lying in bed, what 
was in the trunk, and in a very excited manner she re- 
plied that it contained her own clothes and for him not 
to touch it. Wooldridge started for the trunk, when 
she sprang out of bed, with a sheet thrown around her, 
and again demanded that he should not lay his hands 
on the trunk, and that if any one dared to break the 
lock she would have him arrested. 

Wooldridge told her that no one should break the 
lock or do anything contrary to the law. This seemed 
to pacify her, and she returned to her bed. Wooldridge 
caught hold of the trunk by the handle, and from its 
great weight was convinced there was some one m it. 



He set it on end, and Rosie gave a scream. He then 
turned it down and reversed the ends. This proved his 
suspicions were correct. ' There was a man in the trunk, 
with head down and feet up, so Wooldridge, apparently 
unconcerned, sat down on the trunk, Hghted a cigar, and 
awaited developments. Scream after scream came from 
the trunk. 

"Rosie ! Rosie ! help ! murder ! I am dying ; for God's 
sake let me out." 

Four or five officers were in the room, and Wooldridge 


told them some one seemed to be in trouble on the other 
side of the street, and one of them had better run over 
and see what it was. 

Rosie Brennan sprang from the bed with a scream, 
saying, "No, no, the trouble is not on the other side of 
the street. My Bennie is in the trunk, and I have the 

Holding it in her hand, she said she would open the 
trunk if Wooldridge would please get off. 

Wooldridge was in no hurry, and began to express a 


doubt as to Rosie's information as to where Bennie was. 
He asked her if she did not only a few miniftes ago tell 
him that Bennie was not in the house, and that the trunk 
contained nothing but her clothing. 

Rosie begged and pleaded with tears in her eyes to let 
her open the trunk or her poor Bennie would die. This 
was too much for the detective. He was a brave and 
, fearless officer, he could face a whole army, even a can- 
non's mouth, burglars, highwaymen, footpads, murder- 
ers, the fusillade of bullets and fire, but the appeal of 
Rosie was too much for him. He pulled a handkerchief 
from his pocket, brushed away a tear, sprang from the 
trunk, and even offered to assist her to release poor 

The tray of the trunk and all of the clothes had been 
removed, and Bennie Brennan was found in his night 
clothes packed in like a sardine in a can. In the bottom 
of the trunk were found several bolts of silk, also silk 
dresses and underclothing supposed to have been stolen. 
Brennan and Rosie were taken to the Harrison Street 
Police Station, but they secured bail and fled to New 

Ben and Rosie Brennan came from New York several 
years prior to this event, and opened a thieving panel 
house of prostitution at 41 Eldridge court. Their place 
was also a fence for thieves. Bennie Brennan was an 
all-around thief, burglar and highwayman. During the 
fall of 1896, he was arrested by Officer Early for burg- 
lary while crossing the Twelfth street viaduct a few 
minutes after he had entered a house on the west side, 
and had on his back two suits of stolen clothes, which 
were fully identified. He was bound to the criminal 
court, indicted, but got out through influence and money. 


He has been arrested a number of times with stolen 
property on him. 

Many complaints were made against both ot them at 
the Harrison Street Station, and Detective Wooldridge 
raided them until they were driven from 41 Eldridge 
court. They next moved to 561 Wabash avenue, where 
they continued their depredations, and Wooldridge again 
was ordered to close them up. He went to the house 
armed with a warrant, and was attacked by Rosie with 
a frying-pan full of hot grease. When this gave out she 
tried hot water. The officer was burned with the hot 
liquids, but finally arrested her, when Bennie appeared 
and attacked him with rocks. He, too, was caught and 
locked up. 

John King, the great criminal lawyer, defended them, 
and Justice Richardson assessed each of them $10 and 
costs. They were broken up at their place, 561 Wabash 
avenue, and removed to 124 1. 



Many complaints had been made at the Stanton Ave- 
nue Station that a disorderly house of prostitution was 
being conducted at 306 Thirty-first street. Owing to the 
custom and methods of signals used in reaching the in- 
side of the house, it was hard work to make a case on 
them. Several officers had been detailed on the matter 
for two weeks without making any progress or gaining 
any information. . 



Finally, Officer Wool«tridge was placed in citizen's 
clothes and detail&l on the case. He tried every way 
that he could thin.i of .o get inside of the house and 
see what they were dohig and what was going on, but 
without success. Along the side of the disorderly house 
ran an alley, and a beam extended from the roof with 
a pulley and rope to take up freight and lower ashes, A 
barrel was used to bring the ashes down. 

Wooldridge secured a vinegar barrel about the same 
size, bored it full of holes, and hid it in a carpenter shop 
until after midnight. He then rolled it along the alley 
until the house was reached. It was attached to the rope 
and pulley, and Wooldridge got into the barrel and was 
pulled up to the level of the flat and opposite the window 
where he could see all that was going on through the 
holes in the barrel. 

He saw enough to make a case on the inmates, and 
next day procured a warrant and raided the house that 
night. Wooldridge was questioned by the attorney for 
the inmates as to whether he was ever in the house be- 
fore the raid. 

Wooldridge replied "No," and the attorney was sur- 
prised to learn the novel way he had secured the evidence. 

All were fined, and the house was broken up. 



Of all criminals with which the Police Department of 
any great city has to deal, confidence men are the most 
troublesome. The smooth, well-dressed bunko steerei 


often escapes the eye of the most vigilant officer and 
picks his victim from the depots, pubHc buildings and 
streets, where policemen are detailed in large numbers. 

The Chicago police have encountered the confidence 
man in a hundrd varieties of "con" games. They have 
found him in league with politicians and other persons 
of influence, and waging a war against him has been a 
task which required the most skillful work. Detective 
Wooldridge has been the known enemy of the oily- 
tongued criminal, and during his service in the Chicago 
Police Department he has battled with him unrelentingly. 
His efforts have resulted in the breaking tip of some of 
the most notorious and best organized gangs of "con" 
men, and more than one of this gentry, now in the Joliet 
penitentiary, can consider his stripes a souvenir of De- 
tective Wooldridge's work in behalf of society and law 
and order. 

During the first four years of the administration of 
Mayor Carter H. Harrison, the younger, the public press 
again and again called attention to the robberies com- 
mitted by confidence men, Mr. Paul D. Howse, in the 
columns of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, repeatedly exposed 
their games. Mr. Howse, who was a reporter, famil- 
iarized himself with the methods of the swindlers and 
wrote of their operations so clearly • that his articles 
amounted to an expose. Chief of Police Joseph Kipley 
called Wooldridge in and instructed him to wage a re- 
lentless warfare on the "con" men. 

With the assistance of several officers working from 
Chief Kipley's office, Wooldridge invaded the haunts of 
the confidence men, and, entirely disregarding their po- 
litical influence, he broke up gang after gang. Hun- 
dreds were arrested and ordered to leave Chicago or fined, 


and others were indicted by ine grand jury upon evidence 
gathered and presented by Detective Wooldridge. 

Soon the "tip" went to the poHticians who posed as the 
protectors or backers of the confidence men, "Have Wool- 
dridge called off, or the game is gone." 

Wooldridge was not "called off," and as a result, Chi- 
cago, for the first time in twenty years, was practically 
cleared of confidence men, Charles Gundorf, known as 
a "fixer" and also as the "King of Con Men," quit Chi- 
cago. Finding that he could not follow his nefarious pur- 
suits here, Gundorf went to Niagara Falls, where he 
secured certain "privileges." He took with him from 
Chicago a score of bunko steerers and "con" men who 
found Wooldridge's efforts ruinous to their games. Gun- 
dorf and his gang is but one of a number which aban- 
doned Chicago before the onslaught of Wooldridge and 
his fellow officers from' Chief Kipley's office. The ma- 
jority of these "grafters" went to Buffalo or that vicinity 
to work during the Pan-American Exposition. Chief of 
Police O'Neill kept up the good work, and all of these 
men were driven out or abandoned confide9ce work. 

Previous to January, 1901, the names of Charles Gun- 
dorf, "Farmer" Brown, George Beazley, "Big Sam" Je- 
rioux, "Kid" Wilson, "Dirty" Eddie' Hall, George Har- 
rass, "Bunk" Allen, Harry Featherstone and Lamon 
Moore were as familiar to newspaper readers as the 
names of city officials. Since that time, owing to Wool- 
dridge's efforts, the names of these men have not ap- 
peared in public print except to note the fact that "Dirty" 
Eddie Hall and Harry Featherstone have been convicted 
and sentenced to the penitentiary, and that the others 
have been' frequently arrested or forced to quit their dis- 


honest practices. Their political "pulls," however strong, 
did not save them. 

It was "Eddie" Hall and his associates, "Slim Jim' 
Davis and "Curly" Collins, who, on Dec. 2, 1887, came 
near killing Captain Luke P. Colleran, who at this writ- 
ing is chief of the Chicago City Detective Department. 
Captain Colleran was then a plain-clothes man, and was 
watching for confidence men in the vicinity of the Ran- 
dolph street viaduct. He had an advantageous point 
of view, and saw Hall and Davis escort strangers up the 
bridge. By a long detour, Colleran eluded those who 
were left at the end of the bridge to give signals of the 
approach of officers, and appeared suddenly on the scene 
and found "Slim Jim" Davis, "Eddie" Hall, "Dick" 
Dean, and "Kid" Murphy trying to fleece two farmers. 
Colleran was alone, but he was determined and was not 
appalled because there were four to fight. 

He seized Davis by the coat collar, saying, "Davis, 
stand still." Leveling his revolver at Hall, he exclaimed, 
"Eddie, if you move, I'll shoot." They knew that he 
was in earnest, and submitted, but the other two confi- 
dence men escaped. He had two under arrest, but he 
was not out of trouble yet. 

Starting ofif the viaduct towards the patrol box with 
his prisoners, he met "Curly" Collins, who offered to 
assist the officer. 

"All the assistance I ask of yota, Collins," said Col- 
leran, "is for you to mind your own business." 

Collins then passed on, but when only a few feet away 
he picked up a piece of timber, and, running up behind 
Colleran, dealt him a blow which knocked him insensi- 
ble. The others then jumped on the officer and beat him 
terribly. Not satisfied with this, they picked up thf 


Ump and unconscious detective and threw him over the 
raiHng of the viaduct. He struck the top of a freight 
car, bounded thence head foremost to a flat car loaded 
with iron, and then fell to the railroad tracks. The gang 
ran and escaped. Colleran was unconscious many hours 
and was in the hospital many months, but he has had 
the satisfaction at last of seeing every member of the 
gang that assaulted him sent to prison. 

Captain Colleran has been in the department sixteen 
years, and has been advanced .steadily from the ranks 
up to his present responsible position. Since he has 
been at the head of the Detective Department he has 
shown great skill and good judgment in the execution 
of his very arduous duties. He has always been known 
as a fearless and conscientious officer. 

The "Woolen Mills" gang was the most troublesome 
of all to the police, owing to the fact that this variety of 
"con" game was easiest worked, and the swindlers had 
no trouble shifting their bases of operation quickly. 
These gangs, also known as "broad" gangs, were allied 
with cvirtpjn politicians, and they wielded no light influ- 
ence to handicap the work of the police. But their po- 
litical influence carried no weight with Detective Wool- 
dridge, and the "Woolen Mills" gang is to-day extinct, 
the swindlers scattered over the United States, and the 
leadeis and backers disheartened. 

From four to ten confidence men skilled in the art of 
acting, and skilled in this connection implies the fullest 
meaning of that word, formed the combination known 
as the "Woolen Mills" gangs. One gang worked under 
the direction of "Farmer" Brown, and others were 
headed by grafters of equal accomplishments. Three of 
the "con" men in these eanifs remained about the fake 


offices, and the others worked the vicinity of the rail- 
road depots, the stock yards, and the pubhc streets and 
buildings, on the lookout for victims. 

The outside men, known as bunko steerers, approached 
unsophisticated strangers. One of the swindlers would 
hasten to the victim, grasp his hand and call him by 
some fake name. Invariably the stranger stated that 
a mistake had been made, and during the explana- 
tion by the grafter, the stranger's real name was se- 
cured. This was quickly imparted to another bunko 
steerer who carried a pocket bank and post-office direct- 
ory. The second swindler quickly gleaned the direct- 
ories and picked out the name of a banker or the post- 
master in the town from which the stranger hailed or 
nearest which he resided. 

Then, came the fine work. The second "con" man 
approached the stranger and called him by his right 
name. He introduced himself as a nephew, brother, or 
cousin of the banker or postmaster, and stated that he 
was in business with the "Great Western Woolen Mills." 
He then invited the stranger to accompany him to the 
office of the woolen mills company to have a free suit 
of clothing made. 

"We're making suits for advertising purposes, and all 
we ask is for you to show it to the folks out home, and 
tell them how the 'Great Western Woolen Mills Com- 
pany' made it," the swindler explained. 

The stranger was then conducted to the "broad" joint, 
usually an office located in the levee district. There he 
was told that the manager was out for a minute. Within 
a minute two other confidence men, pretending to have 
come from the stock yards after selling a carload of 
mules or stock, would come in. They began discussing a 

Tivcli Came 



game played with four cards, three of which have stars 
printed on them and one of which bears a picture of a 
girl kicking a hat. The stranger is induced to make bets 
that he can pick out the fourth card. In this process 
the swindler who brought him to the place turns up the 
corner of the fourth card and wins. When the victim 
places all his money on a bet the other confidence men 
change the cards and turn up the corner of another. 

If the victim shows an inclination to cause trouble for 
the swindlers, the manager of the fake concern is called 
in and he upbraids the victim for gambling. If he is not 
then inclined to leave the "broad" joint without making 
trouble, a bogus policeman is called in. This fake officer 
arrests the victim for gambling and conducts him 
through a maze of streets and alleys to an out-of-the- 
way place, where he is left to shift for himself. 

When the stranger leaves the "broad" joint, the gang 
picks up the samples of cloth and desks which adorned 
the fake office and makes a quick move to another fake 
office. In the event of the victim making complaint to 
the police the gang is out of the way. Officers may be 
led to the rooms where the victim was robbed, but they 
find it so changed that the stranger seldom recognizes 
it as the same place. Robberies of this kind have netted 
as high as $2,500 each. 

But the day of the "broad" joint and its smooth oper- 
ators has ended. Detective Wooldridge familiarized him- 
self with the haunts of the swindlers, with their meth- 
ods and their faces, and his warfare drove them from 
the city. 

It was as a "broad" joint operator that "Farmer" 
Brown became famous, although Charles Gundorf is 
generally spoken of as the originator of this infamous 


swindle. Brown took the part of a Kentucky farmer 
who had just sold a load of mules, and his smooth talk 
induced hundreds of victims to bet their money on the 
card game swindle. A conservative estimate of the 
amount of money taken from strangers in Chicago by 
this swindle previous to 1901 is $10,000 per month. 

Detective Wooldridge is entitled to the credit of break- 
ing up a gang of confidence men operating the swindle 
known as the "wire tapping" or "race track" game. 
This swindle was one that puzzled the entire police force 
of Chicago for a time. Its operators were among the 
"smoothest" confidence men in the United States, and 
they made so much money through their operations that 
they were able to fight prosecution by buying off Wit- 
nesses and bringing up technicalities on appeals which 
sometimes prevented their entrance into the penitentiary. 

This swindle found victims through shrewd business 
men, and seldom did operators find it necessary to lure 
unsophisticated countrymen into their net. 

The operators of this swindle included such "smooth" 
confidence men as "Eddie" Dunne, O. M. Stone, Andrew 
Brown, J. W. Turner and Charles Gates. These five 
men were arrested time and again by Wooldridge. 

On March 25, 1901, "Eddie" Dunne and Charles 
Gates were held in bonds of $2,000 each for swindling 
Mrs. Pearl H. Beardsley out of $1,750. They induced 
her to back them to open an office and fit it up with wires 
and instruments with which they were to get advance 
reports on races. They opened an office in the Imperial 
building. Before they began to operate, Dunne was 
arrested and the instruments seized. 

The "wire tappers" usually fit up an office in some 
out-of-the-way office building or rooming house with 


telegraph instruments which make a circuit on them- 
selves. They, of course, are expert electricians, and one 
unfamiliar with their game is more than likely to believe 
that they have tapped a wire running to a race track or 
pool-room. The victim is told that the operators can 
easily hold back the race report until one of their number 
can hasten to a nearby pool-room and make a bet on the 

The victim is readily led to believe that he is going to 
beat the gamblers, and he sees no way of losing. He is 
induced to intrust his money to one of the swindlers, 
who is supposed to hasten to a pool-room as soon as a 
race report comes over the fake wire. The confidence 
man disappears with his money, and he is sent out to 
meet him, or in some cases he is taken to the pool-room 
and lost in the crowd. When he returns to the "wire- 
tapper's" office he finds that they have dismantled their 
quarters and disappeared. 

On January 3, 1900, Detective Wooldridge executed a 
coup on O. M. Stone and J. W. Turner which com- 
pletely staggered the veteran "wire-tapper" and caused 
the greatest satisfaction to the telegraph company. Stone 
was arrested by Wooldridge, and in order to avoid a 
charge of swindling, he maintained that he was running 
a pool-room. However, Wooldridge had Stone indicted, 
and on July 22 he was tried before Judge Baker and 
paid a heavy fine. 

The fake pool-room was conducted in the Imperial 
building at 260 Clark street. For some time complaints 
had reached the Police Department that "wire-tappers" 
vyere blossoming out with increased activity and seeking 
to rob the public by pretending to furnish names of race 
winners before the inf6rmation was given out by the 
regular news agencies. 


Stone afterwards opened an office in rooms 23 and 53 
of the Commerce building at 16 Pacific avenue, which 
he called the Commercial News Bureau. These rooms 
were on different floors. Room 23 was used by Stone 
as an office in which he met his victims and made his 
arrangements for giving them racing results in advance. 
Room 53 was the operating department. 

Detective Wooldridge was detailed on this case by the 
chief of police. He first went to Stone's office but he was 
not there. He then went to room 53, where Stone was 
found. The room was fitted up like the laboratory of a 
scientist. On a long work-bench at one side of the room 
were installed a telegraph instrument, a telephone, and 
various groups of delicate and complicated electrical de- 
vices. A row of tiny incandescent globes flashed the sig- 
nals of the Morse code when the telegraph keys were 
manipulated by the city's expert telegrapher, who ac- 
companied the detective. 

The detective sounded the walls and peered out of the 
windows to see where the wires used by Stone led. An 
expert from the Western Union Telegraph Company 
also made a careful examination, and declared that 
Stone's telegraph instrument was not then connected 
with any live wire and that the circuit was cut in on an 
electric wire and grounded on the roof of the Com- 
mercial building. While the officer was making his in- 
vestigation, Stone maintained an attitude of complete 
resignation and calmly smoked ' a cigar. He declared 
that he was conducting a strictly legitimate business, and 
that the invasion of his office was an outrage. 

However, when Detective Wooldridge began to exam- 
ine with a curious eye the massive steel door of the vault 
in one corner of the room and requested Stone to open it, 


the latter awakened from his apathy, but refused to obey 
the command. When the detective declared he would 
send for an expert and have it opened, Stone changed 
his mind and worked the combination. The interior of 
the vault disclosed a pretty little room, the walls of which 
were covered with scarlet paper. On a small desk were 
a ticker, a telephone, and a telegraph instrument. The 
vault was brilliant with electric light, and it was an ideal 
place for quietly sending or receiving messages either 
by telephone or telegraph and for the operator of the 

Representatives of the telephone company and of the 
Gold and Stock Exchange Telegraph Company were 
sent for, and the instruments which had been rented un- 
der an assumed name were removed. Stone and Thomas 
Carroll were arrested before this at 21 Quincy street for 
conducting a fake pool-room. Later he and two other 
men were arrested at 177 La Salle street on the same 
charge, and were held to the grand jury. 

Officials of the Western Union Telegraph Company 
say Stone is the greatest electrician in the United States, 
or, perhaps, in the world. This company would be will- 
ing to pay Stone a handsome salary for his services, if 
he could be relied on, and, in fact, authorized Detective 
Wooldridge to make him a proposition for them. 

A federal injunction was once secured by. the Western 
Union restraining Stone from tapping their wires, but 
Stone is such an expert in telegraphy and electricity that 
it is hard to make a case against him. He has shown 
that he can take a message from a wire without tap- 
ping it. 

This is done by what is called induction. He is the 
inventor of numerous delicate and valuable instruments. 
In the old days when he was flourishing, a man could 


go into his operating room and see a dozen employees 
busy receiving and sending messages and not hear a 
sound of an instrument. 

He once started an independent telephone system in 
Chicago and used wires all over the downtown district, 
yet he did not have a wire of his own. He simply "bor- 
rowed" them without the knowledge or consent of the 
owners. He did not have a permit from the city. 

Soon after Stone's place in the Commercial building 
was broken up, Detective Wooldridge discovered a wire- 
tapping or fake pool-room in the Omaha building. From 
the agents of the building he learned that the rent had 
been paid by Stone. 

The detective went after Stone and forced him to cut 
all the wires he had in use at the Omaha building. These 
wires ran over the tops of several buildings in the vi- 
cinity. Wooldridge followed Stone in his route over 
the house-tops and saw him cut every wire. 

There are so many of these confidence games that it 
would require almost a whole volume to describe all of 
them. One which is a "sure thing" for the owners of it 
is the Tivoli game. It does not differ very materially 
from the regular Tivoli game which is frequently seen in 
saloons and billiard halls, except that the latter is on the 
square, whereas the former is a gambling game and has 
connected with it a mechanical device which prevents the 
playej from winning. It consists of a small high table 
on which is arranged rows of pins and pockets or holes 
and looks much like the regulation bagatelle table. At 
the end is a short hollow post, surmounted by a negro 
head, whose wide mouth is a target at which a small 
ball is thrown. 

The pockets or holes in the table are all numbered and 


pay according to the numbers. The pla3er is asked to 
throw a ball into the negro's mouth and if the ball goes 
into the mouth, down the hollow tube and then rolls into 
a certain pocket, he gets a certain amount of money, 
which is always declared to be several times the amount 
paid for making the venture. 

But by a cleverly arranged mechanism the operator 
can, by a simple pull on a cord underneath and without 
observation, cause a small pin to project and thus prevent 
the ball from going into any pocket into which he does 
not want it to go. 

There is a fascination for strangers about the game, 
because it looks simple and seems on the square, but it 
is a hard game to beat, even when not operated by crooks. 
The bunko steerer finds many victims for this game and 
thousands of dollars have been lost in it, of which noth- 
mg has been said, because the victim usually realizes 
when it is too late that he has been robbed by a cheap 
swindle and is ashamed to let any one know it. This 
the swindler well knows and he does not hesitate to 
get all the money he can. 

The same methods are used to get players for this 
game as are used in all the other games. "Cappers" are 
sent out to bring in the rural visitors. They are told of 
the "big sights" to be seen in this wonderful place ; shown 
pictures of women in suggestive attitudes and Irear stories 
of a reproduction of a harem and this more easily leads 
out-of-town sightseers astray than anything else. 

Another swindling game which has filled the pockets 
of many crooks is what is called the "goose-neck." This 
game is similar to that which is frequently seen at county 
fairs by which a man tests his hitting strength with a 
heavy mallet or maul, by striking a large pin which sends 


an automatic marker up on a tube which registers the 
striker's strength. 

The "goose-neck" is a reproduction of this on a small 
scale, except that the victim does not register his strength. 
In hitting the pin with a small mallet he is supposed to 
produce on the post or cylinder, even or odd numbers. 
These numbers are controlled by the operator, who by 
the turn of a small screw which is invisible to the victim 
can make the register show either one he desires. 

The victim is lured on by confidence men or by a steerer 
who will make a bet of say $2 that he can get the even 
numbers. Of course, when he strikes, the even numbers 
show up. He is allowed to win a number of times, when 
the operator tells him he is too lucky and that he will 
allow him to play no more. 

Then he pretends to be greatly angered and turns to 
his victim and tells him to play ; that he is liable to win 
a thousand dollars ; that the operator is in bad luck, etc. 
The victim will start out by betting $2, and he is al- 
lowed to win because the operator turns the screw to set 
the numbers bet on. Then the victim is told he had made 
a conditional bet; that is, he had won two dollars by 
getting the even numbers, but by putting up $2 more he 
stands to win not $4, but $20. This seems alluring and 
he is told again that the conditions are th^t by putting 
up $25 more he can win $500. That is the limit of the * 
conditional betting he is told, unless the steerers and cap- 
pers find the victim has plenty of money and is v/illing 
to stand to win a thousand, in which case he is likely to 
be asked to put up anywhere from $100 to $500 to win 
$1,000. But if the victim seems to be afraid to put up 
any more than the $25, the screw is turned to show up 
the odd numbers, if the bet is made on the evens, and, 


presto, he is informed that he has lost and the ''steerers," 
"cappers," "coin separators," "outside hooks" and 
"come-ons" begin to surge toward the street, carrying 
the victim with them, and he soon finds himself standing 
on the sidewalk with no one in sight whom he saw on 
the inside. 

And thus it goes. When on the inside, he is made to 
think that every one around him is anxious to play the 
game, and when they are stopped on account of their 
'^heavy winnings," they encourage him. "Go in, old 
man," they will say, "you can't lose," and when he is 
permitted to win a few bets, one of them will exclaim, 
"I wish I had your luck. I never saw anything like it. 
Let me play once." But the operator will tell him it is 
not fair to him to play on another man's luck, and winds 
up by saying, "This gentleman may win all my money, 
but I will be fair and not stop him until he goes the 

Thus encouraged, the stranger lets his money go and 
frequently leaves without a cent in his pocket. 

An experienced confidence man — such as he with 
whom Officer Wooldridge has dealt with such a firm hand 
— is always ready to fleece victims, and to this end he 
carries dice, a fake lock and other swindling devices in 
his pocket. He has them ready to use in a moment. 

With three ordinary dice the swindler entices the 
victim into the "top-and-bottom" or "Rocky Mountain" 
dice game. A booster is necessary in this game. The 
booster meets the victim and conducts him to a saloon or 
byway and there the operator is found shaking three 
dice. The operator offers to bet the booster and his vic- 
tim that they cannot tell what number the spots on the 
tops and bottoms of the three dice will aggregate. The 


booster makes a bet, giving the number as twenty-one, 
and wins. The operator then excuses himself for a min- 
ute or two,, and during his absence the booster explains 
that twenty-one will always be the count on the tops 
and bottoms of the dice no matter how they are thrown. 
iThe victim quickly sees this. 

When the operator returns he offers to make more 
bets. The booster apparently wishes to discourage bet- 
ting, but the operator is so insistent at wagering his 
money on what appears to be a certain loss that the 
booster tells the victim to bet with him. It is an easy 
matter to lure the stranger into this swindle. 

After the money is bet the victim is usually allowed 
to win the first wager. The operator then increases the 
size of the bet to the amount which he believes the victim 
to possess. The bet is made and the dice thrown. Some 
operators "switch" dice, putting in a dice with equal 
numbers on opposite sides. This breaks the count and 
the victim loses. Other operators turn one dice half 
round after the top numbers have been counted. This, 
too, breaks the count at the victim's expense. 

In the lock game the booster with the victim appears to 
find a brass lock on the street. He laments the fact that 
he found no key. Another confidence man is near at 
hand and is introduced to the victim. The second swin- 
dler is shown the lock and he produces a bunch of keys, 
one of which opens the lock. The victim is given the key 
and lock, and finds that it works right, but the original 
booster is unable to work the lock. The victim is roped 
into betting as in the dice game and by pressing a hidden 
spring, the lock is bound so that the victim cannot unlock 
it after his money is up. 

The confidence man lives strictly by his wits and he 


can truthfully be said to be a witty and a hard customei* 
to handle. He is inventive and constantly bringing out 
new swindles. ' But with his new ideas he finds old ones 
best in some cases and hence newspaper readers learn 
through the daily press of swindling by the "steamboat 
explosion" and "tunnel cave-in." The surprising thing 
is that these ancient swindles find victims after years of 
exposure in the daily press. 

The "steamboat explosion" and "tunnel cave-in" 
dodges are used in many instances as a subterfuge to 
get the victim into the clutches of shell men and other 
confidence operators. But sometimes they are used to 
further downright robbery. Many cases of both descrip- 
tion have been encountered by Officer Wooldridge and 
many criminals with victims in tow have been put to 
flight by the appearance of Wooldridge when the game 
was all but sprung. 

Some years ago these swindlers became very bold and 
to demonstrate that he could catch them -despite their 
shrewdness. Officer Wooldridge disguised himself as a 

He was approached by a booster and was led to the 
swindle, where he disclosed his identity and arrested one 
of the most troublesome gangs with which the police 
ever had to deal. 

The unsophisticated stranger in Chicago is approached 
by a booster who asks him if he has seen the tunnel cave- 
in or steamboat explosion. This usually excites the curi- 
osity of the victim and he is easily led to some out-of- 
the-way spot to be shorn by the shell game or held up 
by a fake policeman. In the latter instance he is accused 
of having counterfeit money in his possession The bo- 


gus officer flashes a star and the booster promptly hands 
over his money for the scrutiny of the alleged policeman. 

This is returned as "sound," and the victim is induced 
to allow the examination of his money. This is "found" 
to be counterfeit. The fake policeman takes it away 
after telling the victim to call at the police station later, 
and if it is found that the money is genuine he can se- 
cure its return. If the victim is inclined to object to 
seeing his money go from him, he is told that he will be 
arrested for carrying counterfeit money and that the pun- 
ishment is a year's confinement in the penitentiary. This 
yarn usually settles the most suspicious victim. 

There is another game operated by confidence men, 
which is the most illusive of them all. 

This is called the envelope game. It seems such an 
easy matter to catch the envelope containing a $io bill, 
and the odds given on it are so large that even the most 
conservative people are often tempted to try their luck. 

It consists of an ordinary envelope box containing 
about fifty envelopes. In the presence of the man who 
wants to try his luck, a $io bill is inserted into the en- 
velope, which is thrown into the box with the others and 
then a chance is given any one to select any five of the 
envelopes which are in the box for $i. Each envelope 
has a small slit in the bottom of it and it is through this 
that the operator cunningly extracts the $io bill, when to 
all appearances it has been left in the envelope. It is a 
simple trick which the confidence men can operate so 
dexterously that the outsider seldom sees how it is done 
and a great deal of money has been lost through the ef- 
forts of strangers to get the envelope containing the $io. 

It may be a matter of surprise to many persons to 


learn that the ancient shell game continues to bring a 
steady and very remunerative income to the confidence 
men and swindlers of the largest cities. 

Since Illinois was a rolling prairie and the few settlers 
were trading tin cups for valuable furs with the Indians, 
the shell game has been a sort of well-known institu- 
tion. It has thrived in Chicago and even in the small 
towns where days of celebration, county fairs, and circus 
exhibitions brought visitors from the rural districts. The 
cost of attempting to locate the elusive "pea" has long 
been met by the curious countrymen and "green" towns- 
men and as late as to-day shell men or "nut" men can 
be found occasionally about the depots, stock yards or 
other places where visitors from the country are likely 
to be met. 

Three half-shells of the English walnut, an India rub- 
ber "pea" and a soap box or small table complete the 
swindling outfit of the shell man. At least one "booster" 
is essential to the success of the swindle. 

The operator rolls the "pea" about under the inverted 
shells and bets the victim that he cannot tell which shell 
it is under. The "booster" steps up first and the operaor 
with seeming carelessness allows the "pea" to slide 
slowly under one of the shells. This motion is seen by 
the countryman and the "booster." The latter makes a 
bet and of course wins. Then the victim is inveigled 
into the game. 

The operator appears to handle the shells more care- 
lessly than before. He allows the "pea" to remain an 
instant under the edge of one shell. The victim sees this 
and imagines that he has a sure thing. He makes his 
bet and picks up the shell, to find it empty. The shell 


operator, necessarily skilled in handling the "pea," causes 
it to pass under the shell picked up by the victim and 
inside the next shell. This motion is too quickly made 
for detection. 

There is another confidence game which is worked on 
small storekeepers and by which many a clerk and pro- 
prietor, men and women, have been victimized. This is 
called the "short change" scheme. The man who works 
this plan of robbery usually selects one of those small 
stores which are located in the vicinity of schools and in 
which are sold confections, stationery, etc. 

His plan is to enter one of these- stores with a lot of 
small change in his hand and tell the clerk or proprietor 
he has written his wife a letter and wants to inclose $5 
in it and ask for a bill in exchange for silver. He has 
the letter in his hand already stamped and addressed. 

He counts out the small change and manages to extract 
from it fifteen or twenty cents without being detected. 
He is given the five-dollar bill and then tells the clerk to 
count the silver to see if it is correct. While this is 
being done the confidence man places the five-dollar bill 
in the letter, but dexterously gets it out and then seals 
the letter. 

In the meantime the clerk has discovered that the 
change is fifteen or twenty cents short. The confidence 
man hurriedly counts it again and declares he has made 
a mistake. He then gives the clerk the letter supposed 
to contain the five-dollar bill and tells him to "just hold 
that a few minutes until I run back home and get the 
balance of the change." 

Thinking the five-dollar bill is in the envelope, the 
clerk takes it and lays it aside, while the confidence man 


with the bill in his pocket, picks up the change, and, say- 
ing, "I'll be back in a minute," departs and is not seen 
again. This game has been played hundreds of times in 
Chicago and very few of the rascals have been caught. 



Being disappointed with business in the east, Thomas 
Farrell, a tailor, started to Topeka, Kansas, and landed 
in Chicago en route to the A^estern town on March 15, 
1896. But he fell in the hands of the "grafters" before 
ne was in the city long. 

While passing along Dearborn street in front of 408, 
he met Jessie Sadler and Lula Brown, who accosted this 
maker of trousers. 

"Where are you going, merry tailor ?" said Jessie. 

"My name is not Mary Taylor," said Farrell, "I'm a 

With a few more pleasant words, Farrell went with 
the women to their rooms, and finding that he had money 
and would not divide with them, they grabbed him 
around the neck, held him fast and robbed him and 
threw him out, taking $90, all the money he had. 

Farrell reported the matter at the Harrison Street 
Station and Detective Wooldridge was detailed on the 
case. Farrell gave a good description of the two women 
and took the officer to the house. 

The following day the two women were arrested. Jes- 
sie confessed and said that Lula Brown had taken the 


monev dim ici-used to di'-ide- Both were held to the 
grana jur;y m bunds of $500. 

Wooldridge took Farrell to the stock yards and se- 
cured nim ernpioyment, but he ventured downtown the 
next day and the women found out that he was going 
to stay in the city and prosecute. 

They tnen ior'ked the money over to him, bought him 
a ticket to Kansas, placed him on the train and when the 
case came up there was no one to prosecute. 



The roof may be a pleasant retreat in summer weather, 
but it is too chilly for comfort when the mercury is hov- 
ering around the zero mark and especially if the occu- 
pants of this midwinter roof garden happen to be thinly 
clad, as was the case when Detective Wooldridge first 
discovered the hiding place of a number of disorderly 
characters for whom he had warrants. 

In March, 1896, Nellie Miller kept a house of bad re- 
pute at 7 Hubbard court. On several occasions officers 
had been sent lo raid this house, but when they got in- 
side they couid never find any one but the cook. 

Detective Wooldridge went there one night and had 
warrants for the arrest of Nellie Miller and all the in- 
mates. Before he enterea the house he discovered that 
there were- a number of persons inside, but after enter- 
ing they became .invisible. 

After making a carefui search of the place, Wool- 



dridge found that the women had gone to the roof of 
the house by means ojc a ladder in an upper hallway, and 
as the ladder was not in sight it was evident that they 
had drawn it up after them and then closed the trap 

The weather was extremely cold and the officer, know- 
ing that the fleeing women were thinly dressed, made 3 
weather-bureau calculation, deducing the conclusion tha*" 


they could not remain there longer than twenty minutes. 
The professor in charge of the Auditorium tower could 
not have figured more correctly. Wooldridge also fig- 
ured that he could smoke a cigar in twenty minutes, anc" 
proceeded to kill time by lighting a Havana. 

In just twenty minutes the trap door was opened 
Then the little ladder was slided down with as much dex- 
terity as if it had been in the hands of a fireman. 

One by one the shivering females came down, their 


teeth chattering as if they had an ague. After all had 
gotten in out of the chilly blasts that were coming from 
the lake, Wooldridge drew out his warrant and served it 
on Nellie Miller and told her if all were present he 
would proceed to call the roll. 

After each had made a toilet which was more in keep- 
ing with the season and more appropriate for a ride in 
the patrol wagon to the police station, they were marched 
out and carted away. 

Each was given a heavy fine next morning by Justice 



The man who makes his living by robbery and confi- 
dence games has no conscience or symf»athy. He will 
fleece a child or an aged cripple as readily as he will 
hold up a banker. 

This was demonstrated when, on December i, 1896, 
C. H. Cannon, a ranchman from Dakota, was ruthlessly 
robbed of every cent he had and left stranded at the 
depot while en route to Fullerton, Ontario, with his in- 
valid wife and two small children. After the confidence 
men had left him, he was compelled to open a toy sav- 
ings bank which belonged to one of the little ones, and 
take therefrom $1.79 with which to buy the babies and 
sick wife something to eat. 

Some five years prior Mr. Cannon married in Mon- 
treal, Canada, and went to Dakota, rented a piece of land 
and went to farming. The two children were born 


there, and on account of Mrs. Cann6n's health (she was 
very deHcate and had consumption), they had sold their 
crops and household goods, and were returning to her 
mother's home at Fullerton, Ontario. 

All the money Cannon possessed in the world when 
he landed in Chicago was $80. His little girl begged 
him to buy her a doll, and as he could get it only a few 
steps from the depot, he started out to buy it. 

George P. Beazley, a smooth confidence man, had been 
watching him, and followed him to State and Polk 
streets, where he came forward and inquired if he knew 
a good place to buy a suit of clothes, as he was a stran- 
ger in the city. Cannon replied that he also was a stran- 
ger and wished to purchase a doll, telling him his name 
and where he was going. Beazley said he too was going 
to Canada, only a few miles from where Cannon was go- 
ing. A man named Wallace, another confidence man 
and partner of Beazley, stuped up, and volunteered to 
show them both where they could get the best bargains in 
clothes and a doll. 

While purchasing the doll, Cannon exposed a roll of 
bills. He then started for the depot to join his wife and 
children, when Beazky insisted that he have a cigar 
with him before parting. They went to a saloon at 386 
State street. Here the dice were produced, and Beazley 
and Wallace began a game where the spots are counted 
on the top^and bottom of three dice. Any way these dice 
are thrown, the number will be twenty-one, but these 
smooth confidence men always carry a bogus dice with 
them, which would make a different number. Everything 
is explained to the victim, and he is shown that it is im- 
possible for him to lose, but if he puts up any money 
the bogus dice are slipped into the box. 

Every inducement was offered Cannon to take part. 


and failed. Beazley made bet after bet and won ; finally 
he asked Cannon to change a bill, and when he took out 
his pocketbook it was snatched and a scuffle began. A 
third man, who was a friend of Beazley and Wallace, 
walked in and seized Cannon, and representing himself 
to be an officer, charged Cannon with gambling. Both 
Wallace and Beazley in the meantime ran away with the 
money, while the bogus officer held Cannon. 

He was left one thousand miles from home or friends, 
in a strange city with a sick wife and two children and 
penniless, with the exception of $1.79. He made com- 
plaint to Captain Charles Koch at the Harrison Street 
Police Station and Detective Wooldridge was detailed 
on the case. Cannon and his family were taken to the 
Harrison Street Annex, and made as comfortable as 
possible. Then Cannon was dressed as a tramp and 
taken along to point out the men. Two days were spent 
in the search, and every day the dives in the levee dis- 
trict were visited. About 11 p. m. on the second day 
both men were seen on State street and Hubbard court 
by Cannon, who pointed them out, and they were ar- 
rested and identified by the saloon keeper. They were 
arraigned before Justice G. W. Underwood on December 
3d, and fined $50 each. They would have been held to 
the Criminal court, but Cannon could not stay to prose- 
cute them. 

Wooldridge took up a collection and secured tickets 
and $13, and placed Cannon and his family on the train 
for Canada. The two thieves were sent to the House of 
Correction. An effort was made by friends and politi- 
cians to have them pardoned by Mayor Swift, but when 
he heard the facts he refused to do so. 

There were fifteen or twenty men engaged in this 


business who did nothing else but operate around the 
depots and viaducts, and they reaped a rich harvest for 

On one occasion Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert 
were sent out to catch some of them. Wooldridge went 
to a second-hand store on Clark street and secured a big 
fur coat, white hat, cowhide boots, a lantern, a long pole, 
used by stockmen to get cattle on their feet which get 
down in the cars while en route to the Chicago market, 
a targe black paper valise, and started out. Detective 
Schubert followed some distance behind to assist him in 
making the arrest of these confidence men when located. 

The disguise worked all right. They visited the Illi- 
nois Central depot, at Twelfth street and Michigan ave- 
nue, and then passed over the Twelfth street viaduct, 
and went north on Fifth avenue, until they had got within 
a short distance of the Wisconsin Central depot, when 
Wooldridge was spied by Lyman Moore, Joe Farley and 
James Carter, who were driving around in a buggy 
looking for just such people as Wooldridge appeared 
to be. 

Before the buggy reached Wooldridge, Joe Farley 
jumped out and, taking the opposite side of the street, 
passed Wooldridge and dropped one of the little locks, 
which have been fully described, on the sidewalk, and 
secreted himself in a doorway near by. Moore and Car- 
ter drove up, and, stopping, inquired if he knew where 
the City Hotel was. 

Wooldridge told them "he be gol darned if he did, as 
he was a stranger in this here town, and had just come 
in with a car of pigs, which he had sold and that he had 
the money right here in his pocket," tapping his big over- 
coat, "but if there was anything else he could do for the 
gents he would be glad to do it." 


Moore's and Carter's eyes sparkled with the prospect 
of getting the wallet which Wooldridge, the old pig 
puncher, was supposed to carry with him. Moore turned 
to Carter, saying he was dry, and invited him to get out 
and have a drink with him. He also invited the stran- 
ger (Wooldridge), who accepted. The horse was hitched 
and all three started up the street to find a saloon. Com- 
ing to the place where the lock was dropped, it was 
picked up and examined. They entered the saloon where 
the combination and spring of the lock had been found, 
and examined by all three of them. 

Joe Farley then walked in, and the lock was given him 
to examine. He pronounced it no good and offered to 
wager any amount of anoney that neither one of the three 
could open it. Every inducement was offered Wool- 
dridge, the pig puncher, to join Moore and Carter and 
skin Farley out of his money. Schubert entered at this 
juncture and asked what they were doing with the old 
stockman, meaning Wooldridge. All of them tried to 
convince the officer that they knew the pig puncher, and 
Carter claimed to be a relative of his. 

Detective Schubert seized Moore and Carter and placed 
them under arrest. They showed fight, and Joe Farley 
told Detective Schubert he would have to kill all of them 
before he could take a single one. 

While they were engaged in this argument Wool- 
dridge stepped to one side, and, slipping off his fur coat, 
whipped out two revolvers, one in each hand, and, cover- 
ing them all, he said that they were going to the Harri- 
son Street Station, and if there was any killing to be 
done they had better begin on him. Moore and Carter 
recognized Officer Wooldridge, and knew that they were 
confronted by one of the most determined and fearless 
men on the police force in Chicago. 


They submitted to arrest without further trouble, and 
were marched to the station and locked up. They were 
fined heavily, and notified to leave the city. Lyman 
Moore, James Carter, and Joe Farley were the smooth- 
est and best known confidence men in the West. 



Philip Schneider lived at 4637 Drexel boulevard, Chi- 
cago. On June 5, 1894, he accompanied friends to the 
railroad depot at Dearborn and Polk streets, to see them 
take the train for their homes. 

Bidding his friends good-bye, Mr. Schneider started 
for his home. Arriving at State street, he found the 
street cars crowded, and he concluded he would walk to 
Twelfth street, some three blocks south, and from there 
take the elevated train home. He had reached the va- 
cant lot south of Taylor street, and opposite the Atchi- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad freight house, which 
was about one-half the distance to the elevated station 
at Twelfth street. 

Just at this point Mr. Schneider was felled to the 
ground by a blow from a slung shot in the hands of a 
highway robber who had approached him from the rear. 
The blow only stunned him, and as he opened his eyes 
he looked up into the face of his assailant. 

A street gas lamp was only a short distance away and 
the glare from it fell on the colored highwayman, who 
was busily engaged rifling his victim's pockets. 

ON THE prisoner's SHOULDERS. 


While this was going on, Mr. Schneider had a good 
view of the robber's face, clothing, and figure, which was 
indelibly fixed in his mind and memory. Forty dollars 
and a gold watch were taken. 

Mr. Schneider tried to prevent the taking of the watch 
by holding on to it for all he was worth, as it was a 
present from his father, long since deceased, but the rob- 
ber kicked him in the side, face, and eye; the latter he 
came near losing afterwards. The robber secured the 
watch and fled, leaving the victim unconscious and nearly 

How long Philip Schneider lay there from the effects 
of the brutal beating he had received no one knows, and 
he might have succumbed to his injuries had not Detect- 
ive Wooldridge had occasion to pass that way, and found 
him moaning and bleeding by the side of the plank walk, 
the latter being several inches higher there than the 

He was removed to the hospital in the police ambu- 
lance, where medical aid and every attention was given 
him. Upon the recovery of his reason he gave an intel- 
ligent report of what had taken place, together with a 
correct and minute description of the colored robber who 
had brutally beaten and robbed him. 

Mr. Schneider further stated that he would be able 
to recognize his assailant among a million men, and that 
he could pick him out anywhere on sight. 

The day following, June 6th, Philip Schneider and 
Detective Wooldridge started out to look for the colored 
robber in Chicago, a city, by the way, of nearly two mil- 
lion inhabitants. It was a big undertaking, and alto- 
gether like the far-famed search for a needle in a hay- 
stack; but both men were determined that this highway- 


man should be huntp4 lown, arrested and brought to 

A start was madii froij the railway depot to the scene 
of the robbery; then every colored resort and saloon on 
State street was visited, together with those on Dearborn 
street, Custom House place, and Clark street. All of 
these places were searched thoroughly, and the search 
was continued to the side streets. While this search was 
in progress, and while Philip Schneider and Detective 
Wooldridge were passing along the crowded thorough- 
fare of Polk street, between Clark street and Pacific 
avenue, which district is inhabited and frequented by 
every nationality and color, they saw standing at the 
mouth of an alley three colored men, drinking from an 
oyster can filled with beer. 

Philip Schneider discovered that he was face to face 
with Eugene Buchanan, the man v/ho so brutally beat 
and robbed him the night before, and in loud tones ex- 
claimed to the detective, "There is the man who robbed 
me. Arrest him !" 

At first Buchanan tried to pass it off as a joke, but 
finding that his subterfuge failed, he then said he could 
prove that he was in company with the two men present 
two miles from the scene of the robbery, and that he had 
remained there all night. 

This statement Detective Wooldridge knew was not 
true, for he had seen Smith, one of the men present, and 
Buchanan several times on the evening before. 

Schneider insisted on the arrest of Buchanan, and De-" 
tective Wooldridge told the negro that he must accom- 
pany him to the police station. 

Schneider pulled a revolver from his pocket and kept 
at bay the other two colored men. The struggle be- 


tween Buchanan and the detective was hot and fierce, 
and many blows were exchanged. The detective, how- 
ever, had Buchanan by the end of his coat sleeve, next 
to his right hand. Qi this the detective had a firm grip 
with his fingers in the inside of the coat sleeve and the 
thumb on the outside. Wooldridge had the use of his 
right hand, while Buchanan's right hand was useless, so 
long as Wooldridge had this kind of a hold. But Bu- 
chanan had the advantage of both strength and weight, 
and used both in the struggle, by getting around to the 
back of the detective. 

Then getting his head between his legs, he attempted 
to throw the detective over his head. But Buchanan had 
picked the wrong man, for Wooldridge had ridden many 
bucking bronchos before, and when Buchanan rose with 
the detective on his back, Wooldridge let go his -coat 
s'f^eve and threw his arm around Buchanan's neck, and 
with his right hand drew his gun, and placing the muzzle 
of the same in Buchanan's ear, compelled him to surren- 

Detective Wooldridge not only compelled him to sur- 
render, but forced him to carry him on his back to the 
police station, while he held the revolver to his head. 
This is the first record of a police officer, after capturing 
a highway robber, riding on his back to the lock-up with 
a loaded revolver placed against his head, and will long 
be remembered by those who witnessed the affair. 

E»;«gene Buchanan was a powerfully built colored man, 
and was the captain of as well an organized gang of 
crooks and highwaymen as ever infested the levee dis- 

The gang traveled the lonesome streets and lay in 
wait for their victims at the mouths of alleys and dark 


hallways, and under cover of darkness pounced upon the 
unwary and unsuspecting passers without any warning. 
They usually throw an arm around his neck under the 
chin, and pressing downward on his throat thus prevent 
the victim from making an outcry, and at the same time 
he is lifted oE the ground. This is called the strong- 
armed strangler's hold, and the victim is entirely at the 
mercy of the robber, who holds him fast while an ac- 
complice relieves him of his valuables. 

Sometimes a highwayman will strike down his victim 
first, with the aid of a slung shot, billy, or gun, and then, 
dragging him into an alley, proceed in the darkness to 
rob him at his leisure, and this kind of a robber generally 
is not satisfied with what jewelry and money he can se- 
cure, but strips his victim of his clothing, hat, shoes, and 
stockings, and he is left for dead, and, if still alive, is 
left unconscious to freeze. 

It was not an uncommon thing to find men almost daily 
left in this condition during the years 1891, 1892, 1893, 
and 1894. 

Sometimes the victim would recover sufficiently to 
make his way to the police station and report the occur- 
rence. As a rule, the victim could seldom identify any 
one, and clothing was usually secured for him by taking 
up a subscription, which was given to the unfortunate 
man as he passed into the street, and then the case was 
lost sight of in a fresh one. 

Another method in vogue among these robbers was to 
spring out from some dark doorway or alley upon the 
victim, and at the point of a revolver compel him to 
throw up his hands while he was relieved of his valu- 

The police reports show that Eugene Buchanan did 


more of this work than any other six men in the levee, 
district. He was arrested time and again, only to be 
turned loose, because nothing could be proven against 
him, as he would generally resort to an alibi. 

His companions in crime would rally to his assistance 
and secure his liberty, but on this occasion he was fooled 
for once, and his effort to prove an alibi was a failure. 

Buchanan was held to the grand jury, indicted, and 
convicted by a jury in Judge Blank's court on July 21, 
1894, and his sentence was three years at hard labor in 
the penitentiary. He served his time and returned to 

Detective Wooldridge was in attendance at court one 
morning at the Harrison Street Police Station, shortly 
after Eugene Buchanan returned, when he was surprised 
to see Buchanan come into court and make straight for 
him. Getting within speaking distance, he asked the 
detective if he knew him. Wooldridge replied "Yes," 
calling him by name. Buchanan then asked him if he 
had any personal feeling against him. Wooldridge re- 
plied "No," stating that he (Buchanan) had simply been 
punished for what he had done, and with that he ex- 
tended to him his hand and told him in the future to try 
and lead an honest life, and find work and always do 
what was right. 

At that Buchanan's eyes filled with tears, and he 
asked the detective if lie would not give him a letter to 
help him get work, and that was what had brought him to 
the station. Wooldridge asked him if he was in earnest. 
Buchanan dropped on his knees, and, taking the detect- 
ive by the hand, kissed it and cried like a child, and as- 
sured him that he was in earnest, and that he would per- 
sonally rather have a few lines from Wooldridge than 


from either the governor of the state or the mayor of the 

Wooldridge told him that he should have the letter the 
following day, and he would also assist him in finding 
work, and in addition to that gave him two dollars. 

The matter was laid before Justice Underwood and 
Captain Koch, who joined Wooldridge in a request to 
Nelson Morris & Co., the packers, where he secured 
work and remained for over a year. After working for 
a year he drifted back to the levee, and hunting up his 
old companions in crime, it was but a short while before 
he was on the road again holding up and robbing people. 

On August 9, 1899, R. B. Epperson, of 1418 Wabash 
avenue, in company with Mrs. C. G. Kingswell, of 5616 
Drexel boulevard, was walking through Washington 
park, near Fifty-second street, when they were met by 
Eugene Buchanan, who represented himself as an offi- 
cer, and placed them under arrest for being out late. 
It was then only 9:15. Mr. Epperson was very indig- 
nant, and demanded to be taken at once to headquarters. 

Buchanan then seized him, took his gold watch, valued 
at $50, and knocked him down. Mrs. C. G. Kingswell 
came to his rescue, snatching a long steel pin from her 
hat, and stuck it into Buchanan's head repeatedly until he 
was forced to release Mr, Epperson and defend himself 
against the woman, who was waging a hot battle. 

Buchanan struck her a stinging blow in the face, and 
Mr. Epperson, regaining his feet, came to her rescue) 
with an umbrella. Buchanan was forced to retreat. He 
met several citizens several hundred feet from the scene 
of the robbery. He told them that the man and woman 
had attacked him without cause, and that he had a mind 
to go back and cut the heart out of the man. These citi- 


zens were conversing with him under an electric light, 
where they had an opportunity to have a good look at 
him, and they had no reason to doubt him until Mr. 
Epperson and Mrs. Kingswell came up and informed 
them that they had been held up and robbed. Buchanan 
fled upon the approach of his victims. 

Mr, Epperson was taken to the Rogues' Gallery at 
the Harrison Street Police Station, where he pointed 
out Eugene Buchanan's picture as being that of the man 
who had robbed him at Washington Park August 9th. 

Buchanan was arrested August 15th, and identified by 
Mr. Epperson and Mrs. Kingswell and two citizens who 
were near the scene of robbery on that night. 

The watch was recovered at Newman's pawnshop, 1804 
South State street, where it was pawned for $6, and Bu- 
chanan was identified as the man who pawned it. 

When he was arrested Buchanan sent for Detective 
Wooldridge, and upon bended knees and with tears flow- 
ing down his cheeks, as he stood behind the bars at the 
Harrison Street Police Station, Buchanan declared he 
was an innocent man, and implored Wooldridge to save 
him from his enemies who, he alleged, were trying to 
railroad him to the penitentiary. 

Wooldridge promised him that he would be on hand 
the next morning and hear the evidence, and if he was 
satisfied that he was innocent and his accusers wrong, 
he would do what he could for him. 

But after listening to the evidence, and also to the evi- 
dence of the two officers who were stationed at Washing- 
ton Park, who had met Buchanan there on the night in 
question, and who had driven him from the park on sev- 
eral occasions before, and after seeing the wounds made 
by the hat pin in the hands of Mrs. Kingswell, which 


were still unhealed, Wooldridge informed him that he 
could not do anything for him. 

Eugene Buchanan was arraigned on or about October 
5, 1899. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to the 
penitentiary under the indeterminate act, and will prob- 
ably serve twenty years or more ; and it is to be devoutly 
hoped it may be more, as he has proven himself a dan- 
gerous man. 



During the World's Fair it was a common occurrence 
for barbers in different parts of the city, and particularly 
in the vicinity of Jackson Park, to charge a customer $5 
for a shave, hair cut, and for extras, but as late as in 
1896, three years after the great White City had become 
only a memory, Toney Fera revived the custom, but he 
was compelled to pay for his own extras in this case. 

To^ey had a shop at 351 Fifth avenue. A German 
farmer from the interior of the state stepped into .the 
shop and asked for a hair cut. The barber kept at work 
on the farmer, putting in extras, notwithstanding the 
protests made by his customer, and when he had finished 
presented a bill for $5. The farmer protested again, de- 
claring the charge was too much. The barber locked the 
door, and said he would not open it until he got the 
money. Then the customer paid the bill. 

Going out, he found Detective Wooldridge, and told 
him of his trouble. Wooldridge arrested the barber, and 
charged him with thirteen different violations of the crim- 


inal and municipal codes. These included robbery by in- 
timidation, false imprisonment, threat to kill, assault, im- 
personating an officer, having obscene pictures, carrying 
concealed weapons, cruelty to animals, resisting an offi- 
cer, using profane language, and disorderly conduct. 

Never before had a barber been given a chance to 
realize what a heinous criminal he was when he tried to 
get in a bill for extras. 

Toney presented in court an itemized bill, which sug- 
gests that he should be indicted for butchery of the Eng- 
lish language also. Here it is, verbatim et literatim: 


Hare cutting 25 

Mustached Died 50 

Hare Shinged 25 

Egg Shampo 35 

Hare die 3.25 

Hare Tonic 10 

Shave 15 

Lylock Perfome 15 



All of this, Fera claimed, had been ordered by the 
farmer and received by him. 

"Your honor," said Assistant City Prosecutor Thomp- 
son, "let the head and face of the complaining witness 
be introduced as evidence, and marked 'Exhibit A.' " 

This was accordingly done, and two expert witnesses 
were sworn by the defense. 

As a result the barber was held to the criminal court 
in $500 bonds, the justice saying this practice of making 
excessive charges was as bad as highway robbery. 

The grand jury heard the case, but failed to indict the 
barber, and he was discharged, yet the experience proved 
a valuable lesson to Fera, and one which he will long re- 



Many sad stories of depravity are heard in the slums 
of a big city, and the police meet often with criminals and 
vicious characters for whom they feel some sympathy. 
A case of this character came to the notice of Detective 
Wooldridge in 1896, in which a frail woman had to de- 
grade herself in many ways to support a man in idleness 
and luxury. F. S. Gray, who had a good trade, but 
abandoned it for a life of ease at the expense of a woman 
who assumed his name, is the man who brought upon 
himself the contempt of every one and the wrath of the 

He and the woman lived at 412^/2 State street. She 
had consumption, was very weak, and was frequently 


attacked with hemorrhages. But the condition of the 
scarlet woman made no difference to Gray. He com- 
pelled her to go into the street from darkness until the 
late hours of the morning to lead a life of shame in order 
that he might have money to live a life of ease, dress, 
gamble, and visit the race tracks and theaters. If she 
returned to their miserable home without her pockets 
well filled, she was certain to receive a severe beating 
from this brute, who did not deserve the name of man. 

Finally, the poor woman could stand the abuse and 
beating no longer, and left him. 

One day when the woman was out, Gray went to the 
room where they had been living, and proceeded to cut 
up all her clothing, which was worth over $300. Most 
of it had been given her by her sister. 

The villain began on her dresses and cut them up, until 
one would scarcely know whether they ever were dresses. 
He next commenced on her underclothing, cutting them 
into small shreds. They made a pile some four feet high. 

There was not a rag of her clothing, except what she 
was wearing, that escaped his knife. She came home and 
found the wreck he had left, and then made complaint to 
the Harrison Street Police Station, and procured a war- 
rant for his arrest, having found that two of the inmates 
of the house had seen him do the cutting. 

Detective Wooldridge was detailed to arrest him, and 
going to the house, he found Gray locked in a room. He 
refused to open the door, which had to be forced. Gray 
had succeeded in climbing up on a transom over a door, 
which separates two rooms, and when Wooldridge en- 
tered he dropped down to the floor into the next room. 
This door was also forced, and he again eluded the de- 
tective in the same way. 


Finally, after four doors were forced, he was captured 
and locked up at the Harrison Street Station, charged 
with malicious mischief, which is a penitentiary offense. 
When he saw what a serious difficulty he had got himself 
into, he secured a continuance for ten days, paid for the 
clothes, and the prosecution was dropped. 

Another case in every way similar to the above was 
that of a frail woman of the levee district who staggered 
into the police station one day, and as soon as she was 
able to speak asked for warrants for George Ludwig, a 
man with whom she had been living and whom she had 
been supporting for years by depraving herself. 

He had just beaten her and had taken her watch and 
a few cents, all the money she had. 

The woman told a long and pitiable story of ill treat- 
ment at the hands of Ludwig. Several times a day, she 
said, he was in the habit of beating her because she could 
not earn enough money to keep him dressed in the latest 

"Night and day I toiled to earn money for him, and, 
although I gave him every cent I made, he beat and 
kicked me until I am at present so weak I can hardly 
stand on my feet," she said, between sobs. 

Detective Wooldridge was given the warrants, and 
after some difficulty arrested Ludwig, who is a pow- 
erfully built man and has not done any work for years, 
compelling this woman to support him. After he was 
arrested he succeeded in getting some of his countrymen 
and friends to go to the woman and get her not to pros- 
ecute him. 



J. Medendorp, the driver for the Bee Hive Laundry, 
735 Ogden avenue, was driving his wagon at Twenty- 
sixth and Halsted streets when the wagon was struck 
by a south-bound electric car, and Medendorp was 
thrown over the dashboard upon the shafts, but he man- 
aged to grab the horse's tail and hung on. The horse 
took fright and ran away, and Officer Wooldridge, at 
great risk to his life, sprang into the street and seized 
the horse's bit and held on. He was dragged for nearly 
a block before the horse was stopped. Medendorp, the 
driver, received a scalp wound on the back of the head, 
and in addition to this had his shoulder bruised. 

A large number of children were playing in the street 
only a few feet from where the horse was brought to a 
standstill through the bravery and fearlessness of Officer 



No matter how good a man is at heart nor how good 
his intentions are, he will sometimes yield to temptation, 
ju^ as Wm, Skinner did when he passed some counter- 
feit money in Chicago in 1892 and was arrested by De- 
tective Wooldridge. 

Skinner formerly lived in a Missouri town and failed 
in business. The sheriff seized his goods to satisfy a 
judgment which had been returned against him, and then 
he found himself almost penniless, with a sick wife and 
two half-grown girl children to car^ for. The only prop- 
erty he had left was a wagon and two horses. 


The doctor advised him to take his wife to a cooler 
climate, thinking it would help her. Having no money, 
he placed his sick wife in the wagon, making her as com- 
fortable as possible, and with the children started tor 
Illinois, stopping at various places and working at har- 
vesting, which was going on at that time. The girls 
managed to procure a little work frequently at the same 
places. Mrs. Skinner began to improve, and when the 
harvest season was over in Illinois, Mr. Skinner drove 
through to Michigan, and during the strawberry season, 
with the help of the two girls, they saved a little money. 

The old wagon, which had given them shelter and 
served them as a home, was again called into use, the 
horses hitched to it, Mrs. Skinner and her two children 
placed aboard, and a start made for old Missouri, where 
they had friends and expected to find help. 

On the road from Michigan to Chicago, Mrs. Skinner, 
had another bad attack, and when Chicago was reached 
death was expected at any moment. Skinner had ex- 
pended every penny he had saved during the summer, 
and his family was in a distressed condition, and yet he 
was three hundred miles from friends. 

When Mr. Skinner was in business in Missouri, a 
book agent called one day and sold him a publication 
which contained information for the detection of counter- 
feit money. In the book were a large number of the faces 
of genuine and bad bills on thick blotting paper. 

Permission had been given a company to manufacture 
and sell this book, representing both back and front of 
the bills. The government plates had been loaned to the 
company, and it was sold through the country to banks 
and business men, who were handling money, to teach 
them how to detect bad money. 


Skinner cut a number of bills from the book, then split 
the paper, and placing it on a stone, worked it down until 
it was one-half the thickness of a paper bill. When he 
had both the back and^ front of the bill ready, he would 
stick them together, press it out and let it dry. He had 
some ten or fifteen bills prepared ranging from $io to 
$ioo bills. 

He then selected a pawnbroker to pass one of the bills 
on, and going into his place bought a shotgun and several 
other little articles, and tendered one of the $ioo bills, 
which was detected, and Skinner's arrest followed by 
Detective Wooldridge. He was held in bonds to the 
grand jury by Commissioner Hoyne. 

Skinner's former good character, the condition of his 
family, and the fact of the government being a party 
to the printing of the notes, which offered the inducement 
to him to do wrong, and this being his first offense, to- 
gether with other circumstances, induced the authorities 
to allow him to go on his own recognizance, with a prom- 
ise to show up when he was wanted. 

Captain Porter, United States Secret Service officer, in 
charge at Chicago, the United States marshal and the 
state's attorney even gave him some money to help his 
distressed family. 

Skinner secured employment, and when the federal 
grand jury first met, he reported at the United States 
marshal's office, telling them where he could be found if 
they wanted him, and several times during the term he 
reported to see if he was wanted. 

All the facts were presented to the grand jury, and no 
bill was returned. Skinner was allowed to go his way 
and sin no more. 




One of the most mysterious cases that ever fell to 
the lot of the Police Department to investigate and one 
which puzzled every one, from the chief down to the pa- 
trolman, and which also made the shrewdest newspaper 
reporters of Chicago look like amateurs, was one in which 
a woman called Rose Wallace figured in the early part of 
1899. She duped every one with whom she had any con- 
nection, not in such a way as to make her amenable to 
the laws or in a manner which would make her liable to 
criminal or civil prosecution, but in a spirit of adventure 
and in a mad desire for notoriety. In the latter desire 
she attained wonderful success, and also added a consid- 
erable amount to her bank account. 

The stories of her which were printed in the daily pa- 
pers at that time would fill a volume, and yet there was 
very little truth in any of them until she chose to tell 
them the real story of her life, and it is even doubtful if 
all or any part of that was true. 

The facts as they are best sustained by Detective Wool- 
dridge, who worked on the case, are that she came to 
Chicago from an Indiana town with a street showman 
and museum agent named Franklin, and boarded in the 
same house with him on West Madison street; that she 
got tired of Chicago and determined to go back to Indi- 
ana; that she packed up her baggage and went to the 
Dearborn street station ; that she wandered out from 
there while waiting for a train and met a Frenchman 
who was a cook in a restaurant, who took her to a house 


on Wabash avenue, where she staid for some days, and 
then met a man named George Gagne, who gained her 
confidence and to whom she told stories about vast 
amounts of property she had in Indiana. 

Gagne, who was a sport and always looking for the 
best of a good thing, believed the girl was telling him 
the truth, pretended to be in love with her, proposed 
marriage, was accepted, had a bogus ceremony per- 
formed, went to Indiana with her to get money, was de- 
nied the right to take possession of it without a legal 
marriage certificate, returned to Chicago, procured a 
marriage license in the city hall, and was married on the 
spot by a justice of the peace and returned with his wife 
to Evansville, armed, as he thought, with sufficient au- 
thority to make a legal claim to his wife's property. 

From this time on the plot thickened and changed 
so often that every one connected with it was deceived. 
When George Gagne and his wife reached Evansville, 
they walked up a street toward the hotel. A handsome 
carriage came toward them, and it was pointed out as 
being the property of his wife. Gagne stopped the driver, 
told him he would take charge of the vehicle as the 
husband of Rose Wallace, He drove the team into a 
livery stable and ordered that it be well taken care of. 

Gagne then went to Attorney Home, who was said to 
be the custodian of the woman's property, and made ar- 
rangements to have it transferred to Chicago. He said 
they were going to Montreal, Canada, to live. 

It was claimed that Home was to come to Chicago and 
deposit $17,000 for the woman in the First National 
Bank, and also to send here $14,000 worth of diamonds 
she was supposed to possess. 

The diamonds were to be brought by a supposed sister 


of Rose, whose name she said was Gertrude and who was 
only sixteen years old. 

Gagne secured rooms for his wife near the depot, and 
on the day that the Httle sister was to arrive he went to 
the postofifice. While he was gone his wife left the room 
and went out shopping. What she bought was a wig 
with a long braid to hang down the back, a short skirt, 
and a few other articles with which to disguise herself 
as the little sister. Then she went to the Newport 
Hotel on Monroe street, took a room, and "made up" 
as a young girl in short frocks. 

Then she went to the depot, as it was near the time 
for the train from Evansville to arrive. She had in her 
hand the little box in which the $14,000 worth of dia- 
monds were supposed to be packed. Taking her seat, 
she calmly watched the hurrying passengers arriving 
and departing, and kept a keen eye on the policeman 
who passed up and down the corridor. 

In the meantime George returned from the postoffice, 
and found his wife gone, but supposed she would return 
soon. He waited until it was time for the train to ar- 
rive, and then went to the depot, thinking his wife might 
be there waiting for her sister. He searched the waiting 
rooms, and then watched the passengers who got off the 
train. He did not see his wife in the crowd which was 
awaiting nor any one leaving the train whom he thought 
might be her sister. 

He started back to his room to see if his wife had 
gone there. While he was gone, the wife, posing as her 
little sister, gained the sympathy of Officer Kelley by 
crying and sobbing like one in great distress. Passengers 
around the depot looked at her with pity written in their 
faces, and the big policeman looked out of the window 
to restrain ^tear. 



She said she had come from Evansville and expected 
to meet her sister and brother-in-law at the depot. Fail- 
ing to find either one of them, and being a stranger, she 
said she was very much alarmed and didn't know where 
to go. She said her name was Gertrude Wallace, of Ev- 
ansville, Indiana. The officer then took her to the Har- 
rison Street Police Station Annex, where she was turned 
over to the matron. 

After this Gagne appeared at the police station, and 
very excitedly asked assistance in finding his wife. He 
said his sister-in-law was expected to arrive here in the 
afternoon, and when he had first missed his wife he 
supposed she had gone to the depot to meet the young 
woman. Gagne did not have a very creditable reputation 
in police circles, and his story was looked upon with 
some suspicion, especially by Detective Wooldridge, who 
was present when he visited the station. Gagne professed 
to believe that the disappearance of his wife was the re- 
sult of a plot to separate him from her and her estate of 
$128,000. His threatening attitude towards Detective 
Wooldridge, who knew his history well and reminded 
him of it, caused the officer to plainly tell him what his 
suspicions were. In a bold and dramatic manner Gagne 
declared he was worth $128,000, and would split half 
of it for the purpose of getting even with the detective, 
who had been brave enough to tell him what he was. In 
the meantime the girl, who was no other than Gagne's 
wife in disguise, had been told of Gagne's character and 
reputation and warned against him. 

The police at last became suspicious concerning the 
disappearance of Gagne's wife, not having yet been able 
to penetrate the disguise she wore. It was known that 
Gagne would do almost anything to get possession of as 


large a sum of money as he claimed his wife had. It was 
feared that he might have disposed of his wife, or even 
caused her death in some way for the purpose of getting 
this money, to which he would have been a legal heir. 
When after three days the missing wife was not found 
and all efforts to locate her had been in vain, Gagne was 
arrested and locked up to be held until the mystery was 
solved. All this time the girl in short dresses was in 
the possession of the matron at the annex, and spend- 
ing a large portion of her time crying and sobbing over 
the loss of her sister Rose. Finally, Detective Wool- 
dridge went to the annex, carrying some fruit which 
, he gave to the girl, and began to talk with her. She 
brightened up and talked freely with the detective. 

She had ceased crying, and had removed the handker- 
chief which she had used to dry her tears for two days 
from her eyes, which gave the detective an opportunity 
to scrutinize her closely. In descriptions given the de- 
tective of the missing woman, one fact had been stated 
which furnished Wooldridge a clue by which he solved 
the mystery. In these descriptions it was said that Mrs. 
Gagne had a "cast" in one of her eyes. The detective 
remembered this, and observed that the girl who sat be- 
fore him also had a "cast" in her eye. He thought it 
would be strange should two sisters be marked so per- 
fectly alike. He observed the long braid of hair hang- 
ing down her back, and after making a careful inspection 
he could see that the woman wore a wig. Then, by a 
quick jerk, as if by accident, he pulled the braid and wig 
from the girl's head and saw before him not sixteen- 
year-old Gertrude Wallace, but Mrs. Rose Wallace 
Gagne, the missing wife for whom such a diligent 
search had been made. 


The woman then and there acknowledged that she 
was Mrs. Rose Gagne, and that she had disguised her- 
self to escape from her husband, who, she claimed, had 
beaten and ill-treated her. She said she had determined 
to leave him, and adopted this plan for the purpose of 
making her escape. Then she asked the police to give 
her protection, as she was afraid the man would kill 
her. When this protection was promised and she was 
assured that no harm would come to her as long as she 
was in the hands of the police, she told the story of her 
life and her property, which not only surprised the Police 
Department, but all the newspaper reporters who had 
been trying to solve the mystery which surrounded her. 
She said Gagne only wanted her money, that he had 
locked her in the rooms which they occupied, and she 
took advantage of his leaving the door unlocked one 
afternoon to make her escape. 

Continuing, she said : "My little sister Gertrude was 
to have come to Chicago and joined me here. When I 
married George Gagne I thought he was a man that real- 
ly cared for me and saved me from a Wabash avenue re- 
sort, to which I was sent through my ignorance. When 
I found out what kind of a man he was, when he had 
beaten me and once knocked me senseless and left me 
unconscious until I recovered the next morning, I wrote 
to Gertrude not to come, and then I began to lay my 
plans to get away from the man who married me. As 
long as he was at liberty, I was afraid of him, but now 
that he is locked up in a cell, I feel at liberty to talk. He 
has not concealed the fact that he was after my property 
alone. He always kept a revolver at hand when he was 
in the room, and had given me to understand that he 
would use it to gain his ends, if necessary. I watched 


my opportunity, and when he left the house I ran away. 
My first intentions were to get him into the hands of the 
police, but I was afraid they would not believe my story, 
and so I adopted this course. 

"The story of my property is absolutely true. I would 
have inherited a farm from my grandmother if I hadn't 
married this man. The money in question is represented 
by mine stocks deposited in a vault in Chihuahua, Mex- 

The woman then asked the detective to send to the 
Newport Hotel for her clothes. In the meantime George 
Gagne was told that the "little sister" in the Harrison 
Street Annex was his wife. He laughed at this, and 
said he would like to have a few puffs at the same pipe 
smoked by his informant. Finally, however, after be- 
ing assured that the girl was really his wife, he consented 
to go up and have a talk with her. When he stepped 
into the woman's presence and saw the same old smile 
on his wife's face which caused him to give up several 
hundred of his dollars, he seemed like one in a dream. 
He seized a chair and dropped into it as if he was com- 
pletely exhausted. Then he recovered and his face be- 
came crimson. He saw the cute little miss that duped 
him, and saw the crowd of officers enjoying his dis- 

It seemed that all his violent love, which was sup- 
posed to be kindled by the story of great wealth told by 
her, had gone out and nothing but the ashes of love re- 
mained. He was the picture of despair as he sat look- 
ing into the face of the woman who had so completely 
deceived him. 

Mrs. Gagne was not so sure of her safety from her 
husband, and remained at tbf" citation another day. In 


the meantime, it was charged that she had taken some 
clothing from the place on West Madison street, where 
she boarded, and the owner swore out a warrant for 
her, on which she was arrested and held. 

This was finally settled in some way, but when she 
was arraigned the next morning on this charge, Frank- 
lin, the museum man, was present, and recognized her as 
the woman he had engaged in the Indiana town and 
brought to Chicago. The girl acknowledged the ac- 
quaintance, and then he had a few minutes' conversa- 
tion with her in a low tone. After that he announced 
that he had engaged her to appear in a museum as a 
freak, and said he would begin her engagement as soon 
as she got out of her trouble and had gotten a divorce. 

The woman then said she had been an acrobat ever 
since she was four years old. She said her mother was 
an acrobat for ten years. Then she declared that she 
had been traveling with circuses during the summer and 
spending her winters near Evansville, Ind., where, she 
said, she really had a sister. The greater part of the 
time, she declared, she acted in Mexico. 

When asked about her fortune in or near Evansville, 
she declared that part of her story was a fake. She said 
she had a sister living there with nice, plain people, but 
she had no property there. 

She went into the museum afterward at a salary of 
$50 a week, and later this was raised to perhaps twice 
the amount. Gagne did not oppose her petition for a 
divorce, and she was giv6n a decree. He acknowledged 
he had been cleverly duped, and that the experience 
had cost him $900. 

The story which Mrs. Gagne first told in Chicago, 
and which it is believed is the ont that caused George 


Gagne to marry her, was that her mother was the widow 
of Thomas Wallace, a California miner, who had died 
recently, leaving the girl $130,000. This was to be hers 
when she reached the age of eighteen. She further 
claimed that she would come into possession of $50,000 
more at the death of her grandmother, a Mrs. Milburn, 
of Evansville. She said her father and mother had sep- 
arated before the former went to California. 

She also declared that her grandmother had $14,000 
worth of diamonds in her possession which belonged to 
her, and that she was the owner of 283 acres of land 
near Evansville. A lawyer named Home attended to 
her financial affairs. The girl persisted in this story 
until after the climax at the police station. It was dis- 
covered by the police that if such a man as Home ex- 
isted he was playing a role to carry out her schemes. 
Careful investigation failed to show that she had any 
property in or near Evansville, or that she had the dia- 
monds of which she so often spoke. The Chief of Po- 
lice of Evansville was requested to investigate the ro- 
mance, and he declared that if the woman ever lived 
there or in Vanderburgh county, of which Evansville is 
the county seat, or if there was ever in that locality any 
such estate as the woman claimed to own, either in land 
or personal property, the people of that vicinity had 
never found it out. 

The police there failed to trace the locality of anj per- 
son having landed property in the county by the name of 
Mary Milburn. The Attorney Horne spoken of by the 
girl as having been charged with the settlement of the 
estate was not known there. Investigation was made 
there also by several Chicago newspaper reporters, some 
of whom reached the conclusion that a part of the girl's 


story in reference to her owning property in the vicinity 
was true, yet others declared that there was much doubt 
as to the truth of her story. It has never been fully 
established by the police or the press that she had prop- 
erty in the vicinity of Evansville, or that she had a sis- 
ter named Gertrude. The woman told so many different 
and conflicting stories concerning herself that the police 
have always been skeptical as to the truth of anything 
she said. While the investigations were in progress. 
Detective Wooldridge received the following letter : 

Chicago, Jan. i8, 1899. 
Officer Wooldridge, of the Harrison Street Police Station: 

Dear Sir — Having read the "Gagne" article in tiie papers last 
night, I noticed your name connected with the same; so please 
allow me to suggest to you that Gagne is up against the real 
thing if he paid these people anything, with hopes of landing 
some easy money in large bunches. I was born and raised in 
Evansville, Ind., and have been there recently, so these people 
must have been under cover the last twenty-six y^ars. as I have 
known everybody in Evansville from the mayor to the street 
urchins, but can't recall these wealthy ( ?) Wallace girls, so I 
think Gagne got the short end of his own game. 

Jack Doherty, 
"Evansville Kid," Boxer. 

The whole case presents many strange features, and it 
is still, in some respects, a mystery. The many stories 
told by the woman cannot be reconciled. It was thought 
by some that she and Gagne had pre-arranged and 
planned the whole thing, and that there was really some 
property somewhere of which they expected to get pos- 
session. Then it was suggested that some one, who is 
still under cover, planned with Rose Wallace to fleece 
Gagne, but this is not sustained by the results; because 
all the money Gagne spent was in payment for the wom- 
an's clothes, jewelry, board, etc. 


Gagne is a well-known levee character who formerly 
posed as a professional bondsman. He had been living 
a long time with a woman named Georgia White, and 
the police discovered that Georgia White knew all about 
Gagne's plans. She knew he had married Rose Wallace 
and expected to get her property. She had her trunks 
packed expecting to go to Canada, which Rose Wallace 
said would be the destination ci her and Gagne. From 
this the police drew the conclusion that Gagne intended 
to get Rose Wallace's property, then desert her or get 
rid of her in some way, and go to Canada with Georgia 

When Gagne made his boast to Detective Wooldridge 
about his wealth, he proposed to substantiate his claim 
by showing two bank deposit books. They were unique. 
The first was a plain leather account book with the 
words "First National Bank of Chicago in account with" 
printed on the cover, and the name of "Rose Wallace" 
written underneath. On the first inside page, opposite 
the cover, appeared three purported deposits, as follows : 

December 21 .$5,000 

December 23 2.500 

January 11 10,000 

Total $17,500 

The officials of the First National Bank said they did 
not know Rose Wallace, and had had no dealings with 
her whatever, and she had no money deposited there. 

It was pointed out also that the book was not in the 
usual bank form, and that banks usually use a double 
page -for debits and credits. The other bank book was 
of similar external appearance, except for the handwrit- 
ing. U had "First National Bank of Carmi, III, in ar^- 


count with" printed on the cover, and "Rose Wallace, 
Dec. 3, 1898, Page First," written underneath. On "page 
first" there appeared in the right corner, "Cr." In the 
opposite corner appeared "Dec. ist." Near the top of 
the page was scrawled in the same handwriting as the 
name outside, "Rose Wallace," and underneath, "$5,000." 
Gagne had other evidences of his wealth. There was 
the following: 

No. 2782. EvANSViLLE, Ind., Jan. 2, 1899. 

First National Bank pay to the order of the Bearer, George 
Gagne, three thousand dollars. Rose Wallace. 


The police compared the signature wjth that to an 
order written, as George Gagne declared, requesting the 
postoffice authorities to give him her mail, and found 
them characteristically similar. They compared these 
signatures with the name on the cover of the Carmi, 111., 
bank book, and found the same characteristics. The 
general formation of the letters was alike, the-bank book 
name being more carefully written. The letter "W" in 
each case was peculiarly written with hooks and curls 
which would be difficult to imitate. Gagne declared he 
did not compare the writing before, and he could not 
explain it. 

Gagne also had several typewritten letters, all of which 
had typewritten signatures attached. In one, "F. J. R. 
Reitz," of Evansville, wrote, advising Rose Wallace not 
to be in a hurry to put her money in a certain Chicago 
bank, as it "is not incorporated," and she might lose it. 

Another letter, signed in ink, "Gilchrist, attorney," 
and dated Evansville, advised Rose Wallace to be patient 
and wait, and she would get possession of her money 
without difficulty. There were letters from other towns. 


It was observed that all were written on the same size 
and quality of paper, none on letter heads, and apparently 
with the same typewriter and the same typewriter rib- 

These facts showed, when put together, there was a 
ideep conspiracy somewhere, but it never developed or 
[reached the stage where any one could be held, crim- 



Young men from rural towns who go to great cities 
with a consuming desire to see the great sights that lurk 
in the shadows of levee resorts, will read with absorbing 
interest the woes which befell G. A. Garland, who came 
from a small Illinois settlement to Chicago and tumbled 
into one of those pitfalls which ever tempt and lead 
astray the unsophisticated. 

This incident not only adorns a tale, but points a 
moral and shows how young men who wander away 
from home may become corrupted. 

Garland was proprietor of a small store in his native 
village, and was known and much respected as a con- 
stant church member and one of the star pupils of the 
Sunday-school Bible class. As a social light he was also 
prominent, and, being single, was very popular with the 
young women. 

The first chapter of his moral degeneration began 
when he packed his grip and started for Chicago. In his 
pockets he carried $500, as his mission was to replenish 


his stock of goods. On his arrival in Chicago he regis- 
tered at the Saratoga Hotel. The next day he was quiet 
and moral, but as the shades of evening fell and the influ- 
ence of city life asserted itself, he gulped down his con- 
science, checked his character at the office, and decided 
for this once he would be a real bad man. 

Rapidly he ebbed with the rollicking tide of careless 
humanity into the forbidden precincts of the levee. Soon 
he met Lillie Belmont, a "lady of color," whom the po- 
lice well know. The two visited various saloons and 
drank together, finally going to 480 State street, a noto- 
rious panel house kept by Lulu White. 

Just how long Garland stayed there he never told, but 
when he finally tore himself away, he discovered that he 
had been robbed of $480. 

He hastened to the Harrison Street Police Station and 
told his tale. His recital was accompanied with tears, 
and to Detective Wooldridge, who was assigned to the 
case, he said : "Oh, Mr. Officer, I'm ruined ! I'm dis- 
graced forever and dare not go home ! Oh ! please get 
my money. Do give me my money, and you shall wear 
diamonds. You can have everything, only get me my 

By this time Garland was hysterical, but the officer 
soothed him, and finally he was quieted. Warrants were 
taken out for the arrest of Lillie Belmont and Lulu 
White, on a charge of larceny, and others for Harry 
Smith, William Callway, Mike Burk, Henry Turner, 
and Frankie Hazel, on charges of being accessories. 

The latter were arrested, but the two principals es- 
caped. After the case had been called, Garland left 
court and started for the lake front. At Michigan ave- 
nue and Harrison street he was overhauled by Officer 


Wooldridge, who asked him where ne was going. "To 
the lake; I am disgraced, and can only commit suicide." 

He ^was sent to the Armory. Later Wooldridge lo- 
cated Lulu White and Lillie Belmont and started to ar- 
rest them. Garland interfered and withdrew the war- 
rants. Pressed to explain his action, he said he had 
received $440 of his money and had signed an agree- 
ment not to prosecute the case. . 

Garland called at the police station to ask them not to 
let the story get out, whereupon he was confronted with 
his receipt for $480, which he had given Lulu White. 
After offering Wooldridge a five-cent cigar, he went 
away, and the charges against the five people under ar- 
rest were withdrawn. 


A case in which there was enough if not too much 
Jones was recalled by the arrest of William Jones, May 
15, .1896, by Detective Wooldridge for shoplifting in 
Siegel, Cooper & Co.'s store. 

Several months prior to the theft, William Jones 
worked for May Jones and was arrested by Officer Jones 
for vagrancy and carrying concealed weapons. He was 
found guilty and sent to the House of Correction for six 
months. He was defended by the attorney, "Indigna- 
tion" Jones, who after his client had served two months 
served a writ of habeas corpus before Judge Goggin, 
who ordered him released. The order was miscarried 
in some way and, he was not released, and Mayor Swift, 
Comptroller Wetherell and Superintendent Mark Craw- 
ford were cited for contempt of court. 


In the shoplifting case Jones was sentenced to thirty 
days in jail. 



There is not in the life of any woman in America a 
greater variety than in the checkered career of Mary 
Hastings, who was one of the shining lights of the Chi- 
cago levee for many years. She has played every role 
in the great drama of earthly existence. It would be 
impossible to find anything new for her here; there 
may I be a change for her beyond the grave. 

She was born of wealthy French parents some thirty 
odd years ago, and in the gay atmosphere of Paris she 
imbibed extravagant ideas of high living. In the whirl 
of society from girlhood to young womanhood she grew 
to love the fashionable pleasures and vices of the upper 
circles. Princes and counts showered on her many 
words of praise, and as Mademoiselle Marie Sefholic 
she was the center of a set of fast young men and led a 
life which was filled with one round of pleasure and mild 

But the confines of the gay French capital Were too 
narrow for her. She wanted to see the world, and espe- 
cially Chicago. She left Paris for new fields of pleas- 
ure, but the seven days' ride across the Atlantic seemed 
to offer too little excitement, and she went in the other 
direction and landed in the United States through the 
Golden Gate at San Francisco. 

She found life there for a time very alluring. She 


mingled in the gay throngs of all classes, and finally 
listened to the wooing of a lover and became his wife. 
It was a dream at first, and they were as happy as her 
heart could desire. But as a matron she felt the monot- 
ony which goes with the round of the household duties, 
and then there came a separation and a divorce. Mary's 
other admirers came and went, and for some time her 
old habits made life once more a pleasure. Finally, how- 
ever, she grew anxious for another change. Her old 
love came back to her and she returned to her divorced 
husband. To make the change more effective she de- 
cided to quit San Francisco, and with the divorced hus- 
band she suddenly dropped into Chicago, and has been 
here nearly ever since, except during the time she spent 
on several occasions in other places while eluding the 
police, and the past year or two, which she has spent in 

She reached here early in the year 1888, and she kept 
the temperature in the vicinity of the Harrison Street 
Station several degrees warmer from that day until she 
left the city. She set a new pace for the dark side of 
Chicago, and her many ups and downs would make a 
volume in itself. 

When she arrived here she had $15,000 in gold. Soon 
afterward she purchased a piece of property at 2904 
Dearborn street, paying $6,500 in cash for the land. In 
1890 she commenced to erect a house on the ground, 
which, when completed, increased the value of the prop- 
erty to $28,000. While she was building this house of 
vice she lived at 144 Custom House place and conducted 
a house of prostitution. Then she met Edward Mullen, 
who was a contractor. Mullen was smitten with her, 
and soon displaced her divorced husband. 



Not long after Mullen took up the woman he began 
scheming to get possession of her property, but notwith- 
standing the numberless artifices he employed, she ob- 
durately refused at first to transfer it to him. Then the 
schemer induced her to go away for a brief trip. On her 
return, May 20, 1891, she was arrested by Officers Hild- 
man and Buckley on a charge of harboring young girls 
in a house of prostitution, and was held by Justice J. K, 
Prindiville in bonds of $1,500. Her bonds were signed 
by Mike Lawler and J. W. Thomas, the colored lawyer 
and professional bailer, and she was released. Then 
Mullen, the schemer, advised her to skip over to Canada 
until the matter blew over. Before she went, however, 
Mullen again counseled her to turn the real estate ovtr 
to him, as she could not use it for her own benefit while 
it remained in her name. The fellow had gained wonder- 
ful influence over the woman, and she was prevailed 
upon to do as he advised. With this end in view she 
called on Attorney John C. King and asked him to draw 
up a deed of transfer. 

The lawyer saw through the scheme and refused to 
draw up the deed. The woman had been a client of his 
in the past and he felt it his duty to warn her of the evi- 
dent plot. 

Instead of heeding King's advice, however, she sought 
George W. Crawford, ex-assistant city prosecutor, and 
made a similar request of him, but again met with re- 
fusal. Finally she found a lawyer who performed the 
service for her. 

Mullen, who then had absolute control of his victim's 
property, renewed the suggestion that she leave town for 
a while until the indictment which had been returned 
against her had been forgotten. This she did, and the 


wily fellow ' then transferred her property to one John 
McGrevy, from whom the title was shifted to Marquis 
R. Berry, Both these names were said to be aliases of 
Mullen, as no person could be found who would claim 

When she returned to Chicago a year later she had 
spent all her money and demanded that Mullen deed her 
property back to her. He refused to do so, and there 
was a bitter controversy between them. Suddenly the 
old indictment which had been returned against her for 
harboring young girls under age was unearthed by some 
mysterious influence, and Mary Hastings was again ar- 
rested and thrown into jail. She secured the services of 
Attorney Alexander Collins, and he managed to have 
the old indictment quashed and the woman released from 

Under her advice he then began a fight in court for 
the recovery of her property. Mullen became apprised 
of this move, and quietly and suddenly Marquis B. Berry 
transferred the title of the Dearborn street house to 
Milton R. Thackery, a lawyer who had been Mullen's 
counsel in former lawsuits. Next the schemer prevailed 
on Mary to go with him to Milwaukee, where they went 
through a ceremony of marriage. 

There was no question as to the woman's right to 
marry, as she was divorced from her former husband in 
San Francisco. Mullen, however, enjoyed the acquaint- 
ance of a woman who lived on Green street and who 
bore his name. She was sometimes known as Julia King, 
but claimed that Mullen was her name. 

When the couple returned from Milwaukee the woman 
established a vile resort at 144 Fourth avenue. She no- 
tified Collins that all difterences between herself and 


Mullen had been healed, and she wanted no further ef- 
fort made to wrest the property from him. 

Meantime Mullen bobbed up at the Harrison Street 
Station as a bailer. Lieutenant Arch objected to his 
presence, and told him very plainly that unless he kept 
away he would be prosecuted for scheduling property 
that was not in his name. This only angered the schemer 
and he determined to secure Arch's dismissal from the 
force. Together with a reporter who frequented the 
Fourth avenue den he hatched a scheme to have Arch 
call on Mrs. Hastings and then surprise him in a com- 
promising position. The woman, however, refused to 
be a party to the game, and it fell through. 

A few weeks later Mullen left her, and she asked the 
lieutenant's advice as to what course she sould pursue. 
He told her to continue the fight already commenced in 
the court and make the fellow disgorge her property. 

Before Attorney Collins could reinstate the case the 
Chicago Carpet Co. appeared with an attachment which 
took precedence over any transfer of the property. The 
debt was $1,900 and was for the furnishings of the 
Dearborn street house. The title was traced to Thack- 
ery, and then the carpet company's lawyer joined with 
Collins in an endeavor to straighten out the title to the 
property. The case was referred to a master in chan- 
cery, but the woman was never able to recover her prop- 

Mary Hastings next took up with "Tom" Gaynor, 
whom she met in the fall of 1894. At that time she had 
several houses on Custom House place that she fur- 
nished and rented for enormous sums. She also had 
two houses :vnd a saloon at 136 Custom House place 
which she conducted herself. The police were making 


it very warm for her on account of the many larcenies* 
committed in her houses. 

She appealed to the Captain of Police to stop raiding 
her, and was told that the complaints must cease and 
the girls must be kept away from the windows. They 
arrested her daily arid imposed heavy fines. When she 
met Gay nor he told her that if she was his friend she 
would have no trouble and there would be no raids. 

Mary did not understand how this was, and Gaynor 
explained to her that he had a "pull," and if she would 
accept him as a partner everything would roll along 
smoothly. She was then receiving an income of $365 
per month and took him in for a partner. 

She claimed that from that time on he treated her 
brutally and shamefully. He was to pay $350, but in- 
stead of that she claimed he took from her $1,600. Then 
she paid his bills, which amounted to nearly $7,000. She 
asked him for some returns of the saloon, which was 
taking in some $2,000 a month, but she could get noth- 
ing from him. She allowed matters to run along this 
way about a year, when she demanded that he settle up 
and give her what she was entitled to from the im- 
mense profits of the business. 

The answer she received was a shot in the leg from a 
revolver and a brutal beating, which laid her up for 
some time. 

When she finally recovered she branched out as a 
procuress on a large scale, and brought to Chicago within 
three weeks nine young girls from Ohio and took them to 
one of her dens on Custom House place, where they were 
kept under lock and key and deprived of their clothing. 
She kept the doors locked and barred and would not 
allow any of them to leave the place. She intercepted 


and held all the mail addressed to them and refused tc 
permit them to communicate with any one. 

Finally, on the night of September 26, two of the 
girls escaped by climbing down a rope from a window. 
They made their way to the police station and told the 
story of their bondage and eventual escape by strategy. 

Two other girls also escaped, but one of them, Ida' 
Martin, who was only fourteen years old, has never 
been seen since, and it has always been the belief of 
the police that she was killed or that she drowned her- 
self in the lake to escape the life to which she thought 
she was doomed. 

Detective Wooldridge was sent to the house from 
which the prisoners escaped, where he found five help- 
less, half-clad girls, locked in rooms, quaking with fea? 
and begging for release. Mary Hastings was instantly 
arrested, and the girls sent to the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion Annex, where the two other girls who reported the 
matter were being held. 

The story which the police gleaned from questioning 
the girls was that Mary Hastings on September 5 ap- 
peared in Cleveland in company with a man. She vis- 
ited the Auditorium Theater, and met Lizzie Lehrman 
and Kittie Clair. She bought drinks for them, and then, 
under the pretense of taking them for a ride, got them 
to enter a hack. On the way Gertie Harris, who was 
intoxicated, was brought to the carriage by a man and 
accepted an invitation for a ride. 

At the depot Florence Lapella was met, and together 
they all got on the train and started for Chicago. When 
the girls sobered up they wished to return to Cleveland, 
but had no money. On their arrival in Chicago they 
were taken to 128 Custom House place, where their 


clothes were taken from them. Then they were kept 
under lock and key, and the visits of men were forced 
on some of them, no matter how strongly they pro- 

The girls from Toledo said Mary Hastings appeared 
in that city on September i8. On her arrival there she 
paid a visit to the Brunswick Hotel, where she found 
May Casey and Ida Martin, the latter fourteen years of 
age. On being told they were looking for work, the 
Hastings woman offered them a position in her house 
as servants. 

May was an orphan and consented immediately, but 
Ida wished to consult her parents first. The Hastings 
woman apparently consented to this, but instead took 
the girls to the United States Hotel and got them 
drunk. She then locked them in the room over night. 

The next morning she appeared at the hotel again and 
got them drunk. Then she took them in a cab to the 
depot. When passing the corner of Summit and Cherry 
streets, Kittie McCarthy was seen, and she was per- 
suaded to get in the hack. At Lafayette street, Kittie 
Winzel was called to the hack, and as she knew the Mc- 
Carthy girl, she too got in "to take a ride." Kittie 
Winzel was only seventeen years old and resided with 
her grandparents on Canal street, Toledo. At the depot 
Blanche Gordon was met, and by alluring promises con- 
sented to go, and together the party got on the train for 
Chicago. Arriving here the girls were taken to the den 
on Custom House place and their clothes taken aw^y 
from them. 

None of the girls were allowed to go out, but Lizzie 
Lehrman, May Casey, Ida Martin and Gertie Harris 
escaped, clad only in wrappers. 


In addition to the felony warrants, search warrants 
were obtained, and Officer Wooldridge got some of their 

Over $2,000 worth of clothing was found in the Hast- 
ings woman's house at 128 Custom House place, taken 
from girls at various times who had been inmates there. 

When the procuress was arraigned the following 
morning she asked for a continuance of ten days, which 
was granted. She was required to give a bond of $2,100 
for her appearance, which was signed by "Tom" Gaynor. 

A deep scheme was then evolved to get Detective 
Wooldridge discredited in the eyes of the public and his 
superior officers by tising the press. Mary Hastings sent 
for two newspaper reporters and told them that she could 
prove that Wooldridge was not sincere in his efforts to 
rescue fallen women, and told them he was simply per- 
secuting her. She declared that he was in her house 
that morning and visited one of her inmates for an illicit 
purpose. In order to prove this assertion she called in 
several of the inmates, who repeated what she had said 
and declared they were willing to swear it was true. She 
also asserted that this was not the first time that he was 
there for this purpose. 

Upon getting this information and having it verified 
by the inmates of the house, the reporters were inclined 
at first to believe it was true, and began to think they 
had gotten possession of a very sensational story. They 
started ouf at once to find Wooldridge in order to ascer- 
ta!n what he had to say concerning the charges made by 
the Hastings woman. No baser insinuation was ever 
made against any one, because at the time she claimed 
that he was in the house Wooldridge was before the 
grand jury and had been there from eleven o'clock in 


the morning until 2 130 in the afternoon, and before that 
time was in attendance at the poHce court from eight to 
nine o'clock. It was not difficult for the reporters to 
substantiate what Wooldridge said ; therefore the scheme 
to injure him failed, although it was said at the time it 
cost Mary Hastings considerable money to promote it. 

Another attempt was made to secure the woman's 
freedom before the day of hearing, at which she must 
appear or forfeit her bond of $2,100. This was an ef- 
fort made through agents who were sent to Toledo to 
endeavor to have some of the girls' friends come to Chi- 
cago and secure a writ of habeas corpus in order to get 
them away from the protection of the police and thus 
deprive the prosecution of the benefit of their evidence. 
This also failed. 

Another scheme to stop the prosecution of this woman 
was concocted by her attorney, George W. Crawford, 
who was at one time assistant city prosecutor. His plan 
was to send Wooldridge to New Mexico on a "wild 
goose" chase after some alleged defaulting banker, and 
even went so far as to get an order from the Chief of 
Police and money for transportation and other expenses 
incident to this trip. Wooldridge was to have started 
from Chicago on the night before the case of Mary Hast- 
ings was to be called before Justice Richardson. 

Wooldridge heard of this plan to get him out of the 
way and went to the officials of the Civic Federation, the 
Woman's Protective Association and the Woman's Aid 
Society and told them of the plan and what the objects 
of it were. Officers from each of these organizations 
then went to George B. Swift, who was then mayor of 
Chicago, and told him of the facts. He at once wrote 
an order to the Chief of Police telling him to keep De- 


tective Wooldridge at the Harrison Street Police Sta- 
tion and not to allow him to leave the city under any cir- 

Wooldridge also saw the city prosecuting attorney and 
secured his promise to be present in person when the 
case was called. 

In the meantime Wooldridge had taken the girls 
before the grand jury and secured two indictments 
against Mary Hastings, the bond in each case being 
$5,000. These bonds were also secured by "Tom" 
Gaynor, who then told her that she had better leave 
the city and go to Canada, saying he would look 
after everything until the matter cooled down, and 
she took his advice and left. 

Finally, on October 14 the case was called, and 
there occurred at that time one of the most dramatic 
and exciting scenes ever enacted in a court of jus- 

Counsel for the woman asked for another contin- 
uance of ten days, saying that the city prosecutor 
had agreed with him on such action, and that his 
client was on the north side giving new bonds. The 
city prosecutor who was present said he saw no ob- 
jection to the continuance, and the justice, with pen 
in hand, was just about to enter the order, when 
Wooldridge sprang to his feet, and in tones that 
could be heard in the adjoining room and even out 
on the street, cried : 

"One moment, your honor. I want to say a word 
before that order is entered. As an officer of the 
court and in the name of law and order and in the 
name of the City of Chicago and of the State of 
Illinois, I demand the right to be heard." 


George W. Crawford, counsel for the woman, in- 
terrupted and sneeringly said: 

"I object to anything the little, insignificant de- 
tective has to say here. The city and state are rep- 
resented by the prosecuting attorney, and if there is 
objection to these proceedings let it come from 

"I appeal to you again, your honor, for an opportu- 
nity to be heard,*" Wooldridge exclaimed. 

The justice overruled the objection of the defense 
to the statement Wooldridge had to make, and he 
was told to go on. Then the detective demonstra- 
ted that he knew something about legal proceedings 
himself. Addressing the court, he said : 

"Your honor, I insist with all the strength of my 
manhood and with an honest purpose and pure mo- 
tives, that this case be not continued. For twentv- 
one days these seven girls who have been the victirns 
of this defendant have been held at the Annex, living 
on black coffee and stale bread, with scarcely 
enough clothing to cover their nudity. They have 
waited to testify against the defendant, whose attor- 
nev and friends are conspiring for another continu- 
ance that some new scheme may be hatched to get 
these witnesses out of the way. When the gentle- 
man who represents the defendant in this case tells 
this court that his client is m the city and is on the 
north side preparing bonds for her appearance, he 
utters what he knows to be an untruth. He has lied 
to this court and has tried to deceive your honor. 
This client is not to-day within the borders of the 
United States. 

"Every means possible has been adopted to juggle 


with justice and defeat the law in order that a wo- 
man who has brought from another city and another 
state nine girls to be used in her infamous traffic of 
the sale of virtue may escape punishment. Only 
yesterday the counsel for the woman attempted to 
secure by misrepresentation and deception an order 
from the Chief of Police to send me away on a use- 
less trail to Mexico in order that this case might be 
continued and the witnesses gotten out of the way. 
Fortunately, I discovered the plot in time to thwart 
him. The prosecution in this case is not represented 
by the city alone. There are attorneys here from the 
Civic Federation, the Woman's Protective Associa- 
tion and the Woman's Aid Society. They want to be 
heard before this case is continued. 

"Now, your honor, a word with you, man to man. 
At your own solicitation I visited you yesterday, 
and after detailing the facts in this case and relating 
to you all the circumstances connected with it, you 
told me that there could be no other continuance, but 
that the case must go to trial to-day or the bonds be 
declared forfeited. I appeal to your honor's veracity 
and ask that these bonds be declared forfeited at 
once and an order entered for their payment." 

The effect of Wooldridge's talk was instantane- 
ous, the court at once denying the continuance and 
entering an order against the defendant's bondsman, 
and in a short time that order was enforced and the 
security of $2,100 collected and paid into court. 

This ended for a time the trouble with the Hastings 
woman, and Wooldridge took up a collection among the 
officers at the police station and secured enough money 
to send five of the deluded girls back to Toledo, Ohio. 


Mary Hastings was still a fugitive from justice under 
bonds of $10,000. She remained away from Chicago for 
several months, having turned all her property over to 
Gaynor before she left. 

However, on December 3 she returned to Chicago 
to attend to some business, and remained in hiding 
for several days, but soon began to indulge in her 
old appetite for strong drink and Custom House 
place associates, and ventured downtown. On De- 
cember 10 Wooldridge heard that she was on the 
levee, and having two capiases for her which had 
been given him by the sheriflf, he went out to find 
her. He was accompanied by Detective Schubert, 
He soon found her at Gaynor's saloon, 136 Custom 
House place. She was standing at the bar drinking 
when the detectives entered. She made no effort to 
escape, and Wooldridge served the papers, telling her 
she was under arrest. 

Word was sent to Gaynor by the barkeeper or 
someone in the place that the detectives were there 
and had the woman under arrest, and in a few min- 
utes he came dashing in like an enraged and roaring 
wild beast and demanded to know at once what 
was going on. He used the vilest and most abusive 
language that ever fell from the lips of a man, and 
swore that no on^ should be arrested in his place, 
ordering the detectives to get out at once. 

Wooldridge knew him well, but quietly asked who 
he was. This enraged him more and he became vio- 
lent. He pushed the woman back toward the end 
of the bar, placing himself between her and Wool- 
dridge, and swore they should not touch her. The 
detective told him the woman was in his custody 



and that he intended to take her out, and that if he 
(Gaynor) wanted to avoid trouble he would be wise 
to not make any interference. 

Then Gaynor demanded that Wooldridge show 
him the capiases, and that unless he saw them they 
could not take the prisoner out. Wooldridge again 
informed him the woman was his prisoner, that the 
papers had been served on her and that he had no 
right to see them, and furthermore he would not see 

Orrt-VVogtMIIME. TKOS.&VYNOR. Uhc.&oiubwt. 


them. Then he told Gaynor that if he interfered with 
him in the discharge of his duties he would arrest 
him and take him to the station. 

Gaynor then ran around behind the bar, followed 
by Schubert. He reached to the cash register with 
his left hand and put his right hand in the drawer 
for a Smith & Wesson revolver, Wooldridge 
watched his every movement, and when he reached 
the re-.slver, the o^cer placed his feet on the railing 


in front of the counter, and leaning over, placed his 
own revolver behind Gaynor's ear and said: 

"Drop that gun or you are a dead man." 

Gaynor could see Wooldridge and his revolver in 
the mirror behind the bar, and knowing the deter- 
mination of the officer, released the gun, Schubert 
at the same time seizing him. Then they told him 
that he was under arrest, and further resista'nce 
would mean serious trouble for him. 

As may be imagined, this did not smoothe his tem- 
per, and he raged like a madman, making all kinds 
of threats against Wooldridge. The patrol wagon 
was called, however, and he was taken to the Harri- 
son Street Station, where he was charged with try- 
ing to aid a criminal to escape and interfering with 
an officer in the discharge of his duties. 

Gaynor is a desperate character and has had many 
narrow escapes, but he never came so near being 
killed as he did that night when Wooldridge had his 
revolver against his head. The detective afterward 
said that he never came so near killing a man be- 
fore. It was with great difficulty that he restrained 
himself, and "Tom" Gaynor to-day owes his life to 
Wooldridge's self-control on that occasion. 

Then came one of the hardest fights that ever 
took place in Chicago to defeat justice by the use of 
influence and lavish expenditure of money to stop 
the prosecution. But Wooldridge fought with tenac- 
ity to the finish. He was even offered $4,000 in cash 
to "let up" on the case, but he refused it. 

Every means that could be devised by the woman 
and her friends to escape the clutches of the law was 
resorted to. Her bondsman used all his political 


"pull" to get Wooldridge sidetracked. He even went 
to one of the men who signed Wooldridge's first 
application for a position on the police force and 
asked him to do something to help him out. This 
man called on Detective Wooldridge and requested 
him to drop the matter. The response Wooldridge 
made was characteristic of him. 

"If you wanted an investigation of a case made by 
an officer," said Wooldridge, "what kind of man 
would you ask to do the work for you? Would you 
ask one that could be bought or bribed or induced 
by any kind of influence to neglect his duty?" 

"No, I would not," was the reply. 

"Then go to the Secretary of the Police Depart- 
ment and ask him to let you see the application 
which I filed there for a position on the police force, 
and read the indorsements which are attached to the 
application. Read the one which you signed and in 
which you said I was an honest, conscientious and 
incorruptible man. If I drop this case it will show 
that you did not tell the truth when you recommend- 
ed me for appointment." 

No more efforts were made in that direction, but 
everything else that could be done was tried without 
avail. A strong effort was made to have Detective 
Wooldridge discharged from the Police Department, 
but it did not succeed. The case against Gaynor 
was postponed several times and dragged along 
three or four weeks. Finally it came up for trial, and 
Gaynor had on hand six or eight persons who testi- 
fied under oath that there was no trouble in the 
saloon when Mary and Gaynor were arrested, and 
that the latter did not in any way interfere with the 


officers. The persons who thus perjured themselves 
were not present at all when the arrests were made, 
but their evidence saved Gaynor a heavy fine and 
perhaps a term in the penitentiary. 

The case against Mary Hastings was called during 
the January term of the criminal court in 1896. She 
was not present and forfeiture was entered against 
ner bondsman, with leave to produce the woman 
and reinstate the case. Within two hours the wo- 
man was produced and the case reinstated. 

This was kept up several times, and finally, on 
May 13, 1897, it was placed on call in Judge Ball's 
court. Mary failed to show up again, and the bonds 
were again ordered forfeited. A few days later, 
however, the woman was found and arrested and 
turned over to the jailer. In this way the case was 
at last worn out. The witnesses had become scat- 
tered, and one, the most important of all, fourteen- 
year-old Ida Martin, was never found, and thus 
Mary Hastings escaped prosecution at last and was 
released, but with the amount paid in forfeited bonds 
and in other ways to defeat justice, the cost to her 
and Gaynor was the enormous sum of $20,000. 

She and Gavnor continued to conduct their dives 
on the levee, but he began a system of cruelty 
towards her which for excess of inhumanity and in- 
justice has rarely been equaled. He beat and abused 
her continually. He had possession of all her prop- 
erty, yet once when she was in jail for some oflfense, 
she declared that out of an income of nearly $700 a 
month from her houses on the levee, she did not have 
a cent with which to buy a meal. 

Time and again she went to the police station 


with her face bruised and bleeding, and begged the 
officers to protect her from this brute. Once he 
knocked her down and pulled from her head great 
bunches of hair and kicked and beat her into insen- 
sibility. At another time he knocked three of her 
teeth out. When she would threaten him with ar- 
rest he would pretend to be sorry for his actions 
and promise to treat her better, but in a few days he 
would beat her again. 

All this time he was living with her, yet he had a 
wife and children who lived on what he chose to 
give them in a house at Fifty-third street and Wa- 
bash av^enue. 

He abused her so much that she finally determined 
to leave him forever. She induced him to give her 
a few hundred dollars, then leaving him in possesion 
of all her property, she went away, finally stopping 
in Toledo, Ohio, where she is now conducting a 
house similar to the one she conducted in Chicago. 





It was a bitter cold, stormy morning on Decem- 
ber 13, 1890, and the thermometer had reached the 
zero point. The branches and boughs of the trees 
hung heavily with icicles, and the December wind 
caused them to sway to and fro as it whistled 
through them. All the ground and the buildings 
were covered with snow. 
- The streets had been deserted by both man and 


beast, they having sought shelter and rest many hours 

At two o'clock on the morning in question Officer 
Wooldridge, ever on duty, strolled along north on 
Michigan avenue from Thirty-third to Thirty-first 
street. On each side of the street towering aloft 
were hundreds of the grandest mansions and most 
expensive ones to be found in Chicago or ^Isewhere, 
many of them costing from a hundred thousand 
dollars up into the millions. 

When the officer reached the front of Charles 
Pardridge's residence on the southwest corner of 
Michigan avenue and Thirty-second street, he dis- 
covered tracks in the snow, and the tracks led di- 
rectly into the yard of this residence, and a noise was 
heard which sounded for all the world as if someone 
was using a saw. 

Stepping quietly into the yard, the officer went 
around to the rear of the house, and found three 
burglars at work cutting through the door. The bur- 
glars, upon finding that they were discovered, im- 
mediately dropped their tools and fled precipitately 
to the street, with Officer Wooldridge in hot pur- 
suit. Wooldridge commanded them to halt, and the 
only answer was a shot from one of the fleeing bur- 
glars. The officer thereupon returned the fire, and 
then the burglars ran across the street into the yard 
of Mr. Libby, the manufacturer of the celebrated 
beef tea of world-wide reputation, and here four 
more shots were exchanged between the burglars 
and the officer, who was rapidly closing in upon 
them in the corner of the yard. 

To the back of them was a board fence at least 


seven feet in height, which they scaled, closely fol- 
lowed by the officer, and as the latter mounted the 
fence, he received a bullet through his cap, which 
grazed his skull, cutting a furrow through his hair 
and knocking his cap off his head. This shot came 
from the burglar directly underneath Wooldridge as 
he was mounting the fence. 

"Baby" Bliss, the 520-pound bicycle rider, and 
agent for the American Wheel Company, witnessed 
the shooting from an adjoining house. 

This narrow escape would have been deemed suf- 
ficient excuse for most officers to quit, but it only 
nerved Wooldridge to further action. Over the 
fence like a streak went the officer, and he returned 
the fire with his compliments. The result of that 
shot was that one of the burglars fell, and from the 
pool of blood found on the ground, it is supposed he 
was badly wounded. 

Wooldridge was next hit by another bullet which 
flattened itself on the buckle of his belt and fell to 
the ground. This last shot knocked the breath out 
of his body for a few seconds, and the burglars made 
a safe escape. 

On the rear doorsteps of the Pardridge house was 
found a heavy club two feet in length, a hand saw, 
brace and bits, and a bunch of skeleton keys. 



The bar and several links of a watch chain worn 
by Detective Wooldridge saved his life on the morn- 


ing of February ii, 1896. He with othei officers 
was trying to arrest some notorious levee characters, 
when an unexpected fusillade of bullets, sent in his 
direction, made things lively for a few minutes. 

Mamie Johnson, a white woman, and Edward 
Speed, a colored piano player, lived in the second 
flat of 412 Dearborn street. They leased and opera- 
ted the entire building, which extended from Dear- 
born street to Custom House place. 

The basement was operated as an opium joint, 
and was patronizd by both black and white persons, 
male and female. The first floor was furnished and 
run as a house of ill-fame, and here the celebrated 
and well-known panel game was operated with great 

It is a well-known and undisputed fact that the 
robberies and larcenies reported from 412 Dearborn 
street to the Harrison Street Police Station would 
fill a very large book, and if it were possible to figure 
up the losses entailed one could very easily start a 
First National bank with the money. 

The first floor of the house was rented for from 
$20 to $30 per day in advance, and very naturally 
the proprietor or landlady of a house of this descrip- 
tion changed nearly every day. 

On a number of occasions a uniformed officer was 
stationed in front of the house night and day for 
from one to two weeks at a time for the sole purpose 
of trying to prevent robberies and larcenies from 
taking place. 

On the second floor of the structure Mamie John- 
son and Edward Speed lived in luxury and style, and 
rented rooms to ten or twelve of the cleverest 



strong-arm, thieving, panel-working women that 

ever infested Chicago and the levee district. 

At three o'clock on the morning in question, De- 
tectives Wooldridge and Schubert, in citizen's 



clothes, and Officers Morris, Bell, O'Connor, Brad- 
ley and O'Hara, in uniform, armed with state war- 
rants for the arrest of Delia Blackmbre and WilHam 
Thompson for the robbery of a stockman of $400 on 
the evening before in the flat on the first floor, ap- 
proached the house. They also had warrants for the 
keeper of the place, Mamie Johnson, as well as for 
the other inmates of the house. 

Entrance was effected without any resistance, and 
six persons were found and arrested. 

The flat ran east and west from Dearborn street 
to Plymouth place, and the rooms were located on 
the south side of the building facing a hall six feet 
in width which ran the full length of the building. 

In this hall stood the police officers, waiting for 
the prisoners to dress. Charles Wyatt and his mis- 
tress, Ida Holmes, occupied a room in the center of 
the hall, and directly in front of this door Detective 
Wooldridge and O'Hara stood chatting, when, with- 
out any cause or provocation, Charles Wyatt, who 
was partly dressed, stepped to the door with a 38- 
caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, and fired two 
shots in rapid succession at Wooldridge and O'Hara, 
who were only five feet away from him at the time. 

The hall was lighted by a lamp attached to the 
frame of the door of Wyatt's room, and the deadly 
missiles of death passed safely by the two officers, 
yust missing their heads by a hair's breadth and 
lodging in the wall of the building. 

Before the officers could draw their guns and seize 
Wyatt, he fired again, and the bullet lodged in a 
washtub in the further end of the hall, fortunately 
doing no damage to the officers. 


The two officers separated and sprang to the 
side of the door, out of range of Wyatt's revolver, 
and made a desperate effort to catch hold of him and 
disarm him, but he was too quick for them, stepping 
back into his room with only his hand and a portion 
of his arm extended beyond the door. He flourished 
his revolver up and down and kept both officers cov- 

Thus it will be readily seen that Wooldridge and 
O'Hara had no opportunity afforded them of using 
their guns, and again it was really too dangerous, as 
the house was filled with people and officers who 
wouM be in danger of being shot. 

Charles Wyatt fired again, and the bullet struck 
the bar on Wooldridge's watch chain, which divert- 
ed its course and saved the life of the detective. The 
bar and several links of the watch chain and one- 
half of a button on his vest were shot away, and 
the bullet also passed through a heavy Irish frieze 
overcoat and his undercoat. When it had spent 
its force it dropped to the floor, where it was picked 
up. Officer Bell, who was standing on the top of the 
steps leading to the hall, then fired at Wyatt, and 
shot a portion of the door away which was close to 
Wyatt's head. This shot had the effect of putting 
out the light and caused Wyatt to retreat into his 
room, closing and locking the door. 

Upon the advice of his friends, however, Wyatt 
afterwards surrendered to the officers. He was in- 
dicted and tried for assault to kill, but through myS' 
terious influences he escaped punishment. 



Many cases are presented in the life of a detective 
(which show the truth of the saying that "half the 
people do not know how the other half lives." These 
guardians of life and of the peace and property of the 
public often do acts of kindness of which nothing is 
ever known. One case of this character in particu- 
lar illustrates that these secret-service men do more 
for humanity than catching thieves and running 
down burglars. 

While eating his supper one night in the winter 
of 1891, Detective Wooldridge was interrupted by 
a rap at the door, and on answering it, he found a 
woman who was his neighbor standing on the out- 
side, partly clad, with a baby in her arms, both shak- 
ing from the bitter cold as if they had the ague. 

She began to cry piteously and told him that two 
men had entered her house by force, and were, like 
freebooters, carrying away all the furniture she had. 
She told him she only had $50 worth of furniture, 
which she had bought from a firm of west side fur- 
niture dealers, and had paid all she owed on it ex- 
cept ten dollars ; that she was two weeks behind on 
the. last payment, but her two daughters were at 
work downtown trying to earn money enough to 
finish the payment. 

She said she had begged the men not to take the 
furniture until the girls came home from work, 
when she would pay them, but they only answered 
her with curses and abuse. 


This appeal went at once to the heart of the de- 
tective, and without waiting to put on a coat or hat, 
he rushed out of the room and went into the place, 
where two stalwart men were carrying the furniture 
out. He asked them what they meant by coming 
into the woman's house and taking her property, and 
also asked them if they were officers. He said he 
had been appealed to by Mrs. Cummings, and told 
them plainly that they must explain to him. 

They told him it was none of his business, and that 
if he interfered he would be thrown out. Wool- 
dridge left, and going back to his residence, put on 
his uniform and returned to the scene. He then 
informed them that the woman made complaint and 
asked for protection, and he was going to give it to 

He told the men that they were neither officers 
nor were they working under order from any court. 
They claimed they were foreclosing a mortgage on 
the furniture, and produced a document of some 
kind. They were informed that the document was 
only a contract for the payment of a certain sum, 
and furthermore, they could not foreclose a mort- 
gage after dark if the parties protested in the name 
of the State of Illinois. 

He further informed them that they had no right 
to touch or lay their hands on a single piece of fur- 
niture against the protest of Mrs. Cummings with- 
out an order from the court; that they were no more 
than highwaymen, and the woman would be justi- 
fied in killing both of them. 

After Wooldridge got through, one of them an- 
swered that he had talked with police officers before, 


and commanded the other to go ahead and take 
down the furniture without regard to Wooldridge. 
He grabbed an armful and started for the door. The 
officer covered him with two revolvers, and told him 
if he attempted to pass the door he would blow his 
brains out. He dropped the goods in a hurry. Wool- 
dridge then compelled them to replace every piece 
of furniture they had taken out, and stood by to see 
that they did so. He then ordered them out of the 
house, and told them not to return without an order 
from the court, gave them his name, number of his 
star, and the station to which he belonged. He 
then went to the Stanton Avenue Station and re- 
ported the matter to Lieutenant Healy, who was in 
charge, and who said he did just right. 

Ten dollars were collected that night by Wool- 
dridge from the officers at the station, and next 
morning it was given to the woman, whom they ad- 
vised to go over and lift the mortgage, as the firm 
might, out of revenge, make her some trouble 
through the courts when they learned what had oc- 
curred the previous night. 

At ten o'clock the following morning Mr. Wool- 
dridge's wife came running in, and waking him up, 
told him that Mrs. Cummings' baby was dying and 
they had no doctor. The officer told his wife to go 
to the drug store and telephone for a doctor while 
he dressed. Dr. Clarence Linsey responded, and was 
told to make investigations, treat the child, and send 
the bill to him. The child was treated by Dr. Linsey 
free of charge. 

When Wooldridge and Dr. Linsey went to Mrs. 
Cummings' flat they found one of the most desolate 


homes it had ever been their lot to gaze upon. There 
was no carpet on the floor, no fuel in the house ; one 
greasy old lamp without a chimney; no sheets on 
the beds, and where there had been lids to the old 
stove, there were now tin pie plates. 

Five of the family sat down to breakfa$t that 
morning upon ten cents' worth of onions. They 
owed three months' rent ; the grocery had shut down 
on them and they had been notified by the landlord 
to move. Wooldridge started out, and before night 
seven grocery wagons stopped at Mrs. Cummings' 
house loaded with provisions. The officer went to 
Mrs. Cudahy, 3138 Michigan avenue, the wife of the 
big packer, and told her the condition of the Cum- 
mings family. 

She immediately sent out two clerks from McEl- 
roy's dry goods store on Thirty-first street to see what 
was needed. She sent bedding and clothing to the 
amount of $42. Wooldridge raised by subscription 
$30, paid the rent, and secured a donation of food, 
clothing, coal, etc., to the amount of $200. He also 
wrote a letter to the Chicago Herald, which was do- 
ing a great deal to assist charity, and upon investi- 
gation it contributed also, and made the following 
statement, which was published in the paper on the 
morning of February 8, 1891 : 

"With a bakery and a meat market on either side 
of them, the Cummings family, 352 Thirty-seventh 
street, were found yesterday in want of the necessa- 
ries of life. The husband has been out of work for 
several months and the family of six live on the 
slender earnings of two small girls. So destitute 
were they that the girls had to walk to work yester- 


day morning, a distance of four miles. Two boys with 
ragged clothing lay on the bare floor, playing with 
some blocks. Neither of them had underclothing to 
wear. A little baby cooed in its mother's arms. 'We 
once had a happy home,' said Mrs. Cummings, 'but 
reverses came and left us penniless. The girls are 
proud-spirited, and so am I, and for that reason we 
have not made known our circumstances to the pub- 
lic. It is a fact, however, that myself and the chil- 
dren have gone without food two days at a time. 

" 'None of the neighbors knew of our condition, 
for we keep it as quiet as we can. It is ten times 
harder for us to bear up under this state of affairs 
than if we had not in former days had plenty.' 

"While the woman was talking she tried in vain 
to keep back the tears that were welling in her eyes. 
That she had once seen happier days there was no 
mistaking. Her speech indicated that she had a 
good education. Even in her poverty she was too 
proud to make known her wants. A few months ago 
she bought $50 worth of furniture from a west side 
installment house. The girls have worked hard to 
keep up the payments, and there is still a payment 
due of ten dollars. Last Saturday two men from" the 
furniture house forced their way into the humble 
home of the Cummingses and began to carry out 
a cheap bedroom set. Officer Wooldridge, who lives 
near by, stopped them as they were carrying the 
stuff down the stairway. One of the girls is afflicted 
with St. Vitus' dance and is scarcely able to work. 
The rent must be paid, however, and, sick as she is, 
she goes to the type foundry every morning with 
her sister. Some of the girls at the shop who have 


good homes and plenty to eat made fun of the Ctim- 
mings sisters a fe^y days ago because they had bread 
only for their lunch. When the sisters went home 
that night they cried themselves to sleep. They are 
two little heroines, and such devotion should not go 
unrewarded. The family is sorely in need of bed cloth- ' 
ing, wearing apparel and coal. A reporter for the 
Herald gladdened their hearts last night with a 
package of provisions. Their other wants will be 
attended to immediately by the Herald Relief Corps. 
Any one having bed clothing or wearing apparel to 
spare cannot bestow it on a more worthy family." 




After long years of fruitless efifort to find his match, 
the Chicago detective discovered him. 

He was found in a dark basement under a State- 
street museum, and he 'remained there, a common 
black bear from northern Michigan, while four po- 
lice officers who ventured to enter his den were laid 


up for extensive repairs. 

It is safe to say that David Crockett, brave hunter 
that he was, would not venture to intrude upon the 
reveries of a bear in the dark. It is also in the range 
of possibilities that these four officers would have 
found it convenient to be reported on the sick list 
the morning before had they known what the day had 
in store for them. It happened this way : 


Augustus Meyer went to the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion and complained to Lieutenant Collins that he 
had been swindled in the museum. A warrant was 
sworn out and the place raided. Detectives Loftus 
Hennessy, Teape, Howard and Wooldridge were de- 
tailed on the case. It was a free show, and on the 
inside were a few wax heads, a figure of the late 
George Painter, and several other "pieces of statuary." 

In the rear of the room is a small one, and from 
this room opens a closet. Meyer had told the officers 
that he had run against a new-fangled game, and 
search was made for the box with which the game 
was played. A number of steps lead from the small 
rear room to the basement, and it was at the foot 
of these stairs that the bear was encountered. De- 
tective Loftus proceeded down the stairs. There 
was no light, and Loftus could not have seen his 
hand before his face if he put it there. On reaching 
the bottom ot the stairs the bear seized him by the 

Greatly alarmed, Detective Loftus tore himself 
away and shouted for assistance. Not knowing what 
the trouble was, Hennessy; Teape and Howard ran 
down the steps into the darkness, only to fall upon 
the animal. 

The bear began howling and snapping his huge 
jaws, and the struggle could be heard upstairs. De- 
tective Wooldridge, wondering what was the matter, 
joined his brother officers. 

He was cautious, however, to strike a match, and 
saw the bear standing on its haunches and Teape and 
Hennessy lying on the floor. Wooldridge struck the 
bear a terrible blow over the head with his revolver, 


causing the animal to reel to one side. Loftus gave 
the bear another blow, and in a second Teape and 
Hennessy were on their feet. 

Howard had not been idle and did his best to keep 
the bear on its haunches by shouting at it. The five 
officers hastened upstairs, and some suggested that 
the bear be arrested for interfering with an officer. 
The search for the box was then begun, and it was 
found in the closet, the door of which had to be broken 
open, as the proprietor refused to give up the keys. 

Loftus' coat was torn in several places, and Teape's 
and Howard's clothes were also torn on the shoulders. 

Six men were in the place at thti time, and they 
were all placed under arrest and charged with swin- 
dling. The proprietor was also charged with oper- 
ating the place without a license. 

When they came up for trial all were fined heavily. 


Detective Wooldridge arrested a woman who 
adopted a novel method of hiding the money she 
had stolen. One Sunday evening a man named Win- 
ter was taking a stroll through the streets of Chicago 
and curiosity induced him to pass through Custom 
House place, where he was drawn into a conversation 
with a colored thief and pickpocket named Mamie 
Levelle. While he was listening to the voice of the 
siren, she deftly abstracted from his pockets the com- 
fortable sum of $427. When he detected that his 
money had disappeared he seized the woman as she 
started to run into 122 Custom House place, which 


was a den of vice kept at that time by Grace St. Clair. 
The man called loudly for help, and Detective 
Wooldridge who was passing down the street heard 
the call and ran to the man's assistance. He arrested 
the woman and recovered $327 of the money, for 
during the struggle with her victim she succeeded 
in separating a $100 bill from the $427 and hid it in 
her hair. When taken to the station she confessed to 
the robbery and was held to the grand jury by the 
police magistrate. She sent for a professional bonds- 
man and he became her surety and she was released. 
When asked to produce the missing $100 she claimed 
that she gave i1»to her bondsman, who, she declared, 
had spent it. She was arraigned for trial April 27. 
1893, before Judge McConnel and was found guilty 
of grand larceny by the jury and her punishment was 
fixed at a term in the Joliet penitentiary, but Judge 
McConnel suspended the sentence and the woman 
escaped punishment. 



Detectives are frequently compelled to assume 
many different disguises to accomplish their difficult 
work. The latest adventure Detective Wooldridge 
undertook in this line was to disguise himself as the 
leader of the levee's 400. He dressed himself up as 
a real " dude," invaded a place from which detectives 
were excluded, posed as the leader of the demi-monde, 


allowed a brother officer to arrest him, and ,even suf- 
fered the indignities of being slapped in the face, 
kicked, cuffed, and taken to the police station in a» 
patrol wagon. 

Many complaints had been made at the Harrison 
Street Station in 1896 of a thieving panel house at 4I1 
and 413 State street. Detectives Wooldridge and 
Schubert were detailed to break it up. The victims of 
the place were usually strangers and traveling men 
decoyed from the Polk street depot, which is only a 
short distance from the house. Several women known 
as panel-house "steerers" were engaged in this voca- 
tion, and with their pretty faces and captivating smiles 
and flashy dresses were doing a land-office business in 
catching "suckers," as they termed it. A number of 
trips were made by the officers to the house without 

On September 24 at 11 p. m. Wooldridge, disguised 
as a dude with silk hat, red gloves, eye glasses and a 
cane, went to the above number, and on the third floor 
met Mollie Howard in the hall, who was delighted to 
see him. She did not recognize the famous detective 
who introduced himself as Mr. Smith from Washing- 
ton, D. C, and carried a letter of introduction to Miss 
Rosie Clark, who was supposed to live in the house 
three months previous. Miss Howard assured him 
Rosie had left the week before tor St. Paul, and kindly 
offered to entertain him and show him the sights ot 
State street under the electric lights if he would ac- 
company her to the flat below where she could com- 
plete her toilet. 

They repaired to the flat below, when Miss Howard 
discovered she h id lost hei key, but before she could 


use the keys offered her by Wooldridge, Detective 
Schubert, his partner, came from his place of hiding, 
Showed his star and demanded to know who they were 
and what they were doing at that late hour. 

Miss Howard said that the gentleman was her hus- 
band, and worked for Siegcl, Cooper & Co., and that 
they were looking for housekeeping rooms. Turning 
to Wooldridge, she said "Is that not so, dearie?" 
Wooldridge replied, "Yes, dearie." Schubert pre- 
tended to recognize him as a robber, horse thief and 
confidence man whom he had arrested before. The 
indignation of Miss Howard and Wooldridge was 
aroused to the highest pitch, and they almost came to 
blows with Schubert. Miss Howard stamped her foot 
in rage, demanded the name of the officer, the number 
of his star, and threatened to go to the station and 
report him. 

Schubert remained firm, placed them both under 
arrest, and started for the patrol box at Hubbard court 
and Wabash avenue. On the way over Schubert con- 
tinued to upbraid Wooldridge, charging him with the 
commission of many crimes and even striking him on 
the face. Miss Howard protested in the strongest 
language upon this treatment of her husband. 

When Schubert stepped into the patrol box to ring 
for the patrol wagon, Wooldridge started to run, but 
Schubert grabbed him and charged him with trying to 
escape. He slapped him in the face and shoved him 
into the patrol box, raining kick after kick upon him. 
Miss Howard rushed to his rescue, imploring the 
officer not to kill her dear husband. Taking her hand- 
kerchief, she carefully wiped Wooldridge's face and 


implanted a kiss thereon, and with kind and loving 
words tried to console him. 

A whispered conversation was carried on between 
them on the way to the station. Miss Howard told 
her husband (Wooldridge) to stick to the statement 
she had made to the effect that he was her husband, 
and to secure bonds, and they would prefer charges 
against Schubert and would get him discharged from 
the force. 

Wooldridge agreed to it all. Little did Miss Howard 
think that she was trying to discharge Wooldridge's 
partner, and she did not discover it until she was ar- 
raigned the next morning in court. 

Judge Richardson when informed of all the particu- 
lars thought it a huge joke. Miss Howard was fined 
$50 and released on promises to leave the district. The 
house was speedily closed. 



One of the important criminal cases in police history 
and one that will long be remembered, was that in 
which Charles Haines attempted to kill John Johnson 
who was known as the "King of the Colored Gam- 
blers,'' and who conducted a saloon and gambling 
house at 464 State street. The shooting came neat 
causing Haines the loss of his life at the hands of a 
mob, and he was only saved from the vengeance of 
Johnson's friends through the prompt arrival of De- 


tective Wooldridge and two other officers, who ar- 
rested Haines and drove the angry crowd back with 
drawn revolvers. 

Charles Haines was twenty-nine years old, passed 
as a colored man, and was born in a suburb of Havana, 
Cuba. He graduated from Alphonso College, Havana, 
and after leaving there completed his course in medi- 
cine. He had made his home in the United States for 
four years previous to March 17, 1896, at which time 
the tragedy took place. He was then a waiter or 
porter on the Pullman parlor cars in various parts of 
the country. 

Haines and John Johnson were friends, and Haines 
had visited Johnson's place at intervals for years. 
When he came' into the city from trips on the road he 
always went to Johnson's saloon to play craps, of 
which he was very fond. Sometimes he won and at 
other times he lost. 

On the night of the shooting Haines had a consid- 
erable sum of money with him, and in company with 
friends made several visits to Johnson's saloon, played 
craps and won some money. Later his luck changed 
and he lost $460. Haines claimed he saw the game- 
keeper change the dice on him and substitute loaded 
dice. Of course, this was denied. 

Haines left the place several times during the night, 
but returned and again engaged in craps. He also 
drank and later became involved in a quarrel with 
another colored man. Revolvers were drawn, but no 
damage was made. At the request of Johnson, Haines 
surrendered his revolver, and it was placed behind 
the bar for safekeeping until he was ready to go home. 

Along towards morning Haines made the discovery 



that he had only ten cents left, and went to his room 
on Plymouth place, forgetting to take his revolver with 
him. He returned to the saloon, and from being up 
all night and the loss of money did not feel in a very 
good humor. John Johnson was still standing behind 


the bar near the front of the saloon, leaning against 
ia. large safe. 

Haines asked for his revolver, which was given to, 
him. Hot words then followed between them, Haines 
complaining of the way he had been treated and 
cheated out of his money. As to what else passed there 


were many conflicting stories. The shooting was not 
seen by any one, as a glass partition separated the 
front part of the saioon, where they were, from the bar. 

The sharp report of the revolver was heard, followed 
by two more in succession. John Johnson clasped 
his hands over his heart and fell to the floor. One of 
the bullets almost passed through his breast in the 
region of the heart, and one of the balls missed him 
and imbedded in the wood in range of his head. 

Again the report of the revolver rang out on the» 
clear morning air. This time the revolver was pointed 
to the rear of the saloon, where the crap games and 
tables were situated and where several were still play- 
ing. William Moore, another colored man, was shot 
in the thigh and fell to the floor. Every one in the 
room was thrown in a state of excitement and tried to 
get into some place of shelter. 

Haines made his escape to the street by the front 
door. Some one seeing that Johnson was shot, seized 
a gun from the bar and fired at Haines through the 
window as he ran down the street followed by a num- 
ber of Johnson's friends. The crowd fired two shots 
at Haines, but without effect. He took refuge in a 
basement, and a mob of colored men soon gathered, 
crying, "Hang him ! Hang him !" 

Just then Officer Wooldridge and two others arrived 
and placed Haines under arrest, and with drawn re- 
volvers kept back the crowd. They safely landed 
the prisoner in the Harrison Street Station. 

John Johnson was removed to the Presbyterian 
Hospital, and for weeks lingered between life and 
death, but under the skillful treatment of Dr. Senn, 
one of the most celebrated surgeons in the West, he 


recovered. William Moore was out in a few days, 
having received only a flesh wound. 

On May, i8, 1896, Charles Haines was arraigned for 
trial before Judge Baker for assault with intent to 
kill. He declined the offer of an attorney by the 
court, and said he would take care of his own inter- 
ests, but a little wrestling with the intricacies of the 
law convinced him that he needed help, and he engaged 
Alfred Lytle, a colored lawyer. Haines admitted he 
dTd the deed, but stated it was done in self-defense, 
as he was in danger at the time. 

He had trouble with Johnson once before, and 
knocked out two of his teeth. 

Haines was convicted and sentenced to an indefinite 
time in the penitentiary. He had a young wife and 
two children at Hamlin, W. Va. 



Detective Wooldridge performed a service for Chi- 
cago in 1896 which obtained for him the everlasting 
gratitude of all good citizens. 

Complaints had frequently been made to the officials 
at the Harrison Street Station of an unusual amount 
of shoplifting and pocketpicking in the big stores on 
State street and vicinity. 

At the same time Detective Wooldridge, who was 
then working from the Harrison Street Station, re- 
ceived information that there was a "fence," which is 


a place where stolen goods are stored, and a school 
for thieves in a lodging house at 316 Clark street. 

The officer secured suits of clothing which were 
ragged, for two of his friends, and asked thern to beg 
in Clark street. Within a few hours they had been 
admitted to the lodging house and to the "inner cir- 
cle" of lodgers. Two days were spent in the house 
by these men. 

Then they reported that there were about twenty- 
five men and boys banded together for the purpose of 
thefts and burglary ; that it was easy to get admitted 
to the confidence of the men, and that by a little clever 
detective work the men might be arrested and their 
"fence" discovered. ' Detective Wooldridge was at 
once put in charge of the matter. 

"Don't come up until you clear up the whole case," 
said the captain. 

Wooldridge went to a pawnship for a second-hand 
suit of clothes, and when he emerged therefrom he 
met an associate on the street who did not recognize 
him. He wore a pair of butcher's jumpers frayed at 
the bottom and white at the baggy knees. His white 
shirt and collar had been laid aside for a tattered 
shirt of calico. His coat and vest were greasy and full 
of holes. For a hat he wore a piece of felt that had 
been picked up from an alley. His shoes had long 
ago been discarded by a street beggar. 

A week's growth of beard, uncombed and generously 
rubbed with grease and lamp black, completed the 
disguise and made the policeman look like a tramp of 
the street. 

By appointment Wooldridge in his disguise met his 
two friends at the entrance of the lodging house. 


They conducted him upstairs and introduced him to a 
number of men that were congregated there. In a 
few minutes Wooldridge was smoking an old pipe and 
teUing of his success in acquiring other people's prop- 

He had been admitted to full membership, and as a 
new man was introduced as the most promising ac- 
quisition. By common consent he was not asked to 
do any "work" on the day of his initiation. A dirty 
pack of cards was produced and a game was begun. 
Wooldridge showed his associates that he knew how 
to win a game. 

Before the men had been playing long, a boy entered, 
bringing four pairs of opera glasses, gave them to one 
of the men inside and said, "Go out and peddle them." 
The man disappeared with them. He returned in 
half an hour and handed over to the "manager" a sum 
of money. 

Meanwhile another boy entered with several pairs 
of gloves. These were disposed of as the glasses 
were. Others came, bringing other articles of more 
or less value, which were given to occupants of the 
place with orders to sell or "salt" them. The latter 
expression is construed to mean to secrete in a place 
the police call a "fence." 

In the afternoon at two o'clock sixteen men and 
seven boys assembled in the room. Wooldridge 
waited for developments, confident that he was going 
to see the inner workings of the place. 

"Are we all here?" asked the manager. 

An affirmative reply was given, and after a count 
had been made, a table was drawn to the middle of the 
room. The manager piled it high with articles from 
a trunk. Then he stepped behind it. 


"I am a clerk," said he. "J^"^' yo^ stall. Mike, you 
swipe the goods. If I catch either of you, mind, you 
get licked." 

The persons addressed were about fourteen years 
old. They obeyed the order, and Wooldridge saw an 
adept piece of shoplifting. 

Every person in the room was put through the 
drill. Then each person was instructed in the way to 
pick pockets, to steal diamond shirt studs, and to 
snatch purses from women. Afterward each person 
was put through a drill calculated to make all skill- 
ful in avoiding capture by victims or policemen. The 
school closed about four o'clock. 

Wooldridge then said he would "rush the growler" 
— in other words, go for a can of beer. He returned 
with the patrol wagon and arrested the members of 
the school, together with the manager and preceptors, 
making twenty-three all told. 

One of the prisoners made a confession at the sta- 
tion in which he told the police that $800 worth of 
goods had been stolen from The Fair, from the Boston 
Store and Siegel, Cooper & Co.'s store. This amount, 
he said, had been much increased by thefts of pocket- 
books and diamond pins. He also said that the men 
and seven boys were regularly instructed, that the 
things that were considered safe were peddled, 
and those which were not considered safe 
were "planted" in a storehouse. The location 
of this place was given. A number of the 
men were said to be ex-convicts. One of the boys 
was but twelve years old. The party taken included 
the following: L. D. Vanniman, Joseph Wilson, Jer- 
ome Tuger, Charles Fryer, S. F. Dunklee, Louis Var- 


haley, William Moran, Gus Brunswick, Charles Wag- 
ner, Charles Lombarder, John McCarty, Edward 
Majworden, Thomas Miller, James Haward, George 
Price, John Rice, Thomas Smith, Robert Donley, Louis 
Grey, Thomas O'Dwyer, Richard Rider, "Mike" St. 



Two men got into the confidence of James Drum- 
mond, a veteran of the Civil War, on April ii, 1897, 
and after beating him into insensibility, they robbed 
him of all he possessed, and even took his clothes and 
left him unconscious and nearly naked in the rear of 
a saloon at 379 Clark street. 

His head was blood-stained and covered with cuts 
and bruises. One eye was closed as the result of the 
blow, and no one knew how long he had been lying 
in this alley in an unconscious condition. A pair of 
overalls was borrowed and placed on him, and he was 
removed to the Harrison Street Station, where the 
blood was washed off his wounds, and he was put in 
bed and made as comfortable as possible. 

Drummond stated that he came from Milwaukee, 
Wis., from the soldiers' home, to Chicago to draw 
the pension money due him. After he had received 
the money he purchased a hat, shoes and suit of 
clothes. He intended to stay in Chicago several days 
and visit different men who had been soldiers and be- 
longed to the same company he was in during the late 
Civil War. He had' dropped into this saloon and 


* • 

found another old veteran who had an arm and a leg 
blown off fighting for his country. While they were 
telling their experiences and hardships during the war, ' 
two men came in, pushed up by them, and seemed in- 
terested in their conversation. 

Drummond stated that he had his discharge papers 
in his pocket, also his money, and wanted to find out 
where he could put them and where they would be 
safe until he was ready to return to Milwaukee. 

One of the men told him that he knew a man near 
by who had' a safe and was also an old soldier, and 
would keep them safely for him. All three men joined 
Drummond in a drink, and he left, with the two men 
who were to show him the place where he could leave 
his papers. 

Instead of taking him out the front way they took 
him out the back way. Upon reaching the alley he 
was struck with a billy and knocked insensible, which 
was the last he remembered. 

Detectives Wooldridge and McDonald were detailed 
on the case. Going to the saloon, they procured a 
description of the two men who took Drummond out 
the back door. The entire levee was searched for 
them, and finally, after three hours, they were found 
coming out of a saloon on Clark street, a block from 
the scene of the robbery, accompanied by a third man. 

Wooldridge seized two of the men, and one, Thomas 
McGowan, attempted to draw a revolver on him. At 
this moment Detective McDonald and a reporter, who 
was with him, came to Wooldrldge's assistance and 
disarmed McGowan. All three were arrested and 
taken to the station. 

On T. J. Wilson, one of the* robbers, the suit of 



clothes Drummond had just purchased was found. He 
also had his hat, and in the vest pocket of the clothes 
was found Drummond's pocket comb that he had car- 
ried since the war. 

Wilson had disposed of his own clothes and donned 
Drummond's after robbing the old min. 

The suit of clothes stolen from Drummond was 
taken off of Wilson and placed in the hands of the 
owner, and Wilson, the robber, was left in the same 
fix he left the old soldier, with nothing but his under- 

Jerry Murphy, one of the men, was discharged. 
Thomas McGowan was fined $25 for carrying con- 
cealed weapons and sent to the House of Correction. 
T. J. Wilson was held to the grand jury and indicted. 

The case was called for trial several times, but the 
complaining witness could not be found, and it was 
stricken from the docket with leave to reinstate. 


"Look out for a tall woman with a high ostrich 
feather." Detective Wooldridge was told to arrest a 
woman who had run away from her country home 
and come to Chicago, and this was the only descrip- 
tion he had of the woman. 



Her name was Alice Howard, and she drifted into 
the levee district and levee habits. Alice had a mania 
for fine clothes, and on more than one .occasion she 
helped herself to other girls' wardrobes, and was ar- 
rested several times and held to the criminal court 
once, and would have gone to prison had the complain- 
ing witness not weakened and refused to prosecute 

While boarding at the northwest corner of Harrison 
street and Custom House Place in 1899, Alice took a 
fancy to a $28 hat which another boarder had just 
purchased from the millinery department at Siegel, 
Cooper & Co.'s, and without asking the owner's con- 
sent appropriated the hat to her own use. 

The matter was reported to Detective Wooldridge 
who began to look for a tall woman with a high ostrich 
feather. While looking at the headgear of thousands 
of shoppers who thronged State street, the detective 
saw far ahead of him a high ostrich feather bobbing 
up and down. It towered above the heads of all the 
other shoppers. He made his way to that feather and 
beneath it was the woman he wanted. 

She was held to the grand jury, indicted and ar- 
raigned some weeks later for trial. The jury found 
her guilty and she was sentenced to one year at hard 
labor in the House of Correction. 




Criminals use many methods to escape the police, 
jbut those who infested the slums of Chicago never 
ifound one by which they could get away when Detec- 
tive Wooldridge went after them. He even pursued 
and captured a gang who went through a trapdoor 
and into a tunnel on Custom House place in 1896. 

In that year Mattie Lee, a colored woman, conducted 
a den of vice at 150 Custom House place and gave the 
, police a great deal of trouble. She boasted that she 
had a little of both negro and Irish blood in her veins 
and was one of the toughest women on the levee. It 
was not an unusual thing for from five to ten men to 
be robbed in a single night in her house by the panel 
game. The raids came so often that Mattie Lee 
adopted many novel ways of escape. She first had a 
ladder made that reached the roof, by which the in- 
mates made their escape. This lasted for some time, 
but as soon as it was discovered she had sliding panel 
doors made in the wall, nicely covered with paper. 

The shrewd and vigilant Wooldridge soon found 
these, however, and she had to resort to somethmg. 
else. She next had a pit dug beneath the kitchen 
floor, over which was a trapdoor covered with an oil- 
cloth to screen it from detection. At the bottom of 
this pit, which was seven feet deep, there was a mat- 
tress, so that when they jumped they would not hurt 

When a raid was ordered and officers arrived at 


the house, the doors were found locked and bolted. 
Several minutes would be conslimed in gaining admis- 
sion, and this would give the inmates time to effect 
their escape. This last rhethod was used a long time 
and proved a success. The officer who was then es- 



pecially detailed on Custom House place could not tell 
where the inmates of the house made their escape. 
Although they could be seen in the house before the 
police could succeed in effecting an entrance, when 
they got inside all would be gone, notwithstanding 


the house would be surrounded by officers. The rob- 
beries in Mattie Lee's house became so numerous and 
bold that the officials determined to put a stop to it. 
Detective Wooldridge was called in and placed on the 
case to unravel the mystery of escape and break it up. 

Wooldridge prepared himself with warrants for 
Mattie Lee and all the inmates, and was given a de- 
tail of eight men who were instructed as to where 
they should place themselves so as to prevent the es- 
cape of any one. With everything in readiness he 
went forth to make the raid. Upon arriving they 
found the house full, but before an entrance could be 
made all had disappeared as though they were swal- 
lowed up. 

Wooldridge secured a hatchet and went on a tour 
of inspection, taking one room after another, sound- 
ing the walls and floors until he finally reached the 
kitchen. Striking the floor, something sounded like 
it was hollow, and on lifting the oilcloth he discovered 
the trapdoor, which was soon raised, and he then 
dropped into the pit. He found no one, but was sur- 
prised to hear an electric bell ring in the pit behind 
him, which was connected with a room in the front of 
the house and was a danger signal for the inmates to 
keep out of the way of the police officers. 

When the bell began to ring, Wooldridge heard 
footsteps which grew fainter and fainter. He lighted 
a match and discovered another panel door which led 
out into a dark passageway under the house. This 
proved to be a tunnel dug under the house and had 
almost as many crooks and turns as the Mammoth 
Cave in Kentucky. It extended from the rear of the 
house seventy-five feet east to the sidewalk, then fifty 


feet north under the sidewalk, when it again made an 
abrupt turn west and came up between two houses. 

The tunnel itself was so small that only one person 
could crawl through the tunnel doors, which blocked 
the passage to all but the criminals who were ac- 
quainted with it and which made it an efifectual hiding 

Wooldridge with a box of matches in one hand and 
a gun in the other kept up his search until he seized 
six of the colored women panel workers and footpads. 
Three of them escaped, but he succeeded in arresting 
the others. They were taken to the Harrison Street 
Station and locked up with Mattie Lee, the keeper, 
and were afterward given heavy fines. Wooldridge 
pried off the panel doors and exhibited them as part 
of his evidence, and they caused much talk and com- 
ment by all who saw them. The discovery of the 
tunnel furnished some very sensational stories for the 

Wooldridge's clothes were ruined, and he told the 
prisoners if they ever tried to escape justice by hid- 
ing in such places again he would use giant powder 
to blow them out. The tunnel has never been used 
since he discovered it. 



In seeking to prevent a man for whom she had a. 
tender feeling from marrying another woman, Myrtle 


Belmont got a bridegroom in serious trouble and in- 
cidentally in a police court. 

Louis Wagner lived with Charles Belmont and his 
wife at 136 Pacific avenue. Although only eighteen 
years old, Wagner wanted to marry a young widow, 
who lived on North Clark street. He was even will- 
ing to be a father to her young child. 

Mrs. Belmont, finding she could not prevent the 
marriage, thought she would at least get revenge. 

Wagner, who never boasts of having any too much 
money in his possession, invested all he had in a dress 
siut and other articles td wear on the night of his 

Finally, the time of the celebration arrived. Num- 
erous friends had been invited to the house and Wag- 
ner was speculating on what a stunning appearance 
he would present. An hour before the arrival of the 
guests he went to his room to don his new suit and 
patent leather shoes. He looked about the room and 
was horrified to find his entire outfit missing. 

The house was searched from garret to cellar, but 
the suit was gone, and Wagner, very much down- 
hearted, was forced to stand up and, he said, be mar- 
ried in rags. He suspected the Belmont woman of 
having stolen his wedding suit, and did not, it is said, 
keep his suspicion to himself. 

The woman heard of it and thirsted for revenge. 
Going to the home of Wagner's wife on the north 
side, she said many unpleasant things to her. When 
Wagner returned home and heard of the visit of the 
Belmont woman, he decided that he was in need of re- 
venge, and Saturday afternoon visited the house on 
r^icitic avenue 


He gained an entrance into her place, but failed to 
find Mrs. Belmont at home. , This did not deter him 
from obtaining his revenge and spying her husband's 
wearing apparel, he packed all the clothing up, even 
taking his shirts, and left the house. Sunday morning 
Mr. Belmont started to don his Sunday clothes and, 
like Wagner, was disappointed in not finding them in 
their usual place. 

Belmont did not leave the house, and all Sunday 
kept his wife company. It was reported to the police, 
and Detective Wooldridge soon found that Wagner 
had been in the house, and when the Belmont woman 
was made aware of this fact, her face flushed with 
anger, and once more revenge was sought. 
' Wagner was arrested and locked up, the clothes 
were discovered, but when he was arraigned, Myrtle 
Belmont's old love for him returned, and she refused 
to prosecute. He was discharged, and they left the 
court room hand in hand. 



Strangers who have accepted invitations from oc- 
cupants of houses along Custom House place to walk 
into their parlors are living and forcible illustrations 
of the fable about "The Spider and the Fly." 

No one can furnish better testimony to this fact 
than a young man, John ]\Iills, who one night in the 
ratter part of September, 1898, joined a party of friends 
«.nd spent the early part of the evening at the theater. 


It was a convivial crowd and indulged freely in liquid 

After the theater, Mills got separated from his 
friends and wandered over into Custom House place. 
In the doorway of 142 stood a woman who invited 
him to come in and see the high-kicking girls, hear the 
music, etc. 

This place was kept by a woman known as Lime 
White, and was a sporting and panel house which had 
many secret passageways to and from various parts 
of the building to permit the inmates to go and come 
without being seen. 

When Mills received this invitation to enter the 
place from Maggie Spencer, one of the inmates, not 
wanting to offend the girl and being under the influ- 
ence of liquor, he walked into the spider web, and 
while gazing at the high-kicking girls he felt some 
one pull at his pocket. 

He turned in time to see Emma Redmond draw 
from his clothes his pocketbook which contained $9 
in crisp one-dollar bills. 

Mills grabbed her, and she threw the pocketbook 
to her partner, Maggie Spencer. He released the 
Redmond girl and started for the Spencer woman 
who drew a knife with a blade seven inches long, and 
informed him that if he came any nearer she would 
carve him, and carve him deep. 

Mills went to the station and complained to Detec- 
tive Wooldridge, who arrested both the women later. 
The case was continued for ten days and the money 
returned to Mills. 

Wooldridge took Mills before the grand jury and 
an indictment was voted for both women. They were 


arraigned in due time, and Maggie Spencer testified 
that she alone was the guilty one, and she was given 
four months in the House of Correction on Novem- 
ber II, 1898, by Judge Sears. 



The use of opium in its various forms is one of the 
greatest curses humanity has ever encountered. 
Science, in its efforts to cure this gigantic evil, has 
been staggered ; the laws enacted against it have been 
powerless to suppress it; moral influences have failed 
to abate it ; homes have been wrecked by it ; asylums 
filled by indulgence in it; the vast army of paupers 
and criminals augmented by cravings for it ; yet it 
stands today one of the most potential evils in the 
catalogue of degrading, enslaving and humiliating 
practices the world has ever seen. 

There is only one other drug which is so ruinous 
and fatal to the constitution and to the brain of the 
consumer, and that is cocaine. This insidious de- 
stroyer is not, however, nearly as extensively used as 
opium in its dififerent forms, but is coming into more 
general use daily, and its baneful effects will soon bt 
almost as extensive as, are those of opium. 

The evil effects of opium are not confined exclusively 
to the use of it, but many other degrading habits go 
hand in hand with it, into the palace and into the 
hovel alike. Opium dens offer to the victims of the 


drug a resort where vice and crime reign supreme ; 
where the beggar lies side by side with the sons and 
daughters of the rich. It is one common meeting 
ground. Caste is set aside, and on the bunks of 
the Chinese joint humanity forgets its origin in the 
obHvion of the pipe and pill. 

Opium smoking was first introduced in Chicago by 
Chinamen, and many of them are slaves to it. In 
1871, at the time of the great Chicago fire, there was 
only one opium joint in the city, but opium smoking 
increased so rapidly from that time, that in 1885 there 
were five hundred of them. 

Sporting women, thieves, and, in fact, about 75 per 
cent, of the criminal classes, both men and women, 
black and white, either smoke opium or use the drug 
in one form or another. 

Enormous profits are derived from the sale of opium, 
it being calculated that they run from 100 to 300 per 
cent. People who once begin the use of it soon be- 
come slaves to it, and when they are once in its grasp 
it is almost an impossibility to'free themselves from it. 

Opium is used by those who are addicted to it in 
eight dift"erent forms, which are, smoking, gum eating, 
opium ashes eating, opium pill eating, prepared opium 
eating, laudanum drinking, morphine eating and the 
morphine solution which is taken by the needle from 
a hypodermic syringe. 

The growth and cultivation of this drug is an in- 
teresting study. Opium is the inspissated or thick- 
ened juice of the somniferous poppy and is obtained 
by making incisions in the head of the plant from 
which the juice flows. This is scraped away and then 
prepared for commercial use. 

Its first commercial form is that of a thick brown 



substance which is called prepared opium. This is 
the form used for smoking. 

The gum of opium, which is its second form, is the 
sediment resulting from a chemical process of treat- 
ing the prepared opium and is used by druggists for 


medical purposes. Those slaves to the drug, called 
opium eaters, use this form. It, like the prepared 
opium, acts as a stupefying stimulant, but it is much 
more destructive to the system. 


Ivlorphine is the next form of the drug used by those 
who have contracted the habit, and is the form used 
so extensively by physicians in their regular prac 
tice ; and it appears almost incomprehensible that a 
drug which has relieved so much suffering when used 
properly and scientifically could also be abused to the 
extent of being one of the greatest curses in existence/ 

Many attempts have been made to describe the 
sufferings of opium eaters when they are in want of 
the drug. The victims themselves say these tortures 
are simply indescribable. They commence when all 
the effects of the drug have worn off and the system 
demands more. Their eyes become watery, while 
their bones ache and their muscles in different parts 
of the body get as hard as steel wire and form into 
knots, causing the most acute suffering that can be 
imagined. They yawn and gape, and then violent 
cramps assail the stomach. Each symptom grows 
worse, and the pains, which fly like currents of elec- 
tricity throughout every part of the body, grow more 
severe. Then follow hysterics and convulsions. The 
subject grows paler and perspiration flows from every 
pore of his skin. Death soon relieves the poor vic- 
tim unless an opiate or a substitute is given to save 

The sensations produced by an indulgence in the 
drug vary with different subjects and with the length 
of time they have used it. The first effects are those 
of lassitude- and rest. All pains vanish and the most 
serene contentment steals over the mind and body. 
Every zephyr that passes seems to lift and sway the 
victim as gently and tenderly as the mother rocks her 
infant in its downy cradle. 


Beautiful visions fiit through the brain like a pan- 
orama of countless paradises. Repulsive objects fade 
from view, and in their places things of beauty and 
joy make a feast for the eyes. Discordant sounds are 
transformed into entrancing harmonies. All objects 
:seem lovely and attractive, and the beggars of earth 
^become kings. 

. Then slumber and rose-tinted dreams carry the vic- 
tim into oblivion. All cares are forgotten until the 
effects of the poison wear away, and here will-power 
and good resolutions are swept away. The awful 
craving for more of the driig drives the subject to a 
repetition of his indiscretion, and this follows day after 
day until there is no escape. 

Those who have been addicted to the use of opium 
for many years do not always experience the delight 
that amateurs get out of it. They are compelled to 
use it almost constantly to prevent the sufifering which 
a long-continued indulgence finally produces. Their 
systems have been depleted. - They are physical 
wrecks and take opium, not for pleasure, but to give 
them relief from the tortures they suffer when not 
under the influence of it. Their dreams are frequently 
very different from the visions they had when they 
were in the early stages of the habit. They see un- 
pleasant things ; hear disagreeable noises ; have fright- 
ful nightmares; meet with imaginary disastrous mis- 
fortunes and horrible accidents. 

During the author's long career as a detective he 
had innumerable opportunities of observing the effects 
of the opium habit and of making a thorough investi- 
gation of the numerous Chinese opium joints where 
opium is smoked. It would surprise the public to 


know what a large number of people are opium smok- 
trs, and a full description of one of these places will 
interest the reader. 

A "layout" can be purchased for any amount up to 
$5. It consists of the "yen hop," or pipe, usually 
made of a section and a half of heavy bamboo, about 
an inch and a half in diameter, and is usually tipped 
with ivory or gold ; the "yen she gow," or small chisel, 
for cleaning out the bowl of the pipe ; the "yen hock," 
or needle, on which the opium is cooked and rolled 
into pills over the flame from the little peanut oil lamp ; 
the "sui gow," a sponge for cleaning the bowl of the 
pipe after every smoke; the "hen toy," in which the 
opmm is kept, and a tray on which the above utensils 
are placed when in use. 

Smokers can be found in all kinds of recumbent 
attitudes in a joint. They frequently lie with their 
heads on each other's shoulders in order that they 
may be convenient to the lamp. They take turns at 
smoking, each rolling his own pill. The opium is 
usually served on a "hop toy," but if this article is not 
at hand it is served on a card or piece of stiff paper. 
The opium must be cooked to the proper point before 
it is smoked, and this is done by placing it on the end 
of the needle and holding it over the flame of the 
lamp. Unless great care is taken in the operation, it 
will take fire and burn like powder. When the pill is 
ready for the pipe, it is punctured and placed in the 
center of the bowl just over the small aperture. The 
flame is again applied and the smoker begins to take 
in the fumes. Fifteen or twenty whiffs consumes the 
pill, and the next smoker takes his turn after going 
through the same operation. Men and women keep 



this up continually, new arrivals taking the places of 
those who go out, and there they spend hours in a 
drowsy, half-stupid condition, gabbling on simple sub- 
jects and dreaming their woes away. 

These frequenters of opium joints always want 
company. They never like to smoke alone. 

Many of the opium joints in Chicago are to be found 
in basements and are laid out in enclosed stalls or 
rooms, and are intended to accommodate from two to 
ten persons. The bunks are usually about two feet 
from the floor, and are built of pine boards, over 
which is spread Chinese matting and a pillow for the 
head to rest upon. No covering is used, for the room 
is always kept warm and comfortable. 

Some of the opium joints will hold from ten to 
sixty people, and here can be found at all times persons 
of both sexes, black and white, and Chinese, too. 

So many raids have been made on opium joints that 
it is sometimes difficult to gain an entrance, unless the 
visitor is known or can speak a few words of the Chi- 
nese language. 

If you can tell the keeper in the Chinese language 
that you want 25 cents' worth of opium you will be 
admitted readily. These cabalistic words in Chinese 
are, "Gee sip en kassen fiap en .yen." 

This will soften the Chinaman's heart because he is 
always anxious to make money. If he suspected that 
you were an officer of the law, however, you would 
probably have to use force to get in. 

The old pass word, "en she qua?" which means, "Do 
you smoke opium?" will not effect an entrance now 
without some other ceremony. The keeper will test 
your sincerity and incidentally your knowledge of the 



Chinese language by asking who you are. He will 
say, "Hoi noi?" meaning, "Who is there?" and if you 
can reply, "Offend," which signifies, "A friend," he 
will probably open the door and tell you to get in 
quickly by saying, "Fi fi." 
. Once inside of these places you would be com- 

THE chinaman's RECREATION. 

pletely lost without a guide. In some of them you are 
(;ompelled to pass through dark, dingy and damp hall- 
ways and subterranean passages. All the doors are 
barred, but you finally get into the proper place after 
perhaps going down two or three flights of rickety 
stairs. The smoking room does not present a very in- 


viting appearance to any one except regular smokers. 
It is dimly lighted, and there are usually lying on 
the bunks or matting ten or fifteen men and women 
languidly smoking and talking. Some of the bunks 
are as filthy as can well be imagined, yet it is not an 
unusual sight to see them occupied by women dressed 
as elegantly as a princess and wearing costly jewels. 
Men showing the same degree of prosperity and re- 
finement are also found there mixing with the lower 
classes and often with thieves and criminals. 

Neither is it an unusual thing to find among the 
well-dressed* opium smokers members of some of the 
most influential and wealthy families of the city. 

Chinamen who conduct opium joints are always 
ready and willing to lead any one, from a child to an 
octogenarian, into the habit of smoking. 

Detective Wooldridge rescued a young woman in 
Chicago from one of these opium joints and she told 
him a pitiful and sad tale of her downfall. 

When a mere child she lived near a Chinese laun- 
dry, and she was frequently enticed into the place and 
given small pieces of candy. Nearly every day for 
months she went into the Mongolian's place, and 
finally was induced to take a whiff from the opium 
pipe. It was disagreeable to her at first, but the Chi- 
naman would refuse to give her candy unless she would 
lake a whiff from the pipe. This was kept up for 
several more months when the girl began to want the 
whiff more than she wanted the candy. 

The Chinaman's aims were accomplished at last. 
He had made an opium fiend of the child, and one day 
when she went into the laundry and asked for the 
pipe, the Chinaman rut bed his hands in glee and told 


her she could not smoke unless she paid for it. She 
had no money, and begged for just one whiff from the 
pipe, but was told again she could not get it without 
the money. 

She went away, but the craving for the drug became 
so strong that she stole some money from her mother, 
and this was kept up until she was a slave to the habit. 

When she realized her condition she was anxious 
to break away, but it was then almost impossible. 
She left her home and became a habitue of an opium 
joint on Clark street. 

In a raid which took place one night Detective 
Wooldridge found the girl in this den, almost stupe- 
fied with the drug. When she found she was under 
arrest, she begged the detective to allow her to go 
home, saying she could not stand the disgrace of be- 
ing caught in one of these places. 

She aroused the sympathies of the officer, who gave 
her all the encouragement he could. He took her to 
her mother instead of to the police station and by an 
almost superhuman effort she finally broke the bonds 
which had so long held her. 

"Smoke not, handle not," is the best advice that 
can be given on this subject. This fearful curse is far 
and away more fatal than all the other evils put to- 
gether. It is emphatically the hardest habit to get rid 
of when once formed, and it is positively the most 
dangerous because it is the hardest to quit. 

Opium has ruined many persons for life, and it has 
sent more men and women to our jails, workhouses, 
penitentiaries and scaffolds than even strong drink. 
Those who once acquire the opium habit soon become 
slaves to the drug, and it is almost impossible for them 


to get along without it. So true is this that we have 
noticed times without number that when they are out 
of the drug and have no money wherewith to purchase 
it, when the habit or longing for it comes on them, they 
will sell or pawn any article they have with which to 
raise money to buy it. They have been known to 
even steal, rob or commit crime in order to get money 
to purchase opium. 

Statistics teach us that about 4 per cent, of those 
who have formed this awful habit of smoking opium 
have ready money with which to purchase their sup- 
plies; the other 96 per cent, are either already crimi- 
nals, or are made so through the use of it. 

With them the opium habit has been formed, and 
they must have the drug, or undergo the most severe 
tortures, and we often find that many of them smoke 
every hour. 

People who are slaves to the habit are not fit for any 
kind of work, either mental or physical. They there- 
fore must resort to other methods by which to raise 
money, outside of work and positions of trust and re- 
spectability, and so we, learn that ninety-six out of 
every hundred become thieves. 

One million dollars' worth of "opium prepared for 
smoking" comes into our ports annually. This amount, 
considering the activity of opium smugglers and the 
ease of carrying tiny packages of the drug, probably 
does not represent one-half of the total amount of such 
opium brought into our country each year. 

Fifteen years ago the total amount of opium, crude, 
liquid preparations and "opium prepared for smoking" 
which passed through our custom houses was valuet. 
at $1,250,053. The amount of "opium prepared to, 


smoking" was $335,383 worth. In 1900 the total 
amount of opium imported was valued at $2,076,939 
and $938,524 worth of that was opium used for smok- 

These figures show an increase in the last fifteen 
years of $326,886 in value of total import and an in- 
crease of $603,141 in value of imported opium for 

So great has the demand for opium grown in Amer- 
ica within the past ten years that factories are being 
started in this country. In Victoria, B. C, a really 
deceptive imitation of "Li Une" is made. The crude 
opium is soaked, boiled and strained over and over 
again to an extract, then flavored with orange peel and 
brandy. This deceives the novice by removing or 
doing away with that deadly smell which is a distin- 
guishing feature of the product of the American opium 
factory. Thousands of pounds of opium are sent 
across the Canadian border daily, there being but one 
revenue officer to every hundred miles, and the China- 
men rarely look him up. 

At El Paso, Texas, also much smuggling is done. 
Mexico guards her border with hundreds of men to the 
mile, if necessary, but America is content with the one 
lone rifleman who stands on the international bridge, 
spending his time looking five miles up and five miles 
down stream for smugglers, who cross the river in 
summer without getting their feet wet. At night the 
Chinamen cross the river in droves. Dressed as Span- 
iards they easily elude detectives, and are shipped in 
box cars to some underground laundry in Chicago or 
New York. Reg'istration tickets count little with them, 


as it takes an expert to tell the photograph of one 
Chinaman from another and tickets are easily bor- 
rowed. In all large cities there are Chinese compa- 
nies which send out their countrymen to smaller towns 
for the purpose of introducing the pipe. These com- 
panies, in turn, are sent out by the Six Companies of 

The Six Companies control the opium trade, and 
every Chinaman who wishes to come to America is 
smuggled in by the Six Companies. Once here, he is 
compelled to purchase his opium and other necessities 
from the agencies of the company which sends him 
out, and woe betide the luckless Chinaman who goes 
back on his contract, for the Highbinders reign as su- 
preme in America as they do in their own native land. 

At the end of six years John Chinaman sells out his 
laundry and opium joint, for which the laundry is a 
blind, the Six Companies advertise in their paper, 
printed in San Francisco, that he is about to return to 
China, and so notify all creditors. If John Chinaman 
has contracted no debts, his savings deposited with 
the Six Companies are returned to him, minus the $80 
which it cost him to smuggle him into the country. 

In 1895 and 1896, George B. Swift, then Mayor of 
Chicago, and John J. Badenoch, then Chief of Police, 
declared war upon these dens of iniquity, crime and 
debauchery. This proved to be one of the best classes 
of police work ever instituted and carried on in Chi- 
cago, and brought forth better results. Most all the 
opium joints in the city were closed, and over $10,000 
worth of opium and pipes were seized and ordered de- 
stroyed by the court. 





One of the most interesting criminal cases with 
which the poHce of any city in the world have been 
connected and which through its ramifications be- 
came a question of international importance, and went 
from the police court to the United States Commis- 
sioner, thente to the District Federal Court, and on 
to the Supreme Court of the United States, and finally 
to the Dominion of Canada, is one which Detective 
Wooldridge and his assistants made possible by the 
arrest of three men said to be the most dangerous 
bank robbers in the country, and whose trial in Can- 
ada, in June, 1901, was attended with many tragedies, 
resulting in the death of two of the robbers and the 
killing of an officer. 

The case first came before the public in May, 1900, 
and for a period of nearly twelve months following it 
occupied the attention of the press and of the foreign 
consuls in the United States because of the fact that 
extradition was demanded by the Dominion of Canada 
of three men who were citizens of the United States. 
The final decision of the important question was made 
on February 25, 1901, and it established a precedent 
which will have an important bearing on all similar 
cases which may engage the attention of the courts in 
the future, or at least until there is a change in the 
existing treaty between the United States and Canada. 

The case in question was brought about by the ar- 
rest on June i, 1900, at the Ashland apartment build- 


ing, 131 Ashland avenue, of Fred Lee Rice, Frank Rut- 
ledge and Thomas Jones, upon a request from Chiet 
of Police Grassette, of Toronto, to Chief of Police 

The following is the telegram received by Chief of 
Police Kipley from the Toronto official. May 23, 1900: 

"Look out for and arrest four men — Fred L. Rice, 
Frank Rutledge, Thos. Jones — the fourth man's name 
is unknown. On the morning of May 3, 1900, they 
robbed the postoffice and bank at Aurora, some thirty 
miles from Toronto, securing $700 in currency, $200 
worth of stamps, and a large assortment of mining 
stocks, and they made an unsuccessful attempt to 
blow up the safe of the bank of Toronto. After as- 
saulting and nearly killing a police officer, and steal- 
ing a horse and wagon, they drove to another town, 
where their baggage was shipped by their friend!.> to 
452 Austin avenue, Chicago." 

Chief Kipley at once realized that he had an impor- 
tant case on hand, and called in Detective Wooldridge 
and placed him in charge of it, giving him all the in- 
formation he possessed. 

Later in the day a minute description of the men 
and of the baggage was received. Wooldridge was 
given a detail of assistants and at once placed four 
men on duty around the house at 452 Austin avenue 
with instructions to watch for the baggage and arrest 
the fugitives if they put in an appearance. 

All the railroad trains from the east were carefully 
watched by a corps of officers for the purpose of inter- 
cepting the robbers, in case they had not already ar- 
rived in the city, or of getting the baggage if it had not 
already been received. 


Wooldridge then went to the offices of all of the ex- 
press companies in Chicago and secured the assistance 
of the superintendents of each in locating and detain- 
ing the baggage in the event it should be shipped by 
express, which was most likely. 

In a day or two Wooldridge was notified thai, the 
baggage had arrived at the Dearborn street station 
over the Wabash road. Two detectives were then 
stationed on the inside of the depot and two on the 
outside with bicycles on which they might follow any 
one who called for the baggage, which consisted of 
three valises. It was not supposed that either of the 
owners of the baggage would call in person for it, 
but that it would be sent for and taken to the rooms 
of the fugitives. 

In the meantime information was received by one 
of the officers on guard at the Austin avenue house 
that three of the men he was seeking were at that place 
on the evening of May 24. 

Wooldridge got his forces ready and told them to 
report at three o'clock the following morning. The 
following are the names of those who answered the 
roll-call. William Schubert, W. H. McGrath, J. J. 
Sullivan, M. F. Farelly, Tim De Roche, Joseph Du- 
bach, Charles Niggermeyer, J. O'Hara, William Tay- 
lor, P. J. Fitzgerald, Ed. Burns and Ter Issian. 

.Wooldridge and all his associates realized that the 
men wanted were dangerous and desperate criminals 
and that their capture would probably expose every 
one to great peril. It was expected they would make 
a strong resistance, and even die before submitting to 

The Austin avenue house was a two-story structure, 


the ground floor being occupied by a saloon. The liv- 
ing 'apartments above were reached by a long flight 
of stairs which ran up from the side, near the center. 
It was by means of this stairway that entrance must be 
gained to the rooms above ; peaceably if possible, by 
forca if necessary. 

Some of the men protested against invading the 
house in this way because of the splendid chance of 
getting shot from above. 

Detective Wooldridge then stepped forward and 
said he would not ask any man to go where he was 
unwilling to go, declaring he would lead. 

Detectives Schubert, Sullivan^ McGrath and Dubach 
joined him, and the others surrounded the house. An' 
entrance was made easily enough, but when the offi- 
cers got inside, they found that the game had flown. 

Many clews were taken up after this and followed 
persistently and relentlessly, but nothing came of theni, 
and the. detectives met only disappointment. But 
Wooldridge was never discouraged or downcast on 
account of a failure. He never lagged in his efforts 
to locate and capture the safe-blowers. He kept up - 
the chase vigorously, and on May 31 it was discovered 
than an expressman had carried the trunks of Fred 
Lee Rice and Frank Rutledge from 1355 Michigan 
avenue, where they formerly had apartments, to an- 
other place, and then a search was made for the loca- 
tion of their new quarters. 

Nearly every driver of an express wagon on the 
south side was found by Wooldridge and closely ques- 
tioned about these trunks. The search seemed fruit- 
less, but there was one driver he had not seen. Offi- 
cer McGrath found the man at ti o'clock at night, and 


by the free use of money got the desired informa- 
tion. He was told by this driver that the trunks were 
taken to 131 Ashland avenue, and finally accompanied 
McGrath to the place, which was the Ashland apart- 
ment building, located in one of the most aristocratic 
and fashionable residence districts of Chicago. 

On June i Detectives Schubert, McGrath, Sullivan, 
Dubach, Burns and Fitzgerald were sent in a body to 
get the men if possible. They waited until late at 
night in order to find the robbers in their rooms asleep. 

The house was kept by Mrs. A. D. Harling, who was 
awakened and told that she had some safe-blowers for 
guests. She readily admitted that the men named 
by the detectives were there, and conducted them to 
their rooms. Here a whispered conversation was held. 
The officers knew they were going to have trouble in 
making the arrests if the robbers were given a single 
opportunity to defend themselves or resist. It was a 
desperate undertaking and required great judgment 
and nerve. 

While they were whispering with Mrs. Harling in 
the hall, they were overheard by Fred Lee Rice. He 
opened the door, evidently expecting that some of his 
"pals" who were out had just returned. The officers 
saw him as he looked out into the hall and made a 
rush at him. He was knocked heels over head in a 
corner of the room and his revolver and belt of cart- 
ridges removed before he had time to recover. 

Rutledge and Jones, the other two robbers, were 
asleep in one bed, and near each was lying a huge 
revolver, loaded and ready for use, and two boxes of 
cartridges. The sudden and quick work of the offi- 
cers prevented them from using their guns. There 


is little possibility that they would ever have been 
taken alive if they had gotten an opportunity to re- 
sist the officers. The detectives seized the revolvers, 
then quickly covered the robbers with their own re- 
volvers and effected their arrest with neatness and 

It was fortunate that Rice was expecting the fourth 
man in and opened the door. If the officers had been 
compelled to break into the room or to arouse the men, 
some of them would undoubtedly be now sleeping un- 
der the willow trees of a cemetery. 

The robbers were taken to the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion, where their pictures were taken for the rogues' 
gallery. From there they were taken to the Des- 
plaines Street Station. 

Knowing full well that his prisoners were shrewd 
criminals and men who would use all the resources at 
their command to get out of the clutches of the po- 
lice, Detective Wooldridge adopted a plan which was 
really the most important move taken in the whole 
case. On June 2 he went before United States Com- 
missioner Mark A. Foote and secured on belief and in- 
formation a fugitive warrant, which he placed in the 
hands of United States Marshal George Allen. The 
three prisoners were then released by the police, but 
before they could leave the station, they were arrested 
by the United States Marshal. 

They were taken before the commissioner for a 
hearing and the case continued from time to time un- 
til July IQ. 

The prisoners employed S. H. Trude, and^ then be- 
gan a desperate fight to resist extradition to Canada. 
The Canadian Government, by William Wyndham, 


the British consul, had made application for extradi- 
tion. Attorney Lynden Evans represented the consul 
at a hearing before the United States commissioner, 
who held the prisoners and recommended that Presi- 
dent McKinley issue the extradition warrant. 

Then the prisoners applied for a writ of habeas cor- 
pus before Judge Kohlsaat. This stayed the Presi- 
dent's warrant. After a hearing Judge Kohlsaat dis- 
missed the writ. From this decision an appeal was 
taken to the United States Supreme Court. This 
highest court affirmed the decision of Judge Kohlsaat, 
denying the writ. 

The case attracted widespread notice among the 
lawyers and students of constitutional rights. The 
points brought up in their attempt to resist extradition 
were numerous, the four important ones being: 

1. It was claimed that all United States citizens 
were eititled to bail, and this was denied the prisoners 
below. The Supreme Court approved the denial. 

2. It was claimed that the treaty with Great Brit- 
ain on extradition and acts of congress on extradition 
are unconstitutional because they do not guarantee jury 
trial to the prisoners deported as would be their right 
in the United States. This claim the Supreme Court 

3. It was claimed the treaty on extradition contra- 
venes the Illinois Constitution in the above points. 

4. It was claimed that the words ''surrendering 
state" used in the treaty referred in this case to Illi- 
nois and not to the United States. 

The further contention was made that the commis- 
sioner who heard the cases had received them on in- 
formation an^ belief, and that the proceeding was 


not justifiable in an extradition case.- Regarding the 
point, Justice Brown said : "If the officer of the for- 
eign government has no personal knowledge of the 
facts, he may with entire propriety make a complaint 
upon information and belief, stating the sources of his 
information and the grounds of his belief, and annex- 
ing to the complaint a properly certified copy of any 
indictment or equivalent proceedings which may be 
found in the foreign court or a copy of the depositions 
of witnesses having actual knowledge of the facts." 

That ended the fight against extradition. In due 
course the court's mandate reached Chicago and the 
prisoners were taken to Canada. Their first trial be- 
gan in Toronto on May 20. This was on a charge of 
robbing the bank at Aurora. By the use of money 
friends of the prisoners succeeded in getting enough 
men on the jury who were favorable to the defendants, 
to prevent an agreement as to a verdict and this jury 
was discharged, the robbers getting another trial. 

This was begun on May 2']. Defendants had en^ 
tered a plea of guilty on four minor charges, that of 
attempting to rob the Standard Bank of Toronto, rob- 
bing the postoffice at Aurora, horse stealing and steal- 
ing a revolver from an officer. 

Detectives Schubert and McGrath of Chicago were 
summoned to Toronto as witnesses to testify as to 
the contents found in the trunks when the men were 
arrested on Ashland avenue. The second trial pro- 
gressed rapidly, and on June 4, when the case was 
nearing an end and the prisoners saw conviction star- 
ing them in the face, they made a desperate effort to 
escape, whfch resulted in the death of two of them 
and an officer who had them in charge. 


Late that afternoon they were handcuffed together 
and placed in a carriage to be taken to jail. Jones, 
who was considered the most desperate man of the 
three, had handcuffs on both wrists, while Rice, who is 
left-handed, was placed on his right, and Rutledge on 
his left. This put both of Jones' hands out of use 
and left Rutledge with the use of his left hand only, 
and Rice with his right hand. 

This precaution was taken because the officers sus- 
,pected that a plot had been formed to rescue the pris- 
''t)ners. They were placed on the rear seat of the car- 
riage, while Constables Boyd and Stewart sat oppo- 
site them on the front seat. Another constable, Bo- 
gart, took a seat on the box with the driver, and the 
carriage started for the jail. When it reached the 
corner of Sumach an4 Gerrard streets, a young wo- 
man dressed in man's clothing rushed to the side of 
the vehicle and threw a hat into the laps of the pris- 
oners. Instantly the two free hands belonging to 
Rutledge and Rice plunged into the hat and drew out 
two large revolvers. 

Quick as a flash Rice fired, and Constable Boyd, 
who had started to seize him, fell back dying. Con- 
stable Stewart, who was the only one of the three of- 
ficers that had a revolver, reached back for his weapon, 
but Rice pushed his gun into his face and he remained 
quiet, telling them to get out of the carriage. 

The horses then stopped and the three men sprang 
out, Rutledge first, dragging the others behind them. 
After leaving the .carriage they fired into it several 
times while running away. Constable Stewart re- 
turned the fire and shot Jones in the arm, shattering 
the bone. 


Then he jumped from the carriage and fired again, 
the second shot striking Jones in the groin. An elec- 
tric street car which the carriage had passed was ap- 
proaching, and Jones, who was so badly hurt that he 
could scarcely walk, was dragged by his companions 
onto the front platform of the car, which had stopped 
on account of the shooting. Then followed a desper- 
ate fight for possession of the car. Constable Bogart 
had jumped off the box seat of the vehicle, and al- 
though unarmed, was making his way towards the 
car. The prisoners fired at him and missed. 

Stewart rushed bravely in pursuit of the fleeing men, 
firing as he went. He had emptied his own revolver 
when he reached the car, and'threw himself on Rice 
and Rutledge and wrenched their revolvers from them. 
Then he beat them over their heads until they gave up. 
They were bleeding freely from scalp wounds, and by 
this time were exhausted and unable to offer further 

The motorman held on to the motor crank and the 
conductor pulled the trolley ofif the feed wire during 
the struggle, to prevent the robbers from starting the 
car in case they had gotten possession of the crank, 
which was their intention. 

Jones 'was in great agony and cried out to the offi- 
cers to take the handcuffs oflf his wrists. The bone in 
the arm had been shattered by the bullet fired by 
Stewart, and in the hand-to-hand struggle the arm 
had been twisted out of shape. With the three pris- 
oners lying almost in a heap on the floor in the car 
and the officers standing over them, the current was 
turned on and they were conveyed to the jail. Upon 
their arrival there the jail physician assisted by two 


Other medical men attended them. They found that 
Jones was mortally wounded, but they made him as 
comfortable as possible, and he soon went to sleep 
under the influence of opiates. 

They dressed the wounds which Rice had received 
on his head, and also the scalp wounds which Rutledge 
bore. Rice was quite calm and told the surgeon to be 
sure and remove all the blood from his hair. 

Constable Boyd was driven to the hospital in the 
carriage in which he was shot, but never recovered 
consciousness and died a few hours afterwards. 

If the prisoners had not lost their heads when they 
first got possession of the pistols in the carriage they 
could easily have, escaped. They had shot and mor- 
tally wounded Constable Boyd, who was a gray- 
haired man, sixty years old. The only other consta- 
ble who had a revolver was Stewart, and Rice and 
Rutledge had him covered with their guns. In his 
pockets were the keys which unlocked the handcufifs. 
They could easily have gotten these and also Stewart's 
gun, then released themselves from the handcuffs and 
have been masters of the situation. They then, could 
have made their escape in the carriage which was taking 
them to jail. 

But in the excitement they overlooked the opportun- 
ity. It was a fatal mistake for them and one which 
greatly surprised the officers. It was astonishing 
that three as shrewd and desperate men as Rice, Rut- 
ledge and Jones were could lose their heads in such a 
crisis as this, and it caused a great deal of comment 
in police circles. 

The prosecution decided that the trial should pro- 
ceed against Rice and Rutledge whether Jones was 



present or not. The shooting took place on Tuesday 
and Jones died on Wednesday morning. The trial 
proceeded, and on Friday, June 7, the jury returned a 
verdict of guilty against the prisoners, and they were 
sentenced to twenty-one years each in the peniten- 
tiary. When they were arraigned to receive sen- 
tence, the judge said to them : 

"Have you anything to say why the sentences 
should not be passed upon you?" They stood quietly, 
never removing their eyes from the judge's face. Rut- 
ledge's hands rested on the railing in front of him, 
while Rice stood erect with his arms crossed over his 
breast. They never flinched and did not move a 
muscle while the heavy sentence was being pro- 

In answer to the judge's question. Rice simply shook 
his head, while Rutledge replied, "Nothing, nothing." 
Then the sentence was delivered as follows : 

"This is a peaceable country, but you came here 
bent upon a career of crime. You have followed your 
unlawful purposes by committing three serious of- 
fenses against the law. The country has enough of 
trouble and expense ^o take care of its own criminals 
and cannot do anything to encourage criminals from 
foreign countries, to come here and pursue their depre- 
dations. The sentence of the court upon you, Frank*' 
Rutledge, and upon you, Fred Lee Rice, is that each of 
you be confined in the Kingston penitentiary for the 
term of fourteen years for the robbery of the bank, 
and seven years for stealing the horse, cart and har- 
ness ; the seven years to be consecutive with the four- 
teen years ; for the robbery of the postoffice, seven 
years to be concurrent with the stealing "sentence, 


making for each of you a sentence of twenty-one 

Deathly pale, but as calm apparently as if they had 
not faced the court, they were taken to the jail and 
consigned to their cells. Soon after dinner they were 
taken to the corridor on the first floor for exercise and 
air. After walking for a short time, Rutledge dashed 
away from his guard, up the stairway to the second- 
story balcony. It was thought that he intended to 
make an effort to escape through the ventilator, but 
he was met by guards and turned back. With a de- 
fiant look he backed toward the railing which sur- 
rounded the balcony, and straightening himself up, 
leaped backward over the railing and fell to the stone- 
paved floor thirty-six feet below, striking on his head 
and crushing his skull. When the guard reached him 
he was unconscious and died in half an hour without 

This left only one of the three safe-blowers, Fred 
Lee Rice, and he had become a murderer, as Consta- 
ble Stewart swore that it was Rice who shot and 
killed Constable Boyd. The next day Rice was ar- 
raigned on a charge of murder and the case was post- 
poned until September. In the meantime the sen- 
tence of tweoty-one years in prison hung over him. 

Rutledge first came into prominence in the cities of 
Kingston, Hamilton, Brantford and Montreal, Can- 
ada. He was a burglar and a particularly daring one. 
He seemed to have great success in getting away with 
the results of his plundering, and until June 15, 1889, 
he was never brought into custody with a definite 
charge against him. On that day he was arrested for 


burglary, and after a trial at Kingston, was found 
guilty and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. 

Rutledge remained in prison until late in 1894, or 
early in 1895. On gaining his freedom he visited Col- 
orado, and while in that state was arrested for lar- 
ceny, convicted, and in November, 1895, was given a 
six years' sentence and ordered confined at Canon 
City. He entered that city a desperate man, a crimi- 
nal posted in all the technique of his vocation. 

He not only knew how to live well without labor 
when not in prison, but how, after being confined, to 
hold free conversations with his fellow convicts with- 
out being detected by a warden or guard. This latter 
ability is what brought him in contact with Jones. 
Jones graduated from the Chicago circle of thieves 
prominent in the city between 1892 and 1893. The 
World's Fair brought many of them in, and Jones did 
so well in their company that he became bold. 

On March 20, 1893, in company with "Jack" Mur- 
phy, he held up one John Howe of 2810 Ninety-third 
street. Jones and Murphy were both armed and fired 
shots at Howe. They took his watch and chain, but 
were captured by Officers Brown and Peters, locked 
up in the county jail, kept thfere several months, and 
then tried and acquitted. The county official and po- 
lice official who aided them in escaping punishment 
are still living. Jones is supposed to have paid $5,000 
for his freedom at this time. 

On July 4, 1893, Jones, with "Ji"^" Kavanagh, held 
up Sylvester Johnson of 7944 Ontario avenue, and stole 
his watch, chain and some money. The same day they 
entered the Collins home on Ontario avenue, near 
Eighteenth street, and choked Collins, but did not rob 


him. But on July 6 they returned to the same house 
with burglars' tools and were captured by Officer Robin- 
son while in the act of robbing the house. 

The case against them was finally stricken off the 
calendar, and they were never tried, but it is said to 
have cost Jones another $5,000 to "fix" certain offi- 
cials so that he might have his freedom. 

Jones now found Chicago uncomfortable for him, so 
he journeyed to Colorado and allied himself with the 
Indian gang in Pueblo. On December 17, 1893, he 
was arrested for safe-blowing, and on March 23, 1894. 
was sentenced to nine years in the penitentiary at 
Canon City. There he met Rutledge, and in convict 
fashion, they held many conversations together and 
formed an alliance for operation in the days to come 
when they should have freedom. 

While they were so planning there arrived at the 
Colorado penitentiary Fred Lee Rice, alias Harris. 
He was sentenced on September 27, 1897, for forgery, 
and had a three years' term to serve. He was only 
iwenty-one years old then, but bold and eager for 
criminal . adventure. Rutledge and Jones took him 
into their prison brotherhood, and he swore fidelity 
to them, when they all should have their freedom 
again. Between October, 1899, and April, 1900, the 
trio came out of Canon City penitentiary free men. 

As each man gained his discharge he came to Chi- 
cago until the trio were together and were joined by 
Frank Stewart, alias Gannon. Gannon took agree- 
ably to Rutledge and Rice, and the four took rooms 
on Ashland avenue, where all but Gannon passed as 
artists, photographers and literary gentlemen. 

During the year of 1900 Gannon was killed. He 


e-ntered the Ga'rfield Park pavilion at Hamlin avenue 
and West Madison street, and in an attempt to hold 
up the bartender and Frank Barum, an attorney, w^as 
shot dead. This greatly affected Jones, and, taking 
Rice and Rutledge with him, he temporarily aban- 
doned Chicago and sought the East. Rutledge per- 
suaded him to visit Canada with him, and the trio 
entered Ontario. Among the other places, they vis- 
ited the town of Aurora and robbed the bank there, 
made their escape to this country and immediately re- 
turned to Chicago. 

One very interesting chapter in the lives of Rutledge 
and Jones is furnished in their attempt in May, 1900, , 
to rob the Standard Bank in Toronto. At two o'clock 
one morning Officer Wood, of the Toronto police 
force, saw two men standing at the rear of the bank 
on Elmwood Grove avenue. He approached the men 
and asked them what they were doing there at that 

Before he got a reply a revolver was placed against 
the back of his head by a third man, and he was or- 
dered to throw up his hands. He saw that it would be 
folly to resist and promptly obeyed the command. 
The men then took the officer's revolver and bound 
his hands with a piece of wire. He was then taken 
across the street to a stable, where one man stood 
guard over him, while the other two forced an en- 
trance to the bank and were preparing to blow open 
the safe, but were frightened away before they had 
accomplished their purpose. 

After the arrest of Rice, Rutledge and Jones and 
their removal to Toronto, the first two were identified 
by Officer Wood as the men he saw trying to rob the ' 
Standard Bank. 


There is a romantic side to this story which is as 
interesting as the criminal side of it. Rice, Rutledge 
and Jones were well educated ryen and had many ac- 
complishments beside those of safe-blowing and rob- 
bery. Rice is a native of Champaign, Illinois, his 
father being a wealthy and highly respected farmer 
living near that place and a heavy stockholder in one 
of the local banks. Young Rice was at one time a 
clerk, in this bank. 

Before this he was a student of the University of 
Illinois and a prominent fraternity man. He left his 
native town in 1897, and has been there only once 
' since on a short visit. Rutledge was an artist and a 
poet. He could paint, and painted well. Jones made 
nearly as good an impression as the other two men, 
although to the trained eye he would be more quickly 
suspected of being a criminal than either. They had 
many well-known business men in Chicago for ac- 

All three of them dressed expensively. They wore 
the most fashionable tailor-made clothes and adorned 
themselves with fine and expensive jewelry. They 
rode in automobiles, gave swell dinners to their friends 
and spent money with a lavish hand. They rented 
rooms on Michigan avenue, where they furnished an 
atelier in luxurious style and set themselves up as 
artists. They then advertised for models, and by this 
means became acquainted with Myrtle Norrie and 
Martha Dwyer. 

The former lived with her parents on Forty-second 
court and was employed at that time by the Siemans 
& Halske Electric Co. Martha Dwyer lived at 324 
Morgan street and was an operator in the main office 



of the Chicago Telephone company. Both were at- 
tractive and handsome young women. They visited 
the ^tudio of Rice, Rutledge and Jones and posed for 
Rutledge, who made hundreds of drawings that would 
do credit to a professional in that line. Rutledge and 
Rice became very devoted to the young women and 
soon won their hearts by buying for them many val- 
uable presents of jewelry and by giving them untir- 
ing and devoted attention. A proposal of marriage 
was made and a double wedding, fashionable in ever;y 
detail was planned, the girls stating that they looked 
forward joyously to the time when they would no 
longer be compelled to work for a paltry salary, but 
instead would be the wives of prosperous business 

These two girls, however, were not the only female 
acquaintances on the visiting list of Rutledge and 
Rice. They knew many others and spent most of 
their time visiting, driving and dining with their lady 
friends. They played the society game to the. limit 
during the day and early part of the evening and late 
at night changed their attire and committed robbery 
on an extensive scale. 

Even after they were arrested many of the women 
whom they had met refused to believe in their guilt, 
and during the time they were in jail in Chicago these 
women sought every opportunity they could invent 
for the purpose of seeing the men. Once when the 
robbers were arraigned in the commissioner's court. 
Myrtle Norrie entered dressed in deep mourning with 
her face partly covered with a heavy veil. She 
watched every movement of Rutledge as he sat in 
the prisoner's cage with Rice and Jones. 


"Nothing can convince me that Frank is guilty," 
■^aid Miss Norrie. "I love him yet and can never be 
convinced that he is as black as he is painted. They 
lie when they say that he served a sentence in Canon 
City for safe-blowing. I know that he never lived 

Then she wept and her face flushed angrily. She 
seemed much concerned over the visit of two other 
mysterious girls who had called to see the prisoners. She 
looked daggers at them, though they did not seem to 
be frightened and left word that they would call at 
the county jail to see the prisoners. 

During the time the bank robbers were making 
their efforts to escape extradition, they were in the 
custody of the Cook county authorities and extraor- 
dinary precai*tions were taken to prevent their es- 
cape. They had many shrewd friends, who were con- 
tinuously planning a method for their escape. They 
watched and were perfectly familiar with every move 
made by the authorities and with every action made 
by the court. Some of these friends were always in 
the vicinity of the jail and court room. On one occa- 
sion a revolver was found in a bowl of soup, which 
had been sent to the prisoners by an outsider. After 
this the officers searched their cells and found an- 
other revolver. This was prior to the time when they 
were to be taken to the court from the jail and thence 
to Canada. On another occasion Jones attempted to 
take from the pocket of a United States Marshal, 
while in the prisoners' cage in the United States com- 
missioner's room, a revolver, but was seen just in 
time to prevent it. At another time an effort was 
made, while the prisoners were being taken to the 


District Federal Court, to escape from one of the ele- 
vators in the Monadnock building. A strong force of 
officers was always with them, however, and had to 
be unusually watchful at all times. The friends of 
these desperate men included both sexes. Just- be- 
fore they were taken to Canada a woman sent them a 
box of the finest imported cigars that could be bought. 
They also received a bottle of fine whiskey. These 
presents were confiscated by the officers and upon 
analysis were found to contain powerful- narcotics. It 
was supposed that the prisoners intended to treat 
their guards while on the way to Canada, with the 
cigars and whiskey, and if they had induced them to 
partake of their hospitality, the prisoners would, while 
their guards were under the influence of the narcotics, 
have atternpted to rnake their escape. 

On the very day of their departure for Canada a 
very exciting incident took place which went to show 
how thoroughly posted the friends of these prisoners 
were. Early that morning the detectives went to the 
Cook county jail in a patrol wagon to convey the rob- 
bers to the Federal Court for the purpose of getting 
the order for their transfer to the Canadian authori- 
ties. Three cabs stood on the street in the vicinity 
of the jail, and in each was a woman, who was a friend 
of the prisoners. The patrol wagon was driven as 
rapidly as possible to the Monadnock building, in 
which the Federal Court was held, yet the women in 
the cabs arrived there as promptly as the wagon. 
• While the order was being obtained the detectives 
gave it out that the men would be taken to the Michi- 
gan Central depot to catch the train at ii o'clock for 
their trip to Canada, while, in fact, the train which 


was to take them away did not leave until 4 o'clock 
in the afternoon. This did not deceive the women 
friends of the prisoners, however, nor did they get 
lost from the patrol wagon in the circuitous route it 
pursued in re-taking the prisoners to the Harrison 
Street Station, They were driven through several 
streets and alleys, the wagon winding about and turn- 
ing in opposite directions a number of times ; yet, 
when the wagon reached the Harrison Street Station, 
the three cabs with the three women were on hand. 

They stayed in the vicinity of the station all day, 
but were closely watched by the police officers to 
prevent them from communicating with the prison- 
ers. Just before 4 o'clock in the afternoon the three 
men were brought from their cells to be taken to the 
depot on Polk street. Suddenly the three women ap- 
peared, and just as they were going to make an at- 
tempt to reach the prisoners, a half dozen police 
seized t:hem and held them at the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion until the men were safely aboard the train and 
far away from Chicago. 

When the trunks of Rice, Rutle'dge and Jones were 
searched the officers found some interesting articles. 
There were several letters written by Miss Norrie to 
Rutledge. A photograph of her was also found in 
the trunk, with her name written on the back of it. 
Among other contents was a leather-bound Bible, on 
the title page of which was written, "Presented to 
Fred by his mother." The officers also found much 
fine wearing apparel, including a full dress suit of 
London make, white kid gloves, silk vests, duck suits, 
silk socks, and a dozen tailor-made suits. They also 
found an electrical appliance which is a modern in- 


vention for the opening of safes, and which can be 
used only in towns where electricity is used for light- 

There were also a number of valuable trinkets of 
various descriptions in the trunk, which was supposed 
to be the plunder of burglaries. The police recovered 
a memoranda book containing the names of fifty Ca- 
nadian towns with a description of each place, nam- 
ing the number of banks, number of safes, the popula- 
tion and the times of the arrival and departure of 

When Gannon, one of the members of the gang, 
was shot and killed on the west side, the police found 
on him a card with Rice's name on it. The card 
showed that Rice was stopping at the Great Northern 
Hotel, and when the detectives shadowed him there, 
thev found that he was in company with some of the 
best-known business men of Chicago. 

When he was questioned he gave references, nam- 
ing people who were prominent in the social and busi- 
ness wo'rld of Chicago and Champaign, Illinois. He 
declared that he could not understand how Gannon 
got possession of his card. The references he gave 
completely convinced the police, for a time at least, 
that he was a business man with good connections 
and that there was no reason for suspecting him of 
having any relations with Gannon, the dead robber. 

While the detectives were shadowing Rutledge, he 
frequently acted in such a straightforward way that 
they hesitated to arrest him. On one occasion when 
they were following him, he went into the residence 
of a prominent and well-known citizen, where it was 
found that he was a welcome visitor and had an inti- 


mate acquaintance with members of the family, Both 
would be frequently seen around the most prominent 
hotels of Chicago in company with Chicago business 
men of high standing in the financial and social world. 
They were for a long time a Chinese puzzle to the 
officers of the law, and it was not until they had been 
captured in the Ashland avenue apartment building 
and their trunks searched that the mystery of their 
identity was disclosed. 

It was an interesting case of pursuit and capture 
for the detectives. In the solution of what seemed at 
one time almost an impenetrable barrier as to the iden- 
tity and occupation of these three clever criminals, 
the detectives found that they had an undertaking of 
more than ordinary importance. 

But they succeeded, one clew following another, 
pne event in the lives of the men leading to another, 
all of which made a complete chain of evidence, which 
has finally been their complete undoing and has ridded 
the country of a gang of the cleverest safe-blowers and 
bank-robbers that ever operated in the United States 
or any other country. 

With their unlimited number of acquaintances and 
friends, they had formed an almost impassable barrier 
to the assaults of officers of the law. Always well sup- 
plied with money, which they secured by robbery and 
theft, they were enabled at all times to make a strong 
fight against every effort that was made to convict 
them of their crimes, and were as far above the ordi- 
nary criminal in intelligence and shrewdness as the 
"get rich quick" schemer is above the hold-up man 
of the levee. 


The story of their crimes, their arrest and convic- 
tion and the tragical end of two of them forms a chap- 
ter in the history of the world that will forever fur- 
nish to the student of criminology a subject of deep 

Canadian criminal cases are conducted very differ- 
ently from similar cases in the United States. They 
are heard by a police commissioner who sits in a 
sanctum, clothed in somber robes, looking as austere 
as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme 

This august authority paid a very high compliment 
to Detectives Schubert and McGrath, the Chicago 
officers, who went to Toronto to testify against the 
bank robbers. During the progress of the trial he 
called them to the bench and personally complimented 
them upon the work they did in the case. Atfer this 
he called them into his private chamber and had a 
long and pleasant talk with them. 

He made many -inquiries as to the methods em- 
ployed in Chicago and other cities in the prosecution 
of criminal cases. He again complimented them on 
their work in the case and thanked "them very heartily 
for what they did in bringing the criminals to justice. 
This was considered in Toronto a very high mark of 
confidence upon the part of the judge who conducted 
the case. As a further evidence of appreciation on 
the part of the Canadian authorities of the work done 
by the Chicago Police Department in bringing these 
three criminals to justice, the following letter was 
sent to the General Superintendent of Police in Chi- 
cago by the Crown Attorney: 

/ • 


National Trust Building, 
20 King Street. 
East Toronto, June lo, 1901. 
Francis O'Neill, Esq., Chief of Police, Chicago. 

Dear Sir : — I desire to thank you for the exceedingly valuable 
assistance you have rendered in the interests of justice in the 
arrest of Fred Lee liice, Frank Rutledge and Thomas Jones, 
and in allowing Detectives Schubert and McGrath to come to 
Toronto and testify on the charges against these men. The evi- 
dence submitted by your detectives was very material, and they 
are to be congratulated, not only upon this evidence, but the 
splendid impression they made upon the court and jury. The 
case was one of great importance to us, as you well know, and 
I need scarcely assure your that, apart from the officers of our 
police court, who are always glad to reciprocate favors, I shall 
personally be only too glad to assist you at any time in any matter 
in which we can be of servnce to you. Believe me to be 

Yours faithfully, 

H. H. Dev/art, 
Crown Attorney, County of York 


The use of whiskey made of Frank Henry, a man 
who had a good trade and could always earn enough 
money following his vocation to provide him with 
everything he needed, a common thief and finally 
caused his conviction and sentence to the penitentiary. 

The man was a printer, but he would frequently 
begin a debauch which lasted several weeks, and 
when he was on one of these sprees he would steal 
anything he could lay his hands on. 

He had a weakness for visiting printing offices, and 
it made but little difference whether any onp was at 


home or not. If the proprietor or foreman was there 
and he could get away with anything undetected 
which he could pawn, he would do it. If he called 
when the doors were closed, he would seek an en- 
trance by means of false keys or force a door, or 
break a window, and take anything he could carry. 

He went to a printing office on Van Buren street 
one Sunday evening and took a paper cutter and other 
tools. These he carried with him to a saloon between 
Harrison and Van Buren streets, and as he was in the 
act of putting them behind the bar he was seen by 
Detective Wooldridge, who arrested him. He could 
give no satisfactory answer as to how they came into 
his possession, and was locked up at the Harrison 
Street Station. 

On the following morning a complaint was made of 
the larceny of the goods, which were identified. He 
was held in bgnds to the criminal court, indicted, tried 
and found guilty, and sentenced to one year in the 
Joliet penitentiary by Judge Sears, March 24, 1894. 


There was at one time in Chicago a regular system 
of enticing young girls to the city to be held and used 
for immoral purposes. This was discovered in July, 
1896, when Detective Wooldridge arrested James and 
Blanche Jackson, colored, at 126 Custom House place, 
on a charge of "unlawfully detaining a female in a dis- 
orderly house for immoral purposes." It was believed 
that the girls were procured in Milwaukee and brought 


here under the pretense that they were to be given 
work at fancy salaries. 

Blanche Jackson met the girl who was rescued by 
the police, in Milwaukee, and in a conversation induced 
her to take a boat to Chicago, where she said it was 
easy to find work. She was taken to 126 Custom 
House place, where she was kept prisoner until she 
fell sick. Then she wanted to leave, but was locked 
up in her room, and Mattie Bruce, the cook, was the 
only one allowed to go near her. Mrs. Bruce heard 
the girl's story and took pity on her, with the result 
that the police were notified, who, by a ruse, got the 
girl from the place. 

Warrants were sworn out for the Jackson couple 
and they were arrested by Detective Wooldridge. 
The story of the girl's ill-treatment was most horrible, 
and the police went actively to work to put an end to 
the system, and succeeded so well that only an occa- 
sional case of this kind is now heard of. The young 
woman in this case was restored to her parents and 
did not prosecute. 



The police of Chicago were informed early in 1896 
that a number of ticket offices on the Chicago & 
Northwestern railroad had been robbed of tickets and 
mileage books. The detectives were instructed to look 
out for this property and arrest any one who was seen 
with it in their possession. On the night of June 2 


Detective Wooldridge, while walking along Clark 
street, saw a man dressed like a farmer, running at full 
speed. His peculiar garb and rapid gait attracted a 
great deal of attention. He stopped the man and be- 
gan to question him. This was objected to by the sup- 
posed farmex, who drew a large revolver and at- 
tempted to shoot Wooldridge. 

At this point Detective Schubert came up and the 
man was arcested and taken to the Harrison Street 
Station, where he was charged with burglary, assault, 
receiving stolen goods and disorderly conduct. His 
name was John Thompson, and when searched it was 
found that he had a number of burglar's tools in his 
possession, two railway tickets, a number of ticket 
punches and other articles indicating that he was a 
crook. Two mileage books of two thousand miles 
each and one of one thousand miles were also found 
in his possession. They were issued by the Chicago 
& Northwestern railroad and were supposed to have 
been part of the property stolen from that company. 

Further investigation showed that he had entered 
the house of a woman at 394 Clark street, and draw- 
ing his revolver had threatened to clear out the place. 
The woman had also said that he had beaten her. 
When Thompson was first taken to the station the 
officers felt considerably elated over his arrest, feel- 
ing confident that he was one of the gang who had 
been robbing the railway stations in Wisconsin. He 
claimed, however, that he found the mileage books 
and tickets, and a case of burglary could not be proven 
against him. A fine of $100 was assessed against 
him, however, by Justice Richardson for assault on a 



The feeble and piteous cries of a man coming from 
an alley near Clark and Harrison street attracted the 
attention of Detective Wooldridge at midnight, i\Iarch 
4, 1892. He hurried to the place from which the cries 
came and found the prostrate form of a man who by 
this time was unconscious from the blows of a slung- 
shot in the hands of a thug. 

He had scarcely time to make an examination of 
the man and ascertain that he was not seriously in- 
jured, when two men made a dash from a dark hall- 
way, where they had retreated at the officer's ap- 
proach, and started on a swift run down the alley. 
Wooldridge immediately gave chase, loudly calling 
to the pair to surrender. After ten minutes' hard run- 
ning the detective realized that he was being outrun 
and took the only means left to bring the fugitives 
to a halt ; he began firing. 

The first shot frorh Wooldridge's revolver passed 
through the hat of one of the men and promptly 
brought him to a standstill. His companion, however, 
made good his escape. 

Wooldridge put tthe fellow under arrest and found 
that he was Emanuel Reed, a tough negro with a bad 
record. His unfortunate victim was taken with him 
to the Harrison Street Station. Reed was placed be- 
hind the bars, and the wounded man, who proved to 
be a farmer from the interior of the state, was taken 
care of. At the time of the assault he had $1,600 in 
his pocket, but the quick response of the detective so 
frightened the thieves they overlooked the money. 
Reed was find $100 and sent to the House of Correc- 




The terror of Clark street at one time was a big 
colored woman who called herself Hattie Smith, alias 
Hattie Washington. She was one of the most vicious 
and desperate thieves on the levee, and almost ever.v 
time she was arrested she would make a fight with 
the officers. She had whipped several of them, and 
on one occasion, when she was arrested, threw a brick, 
at one of them, knocking him down. It would some- 
times take four or five men to put her in the wagon. 

On February 19, 1892, Detectives Wooldridge and 
Fitzgerald noticed three colored women in front of 376 
Clark street who had an old farmer in tow. After 
watching a few minutes, they discovered the farmer 
was under the influence of liquor and that the women 
were trying to rob him. They crossed the street and 
hurried to his assistance, placing Mary Logan, Lena 
Blake and Hattie Smith under arrest. 

Hattie vowed that Wooldridge and Fitzgerald could 
not take her and ran into a stove store near by. Gath- 
ering up stove lids, wrenches, gas pipes, in fact, every- 
thing she could lay her hands on, she threw them at 
the officers and finally ran to the rear of the store, en- 
tered a bedroom and secreted herself under the bed. 

Two more officers came to their assistance and she 
was dragged out from under the bed. She fought and 
kicked, and it beoame necessary to put the "come- 
alongs" on each wrist. When this was done, Wool- 
dridge had one arm and Fitzgerald the other. The 


wagon was called, but before it reached the place the 
"come-alongs" caused Hattie to scream with pain, 
and she promised if they would take them off she 
would behave herself and submit to the arrest peace- 

Fitzgerald released her from his "come-alongs," 
and as he did so she struck him a stinging blow under 
the ear, which came near upsetting him. She was 
just in the act c* striking Wooldridge, who still had 
his "come-alongs" on her other wrist, when he took 
a twist on them which cut down into her fiesh and 
left their marks there for months. Hattie was thrown 
to her knees, and some five or six officers grabbed her 
and placed her in the wagon. 

When she reached the police station and was being 
taken out of the wagon she let fly one of her John L. 
Sullivan blows and knocked the wagon man spinning 
and got away. She ran down Pacific avenue, pursued 
by a dozen officers, who overtook her at the corner of 
Polk street. She was again taken to the station and 
when the. lock-up keeper was locking her in a cell she 
spit in his face. She kept the station in an uproar all 
night, using the most vile and profane language. She 
was arraigned the next morning on a charge of disor- 
derly conduct, resisting arrest and vagrancy, and fined 
$ioo on each charge by Justice Lyons. 

A few nights after this occurred Wooldridge and 
Fitzgerald had occasion to arrest her again. She said 
that she had licked no less than half a dozen officers 
in the Harrison Street Station, and that she would not 
be satisfied until she licked Wooldridge; that she had 
promised herself she would, on the first opportunity, 
lick him for giving her that fine of $3(X), and then she 
started for him. 


Wooldridge hit her yv^ith his "billie" and knocked 
her down. When she got on her feet he knocked her 
down again, and he was compelled to knock her down 
no less than six times before she would give up. She 
walked to the station peaceably, was locked up and 
fined $75 the following morning. 

Several months later Hattie became involved in a 
quarrel with another colored woman who lived at 141 
Custom House p,lace, a house of ill-repute kept by 
Blanche Alexander. Hattie opened the door, and see- 
ing the woman she was seeking, began, without any 
ceremony, to empty a revolver at her. After the 
smoke of battle had cleared away, Blanche Alexander 
and two other inmates were found to be wounded. 
Hattie was arrested, and after lying in jail a long time 
was finally released for want of prosecution. 

Then she began again her career of robbery. On 
the evening of the city and county elections, April 4, 
1899, T. S. Moore, captain of one of the lake vessels, 
and who lived on the west side, went down to the city 
to hear the result of the voting. 

He stopped at the Polk street depot to send a tele- 
gram, and started to walk to the office of the Chicago 
Tribune, where the election returns were being posted. 
He had reached 167 Custom House place, when Hat- 
tie Smith and another colored woman loomed up. 
Hattie's companion threw her arms around Mr. 
Moore's neck and extracted $56 from one of his pock- 
ets, but before she could get away he caught her arm. 
Then there was a fierce struggle for the money, which 
Mr. Moore had nearly got by prying her fingers loose, 
one at a time, when Hattie Smith ran up and slashed 
the back of his hand with a razor, nearly amputating 


it, cutting- through to the bones and leaving a wound 
four inches long. 

Then she turned to run, but Mr. Moore caught her 
with his other hand and snatched a black, curly wig 
from her head. He pursued her into a restaurant a 
few steps from where the robbery took place, but she 
made her escape, and Mr. Moore reported the matter 
to the police station. 

Detective Wooldridge was detailed on the case, and 
in two hours discovered that Hattie Smith, alias Hat- 
tie Washington, was the woman who had so severely 
cut Mr. Moore. She kept out of the way and was not 
located until three days later, when the detective found 
that she was in her room at 159 Custom House place. 
He entered quietly and saw her and a companion in 
bed asleep. Wooldridge knew it would require some 
strategy to make the arrest. He stepped outside, and, 
going to a hydrant, drew a bucket of water which was 
nearly ice-cold. Slipping back into the room he delib- 
erately dashed the water into the faces of the sleep- 
ers. When the woman realized she had not fallen into 
the Chicago river, she submitted to arrest and was 
taken to the station. The lake captain, however, had 
to leave the city, and as there was no prosecutor she 
escaped punishment. 



Among the most notorious female footpads in the 
United States and one who is only excelled in this 


line by Emma Ford is Pearl Smith, who is a full sis- 
ter to the former. There is nothing strange in the 
fact that the names are different, because these people 
change their names as often as they do their resi- 

No officer perhaps in the whole country has had 
as exciting and varied an experience in the pursuit of 
a criminal as Detective Wooldridge has had with 
Pearl Smith. He has arrested her a number of times, 
and once after she had escaped and traveled thousands 
of miles to elude him, he finally captured her and sent 
her to the penitentiary for a long time. 

The detective's first ser^ious trouble with Pearl 
Smith began in 1892. On Sunday evening, October 6 
of that year, Pearl Smith and Mary White seized a 
South Water street commission merchant who had 
just alighted from a train and was on his way home 
half a block from the Polk street depot with his arms 
full of bundles. While he was passing the doorway 
at 410 Dearborn street he was seized by the arms and 
lifted off his feet by a powerful jerk and landed in 
the doorway at this number, when the door was closed 
on him. 

There he found himself in the clutches of these 
powerful colored women footpads. The bundles he 
carried were dashed to the floor, and he fought them 
desperately with one hand, while he held on to his 
money, which was in his inside pocket, with the other 
hand. He was no match for them, however, and part 
of his clothing was torn off in the severe scuffle. They 
finally secured the money, amounting to $320, then 
rushed out of the hallway and locked him inside. The 
Dccupants of the rooms above had heard the noise 


resulting from the encounter and came to his assist- 
ance, releasing him from his imprisonment. He sought 
Detective Wooldridge and made a complaint of the 
robbery, giving the officer a very good account of it 
and also a description of the women. Wooldridge 
then began a systematic search for the robbers. In a 
short while he discovered them only two blocks away 
from the scene of the hold-up. They were in an alley 
dividing the money they had secured. He at once 
gave chase and captured Mary White, taking her to 
the police station, where she was searched and found 
to have in her possession $120 in $20 bills. The money 
was fully identified on account of a bottle of ink hav- 
ing been spilled on it that morning, and further by the 
own'er knowing the denomination of the bills. 

Pearl Smith eluded the officer at this time, and was 
not captured until two weeks later. Both were iden- 
tified by the victim and held to the criminal court in 
bonds of $500 each. They secured bail and were soon 
after indicted by the grand jury. Capiases were issued 
for their arrest and placed in the hands of Detective 
Wooldridge and Deputy Sheriff Staley for service. • 

The officers went to 1907 Armour avenue, where 
Pearl Smith was at that time living. When they ar- 
rived they found her in bed. They waited outside of 
her room door for her to dress. After allowing her 
enough time the officers thought to make a toilet for 
a wedding, they entered the room and found that she 
had gone. They discovered that she had lifted a trap 
door in the center of the room, ancl in her night clothes 
had dropped through this opening to the ground six 
feet below and had made her escape. 

Detective Wooldridge found that she had left this 


city and learned from several ^sources that she had 
probably gone to Kansas City. A telegram was sent 
to the Chief of Police at that place asking him to locate 
and detain the fugitive. 

A reply was received saying the woman had gone 
from there to Denver. 'Wcoldridge then went to the 
Western Union telegraph office and determined to 
send dispatches to all the cities in the West in order 
to locate her. The Western Union, however, refused 
to send the telegrams unless they were guaranteed by 
the Chief of Police of Chicago or paid for in advance. 

The detective was thwarted for the time being in 
his efforts to locate the woman for the reason that it 
then was late at night and the Chief of Police had 
left his office, and he himself had not the necessary 
funds with him to pay for the dispatches. He was de- 
termined not to be outdone by a small matter like 
this, however, and left the telegraph office to get 
more money. He finally secured this by depositing 
his gold watch and overcoat with a money-lender, 
then rushed back to the Western Union office, paid 
for the dispatches and told the operator to "burn the 
wires" all over the West until he located the fugitive. 

He learned by this means that the woman had been 
in Kansas City, but had left there. He traced her 
thence to Denver, and from there on to San Fran- 
cisco, v/here it was learned that the fleeing woman 
had gone to Galveston, Texas, then on to New Or- 
leans, and from there to Hot Springs, Arkansas, 
where she was arrested and brought back to Chicago. 

She again secured bail, and her case was placed on 
the court call no less than five times, but through the 
use of money and influence she was not brought to 


trial until April. 24, 1893, alntost six months after her 

Then followed one of the most energetic and vigi- 
lant searches by the defense to locate the complain- 
ing witness in the case and settle with him outside of 
court. The detective had .prepared for this, however, 
and they failed to locate the woman's victim. He had 
changed his residence and place of business, and no 
one except Wooldridge knew his address. The officer 
was even offered $1,000 in cash to tell the friends of 
the woman where the complaining witness lived. 
Wooldridge replied that he was not his keeper, and if 
they found him they must do it through their own 

The conclusion was finally reached by the woman 
and her friends that the merchant she had robbed 
had decided not to prosecute her and had left the city. 

The case was on call six days before it was reached, 
and all this time Wooldridge had the witness secreted 
in the Sherman House in charge of another officer. 
When the case was called, ex-State's Attorney Elliott, 
who was defending the two women, appeared before 
the court and in a dramatic and forcible manner said 
that he was informed that the state's witness had left 
the city, and this being the case, there was no prose- 
cutor present, and he demanded the immediate dis- 
charge of the prisoners. At this point matters looked 
very bright for these female footpads, but Wooldridge 
cast a gloom over the situation when he told the court 
that Mr, Elliott had been misinformed and that the 
witness was present and was in as good health as any 
^ne in the court room. Mr. Elliott was also told that 
c'he witness had already lost twenty-eight days in at- 


tendance, and he was still waiting for the case to be 
called ; that he intended to stick and fight it out if he 
had to be in attendance a whole year. 

Then the merchant who had been robbed by the de- 
fendants six months before stepped into the court 
room and stood before the two women. His appear- 
ance was like an apparition. Pearl Smith recognized 
him instantly and decided that her only hope was 
through flight. She lost no time in carrying out her 
intention, but at once dashed through the door and 
made her escape. 

Mary White was placed on trial at once, and after 
a very hard and stubborn fight by her counsel she 
was convicted and given three years in the peniten- 
tiary, but the sentence was finally cut down by Judge 
Adams to two years, which she served. She was 
known as the *'strangler," and managed several dens 
of vice, and is credited with having stolen nearly 

Detective Wooldridge again took up a hunt for 
Pearl Smith. He sodn got on her trail and followed 
her by means of telegrams through the state of Michi- 
gan, then to Cincinnati, then to Louisville, and finally 
located her in Chattanooga, Tenn., v/here she was 
arrested and brought back the second time. She was 
arraigned for trial on a charge of larceny before Judge 
Ewing, June 19, 1893. She pleaded guilty and was 
given five years in the penitentiary. Her criminal 
career was similar to that of her sister, Emma Ford. 
She was born in Nashville, Tenn., and lived with her 
mother who conducted what was known as the "White 
Cas^H." She committed so many robberies and other 
crimes tnat she was finally driven from that city. 


She was released from the penitentiary in 1897, re- 
turning to her own old work on the levee and robbing 
whenever she had a chance. 

On the night of February 23, 1892, long before she 
had been sent to the penitentiary, Detective Wool- 
dridge caught Pearl Smith holding up and robbing a 
man on Plymouth place. The detective went to the 
man's assistance and reached him before the woman 
got his money. On the following day she was fined 
$100 and costs for this offense. 

She was finally driven out of the city by the police 
in 1899, ^^^^ J^'^^^t turned up in New York city. 

Here she began the same career she followed in 
Chicago, and was very successful for some months. 
Later, however, she was arrested by the police of 
New York and convicted of robbery, for which she ir. 
now serving a term of five years in Sing Sing penite'" 



The Democratic National Convention was in ses- 
^sion in Chicago on June 23, 1892, and on that night 
Grover Cleveland was nominated for president. De- 
tective Wooldridge was detailed at the convention hall 
on Michigan avenue and Madison street, to look after 
pickpockets, shell workers and thieves who take ad- 
vantage of such large gatherings to ply their voca- 

It rained in torrents on the night mentioned, and 
the storm had driven almost every one home, and the 


streets were nearly flooded with water. Wooldridge 
was detained at the convention hall till early in the 
morning, when he started home. He reached the cor- 
ner of Wabash avenue, when he heard a cry of "Stop, 
thief !" "Police !" "Help !" and a moment later a buggy 
came at a rapid rate down the street. The driver was 
lashing his horse right and left, trying to make it go 

This unseemly haste at this hour of the morning, 
together with the cries he had heard, convinced Wool- 
dridge that a crime had been committed, and that 
these men were the guilty ones. That they must be 
stopped and an investigation made was the heroic de- 
tective's resolve, and he immediately put it into exe- 

When they had come to within fifty feet of Wool- 
dridge, he sprang into the street, revolver in hand, 
and ordered them to halt. They paid no attention 
to him, but whipped the horse all the harder. 

As the horse was nearly on him, he sprang aside 
and caught at the bridle and there hung for dear life, 
notwithstanding the blows that were rained on his 
head by one of the men who had jumped on the back 
of the horse. Still the brave and plucky detective 
hung on and was carried a block before the horse was 
brought to a stop. 

W^ooldridge had, during the melee, managed to fire 
a shot at the man who was on the horse's back. The 
man at whom the detective had fired rolled off the 
horse's back and it was supposed that he was either 
killed or. dangerously wounded. 

Some two hundred feet further the horse was 
stopped, and John Crosby, one of the men in the 


buggy, grabbed the horse weight and hurled it at the 
detective's head with such force that he lost his bal- 
ance and fell over the dashboard almost at the feet of 
Wooldridge, who had dodged the murderous missile, 
and with a well-directed blow with the butt of his re- 
volver, laid Crosby out. 

John McGinnis, one of the other men, tried to make 
his escape by jumping from the buggy on the oppo- 
site side of Wooldridge. His foot became entangled 
in the lap robe and before he could extricate himself 
Wooldridge had him by the coat collar. 

McGinnis pulled a piece of garden hose filled with 
shot from his pocket and used it as a billy, Wool- 
dridge using his revolver as a club. They both grap- 
pled and blow after blow was exchanged, neither will- 
ing to yield an inch, though it looked as if the detect- 
ive was getting the worst of it. Still he held on. 
Both were bleeding from a number of wounds, which 
they inflicted on each other as the desperate fight went 
on. Then McGinnis fell unconscious from a blow 
from the revolver. 

The other having gotten away, the. two men who 
were left were taken into custody, several citizens in 
the meantime having come to the aid of the officer. 
He went to look after the man whom he thought was 
shot, but no trace of him was found. 

They had in their possession a horse and bug'gy 
stolen from State and Polk streets, which belonged to 
Emmet C. Gibson, of 2444 Cottage Grove avenue. 
The three men had driven the horse and buggy to an 
alley under the elevated railroad on Congress street, 
where they had held up James McNeal of 380 State 
street and relieved him of his watch and $50. This 


man had raised the cry that attracted the detective's 

Both the robbers were held to the grand jury and 
placed on trial July 26 before Judge Hawes, found 
guilty and given one year in the penitentiary. 



Bicycle thieves were at one time the bane of all 
lovers of the wheel in Chicago, but through tlie efforts 
of the police, encouraged by the courts in punishing 
these daring purloiners of the property of others, the 
theft of a bicycle has become a rare occurrence. 

Detective Wooldridge arrested a man giving the 
name of Andrew Washington, November 2"/, 1893, 
for stealing a bicycle from the residence of Mrs. 
Brown, 12 Polk street. The evidence against the thief 
was complete, and when it was presented in court be- 
fore Judge Freeman, the man was found guilty and 
sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. 

This is the most severe sentence ever given to a 
bicycle thief in Chicago, and it had the effect of nearly 
putting an end to this kind of larceny. The stolen bi- 
cycle in this instance was valued at $150, and notwith- 
standing the fact that it was recovered and returned 
to the owner, the court gave the prisoner the sentence 
of ten years. 

On December 8, 1892, W. P. Spencer entered a flat 
on the west side and stole a bicycle wortl^ $165, 


which was taken to a pawnbroker on Clark street 
and offered iox $25. Detective Wooldridge noticed 
that Spencer could not' ride the wheel and that he 
acted suspiciously, and followed him into the pawn- 
broker's place, and after asking a number of questions 
he arrested him. This was just one hour after the 
wheel was stolen. 

The fellow could give no satisfactory answer as to 
how he came in possession of the wheel, and soon 
after the owner made complaint at the station. 

Spencer was held to the grand jury in bonds of 
$800, was indicted and on trial sentenced to one year 
in the penitentiary. 



Cock fighting is one of the most disgusting and 
cruel sports indulged in by gamblers. It has been 
suppressed in Chicago a number of times, but occa- 
sionally breaks out again in all its old-time fierceness. 
It has always been a difficult matter to stop this cruel 
diversion, for the reason that it is carried on so 
quietly and secretly that the police are often unable 
to locate the "pits" or arenas in which the mains take 

Cock fighting is usually carried on in the basement 
of some saloon or in an out-of-the-way barn or vacant 
building. In the center of the room is a ten-foot 
padded circle in which the birds are pitted against 


each other, and it is usually a fight to the death. 
Sometimes the fights are held in the upper stories of 
buildings, but it is always difficult to gain access un- 
less one is known to the promoters of the sport. 

On January 9, 1897, the Police Department received 
information that there was to be a cock fight on Wa- 
bash avenue, and Detective Wooldridge was detailed 
to locate the place and stop the sport. Every barn, 
saloon and vacant house east of State street, in 
which it seemed there was any prospect of a cock 
fight, was visited and a close watch kept on all pass- 
ers-by, busses and vehicles from 7 to 11 p. m., in 
the effort to locate some clue to the fight. 

While Wooldridge was standing at Fifteenth street 
and Wabash avenue an old buggy drove by. It had 
no top and contained three men who had sOme gunny 
sacks in front of them. This aroused suspicion, and 
after the buggy had passed Wooldridge heard the 
crow of a cock. He was convinced he was on the 
right track, and pulling his hat down over his face, he 
started to follow the buggy. 

It turned west on the Air Line railroad track to the 
alley and went north in the alley until it reached a 
six-story house which ran to the alley in the rear of 
a livery stable at 1525 Wabash avenue. 
' There the men" alighted, taking out several of the 
sacks containing the fighting cocks. 

The detective was strengthened in his belief that 
he had located the fighting pit by seeing men in 
groups pass down the alley, and he heard one fellow 
ask his friend if he had a pass, for without one he 
could not get in. The detective had neither pass nor 


invitation; but into this barn he must go and see 
what was going on. v 

Wooldridge then disguised himself as a bum, and 
going- down to a poultry store at Clark and Harrison 
streets, secured two roosters, placed each of them in 
a gunny sack and returned to the barn. 

With his chickens in the sack, he started boldly to 
enter. He was stopped several times, but told the 
sentries he was sent there with the chickens and he 
must deliver them. Finally he was permitted to en- 
ter and was told to take the chickens upstairs. 

Upon reaching the sixth floor he found a large as- 
sembly of men, a canvas pit, and lamps with reflect- 
ors on the walls around the room. The windows were 
covered with blankets, and there was a bar in one 
corner, stocked with liquors and cigars. Everything 
was shipshape, ready for the fight. 

Under the pretense of going for some more birds, 
Wooldridge left ;the hall and hurried to a patrol box. 
He told Lieutenant Cudmore he wanted twenty po- 
licemen and three wagons as quickly as he could get 
them, and they were soon at hand. 

The place was then raided, and there was a wild 
scramble among the sports to get away. Twenty-five 
men and seventeen cocks were captured, none escap- 
ing except the Shanghai roosters which Wooldridge 
used as a ruse to get inside. 

The prisoners were booked under the state .aw and 
arraigned before Justice Underwood and heavily fined. 
Two of the birds were produced as evidence in court 
and placed on the iron railing in front of the justice. 
Upon viewing each other they began crowing so lust- 
ily and loudly that persons on the outside thought 


that the magistrate was conducting a cock fight in 
the Temple of Justice. He removed the suspicion by 
ordering the chickens taken away. 



In the latter part of August, 1896, a complaint was 
made to Captain Charles G. Koch, who was then in 
command of the Harrison Street Police Station, that 
Jennie Wells, Dot Delaney and Dot Gordon were 
conducting an opium joint and panel house at 411 
State street. 

Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert were detailed 
to break it up, and, armed with warrants, went to the 
place. Finding the doors locked and bolted against 
them, they were compelled to use a battering ram be- 
fore they could gain admission. A search was made, 
but only Frank Gordon could be found. 

On going to the window on State street the officers 
were surprised to see some three or four hundred 
people on the opposite side of the street, whose at- 
tention was being attracted by some more than ordi- 
nary event. 

One of the men was seen to point to the roof, and 
on looking up the officers were surprised to see Dot 
Delaney, bareheaded, dressed in short dress and low 
neck, and red shoes, with an opium pipe in one hand, 
ascending the fire escape. 

A number of the other inmates had preceded her 




in making their escape. Wooldridge thought that if 
she could cHmb the dangerous fire escape he could, 
and up he went to the roof and brought down four of 
the inmates and a number of opium pipes and other 
accessories of an opium joint. 

All this time the crowd was increasing, until there 
were more than a thousand people, who cheered lust- 
ily, and even the passengers got oflf the street cars to 
see the sport. 

Several trips were made before all were brought 
down. The patrol wagon was called, and the prisoners 
were taken to the station. The next morning they 
were arraigned and given heavy fines. 

The evildoers and levee characters have about made 
up their minds that there is no way that they can 
avoid the sleuth when he goes after them. 

They have tried to shoot him. They have tried to 
whip him. They have taken the railroad trains. The)' 
have dug tunnels.- They have gone to the house-tops. 
They have climbed fire escapes. They have tried to 
bribe him. They have built panels in the walls. They 
have used their pull with politicians. They have 
jumped off house-tops. 

They have tried to outrun him. They have taken 
the steamboats. They have tried to feign death. They 
have tried to hide in trunks. They have tried hot 
water on him. They have tried red pepper. They 
have tried intimidation. They have offered $10,000 
to have him removed or discharged. But, somehow, 
they cannot avoid him, and there is only one way left 
untried; that is by the balloon. route, which will prob- 
ably be tried next. 




In her determination to escape from the clutches of 

• a brutal negro, Fannie Gray, a little thirteen-year-old 

- girl, who had come to Chicago from a country town to 

get work, leaped from a third-story window of the 

Diamond Hotel. 

She was clad only in a short nightdress, leaving 
even her shoes and stockings behind in her flight for 
safety. It was two o'clock in the morning, and De- 
tective Wooldridge saw the fleeing form and at once 
gave pursuit. 

The girl fell from exhaustion after she had run two 
blocks. Then the detective picked her up tenderly 
and took her to the police station, where she was well 
cared for. There she related her story to the de- 

She said she had come to Chicago to get employ- 
ment, but failing to find it and worn out from walking 
over the city, sat dowh on the curbstone at Thirty- 
fifth street and Michigan avenue to rest. It was then 
that she realized her condition — in a strange city, 
without either friends or money, tired and hungry, 
footsore and weary. And the question came to her 
with much force, "What am I to do?" It was begin- 
ning to grow dark, and a storm was threatening. 
Tears filled her eyes, and she cried and sobbed as 
though her heart would break. "Oh," she cried, "if 
I could only see my dear mother once more and tell 
her how sorry I am I left her." She promised her- 



self that if she could only reach her home she would 
never leave it again. 

While she sat and wept there, a colored woman of 
the name of Mary Anderson chanced to pass that 
way, and she was attracted by the strange fact of the 
girl's sitting on the edge of the walk and being in such 


deep distress ; so she spoke to her and told her to go 
to Fannie Wright's, 3507 Dearborn street, several 
squares distant from where they were. Mary Ander- 
son told FaTnnie that she might possibly find employ- 
ment there; if not employment, at any rate, she would 


have shelter for the night, which was considerably 
better than staying out in the cold. 

To make sure that she would reach Wright's in 
safety, the colored ' woman introduced Fannie to a 
burly negro, Cobb Jackson, who, she said, would con- 
duct her to her new place. Instead, however, of tak- 
ing her to this place, he took the girl to several sa- 
loons, and at eleven o'clock that night he enticed her 
to the Diamond Hotel, where, he told her, a position 
awaited her. 

At the several saloons they visited prior to arriving 
at the Diamond Hotel, which is situated at the south- 
east corner of Twenty-fourth and State streets, wine 
and beer had been bought, and the villain was ready 
for anything. He secured a bed for the night, and 
after Fannie had retired, this black ruffian, like a lurk- 
ing serpent, crept to her room, and at the point of a 
revolver threatened her life if she made an outcry. 
Fannie fought desperately, but Jackson placed his 
hand over her mouth, choked her into submission and 
raped this helpless child. 

He then locked the door of the bedroom, and plac- 
ing the key in his pooket, at 2 a. m. fell asleep. Fan- 
nie then slipped out of bed, hoisted the window care- 
fully, and mounting the window sill, leaped over an 
air shaft some five feet wide, which led up from the 
first to the third floor, where her room was located. 
Had she missed her footing she would have fallen 
and been dashed to inst^.nt death. As it was, she 
went heels over head down the steps to ^Me floor be- 
low. The only damage she received in this wonderful 
passage was a scalp wound in the back of the head. 

After the child's clothes had been secured and she 


was made comfortable, Detective Wooldridge started 
out to find and arrest Cobb Jackson, her assailant. He 
first went to Mrs. Wright's, 3507 Dearborn street, 
where he found a photograph of Jackson, and together 
with Officer Hatcher he visited eyery saloon and re- 
sort on State street from Thirty-fifth street, until Van 
Buren street was reached, and it was while passing the 
alley between State and Dearborn streets on Van Buren 
that Jackson was found. 

Before he (Jackson) knew where he was or what 
had struck him a pair of handcuffs had been slipped 
on his wrists, and he was taken to the Harrison Street 
Station, where he was confronted with Fannie, who 
identified him the very moment she laid her eyes on 
him, and she then repeated the story that she had told 
Detective Wooldridge before. 

Two days later the case was presented to the grand 
jury, which returned a true bill charging rape, and on 
June 2, 1897, Jackson was arraigned before Judge 
Baker, found guilty and sentenced to ten years at 
hard labor in the penitentiary. 

The father and mother of Fannie were present dur- 
ing the trial, and considerable force had to be brought 
to bear to deter Mr. Gray from doing Jackson bodily 
harm for the awful injury he had worked on the child. 


One of the meanest classes of thieves to deal with 
in large cities is known as "purse snatchers." Their 
victims are nearly always women. They mix in a 
crowd of shoppers at a street crossing or corner, 


snatch a purse from a woman's hand, dart away and 
are soon lost in the throng. In August, 1896, while 
Mrs. C. B. Wilson and her two sisters were crossing 
the Rock Island tracks on Harrison street, two colored 
men ran up behind, her. One of them held her arms 
while the other snatched her purse. The three women 
screamed, and one of the men ran east on Harrison 
street to Clark. He was pursued by a number of citi- 
zens and police officers, but jumped on a south-bound 
electric car and escaped. The thief's confederate ran 
north on the Rock Island tracks to Polk street, closely 
followed by Detective Wooldridge. Just before the 
officer reached him, the thief threw the purse under a 
passenger coach, after having taken the money from 
it. The man, who gave his name as Frank Ford, was 
arrested and taken back to the scene of the robbery, 
where he was identified by Mrs. Wilson and her sis- 

At the station Ford was identified as the man who 
had tried to steal Mrs. Clement's purse, 17 Charles 
place, half an hour before. He was locked up charged 
with robbery, and held to the criminal court in bonds 
of $2,000, indicted and arraigned for trial September 
24, 1897, found guilty and sent to the Pontiac Reform- 



A light fall of snow is sometimes an aid to a detect- 
ive and is also frequently fatal to a footpad. In one 
case it gave Detective Wooldridge a clew which led 


to the arrest of two men who tried to rob a flat at 
1219 State street. 

The detective was crossing the Twelfth street via- 
duct on January 4, 1892, and had reached a point 
about three hundred yards west of State street when 
a cry of "Burglars !" "Police !" reached his ears. The 
call for help came from the corner of Twelfth and 
State streets. 

Upon reaching that point he was informed that two 
men had tried to effect an entrance to the flat at 1219 
State street and had been frightened away, but suc- 
ceeded in taking a tub of butter with them and escaped 
down the alley. 

There was a light fall of snow, and Wooldridge 
upon going to the alley found fresh tracks of two men, 
and upon investigation discovered that one of ihe men 
had one very long foot and a very short one. Ap- 
parently one of the feet was deformed or a part of it 
had been amputated at some time. 

The tracks of the other man showed that one of his 
feet was shod in a long narrow-pointed shoe, and the 
track was directly in a line of the way in which the 
man was going,' while the other foot was turned in 
almost an opposite direction, and the shoe was not so 
large. The feet were not the same size, neither were 
the shoes mates, and the tracks were made by a man 
who was crippled or deformed. 

Wooldridge concluded that he would follow the 
tracks and try to overtake the men. 

The tracks led through the alley to Fourteenth 
street, then west to the Lake Shore & Michigan 
Southern railroad tracks until they reached an old 
coal car on the side track between Taylor and Harri- 


son streets. The detective waited and listened several 
minutes. He could hear numerous voices and shuf- 
fling of feet in the car. He decided there were too 
many for him to tackle single-handed, so he went back 
to the station for assistance. 

I Returning with eight men, he surrounded the car 
[and arrested forty men, twenty-six of whom were 
sent to the House of Correction on $40 fines. Among 
them were William Lake and John Murry. 

Both of these men had deformed feet, and evidently 
were the ones who stole the butter and tried to effect 
an entrance to the flat. Failing to have any one iden- 
tify them as the men, they were fined the same amount 
as the others, $40 each. 

A wagon-load of goods was taken from the car, 
consisting of canned fruit, meat, butter, groceries, 
shoes and clothing. Anything they could lay their 
hands on was stolen, and either used by them or sold. 
This was the breaking up of one of the toughest gangs 
of petty thieves that had been on the levee for years. 



On the night of July 21, 1895, while Detective 
Wooldridge was patrolling his beat in the vicinity of 
State and Taylor streets, he did a clever piece of 
work in the capture of three burglars, one of whom 
made a confession which resulted in the recovery of 
$1,000 worth of stolen property. The capture was ef- 
fected in this way : The officer observed a colored 


man enter Carriss' pawnshop at 492 State street with 
a large bundle in his hands. Becoming suspicious 
that everything was not right, he followed him into 
the place, and it afterwards proved to be Henry Kelly, 
who also discovered the officer. Kelly passed the bun- 
dle to one of the clerks, and, giving some instructions, 
he passed out through the rear into the alley. 

Wooldridge demanded to see the contents of the 
bundle, and when it was shown he was surprised to 
find it was a handsome sealskin cloak worth $400. 
The clerk informed the officer" that the colored man 
was unknown, and as he wanted to effect a loan on 
the garment and not feeling satisfied as to the owner- 
ship, he had sent him to bring the woman to whom it 
belonged. Wooldridge instructed the clerk to ad- 
vance no money and to hold the garment until the 
man who brought it there returned for it. 

The detective went to a clothing store close by, 
changed his helmet for a soft hat, put on a long rain 
coat that completely covered his uniform, and the 
disguise was quite appropriate, as it was raining hard, 
and returned to the pawnshop and secreted himself in 
a closet where he could see and hear everything that 
was done. 

Here he remained two hours, when a man walked 
in named Henry Reed with a note from Kelly to the 
pawnbroker to send him $25 on the sack. Carriss told 
him he could do no business with any one except the 
man who brought it. In a few minutes Kelly, Reed 
and a man named Franklin came running into the 
place, thinking Carriss intended to keep the sack with- 
out paying any one, as is frequently done, and de- 


manded the return of the sack or money, or they 
would blow his brains out. 

Wooldridge came forth from his hiding place, and, 
covering them with a revolver in each hand, arrested 
all three, landing them in the station. 

While they were there being booked Mary Edilston. 
of 371 Clark street, entered the station with tears in 
her eyes, saying that her house at the above number 
had been robbed of $1,000 worth of jewelry and cloth- 
ing. She identified the sealskin sack Kelly was try- 
ing to pawn. Kelly made a confession, telling where 
the rest of the property could be found, and implicated > 
Henry Reed, .Will Johnson and Frankie Gregs, who 
were arrested. The remainder of the goods had beert 
spirited away to Twenty-second street, where they 
were found and recovered. 

Frankie Gregs jumped her bond of $500 and fled to 
parts unknown. October 23, 1895, the others were ar- 
raigned for trial before Judge J. B. Payne. Will John- 
son and Henry Reed were cent to Joliet penitentiary 
for an indefinite term, and Henry Kelly was sent to 
the Pontiac Reformatory. 



Cheap whiskey transformed Joseph Devish into a 
maniac at the junk shop of Otto Fieder, 200 Fifth 
avenue. When the poison had been thoroughly dif- 
fused throughout his brain, he shot Henry Brang in 
the throat, the bullet passing down into the man's 
left lung. Then he shot the proprietor. Otto Fieder, 


the bullet entering the base of the brain ;ind plowing 
its way down along the spine. Both men were taken 
to the hospital, and the doctor said they would die. 

After a long search the murderer was found with 
two loaded guns by his side. He was arrested after 
a struggle with Detective Wooldridge of the Harrison 
Street Station and locked up. ' 

After the shooting every one in the neighborhood 
was in a state of terror. A passing street car loaded 
with passengers narrowly escaped being transformed 
into a hearse. The crack of revolvers and the crashing 
of glass startled the driver and he did not stop lash- 
ing the "steeds" until the corner of Harrison street 
was turned. There a stop was made and several ex- 
cited persons began to investigate. Henry Brang 
was seen to emerge from the junk shop. When he 
reached the corner of the street blood was spurting 
from the hole in his neck. He staggered from one 
side of the walk to the other and left behind him a 
trail of blood. He was conscious and warned every 
one from entering the junk shopj as Devish was a 
maniac. His instructions were religiously obeyed. 
He was helped to the station, where he lost conscious- 
ness owing to the great loss of blood. 

When the officers reached the scene of the murder- 
ous afifray the odor of burnt powder still pervaded 
the place ; the upper windows were shattered by pistol 
balls, and on the floor lay the body of the proprietor 
weltering in a pool of blood. His hair and beard 
stuck to the begrimed floor, and it was evident that 
Fieder was near his end. After the dying man was 
sent to the hospital a hunt was begun for the mur- 

The store is a deep one and runs from Fifth avenue 


to the alley. In the front was a dimly-lighted gas jet, 
and it was the only light to be found in the place. 
The floor was covered with debris of all descriptions. 
Ax helves and wheel spokes were found in different 
parts of the room stained with blood and gave mute 
but unmistakable evidence of a battle having been 
fought. The rear door and windows were securely 
barred, and it at once dawned upon the officers that 
the murderer was still in the building. 

Piled up as high as the ceiling on either side of the 
room were bales of rags ; in the rear were barrels of 
iron, and this composed the stock of Otto Fieder. The 
hunt was begun, however, and the sidewalk was soon 
vacated by various people. They expected more shoot- 
ing, but did not wish to figure as targets. Every- 
thing was upturned, and at last Detective Wool- 
dridge saw the form of a man hidden behind a bale 
of goods in the rear of the store. He told the fellow 
to come out, but only a few guttural sounds escaped 
him. Then the officers threw themselves on the bun- 
dle and Joseph Devish was a prisoner. 

When he was brought under the gas light two 
heavy revolvers with every chamber loaded were 
. found beside him. Why he did not shoot the officers 
was something left to conjecture. 

The sidewalk was again crowded with a mob, all 
anxious to get sight of the madman. He was hur- 
riedly loaded into a patrol wagon and driven to the 
Harrison Street Station. There he was searched, and 
besides the revolvers he had three dangerous looking 
knives in his trousers pockets. He said he was forty- 
five years of age, a Pole and a widower. He had two 
children, a boy of thirteen living on Eighteenth street 
and a married daughter living at ]\Iarengo, 111. 


Fieder had a family living on Division street, and 
was well known by all junk men throughout the city. 
He had been in businjss at 190 Fifth avenue for a 
number of years, and accumulated considerable money 
owing to his frugal habits. Devish had been in his 
employ for eight years, and Brang had been at work 
but a few days. Devish was intoxicated when he 
came into the junk shop the afternoon before and re- 
quested an advance on his week's wages. Fieder re- 
fused to comply with the request, and Devish became 
enraged. He went to his bunk in the rear of the 
shop and got the two revolvers, and upon returning 
he began to upbraid Fieder and Brang, who were 
sorting rags on stools near the door. No attention 
was paid to him, and he went to a German saloon 
next door and took a drink of whiskey. He was in a 
violent and abusive mood when he again entered the 
junk shop. The occupants of the rooms upstairs 
heard loud oaths and the shattering of glasses. 

Then the noise of ^ gun shots followed and within 
five seconds Devish had done his deadly work. He 
was arraigned for trial February 15, 1893, and on 
March 28 was given two years in the Joliet peniten- 
tiary by Judge J. Hutchinson. 



On May 22, 1892, Charles Chapin and Charles Gal- 
lagher became involved in a fight on Wabash avenue 


and Hubbard court. Detectives Wooldridge and 
Winahoven were passing and separated them. In a 
few minutes they again began quarreHng, using the 
most profane and vile language. They were again 
separated by the detectives, when Chapin turned upon 
Detective Winahoven and struck him a terrible blow 
in the face. 

Both the men then clinched and went down together 
with the detective on top, and he gave Chapin a good 
whipping. While this was going on, a Wabash ave- 
nue car came along close by the side of the two men 
who were on the ground in the combat. Some of the 
passengers on the car thought the detective was un- 
necessarily abusing the man with whom he was fight- 
ing and got ofif the car to give assistance to the man. 
They did not interfere^ however, and Wooldridge and 
Winahoven arrested Chapin and Gallagher, but were 
followed to the station by the passengers, who wanted 
to prefer charges against Winahoven. They waited 
several hours until Justice Lyon^ appeared and then 
made a complaint to him about the treatment Chapin 
had received, and notified the justice that they would 
be on hand the next morning to testify. 

Justice Lyons released the two men on their own 
recognizance and supposed they would come before 
him the next morning. After the justice left the sta- 
tion that night Wooldridge had the desk sergeant 
place the names of Chapin and Gallagher on the court 
sheet of Justice Glennon, who held court in the ad- 
joining room. Next morning the cases were called 
early and neither of them were present. After hear- 
ing the evidence, Justice Glennon entered a fine of 
$25 each and costs against them. It turned out that 


both had given assumed names and wrong addresses, 
and when they discovered they had been fined they 
left the city. 

The court sheets went to the city comptroller with 
the fines unpaid. After three weeks of investigation 
and worry, the comptroller charged the amount of 
the fines to Justice Lyons, who made himself re- 
sponsible by not requiring a good bond from the pris- 
oners. There was nothing for him to do but settle, 
and it cost him $52. 

Justice Lyons never knew until he left the bench 
of the police court how the little matter of shifting 
the two men into Glennon's court was accomplished. 
When he was told of the matter he enjoyed a hearty 
laugh over it. 



Through information secured from a woman, De- 
tective Wooldridge, in the summer of 1895, prevented 
the blowing open and robbery of a safe. William 
O'Neil and Matt Kelly, the murderer, ex-convict and 
safe-blower, wefe overheard by this woman entering 
into an agreement to rob the safe in a ^igar store at 
423 State street. She hurriedly hunted up Wool- 
dridge, who was on duty in that locality, and dis- 
creetly handed him a small card, upon which was 
written the following message : 

"Two men intend to blow up a safe on your post to-night 
Follow me, as I cannot be seen in your company on the street" 


Wooldridge followed some distance behind the 
woman, who walked up State street to Hubbard 
court ; then she turned east, and crossing Wabash 
and Michigan avenues, entered the Lake Front Park, 
selected a secluded spot near the center of the park, 
and sat down. 

She was soon joined by Wooldridge, and in a hur- 
ried manner told him that two men were planning to 
blow up a safe at the cigar store that night. She did 
not know the names of the men, but fully described 
them to the officer, and said that she was quite sure 
the job was going to come off, as she had heard one 
of the men say he had gotten his ticket and intended 
to take the morning train over the Grand Trunk for 

He also said that if he stayed in Chicago any longer 
the men who signed his bond, which was forfeited, 
would be looking for him in regard to the Taylor 
street job, and if they turned him over to the police 
they would be sure to settle him. 

Wooldridge lost no time in notifying Lieutenant 
Golden, who was on duty at the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion, of his information, and immediate steps were 
taken to arrest Kelly and O'Neil before they could do 
the job. 

O'Neil was arrested in one of the saloons on State 
street only a few doors from the place where he in- 
tended to blow up the safe. He was taken to the 
Bureau of Identification next morning, and Lieuten- 
ant Evans identified him and produced his picture. 
O'Neil at first denied that he was the man wanted, 
but when Lieutenant Evans began to read his meas- 
urements and life scars, he weakened and admitted 
that he was the man wanted. 


On his person he had $290, two gold watches and a 
ticket for Canada on the Grand Trunk railway. He 
was cleanly shaved, and when confronted by the two 
officers who arrested him the first time, they did not 
know him with his whiskers cut off. 

On May 16, 1895, he was arraigned for trial and 
found guilty by a jury in Judge Neely's court and 
sentenced to seven years at hard work in Joliet pen- 

He in connection with another man unknown held 
up and robbed a man at the corner of State and Tay- 
lor streets in 1894. O'Neil was arrested and indicted, 
He then wore a full beard. He gave bond and fled to 
Canada. This was the Taylor street job which the 
woman heard him talking about. He returned to 
Chicago May i, 1895. It was soon after this he and 
Kelly arranged to blow up the safe, which was stopped 
through the information received by Detective Wool- 



Praise bestowed upon a new employee at a fash- 
ionable boarding-house on Michigan avenue caused 
Louis Leonard to commit murder September 18, 1895. 
Benjamin Fenton, a trained nurse from Boston, had 
called at this house early that morning and asked for 
something to eat. He was given a breakfast, and 
after the meal he asked if there was any work about 
the place he could do for what he had eaten. He was 


given permission to clean the yard, and when that was 
done he was put to work to ass'*.st Leonard in wash- 
ing the windows of the house. 

The work of the stranger was praised by the board- 
ing-house mistress, and the remark made that he 
would be a good man to employ steadily. Leonard 
had been working there for several weeks, and when 
this remark was heard by him he feared that he was 
going to lose his place. From that time until luncheon 
he directed the work of Fenton, but the latter paid 
no attention to his commands. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon Leonard went tc 
the basement to shave himself. Fenton also went 
there to get a pail of water. lie started upstairs when 
Leonard called out some other orders and gave direc« 
tions as to how the work should be done. 

Fenton replied, "Fm not taking orders from you." 
Leonard then started after Fenton, overtaking him 
on the stairway. He held the razor with which he had 
been shaving in his hand, and when Fenton turned 
around to see what was wanted, Leonard quickly drew 
the blade across Fenton's thigh just below the abdo- 
men, making a gash six inches long and severing the 
main artery in the leg. Fentqn ran up the stairway 
in the hall and cried out that he was killed and sank 
to the floor, 

Catherine Carroll, the cook, and Dollie Ballard, the 
dining-room girl, heard the encounter and ran to the 
scene of the dispute just in time to see the murder 

Fenton bled to death before the doctor, who lived 
only a few doors away, c( uld arrive and stop the flow 
of blood. 


Leonard attempted to hide the razoi, when Dollie 
Ballard seized his arm and screamed, "What are you 
doing?" Leonard tried to throw her off, but she held 
to him and secured a hold on the razor, then closed. 
Catherine Carroll went to her assistance and they took 
the weapon from Leonard. Detective Wooldridge, 
who was near by, arrived on the scene, and, placing 
the murderer under arrest, took him to the Harrison 
Street Police Station, Fenton was removed to the 
morgue, where an inquest was held the following day, 
and Louis Leonard was held to the grand jury for 
murder without bail. 

Upon searching Fenton's clothes letters were found 
from Dr. Frank Murphy, 622 North Main street, Bos- 
ton, recommending him very highly as a trained nurse, 
and also one from Boston giving him the best refer- 
ences as an honest, trustworthy man. It was very evi- 
dent that he preferred to work rather than beg. 

Louis Leonard was arraigned before Judge Payne 
for murder November 2y, 1895, found guilty and sen- 
tenced to fourteen years at hard labor in Joliet peni 
tentiary. « 



The ingenious detective can always find some way 
to secure the elusive lawbreakers if he is an earnest, 
conscientious officer. Detective Wooldridge has en- 
countered a great many obstacles in his secret-service 
work, but that one which puzzled him most was how 


to get a prisoner who weighed 449 pounds up a nar- 
row, rickety flight of stairs, which seemed scarcely 
strong enough to support him, and he only weighed 
158 pounds. He finally got her out, but it was through 
the back door, and he did it by the use of a horse and 

Susan Winslow was the prisoner who caused him 
to use this novel method. She was as black as Ere- 
bus and lived in a dilapidated two-story wooden 
shanty at 541 Clark street. 

The ceiling was only six feet high, and an average- 
size man could not stand up without stooping. The 
house was built many years ago, when Clark street 
had no viaduct at Twelfth street, and since the ap- 
proach to the viaduct has been built the sidewalk 
comes even with the roof of the house. To enter the 
house one had to go down a flight of rickety stairs. 
The place contained only a few old discarded pieces 
of furniture, and daylight could be seen through the 
sides and roof in many places. 

Susan Winslow clung to this little shanty, paying 
regularly $40 per month rent, and during the World's 
Fair $125. She conducted one of the vilest houses of 
prostitution that was to be found on the levee. 

Susan adopted many novel ways of attracting the 
attention of the pedestrians who passed along the side- 
walk above her on the busy thoroughfare. Among 
them was an old sheep bell which she would ring. 
This was supplemented by an old alarm clock. 

A long time she and the inmates attracted attention 
by tapping on the window and hissing with the mouth 
like a rattlesnake. Finally, she rigged up an electric 
battery and attached it to the figure of a woman with 


a metallic arm and hand, which would strike the win- 
dow and rebound, making a motion to "come in." 
This worked charmingly until Wooldridge discovered 
it one day, broke it up and arrested the inmates and 
Susan. One case of larceny after another occurred, 
and the officers could get no information or satisfac- 
tion from Susan. 

All that she would say was that it was some 
strange woman whom she did not know and who 
would keep away from the house until everything had 
been forgotten and then come back. Warrant after 
warrant was taken out for her, but when the officers 
would go thet:e she would complain of sickness, heart 
trouble, etc. She would make these various excuses, 
and if this did not work successfully, she would refuse 
to go, and owing to the narrow stairway and Susan's 
immense weight and size, each officer in turn would 
have to leave her and give it up. 

This state of things went on from day to day for 
months, until one day Captain Koch called in Detect- 
ive Wooldridge and gave him a warrant for Susan's 
arrest, with instructions to bring her to the station. 
He found her in the shanty and served the warrant. 
She offered the heart trouble and sickness as an ex- 
cuse, but it did not work. 

Finally, she sat down and refused to go one step. 
The patrol wagon was called and every persuasion 
used to get her to go peaceably, but of no avail. 
Wooldridge told the wagon men to drive the wagon 
to Taylor street and come up the alley to the rear of 
the house. Two oak planks sixteen feet long and 
twelve inches wide were laid in the door and placed 
on the rear of the wagon. One horse was unhitched, 


a big heavy rope was taken from the wagon, a lasso 
was placed around Susan's waist, and the other end 
attached to the horse. 

Once more Wooldridge asked if she would go, and 
she refused. Then he told the driver to start the 
horse, which was done. Susan was dragged to the 
doof so quickly that she cried, "Oh, stop the horse, I 
will go." 

The rope was taken off and she walked into the 
wagon sideways without a word or without any as- 

This was at i p. m. She was released on bail at 
6 p. m., and sat down on the steps leading to the 
squadroom and demanded that the wagon take her 
home again, or she would not move out of the sta- 
tion. This was refused. Wooldridge got an old mat- 
tress and placed it on the floor and told her to make 
herself comfortable until the bus arrived the next day 
to take the prisoners to the House of Correction, This 
made her so angry she got up and waddled off to her 
shanty. After this the police had no more trouble 
with Susan Winslow. 



During the World's Fair, when Chicago was full 
•f robbers and thieves, Detective Wooldridge arrested 
a highway robber after being under fire from a revol- 
ver in the^hands of the desperate crook. 


A farmer named Quigley, who was visiting the 
Fair, was in the clutches of Charles Sails on the morn- 
ing of October 25, 1893, when Detectives Wooldridge 
and Hennessy observed what was going on, and went 
to the. farmer's assistance. 

Sails whipped out a revolver and fired two shots at 
Officer Hennessy, who, in attempting to get out of 
range of the gun, stumbled and fell. Sails then turned 
his revolver at Wooldridge and fired twp shots at 
him in rapid succession at a distance of five feet. One 
of the bullets passed through Wooldridge's coat. 

The man then turned and ran down an alley. Wool- 
dridge supposed that Hennessy was shot when he fell, 
and, reaching into a pocket, he, with a revolver in 
each hand, opened fire on the fleeing footpad. There 
was a London fog oa at the time, and it was impossi- 
ble to see more than a few feet ahead, but he thought 
one of the shots might bring down the would-be mur- 
derer, and consequently nine shots were fired down 
the alley. 

Officer Walsh and two more officers came up and 
also began to fire after the man as he emerged from 
Plymouth place, half a square away. Wooldridge 
followed the man and emptied two revolvers shooting 
at him. When he reached some hundred feet north 
of Polk street, Sails stumbled and fell, and before he 
could rise Wooldridge was on his back and hit him 
with the butt of his revolver just as Sails was in the 
act of turning his revolver loose at Wooldridge. Both 
clinched, and Hennessy and Walsh came up and 
clubbed Sails into submission, and then took him to 
the Harrison Street Police Station, 

The next morning he was bound over to the crim- 
inal court in bonds of $1,000. He was indicted, ar- 


raigned before Judge Chetlain, and on January 15, 
1894, found guilty and sentenced to the penitentiary 
lor one year at hard labor. 



With a, detail of eighteen men under his direction, 
Detective Wooldridge made a raid on a pool-room 
in 1899 which was so cleverly and thoroughly done 
that the proprietor of the place afterwards compli- 
mented the detective with the remark, "That was the 
smoothest work I ever saw and I take ofif my hat to 

The work required a thorough and comprehensive 
inspection of every detail, not only in making the raid, 
but of every door, window, stairway and skylight in 
the building and surroundings, and all this informa- 
tion was in the possession of Wooldridge before he 
made the raid. 

The place was owned by Frank McWaters and 
was operated in connection with his saloon at 3846 
State street. A pool-room had been running in full 
blast for some time, and Wooldridge was ordered by 
Inspector Hartnett to break it up. Then with the as- 
sistance of Detective Schubert they went to work in 
an effort to find out how the place could be entered. 

When Wooldridge visited the saloon he found that 
he was known to all the guards and sentinels on duty 
at the doors, and consequently he had to resort to 
strategy. Schubert disguised himself as a milkman. 


and even hired a milk wagon, and in thig way became 
acquainted with a German saloonkeeper near the pool- 
room. He visited this saloon frequently and talked 
in German to the proprietor and his porter, exhibiting 
a telegram from New Orleans which was supposed 
to contain a tip on the winner of a certain race. 

The porter in the saloon being known to the pool- 
room keepers had no difficulty in gaining an entrance 
and agreed to take Schubert, who was known as a 
milkman, into the building for the purpose of placing 
a bet. After that Schubert had no trouble in gaining 
admission and took a careful survey of the premises 
and all the surroundings. 

He noted the number of doors which must be passed 
to get into the betting room, which was in a large 
hall on the second floor of a building two doors north 
of the saloon. In order to reach the pool-room it was 
necessary to pass through three different doors, then 
across a small area, then up a stairway through an- 
other door. 

Schubert kept the survey of the rooms, doors and 
passages in his mind, and he and Wooldridge after- 
wards made a diagram of the interior. Then they vis- 
ited the locality at night and got a diagram also of 
the exterior and the yard and alley, as well as of the 
streets adjacent to the saloon and pool-room. 

Following this they made trips on the street cars 
from the saloon to the Harrison Street Station and 
timed the cars to see just how long it would take the 
police and patrol wagons to reach the place. The 
watches of all the men were compared in order that 
there should be no mistake in executing the raid. 

After all this had been done he reported his work 


to Inspector, Hartnett, who then called the detail of 
men who were going to assist Wooldridge. He ad- 
dressed them and said that every one was under the 
command of Detective Wooldridge and was expected 
to obey him as implicitly and faithfully as if they were 
under the directions of the captain of the precinct, 
and any one who failed to do so would be liable to 
charges before the trial board. 

At this timfe not a single member of the detail knew 
what case they were assigned to and had no idea 
where they were going or what the work was to be. 
They marched out of the station under Wooldridge's 
command and were divided into squads of two, three 
and four men, and reached the location of the pool- 
room at the same time. Then these separate squads 
were told what their duty was. Every exit of the 
pool-room was guarded by a squad of men and no 
opportunity was left for any one to escape. 

This was on March 23, the day of the Crescent 
City Derby, and the pool-room was crowded with 
sportsmen anxious to place a bet on the great New 
Orleans event. 

Schubert in his disguise as a milkman entered the 
place and took his stand near the betting sheet. Then 
Wooldridge entered the saloon, with his squad one 
hundred feet away. When he had gotten inside the 
proprietor of the place, who recognized him, called a 
halt, telling the detective he was the owner .of the sa- 
loon and that he was conducting it lawfully and would 
permit no one to search the premises unless they had 
the proper legal documents and authority for that 

Wooldridge informed him that he had warrants 


and proceeded at once to serve them. In order to 
gain time and make as much delay as possible, Mc- 
Waters said he would admit the detective, but he 
first would have to find the key to the door leading 
to the rear. 

This consumed more time, and the key not being 
found quick enough to suit the detective, he broke in 
the door, followed by his squad. They went through 
a passage to the end of the building and found an- 
other door, which was also locked, and when the de- 
mand was made that it be opened, the excuse was 
again offered that there was no key. 

The door opened inward, and not being inclined to 
wait, Wooldridge kicked out one of the lower panels, 
and, taking off his coat, crawled through this panel 
and burst the door open from the other side. He 
could hear electric bells and alarms going ofif all over 
the building, which he knew was a warning being sent 
to those in the pool-room. This only inspired him to 
greater speed in reaching the premises where the bets 
were being made, and he pushed forward, going up a 
flight of stairs, where his progress was stopped by 
another locked door. 

He secured a piece of timber about four by six 
inches in dimensions, and using it as a battering ram, 
soon had all the obstacles to his progress out of the 
way. Then he, with his squad, rushed into the pool- 
room, and there "followed the greatest excitement that 
ever prevailed in that place. 

When the alarm was first given a man who stood 
near the betting board started to tear it from the wall, 
but Schubert, who was already on the inside, drew his 
revolver and said, "I will take care of that." 


Then the cry of "Police" was started and a scram- 
ble began for the exits, but to the great surprise of 
every one in the room it was found that every door, 
window and skylight was guarded by a squad of offi- 
cers with drawn revolvers. 

Those on the inside then began trying to convince 
the officers that it was a political meeting, and one 
who pretended to be a candidate for some office in- 
sisted that he was going to make an address to his 

The actions of the inmates of the place were so 
ludicrous and amusing that the officers had to stop 
and indulge in hearty laughter. 

Twenty patrol wagons stood below, having been 
summoned from the stations at a given signal and upon 
a certain time agreed upon before, and then began the 
work of loading the racehorse players into the wagons 
and landing them in the station. 

A dozen trips were necessary to take all the prison- 
ers to the lock-up, and when the last load was emp- 
tied, a count was made and it was discovered that 115 
prisoners had been brought from the pool-room. The 
number did not include several old and feeble pool- 
room players whom the officers allowed to go to their 
homes without being arrested. 

The raid was talked of for many days afterwards 
and spoken of by the papers as one of the most sen- 
sational and successful coups ever made by the police, 
and Wooldridge was warmly congratulated for the 
successful way in which he carried out his orders and 
planned the capture of the gamblers. 

All the prisoners furnished bonds, which were signed 
by McWaters, for their appearance before the police 


judge the next morning. They were then heavily 
fined by the justice. Following this they were indicted 
by the grand jury, and it is said the fight they made 
through the courts cost them many thousands of dol- 


Preaching and passing worthless checks do not go 
well together, as was demonstrated when Detective 
Wooldridge was detailed to investigate the case of 
Joseph Williams, who had given a piece of paper to a 
haberdasher which he claimed was worth $i8o in 
payment for $50 worth of merchandise, and got a good 
check in change for $130. 

The check which the haberdasher received was found 
to be a forgery, and when the detective found Wil- 
liams he was in a pawn shop trying to borrow money 
on the other check. 

He was forthwith taken into custody, and after a hear- 
ing accorded to him by Justice Martin on the 24th day 
of April, 1899, he was held in $800 bonds to the crimi- 
nal court. 

The grand jury returned a true bill against him and 
he was arraigned for trial, and several weeks later he 
was found guilty, and Judge Stein sentenced him to 
one year's imprisonment in the House of Correction. 

Williams claimed to be a preacher. He said he 
preached for years in Champlain, 111., and had preached 
for some time in Bethel Church. 



There are, or have been, on every poHce force in the 
world some men who were dishonest and would shield 
criminals for a consideration. A case of this character 
was exposed, and after the facts came to light Detec- 
tive Wooldridge caught the criminal and sent her to 
the penitentiary. 

Sam Borland, a farmer from one of the interior 
towns of Illinois, arrived in Chicago in 1893 to visit 
the World's Fair and buy goods. When his train 
reached the depot at Twelfth street and Michigan 
avenue it was one o'clock in the morning. 

He- expected to meet some friends, but was disap- 
pointed and started out to walk to the west side, where 
he had a brother living. On his way he had to pass 
along Polk street and had reached the alley between 
State street and Plymouth place, half a block east of 
the Polk street depot. This block is known as "Hell's 
Half Acre," and is between Polk and Taylor streets 
and State street and Plymouth place. The alley runs 
south from Polk to Taylor, and is known as "Dead 
Man's Alley." 

At the mouth of this alley Borland was seized by a 
powerful colored man, who threw his arms around 
his neck, lifted him bodily off his feet and carried him 
some two hundred feet in the alley, with his arms 
pinioned behind him. A bright-skinned colored wo- 
man, who afterwards proved to be Minnie Shouse, 
sprang forward and went through his pockets, taking 
some $42 and a revolver that he carried. 


Borland shouted, ''Help!" "Police!" but they silenced 
him, separated and fled in different directions. Mr. 
Borland had a good view of Minnie Shouse, who was 
in front of him, from a lamp which hung in the rear 
of Batchelor's restaurant. He pursued her down the 
alley some two hundred feet and overtook her in the 
rear of John Jennings' saloon, 462 State street, just 
as she was entering an opium joint in the basement. 
She pulled the revolver she had just taken from him, 
and leveling it at his head, compelled him to beat a 
hasty retreat. Borland reported the robbery to the 
Harrison Street Station the next morning and a de- 
scriptive warrant was procured, and in company with 
officers, he went to the opium joint he had seen the 
woman enter the night of the robbery. 

She was arrested, indicted and arraigned before 
Judge Chetlain some months later. While a jury 
was being impaneled she made her escape, but was 
arrested several days after and the case set for trial 
the following morning. One of the officers who had the 
case in charge took Borland from the court room to a 
saloon on Clark street and told him the case was set- 
tled by the court, and Minnie Shouse was to return the 
money she had stolen from him. The officer paid him 
part of the money and told him he would come to his 
home the following day and pay him the remaining 
$25. When 'the case was called by the state's attor- 
ney, Borland could not be found. He secured tickets 
and had orders given to the officer to go for Borland. 

The officer was gone several days and reported that 
Borland could not be found, when, in fact, he had 
Mever been to his house, and the case was stricken off 


with leave to reinstate. Borland waited several weeks 
for the officer to come down and bring him the $25, 
but he failed to do so. 

He then placed the matter in the hands of an at- 
torney, who advised him to go to Chicago and see the 
ojfficer. Upon arriving here he found that the officer 
had been transferred to the Desplaines Street Sta- 
tion. He reported the matter to Joseph Kipley, who 
was inspector at the station, and made sworn state- 
ments to the facts. An investigation followed, and the 
officer was discharged from the force. 

The case was reinstated and placed in the hands of 
Detective Wooldridge, and the woman rearrested. 
On January 21, 1895, the case came up before Judge 
Chetlain. The woman was found guilty and sen- 
tenced to one year in the Joliet penitentiary at hard 

Minnie Shouse had been arrested three hundred 
times and held to the criminal court as many as thir- 
ty-six times in a year, but before the cases were called 
she managed to settle with the victim by refunding 
the money. 

She always employed the best counsel. She was a 
good thief, and the professional bondsmen were al- 
ways ready to go her b6nd for almost any amount. 
She has been under $20,000 bonds at one time in va- 
rious cases, and she had no trouble in furnishing them. 

Minnie's old trick was to snatch a man's hat ofif his 
.head, throw it into a stair or hallway, and if the 
stranger ever went in after it he was almost sure to 
lose his money. 




Detective Wooldridge took a prisoner to the Stan- 
ton Avenue Police Station one night, and when they 
entered the officers present thought both had been 
dragged through a slaughter house. They were cov- 
ered with blood from head to foot. Wooldridge had a 
desperate encounter with the negro, the latter even 
going so far as to try to murder the detective, and he 
might have succeeded had a Pinkerton officer not gonje 
to his assistance. 

On the evening of August 20, 1891, while traveling 
a beat at Thirty-first and State streets. Officer Wool- 
dridge was requested to go to a church in course of 
erection at Thirtieth and Dearborn streets, and stop a 
fight which had been going on for some time. Al- 
though the fight was not occurring in the boundaries 
of his own post, the intrepid officer went. 

Upon arriving there he found Nathan Judd, a col- 
ored man, crazy with drink, and engaged in an alterca- 
tion with one Jim Miller, a colored watchman of the 
church, who had succeeded Judd as a special police 

Wooldridge separated the combatants and succeeded 
in persuading Judd to go home, and they left the 
church' together. 

Some three hundred feet from the place Judd re- 
belled and broke away, saying he would return and 
whip Miller, and before Officer Wooldridge succeeded 
in reaching him, Judd and Miller again clinched, and 


Wooldridge again separated them. This so enraged 
Judd that he threatened to whip Wooldridge, and with 
this intent struck him a stinging blow full in the face 
for attempting to interfere. 

He also drew a revolver which he had on his person, 
but the plucky officer was too quick for him, and 
brought his hickory baton down on Judd's cranium 
with such force that the hickory was splintered. This, 
however, only caused Judd to give a little grunt, and 
both clinched. Judd managed to wrench the splint- 
ered baton from the hand of the officer in the scuffle 
and attempted to strike him. 

At this juncture of the proceedings Wooldridge suc- 
ceeded in drawing his revolver and fired a shot in the 
air which had the effect of deterring the colored man 
from striking him. 

Judd then threw the baton down and gathered half 
of a brick and threw it with all his might, the missile 
barely missing the head of Wooldridge. 

Judd then stooped and was raising another half 
brick, but before he had time to straighten himself out 
for the blow, he was struck twice more by Officer 
Wooldridge. Both again clinched and Judd struck 
the officer a wicked blow with the brick over the left 
temple, inflicting a wound one and one-quarter inches 
in length and severing an artery. 

Everything turned black to the officer, and he stag- 
gered over against the church, and one of his feet 
went into a hole eighteen inches deep, and before he 
could extricate himself, Judd had him by the throat. 
With one of his feet in the hole Wooldridge was at the 
negro's mercy. 

The officer, however, gritty to the last, managed to 


fire two shots into Judd which took effect in his leg 
above the knee. The shots were intended for Judd's 
stomach, but were warded off by the hand of Judd, 
who all this time still held Wooldridge by the throat, 
with his head bent back and his scalp opened, and 
with one foot in a hole eighteen inches deep. 

Judd evidently intended to kill Wooldridge, and 
would have accomplished his design but for the arrival 
and timely assistance of a Pinkerton detective named 
Anderson, together with the watchman Miller. 

Before Judd's. hold on Wooldridge could be broken, 
however, both men were thrown to the ground, and 
Detective Anderson was compelled to pry one finger at 
a time from around the officer's windpipe. Wool- 
dridge then took the negro, to the police station. 

The next morning the throat of the plucky detective 
was swollen out level with his chin. Judd also had his 
battle scars, he having seven holes in his head, cut 
through to the bone, and two bullet holes in his leg. 

Judd was held in bonds of $500 to the grand jury 
and indicted for assault to kill. 

He was arraigned for trial before Judge Driggs 
on December i, 1892, found guilty and his sentence 
fixed at two years in the penitentiary, which was later 
cut down to two months in the House of Correction. 



The most notorious female bandit and footpad that 
ever operated in Chicago, and unquestionably the 


most successful and daring pickpocket in the United 
States, was in 1893 convicted tKrough the efforts of 
Detective Wooldridge and sent to prison for five 

The woman is Flossie Moore. She came to Chr' ■ 
cago late in 1889, having fled from her home in Bos- 
ton, to escape the police who were after her. Sh^e 
first entered Vina Fields' house at 138-140 Custom 
House place. Madam Fields keeps one of the largest 
houses in Chicago, and at one time had over forty- 
women in her establishment. The police never had 
any trouble with this house, and it was never raided. 
She had her own rules and regulations, which were 
rigidly enforced, and she never had to call on the 
police for assistance to carry them out. 

Once a week, and sometimes oftener, she held court 
in her own house, and was both judge and jury. These 
strict rules and discipline did not suit the high-strung, 
restless, self-willed Flossie, and one day she packed 
her things and left. She soon became one of the 
toughest thugs, footpads and pickpockets in Chicago. 
She has given the police more trouble than any five 
women that ever operated in Chicago. 

She has been arrested and bailed out as many as 
ten times in one day. Flossie Moore has stolen up- 
wards of $100,000 since she came to Chicago, and has 
paid into the Harrison Street Police Court fines to 
the amount of $8,000 or $10,000. She was held to 
the criminal court thirty-six times in one year. She 
cared no more for a hundred-dollar fine than for a 
one-dollar one. 

One morning when she was arraigned before Justice 
Lyons, in 1892, who fined her $100 for some of her 


depredations, she turned to him and remarked, "You 
please make it another $ioo; I have money to burn." 
She was accommodated. Reaching into her bosom, 
she pulled out a big roll of bills and paid the two 
fines and walked out of court. 

Her victims were mostly strangers and traveling 
men found around the vicinity of the Polk street 
depot. When she found a man who resided in Chi- 
cago or would remain here to prosecute her, she would 
settle with him by giving him back his money. 

She employed the best of counsel and paid one 
attorney a salary of $125 a month for simply looking 
after her cases in the police court. She was a great 
money getter and a clever thief, paid well for bonds- 
men and counsel, and could always secure both at any 
hour of the day or night. Flossie has been under 
bonds in various cases pending in court aggregating 
$30,000 at one time. 

One day she would be seen with diamonds worth 
$2,000, and the next day they would be in the pawn- 
shop. She would attend colored balls in gowns worth 
from four to five hundred dollars, and spend as high 
as $500 for wine in a night and think nothing of it. 
She lived with a white man named " Handsome 
Harry " Gray, who did not work. His allowance was 
$25 a day. Flossie would fall out with him, go to the 
station, procure a warrant and have him arrested. 
After he had been in jail for an hour or so, she would 
drive up in a cab with a bondsman and take him out. 
Everything would be settled, for she never appeared 
against him in court. 

Flossie Moore was arrested for highway robbery 
by Detective Wooldridge February 17, 1893, on com- 


plaint of C. S. Johnson, a man seventy-four years of 
age, with hair and beard as white as snow. He was 
a retired merchant and was on his way to the Polk 
street depot to take a train. He rode down a Clark- 
street car one block further than he should have done. 
He started to walk back to Polk street on Custom 
House place, and, while passing 196, a house kept by 
Sue Redman, Flossie Moore ran out from the door- 
way and grabbed his sealskin cap and threw it into 
the hallway at the above number. 

The cold wind tossed his long silver locks to and 
fro, while the snow was falling on his uncovered head. 
Mr. Johnson demanded the return of his cap, and 
was told to go and get it himself. When he stepped 
into the hall, Flossie Moore sprang on him like a 
man-eating tigress. She was assisted by Irene Moore, 
and before the old man knew what was going on they 
closed the door, pinioned his arms behind him and 
took $42 out of his pocket. He fought desperately, 
and his coat and vest were nearly torn off him. 

Irene Moore was arrested a few hours afterwards, 
Flossie kept out of sight until two days later she was 
seen on the street and followed by Wooldridge into 
a thieving dive kept by Lizzie Davenport, 202 Custom 
House place, which was her headquarters. When she 
ran into this place she went through to the alley. 
Wooldridge knew she would return, and hid himself 
under a bed, where he remained two hours and a 
half before she returned. Soon the panel workers 
began to collect. The doors had been barred and 
locked after a search had been made for Wooldridge, 
who they supposed had passed through the house into 
the alley. 


They were having a good time ; each was telling 
in triumphant glee of robberies committed in the face 
of the law, and defying detectives, while they laughed 
at the discomfiture of their victims. Not a conscience 
was stricken in that band of thieves and not a pang 
of regret or a thought of the future marred the gath- 

Flossie had sent a messenger to see if Wooldridge- 
had gone and if the coast was clear. An affirmative 
answer was sent, and she soon arrived in a cab and 
was received with much joy. by the gang of robbers 
and fobtpads. They were still drinking and telling 
stories when Wooldridge crawled from under the bed 
in the adjoining room and walked in where they were. 
They were dumfounded when he entered the room. 
How he got into the house was a mystery to them ; 
the doors were examined and found still locked ; no 
tracks were found in the snoAv, and every room had 
been searched for him before. Wooldridge notified 
Flossie that he had a state warrant for her arrest. 
She replied that she had done nothing and would not 
submit to an arrest, and called on her companions in 
crime to assist her. Several sprang to their feet and 
swore that she should not be arrested. There were 
over a dozen footpads, colored women, thugs and 
toughs present, and it was an exciting time for a few 
minutes. It was a guess as to what would occur 
next, but the plucky little detective backed up in a 
corner, pulled two revolvers, and with one in each 
hand told them that the first one that made a move 
would get his head blown ofif. He told them that he 
held a state warrant for Flossie Moore's arrest and 
that he would take her dead or alive ; and that the 


first one that would interfere with him, he would kill. 
No one moved, and with one gun in one hand, he 
drew out the warrant with the other and read it aloud 
to her. She first offered him $25 to let her go until 
the next morning; then $75, which was refused. She 
was taken to the station and booked, and the next 
morning arraigned for trial. Sadie Jordan, a colored 
woman who saw the robbery from the hall above, 
while testifying, was attacked by Flossie Moore with 
a knife having a blade four inches long. 

Had it not been for Wooldridge, she would have 
killed the witness, he grabbing her arm as she was in 
the act of driving the blade through the Jordan wom- 
an's breast. For his interference Flossie gave Wool- 
dridge a stunning blow in the face. 

Justice Lyons held her in bonds of $3,000 to the 
criminal court, and in a few days she was indicted for 
robbery. Sadie Jordan's life was threatened by 
Flossie Moore, and she appealed to the grand jury 
and to Wooldridge for prbtection. 

Wooldridge secured a room for her at the rear of a 
building at Fifth avenue and Sherman street, took up 
a collection from the inspectors, lieutenants and offi- 
cers, and paid her expenses until March 10, nearly 
four weeks. The detective contributed $20 himself. 
When the case was placed on call the Jordan woman 
was taken to the Harrison Street Annex, and at the 
proper time sent over under police protection in the 

March 6, 1893, Flossie Moore was arraigned before 
Judge Dunne. She was represented by one of the 
ablest attorneys in Chicago, and after one of the most 
exciting trials ever held in the criminal court, the 


jury gave her five years at hard labor in the Joliet 

One thousand dollars was offered Wooldridge to 
use his influence in clearing the woman. He was also 
offered $500 to tell where Sadie Jordan could be found. 
It was refused; they picked the wrong man to*bribe. 
They attempted to prove an alibi by Susie Redman 
and Irene Moore, who were arrested for perjury when 
they came off the stand. A writ of habeas corpus was 
gotten out for their release the next morning, but they 
were ordered remanded to jail. They next tried to 
prove that Flossie Moore was ujider age, also that 
she was arrested while in attendance on the police 
court, and that the whole prosecution was a persecu- 

At the end of the first day excitement ran high, and 
the court room was filled with notorious levee char- 
acters willing to swear to anything. On the second 
day Wooldridge brought twenty officers, the matrons, 
lock-up keepers, justice's clerks, court records, arrest 
books, desk sergeant, warrants on- which she was ar- 
rested, also the bail bond which released her, and 
informed the attorney that he was prepared for any- 
thing that defense might hatch up. After Wooldridge 
arrived with his force, all the evidence that the defense 
had procured and offered crumbled to pieces, and they 
did not have a leg to stand on. Flossie Moore was 
said by Jailer Morris to be the most troublesome per- 
son that the jail had held for years. She was con- 
stantly fighting with some one, and it made but little 
difference with her whether it was a man or woman. 

Some twenty-six colored women were confined in 
the jail at this time, when a dispute occurred between 


Flossie Moore and Minnie Davis, another colored 
woman, each one of them representing a faction. 
Flossie Moore picked up a three-legged stool, sailed 
into them, and scattered them right and ieft. Several 
were quite seriously injured. The matron and guards 
who interfered were roughly handled and put to flight 
by the infuriated woman. It took the combined 
efforts of all the guards and deputy sheriffs at the jail 
to overcome her. Flossie is said to be the hardest 
woman to handle that ever was confined in the Joliet 
penitentiary. On two occasions she assaulted the 
matron, once nearly killing her. She spent over six 
months in solitary confinement, and at one time they 
had to pl^ce over two hundred pounds' weight on her 
to keep her down. 

Her ill-gotten gains were spent as fast as they came 
into her possession,, and when she was sent to the pen- 
itentiary she had nothing. 

After serving her term at Joliet, she returned to Chi- 
cago and to her old life again. She finally went East 
and was arrested in Buffalo and given time to leave 
the city. In November, 1899, she was fined $25 for 
some offense in Pittsburg, and later was reported to 
be on trial in New York with good chance of going 
to Sing Sing. 



There are many places in this world called " Hell's 
Half Acre," and according to the teachings of the 
Bible, there is a place in another world, which, if all 


criminals who inhabit these places on earth, visit 
after their departure, must contain more than half an 
acre, or there will not be room enough for them. 

Chicago once had a " Hell's Half Acre " which had 
a better right to the title perhaps than any place this 
side of the hereafter. It was a continual scene of 
revelry, debauchery, depravity, and every sin and 
crime in the blood-stained catalogue of vice. Its 
crimes, sad to relate, were of the lowest and vilest 
nature. The most defiant and reckless characters that 
ever menaced society made this place their home. 
Men and women who openly defied the statutes of 
both city and state and flaunted their vices in the 
face of virtue, thronged this mart of wickedness and 
corruption day and night. It was a hotbed of crime 
and a cesspool of vice. 

In 1893, 1894 and 1895 there was no place in Chi- 
cago or in the whole country which could compare 
with it in depravity. It compassed then that portion 
of State street between Polk and Taylor streets. An- 
other section of this " Satan's Mile " which began at 
Taylor street was called " Coon Hollow," on account 
of the large colored population, permanent and' float- 
ing, which thrived there. Every house was a saloon 
or barber shop or a house of ill-fame. Games of every 
description were conducted openly and in defiance of 
the law. The famous "crap" game was in full blast, 
and "stud poker" was played from darkness iuitil 
dawn. Lottery tickets were sold without hesitation 
over the bars, and it was the paradise of the "policy" 

On the sidewalk outside negroes from the west side 
and from the depots of the neighborhood, the latter 



Pullman and dining-t ir employes, stood and com- 
mented in loud tones m respectable looking passers- 
by, told filthy stories i\. the hearing of all who walked 
along, and sang ribald s^nngs. 

They had things about their own way, both inside 
and out, and a brawl was of almost daily occurrence. 

All night long cabs and hacks drove up to these 
doors to unload their occupants, and at all hours after 
dark painted females, half-clad in finery, walked 
around in company with their low male escorts and 
held high carnival in the little dens called "private 
wine rooms." 

These long rows of bawdy-houses and saloons, 
which never closed, were frequented by women of all 
ages, colors and degrees of depravity. They went 
from house to house in this awful locality, singing and 
yelling coarse jests and investing their money in cheap 
champagne with the idea they were having a good 
time. The tough saloons in this district did but little 
business during the daytime, but after dark they 
reaped their harvest. Their barkeepers, porters and 
bouncers were equal to any emergency. Even the 
children here were taught to steal. Barefooted boys 
would run out and jump on the footbars of the street 
cars as if to steal rides, and then snatch pocketbooks 
from women. These places were the resort of the 
most desperate burglars, thieves and sure-thing gam- 
blers. Midnight thieving raids were planned in the 
back rooms ; the criminal went there for protection, 
and in the neighborhood were "fences" and pawn- 
shops in wlack stolen property was disposed of. 

There is another place in " Hell's Half Acre " called 
"Dead Man's Alley." It is about thirty feet wide 
and runs from Polk to Taylor street. 


This alley is frequently selected by footpads, high- 
waymen, strong-arm women and robbers as a place 
in which to divide their stolen property, and many 
an exchange and division has been made there. 

It was no unusual thing to see from one to two 
hundred men, women and children, both black and 
white, in "Dead Man's Alley" at one time, soiViC 
engaged in pitching quoits and horseshoes, some in 
dog fighting, card playing, crap shooting and telling 
filthy and vulgar stories, while others lay on the 
garbage boxes or in the old hacks and slept off the 
effects of a night's dissipation. 

Daily complaints were made to the Harrison Street 
Station of robberies, cutting or shooting affrays which 
occurred in " Dead Man's Alley," and as sure as a 
peddler or stranger passed this alley he was held up. 
Down on the corner of Taylor street and Plymouth 
place was as tough a gang of colored robbers, high- 
waymen and murderers as was ever outside of prison 
walls or escaped the hangman's rope. 

The gang was broken up finally by Detective Woold* 
ridge, eight or ten having been sent to the peniten- 
tiary and one Henry Foster, alias " Black Bear,"' 
having been hanged July i, 1895, for the murder of 
Frank Wells, a saloonkeeper. 

Wooldridge was specially selected to put a stop to 
complaints from this quarter and drive out this ele- 
ment of lawbreakers. He went to work on this duty 
one night at roll-call. 

He asked the lieutenant to send fourteen men with 
him for half an hour, which was done. Dividing them 
into squads of two, three and four, each squad boarded 
a State street car, getting off at the various saloons 


the saloons to "Dead Man's Alley," which is about be- 
tween Polk and Taylor streets and passing through the 
center of "'Coon Hollow." The alley was packed with 
people, at least three hundred being in sight. 

Wooldridge was in advance, and sorne one yelled, 
"Here comes Wooldridge !" This was enough to 
start them all on a run, but when an officer emerged 
from almost every saloon door leading to the alley, it 
created the wildest confusion, every one trying to 
find some place to escape. They ran into and over 
each other. Some lost their coats and hats. Knives, 
guns and razors and weapons of all kinds were thrown 
away. They climbed upon each other's back and tried 
to scale the twelve-foot board fence on 'the east side 
of the alley. 

They raised a cloud of dust equal to a stampeded 
herd of wild buffaloes, and that day will long be re- 
membered by the levee inhabitants. When the dust had 
settled down enough for them to see each other each 
officer had from one to three prisoners. 

Wooldridge then commenced on the strong-arm 
women and footpads, and by eleven o'clock at night 
he had nineteen of the toughest characters in "Coon 
Hollow" under lock and key. Warrants were taken 
out for every thieving house of prostitution in this 
block, and several were raided the following day. 

Wooldridge concluded to give them another sur- 
prise. He had been doing night duty, but on this 
morning, after getting through his court cases, he 
took four men and went into Plymouth place. As 
soon as he was seen, there was another stampede 
equal to the one of the evening before. Two big, 
powerful colored men made a rush for the rear en- 


trance to John Johnson's saloon at 464 State street 
through which they expected to escape. There was 
a strong storm door at this entrance, and these two 
men and the many others who were in the rush, car- 
ried the door off its hinges and jammed it against the 
inner door and wall. The big fellows shoved and 
scrambled and even butted with their heads in their 
frantic effort to get away. Those in the rear kept 
pushing, not knowing the way was barred, and many 
JD front were severely hurt. 

Seven arrests were made on this trip, Wooldridge 
repeated the cleaning up of the alley the following 
day, serving vagrancy warrants on every crook and 
loafer he could la}^ his hands on. 

A dozen of the highwaymen and robbers on whom 
Wooldridge was waging a relentless warfare got to- 
gether on the morning of July 4, 1895, and formed a 
plot to kill Wooldridge and get him out of the way. 
They concluded that the night of July 4, when every 
one was firing ofFrevolvers and celebrating, would af- 
ford the best opportunity. They imagine(^ it would 
be an easy thing to shoot him from one of the win- 
dows or from a house-top while he was on duty pa- 
trolling his post, and no one would know where the 
shot came from, as there was shooting from every di- 

An oath of secrecy was taken by all present, and 
lots drawn to see who was to do the deed. In all 
probability their plan would have been carried out 
had it not been for a colored woman, who was watch- 
ing them and heard the whole plot, and who went 
with the information to the Harrison Street Station. 

Captain Koch and Lieutenant Laughlin were noti- 


fied, and upon investigation found the report to bv 
true. They took immediate steps to protect Wool- 
dridge by placing three additional officers in full uni- 
form with him, and also placing six men in citizen's 
clothes on this post. Every man they met was 
searched for a gun ; every crook, vagrant and thief 
that they could lay their hands on was placed under 
lock and key in the station, and by eleven o'clock 
that night there was no square in the city quieter 
than the one this officer patroled, and in two weeks' 
time "Coon Hollow" and the whole neighborhood for 
half a mile in every direction had undergone the most 
remarkable change known to police history, and this 
change was apparent for a long time thereafter. . 



By wearing a Gainsborough hat of large propor- 
tions and a blonde wig and a sufficient amount of 
grease paint, Sadie GofT, a notorious pickpocket, suc- 
ceeded in eluding detection by the police for several 
months. When she changed her make-up she also 
changed her name, and instead of Sadie Goff she be- 
came Kate Wilson, and thus carried on the little ro- 
mance of robbing strangers and laughing at the police 
for a long tome. 

Frequently the officers had gone out to look for 
Sadie Goff, and in looking around the vicinity in 
which they thought Sadie might be found, they would 



encounter the Gainsborough hat and the blonde hair. 
As Sadie was a Creole with jet black tresses which 
were inclined to be kinky without thi; use of a curl- 
ing iron, Kate Wilson was never suspected of conceal- 
ing the identity of Miss Goff. 

Once the auburn-haired Kate was seen coming out 
of the place where Sadie Goflf had lived, and when the 


officers questioned her as to Sadie's whereabouts they 
thought a blizzard had struck them, Kate gave them 
such a cold stare along with the information that she 
had nothing to do with such people, that the officers 
turned up their collars and sought warmer quarters. 
Reports of Sadie's robberies and vices would con- 
tinually reach the officers, and although they knew 


she did not leave town, it seemed impossible to locale 

One day, however, Detective Wooldridge armed 
himself with a warrant and started out to see if he 
could unravel the mystery and solve the hidden ro- 
mance of the blonde head and Gainsborough hat of 
Miss Wilson. One of Sadie Goflf's victims, who said 
he had contributed under protest $80 to her, went 
along with the detective to identify the woman. 

They first went to the house at 450 State street, 
where Sadie was known to have lived last. Nothing 
could be seen of her there, however, and finally the 
detective said he was going to get her if he, in doing 
so, was forced to arrest every one in the house. 
Then one of the inmates told him Sadie was upstairs. 

The detective went into the room designated and 
saw there the young woman with the blonde hair 
who posed as Kate Wilson. She was very indignant 
because the officer had dared to come into her pres- 
ence without an invitation. 

"How dare you?" she demanded, angrily. "Don't 
you know me?" 

"I don't say positively that I know you," answered 
the detective, "but you and your pink hair and your 
big hat must go with me to the station and explain 
how it is that you always happen to be around when 
we are looking for Sadie Goff." 

Miss Wilson, as she called herself, shed a few tears 
and prepared to go to the station. While she was 
making preparations for this hazardous visit. Detect-^ 
ive Wooldridge caught up a tiny ringlet that hung 
from her head, and giving it a slight jerk removed :i 
wig, and not much to his surprise revealed the black, 


curly head of Sadie Goff. After a short search, the 
other paraphernalia which was used to make up Kate 
Wilson was found and went along with Sadie to the 
police station. 

The case was continued ten days, during which 
time the woman settled with the complaining witness, 
and he refused to prosecute. The case was then dis- 


A "scrimmage." 

A farmer from western Iowa mistook Detective 
Wooldridge for a hold-up man one night in February, 
1896, and undertook to defend his pocketbook, which 
he thought was going to be taken away from him. 

When the trouble was over Wooldridge had a black 
eye, and the farmer was in the station. When the 
countryman told how it happened, in the Armory 
Police Court, the next morning, the crowd roared with 

He said he was talking to a lady when these men 
came along. The men pointed out were Detectives 
Wooldridge and Schubert. They wore plain clothes 
and a broad grin. 

"They pushed me into a doorway, and I thought 
they meant to hold me up," explained the farmer. 'T 
read the papers too much to get caught in such a trap 
as that, so we had a scrimmage." 

The farmer kept on talking for six minutes before 
he could be stopped, when he was told that if he 


would apologize to the officers and pay the costs he 
could go. 

When Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert met 
the farmer on Wabash avenue, he had just arrived in 
Chicago from his farm, and had in his possession a 
large amount of money. Kittie Odell and several 
other women found him, when Detectives Wooldridge 
and Schubert saw them, and going up to the stranger 
gave him warning against going with the women. 

He did not know what a detective was, but had read 
much of highwaymen and robbers, and at once con- 
cluded that the officers were going to rob him. He 
sized both officers, and then suddenly threw himself 
upon them and succeeded in giving Wooldridge a 
colored and somewhat swollen eye before he was over- 

When the officers explained to him that they saved 
him from being robbed of all his moneyy he was very 
grateful and said he was very sorry he had struck 
Wooldridge, declaring he did not know what the men 
were, never having heard of a detective. 




Once in the career of Detective Wooldridge, a cat — 
a black cat — furnished him a clew and the evidence by 
which he found, arrested and convicted a murderer 

A wealthy old gentleman had been shot and killed, 


and his safe robbed of a large sum of money, while- 
his family was in a room only a few feet away. 

The victim of the robber had left the parlor, where 
his son, daughter and wife were sitting, and had gone 
across to the library to write some letters. 

Behind the old man stood the safe, which was opened 
and which contained the money stolen by the robber. 
After the victim of the robber had been gone some 
time, his daughter began to wonder what kept him so 
silent, as he usually spoke to the members of his fam- 
ily through the doors of the library and parlor. 

She asked her mother what she thought of her 
father's silence. The mother answered that she sup- 
posed he was busy writing, but the daughter thought 
he must have gone to sleep, and resolved to investi- 

When she reached the library, she went to her 
father's side and told him to wake up, as it was growing 
late. No answer came, and when she tried to arouse 
him, she saw that life was extinct. 

"My God !" she exclaimed, "he is dead, he is dead !" 

The piercing screams of the daughter were heard 
by the mother and brother, who rushed into the library 
to find the father a corpse. He had been shot through 
the heart and his safe robbed while his family sat not 
thirty feet away, and no one heard a sound. 

At the post-mortem examination the physician 
found in the dead man's body a curious missile partly 
in the shape of a bullet and partly in the shape of a 
dart. It was a little more than an inch long. The 
point was sharp and had three faces or flat sides 
which ran back towards the body of this instrument 
of death. 


Experts were called in, and it was said that the 
missile had been thrown by some peculiar force, such 
as compressed air or electricity. 

It was certain that powder could not have been 
used, or some one of the family would have heard the 

The mysterious murder was a nine days' wonder, 
and all hope of ever solving the mystery was given 
up, when Detective Wooldridge was asked to un- 
ravel it. 

He took the case up, but from the clews furnished 
there seemed to him little prospect of success. He 
was told all that was known of the murder, and was 
given the missile, which sent the robber's victim to 
his death. 

The detective carried this odd-shaped little piece of 
metal in his pocket for many months. Nothing de- 
veloped to aid him in his investigation, but he was 
ever vigilant and did not give up. 

Finally, a year after the tragedy, he found a clew^ 
and it was through the strange and incomprehensible 
actions of a cat. 

One night about eleven o'clock the detective was 
returning to his home, when directly in front of him 
he saw under a gas lamp a large black cat. 

He at first started to cross the street, because he 
had never felt much affection for cats, especially black 
cats, but he thought it would probably display a lack 
of courage, and he changed his mind, thinking he 
would kick the cat out of his way and go on to his 

When he came up to the animal, however, it mewed 
softly and looked up to him with .kindly eyes. He 


passed on, but when he reached the next ocrner he 
looked back and there was the cat slowly following 

The night was not cold, but the wind was blowing 
at a lively rate, and as he listened to the creaking of 
the window-shutters the cold chills ran up and down 
his back, and all the stories that he had ever read or 
heard of black cats rushed through his mind and left 
an uncomfortable impression. When he started to 
move on, the cat rubbed against his leg and looked 
beseechingly into his face. Then ^it put one of its 
feet on his trousers and fastened its claws into the 
cloth, as if trying to pull him away. He became in- 
terested and loosened the cat's claws. It started away 
at once, but slowly, and he, through some strange fancy, 
decided to follow it. 

The little beast led him three blocks distant from 
his home and into a vacant lot; here it began to 
scratch in the soft earth, and presently seemed to 
have uncovered something. 

The detective became more interested than ever. 
He thought possibly the cat was disclosing a hidden 
corpse and an unsolved mystery. He lighted a match 
and pulled out of the ground something like a gun — 
not like the ordinary gun, but different from anything 
in the shape of a gun he had ever seen before. After 
examining it carefully as he could by the aid of 
matches, he drew out of his pocket the bullet, or 
whatever it should be called, which had killed the 
man more than a year before. 

He slipped it into the barrel of his strange-looking 
gun, and it fitted perfectly. 

Here was a clew, he thought, to the murder and 


robbery, which had remained a mystery so long. It 
is sometimes exceedingly strange how Hnks in crim- 
inal cases fit into each other and finally form a chain 
which binds and holds to the courts of justice men 
who have thought for years they were secure from 
detection, and so it was in this case. 

After finding the peculiar gun, Wooldridge called 
|on the son of the murdered man and was introduced 
to another man named Melville. 

The stranger se"emed greatly astonished when he 
glanced at the gun Wooldridge had taken with him. 

"Where did you get that gun? It belongs to me," 
Melville cried. The detective related the circum- 
stance of his finding it and became interested because 
he thought he had found the murderer he had so long 
looked for. 

"If this is your gun," the detective replied, "I have 
perhaps at last found the man who committed a mur- 
der more than a year ago in this house." 

"No, no," Melville answered, "I mean that I in- 
vented the gun. It was my idea. The gun was made 
for me, and the first one ever made." 

"To whom did you sell it?" the officer asked. 

"I sold it to Henry Johnson. He took a great fancy 
to it, and offered me a handsome price for it. I 
needed the money to push my invention, and I al- 
lowed him to take it. I do not know where he lives 
now. I heard he went West and grew quite wealthy." 

"Would you know him if you saw him?" asked 

"Certainly. We were quite friendly. By the.wav; 
I have a photograph of him in my rooms." 

Wooldridge was in the possession of the photo- 


graph and a full description of the man the next morn- 
ing, and then he began again his search for the mur- 

Two weeks later the detective met the murdered 
man's son on the street in company with another 
young man. Wooldridge stopped in front of the 
stranger, and after eyeing him closely a minute, said : 

"Henry Johnson, consider yourself under arrest for 
the murder of this man's father." The stranger 
turned pale and started to appeal to his companion, 
when the latter interrupted him. 

"You are mistaken, Wooldridge," he said. "This 
is Mr. Francis. He is my guest, and to-morrow night 
will- become the husband of my sister." 

"Then your sister will become the wife of the as- 
sassin of your father," answered Wooldridge, "for 
this man is Henry Johnson, and here is the missile 
with which the murder was committed." 

The detective had in his hand the strangely shaped 
bullet, and held it before Johnson's face. The latter 
wheeled and started to run, but the officer caught 
him, and in a second a pair of handcuffs were on his 
wrists. Johnson was fully identified by the man who 
sold him the gun, and he was indicted for murder. 

He was really going to marry the daughter of the 
man he had murdered. He met her some six months 
before while she was on a visit to Denver, and as he 
was prosperous and stood high in the community 
there was no objection by the girl's brother to the 
marriage, and everything was arranged. The girl 
was so shocked upon learning the truth that she be- 
came very ill. 

The murderer sent for Detective Wooldridge while 


he was in jail and to him he made a full confession of 
the murder, but just as the detective was . leaving the 
prisoner said : "I will never be punished for the crime, 

The next morning Johnson was found dead in his 
cell. Wooldridge still has the gun and the black cat. 



The following story shows the truth of the old say- 
ing, "When thieves fall out, honest jnen get their 
dues." In this case the thieves got their dues also, 
which were terms in prison. 

Cora Martin and Delia Foley had been friends for 
years. Both were thieving prostitutes and panel- 
workers. Cora kept a house at 1420 Wabash avenue, 
and she and Delia became involved in a quarrel on 
the night of October 26, 1896, when Delia received a 
severe threshing from her former friend Cora. 

This so angered Delia that she determined to have 
revenge, and going to a drug store she called up the 
Harrison Street Station and sent the following mes- 

"To Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert : — Come to the corner 
of Thirteenth and Wabash avenue at once. Two ladies will be in 
waiting for you with important information." 

The officers were given the message and lost no 
time going to the above place. There they found 
Delia Foley and Maggie Grady, who informed them 
that Cora Martin was conducting a thieving panel- 


house at 1420 Wabash avenue, and named several 
robberies that had recently taken place, giving the 
names and addresses of the victims. 

The detectives promised to make an investigation 
of the matter and called on Cora Martin, the follow^- 
ing night with an old warrant that had never been 
served. Cora jumped to the conclusion that Delia 
Foley had procured the warrant, and, calling Wool- 
dridge aside, unfolded a tale which made his hair stand 
on end. 

She said that Delia Foley and George Mead, the 
man with whom she was living, were flat workers, 
burglars and thieves, and had looted a church on the 
west side, and carried away the silver communion 
service, and sold it for a mere pittance. She also told 
him of a number of burglaries they had committed, 
and gave the names, numbers and streets ; she said 
that while they were stopping with her a large part 
of the goods was brought to her house and that she 
had part of them ; that they had sold large quantities 
to various persons, giving their names, and that they 
still had a large portion with them. 

Wooldridge and Schubert hastened to the police 
station, and found out that the information was cor- 
rect concerning the burglaries being committed. The 
next move was to locate Mead and Delia Foley, which 
was soon done. They had moved to the residence of 
Mrs. K. Merkin, a widow, 4155 State street, taking 
several trunks and some household goods. 

Owing to the irregular hours they had for retiring, 
the arrest of both of them at the same time, without 
making a blunder, was a matter of importance to be 
considered. Sometimes they remained downtown un- 


til late, and sometimes did not go home at all, but slept 

Detective Wooldridge went to the house on State 
street to watch for them to come on the night of Oc- 
tober 27, 1896, while Schubert, his partner, was to re- 
main downtown to look for them there. The night was 
bitterly cold, and to stand on the street corner would 
attract attention. 

There seemed to be no place where Wooldridge could 
secrete himself and keep watch on the house. Finally, 
he stole up into the building, and in the hallway he found 
a large empty coal box, and into the box he crawled 
to watch and wait until they returned home. Here he 
remained until three o'clock the next morning, six hours ; 
it seemed like a week. 

When Wooldridge and Schubert parted downtown 
that night it was agreed to compare notes at 3 a. m., and 
sooner if necessary. 

Crawling out, Wooldridge went to the patrol box, and 
calling up Harrison Street Station, asked if they had 
heard from Schubert. He received an answer to come 
to the station at once, as Schubert was waiting and had 
some important news. 

Delia Foley and George Mead had been seen to en- 
ter 1232 Wabash avenue, and were still there. The 
detectives watched the house until 6 a. m., then en- 
tered and found them both still in bed, and arrested 

In the room was found a quantity of stolen goods 
and a book agent's sample case containing a fine set 
of burglar's tools, consisting of braces, bits, chisels, 
files, saws, a jimmy, hammer, skeleton keys, nippers 


to turn the key in doors when locked, sealing wax to 
take impressions of keys, a candle, acids for testing 
gold and silver, two pairs of brass knuckles, a forty- 
caliber revolver and two masks for the face, which 
were identified as the property of George Mead, hav- 
ing been seen in his possession at a number of places. 

The search warrant was then served on Mrs. Mer- 
kin, at the hojuse at State street, for the apartments 
occupied by Mead and the Foley woman. A large 
amount of stolen goods was found there, which was 
taken to the Harrison Street Station for identification. 

M. H. Barnett, a grocer at 518 Wabash avenue, 
who resided in the rear of the store, had been robbed 
of $700 worth of clothing. Six hundred dollars' worth 
of the goods was found in their trunks and on their 
backs. A large part of the goods were ruined by al- 
tering to fit the Foley woman, who was much smaller 
than Mrs. Barnett. One of her $80 dresses was cut 
down and made into a petticoat. 

Delia J'oley when arrested wore a three-quarter 
plush sack, which several weeks before had been a 
new, long, plush cloak, with cape, and worth $75. 
The cape and fur had been removed and the garment 
cut down to fit her. This was the property of Jennie 
Gordon, who lived at 1535 State street a month be- 
fore, and whose flat had been burglarized and $125 
worth of property taken. 

George Mead when confronted by Agnes Cullon, one 
of the boarders in Mrs. Gordon's house, was recognized 
as the man who committed the robbery, and was de- 
scribed at the time the burglary was committed and re- 


ported. Miss Cullon had a good view of him, and Mead 
was photographed on her mind. She often said she 
would Icnow him among a milHon men- 

Another strong link was that Mead and Delia Foley 
had occupied the rooms on the same floor, and moved 
the day following the robbery. Mead told Cora Martin 
that he had committed the crime; besides she had seen 
the cloak before it had been altered, and the cape and 
trimmings were found in the trunk. 

Mead and the Foley woman had lived at various 
places, and bought furniture from different houses under 
the chattel mortgage contract, and had signed various 
notes and leases under different names. One of their 
schemes was to buy a bill of furniture, give a mortgage, 
re-mortgage it, then have it moved to some storage 
house and sell the warehouse receipt for what they could 

John M. Smyth & Co., 150 to 166 West Madison 
street, were heavy losers; also the Standard Furniture 
Company, 373 State street. 

It was several weeks before the property which was 
scattered all over Chicago was found and turned over 
to the owners. 

George Mead, alias George Wood, and Delia Foley, 
alias Jennie Whipple, were indicted and arraigned for 
trial before Judge C. G. Neely, January 9, 1897. Mead 
was- found guilty of burglary and sentenced to an in- 
definite term in the JoHet penitentiary, on January 21, 


Delia Foley was convicted of receiving stolen property, 
and sentenced to six months in the Cook county jail. 




Chicago was flooded during the World's Fair with 
dangerous counterfeit bills and bills raised from $io 
to $50. A large number of the leading business houses 
of the city were victimized by the handlers of this spu- 
rious money. 

Siegel, Cooper & Co., Congress and State streets; 
Ed. Partridge, State and Madison streets; John D. 
Gates, 404 State street ; George E. Cave, State and 
Thirty-ninth streets; M. Silverman, 329 Clark street; 
Leopold Reiss; iii Wells street; the Globe Clothing 
Store, 29 West Madison street ; Mrs. Leary, 3645 Cot- 
tage Grove avenue, and M. Hofman, 397 Clark street, 
were among the victims of these counterfeiters. Some 
of the bills were so skillfully prepared that they passed 
through many hands before they were detected. One 
in particular went through the hands of two expert 
money handlers, then the Hibernian Bank, and was 
finally detected by accident at Hyman, Berg & Co.'s 
jewelry store on State street. 

Captain Porter, in charge of the United States secret 
service in Chicago, says they were the most dangerous 
counterfeiters that ever operated in the west, and gave 
the secret service more trouble than any case he had 
contended with. They had passed the bills at different 
towns all the way from West Virginia to Chicago, and 
operated as far north as Minnesota. Every available 
man who could be spared from the service in the west 
was employed in trying to run them down. Descriptive 


circulars were sent out to the police departments, asking 
them to assist in locating them. One of the circulars 
fell into the hands of Detective Wooldridge, and soon 
after Judson S. Freeland was arrested. 

The arrest came about in this way : Judson S. Free- 
land went into Mr. Hofman's store at 397 Clark street, 
where he bought a cheap suit of clothes, tendering one 
of the counterfeit bills in payment therefor. Hofman did 
not have the change, and while trying to get smaller 
Ijills he met Wooldridge, showed him the money and 
asked him if he was a judge of counterfeit money. 

Wooldridge carefully exammed it, found it was a 
national note, that the paper and workmanship were 
good, and was just about to pronounce it O. K., when 
he held it up between him and the sun, and discovered 
that it had been tampered with and was a raised note. 

Where the figure ten appeared on the bill the paper 
had been partially cut through and the figure one re- 
moved with some sharp instrument, and the figure five, 
cut from a United States revenue stamp, had been re- 
duced by rubbing with some fine emery paper to the 
same thickness of the one removed. 

With a keen, sharp eye, steady hand, and a pair of 
fine scissors the figure five was cut and trimmed until 
it filled the space and place exactly of the one removed. 
When this was accomplished, it was stuck fast with 

The new figure and the edges surrounding it were 
rubbed with anise oil, a bottle of which was later found 
on Freeland. 

Wooldridge went into the store and drew from his 
pocket a number of bills, with the pretension of making 


the change, and in this way he drew Freeland into a 

Freeland stated that he and his wife were visiting 
the World's Fair. He said that he received the money 
from the bank that morning, and knew it was good. 
Wooldridge saw at a glance from the description he 
had that this was the man the secret service wanted 
for counterfeiting. 

He called Freeland's attention to something on the 
shelf behind the counter, and as Freeland turned, a 
pair , of. handcuffs were slipped from the detective's 
pocket and clasped on the wrists of the counterfeiter, 
who was taken to the Harrison Street Police Station. 
He admitted he had a wife in the city, but refused to 
tell where she was. 

He lost his head and stated that he came to the city 
that morning and intended to go to West Virginia that 
night. He also said that he and his wife spent several 
weeks in Chicago the month previous, and lived at 3705 
Vincennes avenue, which seemed probable, as he had 
some cards in his possession from that number. 

Captain Porter, of the United States Secret Service, 
was telephoned for, and in less than a half hour Free- 
land was fully identified as the counterfeiter. 

Dispatches were sent to all police stations in the city 
to watch all trains for Belle Freeland, his wife, and 
arrest her. Wooldridge concluded that most likely the 
woman would be found at the place where she had been 
boarding. He procured a Western Union telegraph 
boy's cap, wrote a m.essage to l\Irs. Belle Freeland, 
3705 Vincennes avenue, and went to deliver it himseli^. 
Captain Porter accompanied him. Wooldridge rang the 


door bell and inquired for Mrs. Freeland, and luckily she 
came to the door hergelf. 

He told her that he had a letter from Judson Freland 
with instructions to deliver it to no one but Mrs. Free- 
land. She soon returned with Mrs. C. H. Miller, the 
owner of the house, who proved her identity. Mrs. Free- 
land was placed under arrest by Wooldridge, Captain 
Porter coming from his hiding place under the steps. 
They searched her rooms for tools or counterfeit money 
without success. She was taken to the Harrison Street 
Police Station and arraigned with her husband the fol- 
lowing day before Commissioner Hoyne, and both were 
held to the federal grand jury in $2,000 bonds each. 

They were tried before Judge Bonn November 20, 
1893, and sentenced to three years each in the Chester 
penitentiary on March 21, 1894. Belle Freeland was in 
delicate condition at the time, and after some six months 
in the penitentiary, was pardoned by President Grover 
Cleveland. She returned to Virginia and became a 

Two years after she was again caught raising bills by 
the government officers. She was a pretty woman, 
pleasant and agreeable to talk with. She conducted a 
millinery store at Teralter, West Virginia, and did all 
the work of raising the bills. Her husband was a car- 
penter at the same place. 



The fertile brain of the man who wants to get rich 
quickly will ever continue to supply schemes for the 


purpose of separating the unwary and guileless individ- 
ual from his money. All kinds of plans are adopted for 
this purpose, and it is estimated that hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars have been taken from victims in Chicago 
and other cities. On Sunday morning, June 2, 1901, 
an advertisement appeared in one of the morning papers, 
which was as follows: 

"WANTED— A party with $i,cxx); will handle his own 
money. Will bear investigation." 

A man named Seabrook answered the advertisement, 
and on the Tuesday following he met the supposed pro- 
moter of the scheme. By well guarded talk and much 
diplomacy, the promoter learned after considerable con- 
versation that Mr. Seabrook was not averse to making 
money by advance information on race results. The man 
said his name was Kane, and that he was in a position 
whereby he could beat the races,' and especially those at 
Gravesend. He said that the operator at the eastern 
race tracks was in his employ and that all results were 
sent to a certain poolroom in Chicago, which he after- 
ward told was located at 2918 Cottage Grove avenue, 
but were held by this operator until he could give a sig- 
nal to his friends. The tip would then be given to him, 
and he would have sufficient time to place a number 
of heavy bets on the winner before the results were sent 
to the poolroom. The proposition seemed to be a good 
one, but Mr. Seabrook was not entirely satisfied, and 
would not at first agree to it. He made other appoint- 
ments, and finally met Mr. Kane at the Grand Pacific 

The schemer arranged for a meeting with the Western 
Union telegraph operator who was supposed to be in 
rharge of the wire from the race track at Gravesend. 


Seabrook accompanied Kane to the eighth floor of the 
Western Union building, where they were met by a 
man who said he was the operator, and promised to de- 
Hver the information just as it had been represented he 
would do. 

Seabrook, however, was suspicious, and finally went 
to the police department and called at the chief's office. 
There he unfolded his story to Detective Wooldridge, 
and after getting all the details, the detective told him 
to keep the appointment which he had made with Kane 
and let him beheve that he would put up the $i,ooo on 
a race in which he was assured that he could double 
his money many times. 

Wooldridge was convinced that Seabrook was in the 
hands of a syndicate of conspirators and fake poolroom 
operators, and formed a plan to arrest all connected with 
it. With a corps of assistants, Detective Wooldridge ar- 
ranged to raid the place. He first went to the office of 
a police magistrate to obtain warrants, but failed to got 
them, for the reason that the magistrate was absent, and 
having arranged to be at the poolroom at a certain hour, 
he could not wait for the warrants, and proceeded with- 
out them. 

Seabrook, on the advice of the detective, had gone to 
the poolroom and had told the promoter of the game 
that he v^s ready to put up the $i,ooo. When he en- 
tered, he saw a dozen or more men clamoring for an 
opportunity to place their money on a race, while tele- 
graph instruments were clicking and clerks in their shirt 
sleeves were busily taking down advance tips from every 
race track in the country. The appearance of the place 
indicated that a regular poolroom was running in full 
blast. The names of horses running at the eastern 


tracks, and also at the local tracks, with the odds on 
each, were conepicuously posted on the walls, and the 
official announcer was calling off the results. 

Detective Wooldridge was accompanied by Detectives 
Dubach, Herts, Breternitz, Sederberg, Walley, Schubert 
and McGrath. They appeared at the alleged poolroom 
promptly at the hour previously arranged with Seabrook. 
They made their way to the interior, and just as Archie 
Donaldson, who was announcing the results, cried out, 
"The horses are at the post!" Wooldridge bounded in 
and said, "Stop a minute ! Put $5,000 on Sidney Lucas." 

Instantly there was wild excitement, and every one 
tried to escape. This was impossible, however, as all 
the exits were barred by officers who notified the inmates 
that they were under arrest. Twenty-five men were taken 
into custody and conveyed to the Harrison Street Station 
in patrol wagons. 

Among those taken in the raid were Frank Dubois, 
who was well known to the police as a swindler, and who 
was then under bonds for perpetrating a confidence game 
on a La Salle street broker, in which he secured $20,000, 
it is said, by means of a bogus mining deal. Ed. Dunne, 
a notorious wire tapper and confidence man, who had ^ 
been arrested once before on a charge of swindling a 
woman out of $1,500, was also among them, as well as 
George Moore, promoter of the game; Harry Nelson,^ 
cashier, and J. E. Murray, alias Eugene Munger. 

The twenty-five men were taken to the Harrison Street 
Station and booked on twelve charges each, making a 
total of three hundred charges. The police made a thor- 
ough examination of the premises, where the alleged 
poolroom was in operation, and found that the telegraph 
instruments were not connected with any wires than ran 


outside of the building, and that the tickers were oper- 
ated by hand, showing it to be one of the boldest and 
most barefaced swindles unearthed in a long time, and 
that the whole scheme was but a conspiracy to swindle 
innocent people out of their money. 

When the officers reached the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion with the prisoners, there was no court in session and 
only one desk sergeant on duty, and they were held until 
the next morning, when formal complaints were made 
and their names were registered on the arrest book, while 
the warrant clerk was l)usily making out the proper pa- 

At eleven o'clock the Chief of Police and Detective 
Wooldridge were served with a notice that a writ of 
habeas corpus in behalf of the prisoners had been sued 
out by Attorney Richard Wade, and they were sum- 
moned to appear with the men before Judge Brentano 
at two o'clock. Promptly at the hour all were present, 
the state being represented by A. J. Barnett of the state's 
attorney's office. There were also two attorneys present 
from the city prosecutor's office. Judge Brentano asked 
what the charges were, and was told that the prisoners 
were charged with conspiracy to defraud, conducting 
a confidence game, keeping a poolroom, being inmates 
of a gaming room, being decoys and runners of a pool- 
room, keeping a gambling house, vagrancy. These were 
the state charges. The cit}- charges were as follows : 
Keepers of a poolroom and being inmates thereof, gam- 
ing and keeping gaming devices, visitors of a gaming 
house, vagrancy and disorderly conduct. 

The court then asked for the complaints, and was told 
that the warrant clerk had not had time to make them 
out, but that they were being drawn as rapidly as pes- 


sible. Then the judge wanted to know whether the men 
were booked, and was told that they were. The cour^, 
who was seeking this information from Detective Wool- 
dridge, then told the officer that he would give him three 
minutes to get the arrest book from the Harrison Street 

(Station. He increased the time to five minutes, and 
then to ten minutes, but being told that the book prob- 
ably was in use in some other court, the judge then said 
he would give the officer until three o'clock to pro- 
duce it. 

At that hour the book was brought into court by Desk 
Sergeant Primm, who testified to the booking of the 
men. Judge Brentano became irate when he heard that 
the men were not booked the evening before, and scored 
the police severely, declaring they had no right to lock 
up and keep all night respectable citizens whose families 
were worrying over their absence. The officer and the 
State's Attorney attempted to explain to the court that 
the men were caught in the act of conducting a con- 
spiracy and swindling game, and that many of them were 
well known to the police as crooks, some being ex-con- 
victs and others swindlers who were then under bonds 
to the criminal court, and that their arrest was con- 
sidered by the police officials to be one of the most im- 
portant captures of a gang of thieves and swindlers that 
had been made in a long time. 

This, however, would not appease the court, and he 
refused to hear any more explanations on the subject. 
The State's Attorney tried to explain that the court was 
sitting as an examining magistrate and that the only 
question was as to the legality of the arrest. The judge 
refused to listen any further, and ordered the men re- 
leased on their own recognizance under bonds of $ioo 


each to appear in court the following Tuesday at 2 p. m. 
He also ordered that $64 in currency, which had been 
seized in the fake poolroom and taken from Harry 
Nelson, the cashier, to be held as part of the evidence 
against the men, be returned. 

Sunday intervened, and on Monday at eleven o'clock 
none of the prisoners appeared at the Harrison Street 
Station,- and consequently no action could be taken 
against them. On the next day at two o'clock all the 
men were present in Judge Brentano's court again. In 
the meantime the judge had become more conversant 
with the facts, and decided, after hearing the charges 
made by Detective Wooldridge and the other officers, to 
hold the men under bonds to appear in the Harrison 
Street Police Court, June 20. In order to be sure that 
they would appear on that day before the police justice, 
he caused them to give bonds to him to appear in his 
court on June 21. 

In the meantime the officers went befose the grand 
jury with the evidence they had in their possession 
and secured indictments against all the men they had 
arrested, on charges of conducting a poolroom and keep- 
ing a common gaming house. 

When the men again appeared in Judge Brentano's 
court, deputy sheriffs with capiases invaded the court 
room and arrested every one of them. They all gave 
bond for their appearance, and on July 13, they were 
arraigned in Judge Tuley's court for trial. 

They were represented by four able attorneys. After 
an hour spent in wrangling over an effort to quash 
the indictments, the cases were submitted to the court, 
and four of the promoters and leaders were adjudged 
guilty, and they were fined $100 each. These were; 


Archibald Donaldson, John J. Sheehan, George Moore 
and Harry Nelson. 

This disposed of the charges of keeping a common 
gaming house under which the twenty-five men were 
indicted. There still remained to be tried George Moore 
and five others on charges of conspiracy to defraud, 
which, under the Illinois statutes, is a penitentiary of- 

This case will go down in history as one of the most 
unique and remarkable in police and criminal annals. 
Here were twenty-five nien arrested and held under three 
hundred charges, and every one indicted, something un- 
known before in Chicago. It had the eflfect of breaking 
up one of the boldest gangs of swindlers that ever 
infested the citv. 



While the World's Fair was in progress many com- 
plaints were made to the police of robberies and depre- 
dations in the Lake Front Park. This park is situated 
east of Michigan avenue and extends from Randolph 
street to Park Row, near Twelfth street. It is bounded 
on the east by Lake Michigan, and the green grass and 
cool, refreshing breezes from the lake offered many in- 
ducements to men who had been at work all day, cooped 
up in shops, attics, basements and hotels, to go there 
and lie down for a few hours of rest. 

Chicago was then filled with thousands of strangers 
of all nationalities. Many of them came to see the 


sights, while others came to seek employment, and after 
traveling many miles on foot and in box cars were sleepy 
and worn but. Here they could rest with Mother 
Earth for their pillow and the blue sky above as a can- 
opy. Others went there frequently with a "jag" on to 
lay down and sleep It off. It was not an unusual thing 
during the hot, sultry nights to find from three to five 
thousand persons stretched out on the grass in this park 
enjoying rest and many of them asleep. 

But these were not the only ones going to the park. 
A well organized gang of crooks and thieves, both black 
and white, numbering from twenty-five to forty men 
and boys, visited this park night after night, and would 
crawl along on their knees until they found some poor 
unfortunate asleep, then like a snake in the grass, would 
lie down by his side, and with his nimble fingers go 
through the sleeper's pockets and relieve him of every- 
thing of value he possessed. Frequently the robbers 
would take away the victim's shoes or coat, or a package 
which he would have in his hand, and sometimes they 
would strip him of everything to which they took a 
fancy, leaving him penniless in a strange city many 
miles from home, friends or assistance. 

Captain Hartnett, who was then in charge of the 
Harrison Street Station, detailed men in uniform to look 
after these tough characters who infested the park and 
Michigan avenue, with instructions to drive them away. 
A number of them were arrested and fined, but this did 
not lessen the crimes or complaints, and, apparently, for 
every one that was arrested and taken away two would ' 
take his place. Several of the ofiicers who were detailed 
on this work had some exciting times, as a mob would 
often interfere and take the prisoners away. On one 


occasion an officer was badly injured by a knife which 
was run through his arm. 

At last Detective Wooldridge was detailed to break 
up this gang of thieves and highwaymen. On August 
ID, he went to the station at one o'clock in the afternoon 
and called for assistance. Some twenty men were sent 
with him. Wooldridge sent six of the men to Park Row 
and six to Van Buren street, while eight were stationed 
along Michigan avenue. The robbers and vagrants who 
were in the park were then aroused and sent to the center 
by the officers on the north and south, and before they 
knew what was wanted, they were all surrounded. Three 
patrol wagons were called, and ninety-seven prisoners 
were sent to the Harrison Stret Station and booked for 
disorderly conduct. Forty-two of them were fined $20 
each, and ten $10 each, and all sent to the Bridewell. 
The total amount of fines assessed was $940. This sys- 
tem of raiding was continued for several nights until 
the gang was completely broken up and the Lake Front 
Park restored to its former peace and quietude. 



Ten thousand dollars' worth of railroad passes were 
stolen one night on the levee from a general freight 
agent of one of the eastern trunk lines, with headquar- 
ters in Detroit. They were taken from the pockets of 
their owner after a fierce struggle between him and two 
women. The case was put in the hands of Detective 
Wooldridge, and in a few hours the railroad man had 


his passes and was ridirig on one of the Hmited express 
trains for the east. 

This was a case which required a great deal of diplo- 
macy, and it was a:conipHshed without making a single 

The railroad man was visiting Chicago at the time, 
and was a guest of the Great Northern Hotel. It was 
on December 23, 1893, that he was called in the evening 
to go to the Polk street depot on some business, and 
on his return he passed through Custom House place. 

When he reached the panel house at 137, conducted 
by Jessie Williams, his hat was snatched from his head 
and thrown into a hallway by a colored woman. When 
he demanded the hat, he was told to go in and get it, 
which he finally did, and was intercepted by two colored 
women who picked his pockets and secured a pocket- 
book containing money amounting to some $12, some 
contracts and 125 annual railroad passes over the prin- 
cipal roads in the United States. The passes were val- 
ued at $10,000. 

The victim reported the matter to the Harrison Street 
Station, and Detective Wooldridge was detailed to get 
the property. The railroad man called the detective aside 
and asked him if there was any prospect or hope of re- 
covering the passes. The perspiration rolled oflf of him 
in a stream. Wooldridge told him that he would have 
his money and passes inside of three hours. He heaved 
a heavy sigh of relief and grasped the detective's hand 
and nearly shook it off. He inquired if the detective 
wanted him to accompany him, and when told "no," he 
could not understand how he was going to get back 
those passes. Wooldridge would not even allow the 
victim to go along and point out the thief. This puzzled 


the railroad man very much. He understood how to 
trace and find a package of freight which had been lost 
in transit, but he could not understand how a man with 
no clew could recover a lot of stolen railroad tickets. 

After reassuring him again, Wooldridge started out to 
locate the stolen property. The first place he visited 
was the Park Theater, at 354 State street, where he 
procured some prepared blackening for making up as a 
negro, also a silk hat, white vest, and a large walking 
stick. The disguise of a colored man was good, and no 
one would have recognized him. Back to Custom House 
place he went, taking in all the saloons, bawdy houses 
and opium joints. 

Finally he found Jessie Williams, the woman who con- 
ducted the house at 137 Custom House place, and call- 
ing her into one of the stalls, spoke to her about the rob- 
bery of the railroad man. He told her the victim was 
the brother of the Chief of Police; that he had already 
sent to his house for him, and he was on his way down 
to the Harrison Street Station, and would use every 
police officer on the iorte to arrest the woman and se- 
cure the railroad passes. 

He further stated that the district was already sur- 
rounded by officers, and that no colored woman would 
be allowed to leave it until the guilty one was arrested 
and the property recovered. He told her that the passes 
were no good to them, and if they did not at once sur- 
render them they would be caught and sent to the peni- 
tentiary. In a few m.inutes she was sweltering as if it 
were a hot summer day. Finally, she jumped up and 
told Wooldridge to wait fifteen minutes and she would 
go and find the woman and get the passes and bring 
them to him. In a short time she returned, bringing 


about $4,000 worth of the passes, and informed him that 
they had been divided between two colored women, and 
the other one had gone out to Twentieth street and Ar- 
mour avenue, where she roomed, and inside of two 
hours she would have the passes. 

He was to stop all further proceedings and notify the 
man that his property would be returned to him. The 
woman kept her word. The railroad officer got his 
property back and seemed a very grateful man for the 
good work done by Wooldridge. He then shook the 
Chicago dust from his feet, taking the train for the 
east a much wiser man. 




While Detective Wooldridge was going east to Wa- 
bash avenue, over the Twelfth-street viaduct, he heard 
some one shouting below, "Pohce!" "Thief!" and an- 
other voice crying, "Run, nigger; run, the white man 
will catch you." Then he saw Laura Johnson, a noto- 
rious colored footpad, run up on the viaduct by a stair- 
way from State street. 

The detective caught the woman, and found clinched 
in her hands $420, which she gave up without resistance. 
She was followed up the stairway by John Dayton, a 
United States soldier, who was stationed at a western 
garrison in charge of the hospital. He had secured a 
furlough and had come to Chicago to take a course in 
pharmacy in order to enable him to discharge his duties 
more efficiently. He had been robbed by the woman of 


$950, and when he approached and found only $420 of 
the money, he ordered the woman to give up the re- 

Then the woman broke away and sprang down the 
steps, with Wooldridge in pursuit and Dayton close be- 
hind him. The detective stepped on a banana peel and 
fell, and before he could get on his feet again, the footpad 
had gotten some distance away and was flying down 
through the Western Indiana railroad tracks like a grey- - 
hound, with Dayton at her heels. 

Several colored men joined the woman, and learning 
she had stolen considerable money, tried to prevent Day- 
ton from following her. One of them drew a razor and 
another a revolver. This deterred the soldier, and the 
woman ran into the rear of 510 State street, where she 
had formerly roomed and was known to the inmates. 

When Wooldridge gained his feet he bounced on a 
State-street car that was passing with the intention of 
intercepting the woman at Taylor street. When he 
reached the building into which the woman had gone, 
those who had intimidated the soldier recognized the 
officer and fled. 

Wooldridge proceeded to search the building for the 
Johnson woman. Dayton went into the place with him, 
and was left in the hall to guard the escape, while Wool- 
dridge made a search in the rooms. 

Dayton was set upon by a number of colored men, 
who demanded that he leave the building, or they would 
throw him out of the window. 

The quarrel brought the officer to the hall just in 
time, as they had seized Dayton and were about to put 
their threat into execution. Wooldridge told them that 
the first one who placed his hand on'the soldier would 


be killed. He handed Dayton one of his revolvers, and 
told him to station himself in the corner of the hall 
against the wall and look out for the woman, and told 
him also to kill the first man who laid his hand on him. 

Wooldridge was joined by two other officers, and they 
proceeded to search the building and found Laura John- 
son stowed away under one of the beds in a back room. 
She had hidden the money somewhere in the building 
and it was not recovered, but she was taken to the Har- 
rison Street Station and booked for robbery. 

During the night she sent a note to Jerry Carmichael, 
a colored man, and it was supposed that he went to 
the building and secured the money. 

A warrant was procured for this man's arrest, and 
Detective Wooldridge went to 488 State street next 
morning about daylight and found him in his room. 
When aroused the negro climbed over the transom into 
the adjoining room, and when the door was forced no 
one was there. The adjoining door was also opened 
and Jerry Carmichael bounded out and clinched the little 
detective, and both went to the floor with Jerry on top. 
But he was quickly turned under by Wooldridge, who 
demonstrated the fact that he too had learned some- 
thing about wrestling. 

Wooldridge secured a good hold upon the fellow's 
throat and Carmichael reached for his knife, but was 
detected before he could open it, and by a quick move 
Wooldridge knocked the knife from his hand. He then 
choked him into submission, slipped the "come-alongs" 
on his wrists, and landed him behind the bars in the 
Harrison Street Station. No money was found on him, 
but he was fined for vagrancy and sent to the workhouse. 

On April 9, 1895, Laura Johnson was held to the 


criminal court in bonds of $i,000 by Justice Bradwell. 
The case came up before the grand jury which heard 
the evidence and failed to act on it. The case was passed 
until the next grand jury. In the meantime Dayton was 
called back to his post, and would not return to Chicago 
again, and Laura Johnson was turned loose. 

Laura robbed Dayton by inviting him to go with her 
to 1 23 1 State street to see fifty or sixty people smoke 
opium. She told him it was one of the sights of the 
city, and he should not miss it. He accompanied her, 
and while there she picked his pocket of $950 and ran 
out the back way. 

Later Laura Johnson became involved in a quarrel 
with Irene Moore over the affection of Jerry Carmichael, 
to whom both took a fancy. Irene was carved up with 
a dirk. Her forearm was almost severed, blood poison 
set in and she came near dying. Laura left and did not 
return to Chicago until July, 1896, and on July 25, she 
was arrested and bound over in bonds of $500 to the 
criminal court. She was indicted and arraigned for 
trial on August 25, 1896, on a charge of assault to do 
bodily harm and was sentenced to six months in the 
House of Correction by Judge Baker. 

She told Judge Baker she stole the knife for luck and 
made use of it at the first chance she bad. 


In October, 1893, Detective Wooldridge was detailed 
to break up a dangerous gang of colored highwaymen 
who operated on State street between Taylor and Polk 
streets. As he was passing down the east side of State 


street one day his attention was attracted by a faint 
cry of "Help" on the opposite side of the street. He 
rescued Charles Cannon, a livery man who lived in a 
small town in the interior of the state. Cannon had 
arrived in the city on an early morning train and was 
walking along the street in search of a hotel. He went 
into a saloon at 480 State street, known as the "Bucket 
of Blood." 

Several loungers who were thieves and pickpockets 
stood around the bar, and when Cannon entered they ob- 
served him closely. The stranger called for a drink and 
presented a $5 bill in payment for it. He took the change 
and left the place, but was followed by a number of the 
inmates, and when he reached the sidewalk five of them 
seized him and gave him the strong arm, and pounded 
and beat him over the head. They took what change 
he had, tore off his watch chain and caught hold of 
his watch, but dropped it on the sidewalk. 

When Wooldridge approached, some one called out, 
"Look out for Wooldridge," and the crowd scattered 
immediately. The robbers ran into the saloon, and two 
of them, Ben Franklin and William Payne, were cap- 
tured, fined $100 each, and sent to the House of Cor- 



Once while chasing some fleeing women from a sec- 
ond-story window across several house-tops, Detective 
Wooldridge took a plunge head foremost, which almost 
buried him in a pile of refuse. Those who saw the feat 


said it excelled that of the man who dives from the 
top of the circus tent into a tank of water below. Wool- 
dridge sank so deep in the refuse that he- might have suf- 
focated had not his fellow officers rescued him. 

It was on November 20, 1896. Lieutenant Cudmore, 
accompanied by Detective Wooldridge and several other 
officers, went to 1237 State street for the purpose of 
raiding the house there. The place was surrounded and 
several of the detectives ran up to the second floor. 
Hearing a commotion in a room at the head of the 
stairs, they went in just in time to see Fannie Clark 
and Mary Nelson getting out of the window. 

A low roof was near, and gathering up their skirts the 
women ran across it and on that of a neighboring house. 
Lieutenant Cudmore and Detectives Wooldridge and 
Schubert followed, and then the chase began in earnest. 

Notwithstanding the encumbrance of their gowns, the 
women kept well ahead of their pursuers. A number of 
low sheds almost touching each other gave them an op- 
portunity to prolong the race until they arrived at one 
from which there was no escape except in a leap. They 
did not hesitate, but jumped, landing knee-deep in a 
garbage pile. Before they could extricate themselves 
Detective Wooldridge followed. 

His body made a half-revolution as it went through 
the air, and his head struck the soft mass of refuse. In 
he went up to his shoulders, and as he passed by the 
women it so happened that he was able to catch each 
of them by the dress. Before they could get away, 
Cudmore and Schubert had arrived from above just in 
time to save their companion from what Yum- Yum would 
have called a "stuffy death." 


WQeldridge retained his hold on the two women until 
he was carefully pulled up by his legs. The captives 
were booked at the Harrison Street Station on a charge 
of being inmates of a disorderly house. Ellen Osborne, 
who was taken at the house, was booked for the same 
offense, and all were fined. 



The most famous institution connected with the po- 
lice history of Chicago is the Harrison Street Police 
Station. If the cells and walls of that building could 
talk they could tell stories of startling criminal facts 
that would stagger the world and be more interesting than 
the wildest fiction ever printed by the writers of western 
history. It has held within its walls more criminals and 
more desperate characters than any other police station 
in Chicago. It is doubtful if the Cook County jail has 
held as many desperate and daring men within its walls 
as this police station. 

It has been under command of more different officers 
of high grade than any other station in the police de- 
partment. Some of the best and ablest officers in the 
department to-day graduated and took their higher rank 
from this station. Being in the very heart of the city 
and in the center of the famous levee district, it natur- 
ally became the station to which all criminal characters 
arrested there should be taken. It has not only held 
within its walls offenders against the city ordinances and 
state laws, but has housed criminals against the laws of 


the United States, and men even who have been wanted 
in the foreign countries for extraordinary crimes. 

On account of the fact that it occupied this position 
geographically in Chicago territory, it was necessary for 
the police department to place its best men in charge of 
it, its most efficient detectives and its most active and 
reliable patrolmen. The Harrison Street Station was 
erected just after the great fire of 1871. The county 
jail at that time was located at the corner of Randolph 
and Clark streets, and M. C. Hickey, who was then 
captain at the old armory at Adams and Franklin streets, 
seeing his station melting away in that great conflagra- 
tion, rushed through smoke and flame and released the 
prisoners in the jail just in time to save them from 

The police force at that time consisted of only a few 
hundred men, and when the armory was consumed Cap- 
tain Hickey gathered his men and housed them tempo- 
rarily in an old frame school building which had escaped 
the fury of the flames. Then for a short time, Simon 
O'Donnell, of what was then known as the West Twelfth 
street terror district, was put in command. When the 
smoke had cleared away and Joseph E. Medill had been 
elected Mayor on the fireproof ticket, Griswold street 
was changed to Pacific avenue, and there were many 
other changes made in the rebuilding of the city. 

Among the many captains who have commanded at 
the Harrison .Street Station are William Buckley, who 
many years ago was nearly mobbed one Sunday while 
returning from church with his wife and was nearly 
killed a short time ago by a street car conductor. 

Another was Ed. Laughlin, who once had a desperate 
fight while unarmed with a maniac at the Polk street 


depot. Others were Wheeler Bartram, formerly chief 
of police .of Evanston ; E. E. Lloyd, Thomas Simmons, 
J. L. Revere, Francis P. Barcal, Charles G. Koch, Walter 
Jenkins, George Shippy, Francis O'Neill, the present 
chief of police ; Martin Hayes and John J. Hartnett, who 
is at present inspector at this station. 

Among the patrolmen and detectives who worked from 
the Harrison Street Station are many who are to-day 
high up in the ranks of the department. It has always 
been considered one of the most important and danger- 
ous and at the same time desirable posts from which 
the officers could work. The duties required of the 
officers traveling from that station very often threw them 
in contact with desperate characters, and it was said 
that a man who patrolled a beat on the levee took his 
life into his own hands. 

The importance of the Harrison Street Station is 
shown in the fact that it is the headquarters of the 
local Bureau of Identification. Captain Michael P. 
Evans, who is the superintendent of the bureau, has 
his office at this station. 

Captain Evans is called the "Nemesis of the Crooks," 
and presides at the "rogue's gallery." He is a quiet little 
gray-haired man with a remarkable memory. For sev- 
enteen years he has been busy identifying criminals 
brought into his office, and all this has added fame to 
the Harrison Street Station. He can frequently identify 
a man at sight. Many persons suspected of crime are 
taken to the Harrison Street Station, and when brought 
before Captain Evans are at once identified. This is 
especially the case if they have ever figured in the crimi- 
nal history of Chicago or any other large city. 

The office of the Bureau of Identification at this sta- 


tion is located in a long, Harrow room, and the walls 
and cabinets in this room contain 40,000 pictures. This 
does not include duplicates. The superintendent fre- 
quently remembers the face of a man the instant he sees 
it, and can tell him his record of crime. He makes a 
study of faces. He is at all times in correspondence 
with the police departments of other cities and wardens 
of the penitentiaries in this country and Europe, and 
knows just when a certain criminal who is serving time 
will be released. 

According to Professor Nichols, of the British Journal 
of Photography, Chicago was th^ first city in the world 
to make photography a branch and a part of its police 
department. This plan of identifying criminals was be- 
gun in Chicago in 1884. Chicago was also the first city 
in this country to adopt the Bertillon system of identifi- 

The system of photographing criminals was originated 
in Chicago by Austin J. Doyle and Captain Evans. Be- 
fore that time police officers took their criminals to a pub- 
lic photograph gallery to have their pictures made, but, 
of course, the system was not a perfect one, as in those 
cases the prisoners were not measured. Thus, when a 
picture of a criminal was wanted a search through the 
old album of thousands of pictures was necessary. 

At that time Evans was simply a clerk in the police 
department. His duties consisted of getting up reports 
of the Secret Service Bureau, which brought him face 
to face with many photographs of criminals. It was at 
this time that he became interested in the study of crimi- 
nal faces, and it was at his suggestion that Chief of 
Police Doyle decided that the department should do its 
own photographing. 


Evans was placed in charge of the bureau and at 
once began to take lessons at a gallery in the art of 
-photography. Soon after this a room was fitted up in 
the old Rookery building, where the city hall was at 
that time located, and in June, 1884, the first picture was 
made in the photograph bureau of the Chicago police 

This picture was made of a servant girl who was 
charged with shoplifting, and she was fined $10. Evans 
made the picture, but he has never seen nor heard of 
the girl since. This little picture is still in the gallery 
of rogues along with the 40,000 others in that institu- 

From the small beginning made at that time the 
Identification Bureau in the Harrison Street Station has 
grown to be the largest in the world, with the exception 
of the bureau in Paris, France, where the Bertillon sys- 
tem originated. More than one thousand pictures a year 
are received at the Harrison Street Station from all parts 
of the world, asking ,for the identification of suspects, 
and, remarkable as it may seen, from forty to fifty per 
cent of the inquiries are satisfactorily answered. 

Notwithstanding the satisfactory condition of the bu- 
reau to-day, from September, 1887, to 1890, it was a 
rather useless adjunct to the department, for the reason 
that the change in the city administration threw Captain 
Evans out, and in September, 1890, Chief of Police 
Marsh closed the office because he had no one who could 
run it satisfactorily. 

In November of that year he restored Evans to his 
old position, and it was found that three weeks' constant 
work was necessary before a report could be made. No 
records had been kept for nearly three years, plates had 


been exposed and not developed, and everything in the 
office was neglected to such an extent that a great deal of 
labor was required to restore the bureau to its old 

The Bertillon system was introduced about this time, 
and the bureau at the present time has four Bertillon 
cases, containing eighty-one boxes in each case, making a 
total of 324 boxes. These contain all the Bertillon 
photographs, filed according to their respective measure- 

Going back to October, 1871, it is recalled that when 
the new Harrison Street Station was built it was called 
the First Precinct Station. It is now known as the Sec- 
ond Precinct Station, the change having been made in 
1 89 1, while R. W. McClaughry was superintendent of 

W. W. Kennedy was general superintendent of police 
in 1871. There were three precinct stations in the city 
at that time, and each of these three stations had attached 
to it three sub-stations, making' a 'total of twelve stations 
covering the entire city. From April i, 1871, to March 
31, 1872, 21,931 arrests were made, and by pro-rating 
these numbers equally among the stations, Harrison 
Street Station was entitled to 1,827. 

The next superintendent of police was Elmer Wash- 
burn, who made monthly reports to the Board of Police 
Commissioners, but omitted giving certain statistical in- 
formation concerning the number of arrests. 

Jacob Rehm followed him as general superintendent, 
and during his term of service 27,995 arrests were made 
and credited to the dififerent stations, Harrison Street 
Station being entitled to the greater part. In 1875 ^^^ 


number of arrests under Superintendent Rehm was 24,- 


The next general superintendent of police was M. C. 
Hickey, who was appointed October 7, 1875. During the 
first year of his service the total arrests were 19,206. In 
1876 there were 27,291 arrests. In 1877 there were 
28,035 arrests, and in 1878 the number fell off to 27,208. 

V. A. Seavey was the next chief of police. He did not 
serve his time out, however, as he died in September of 
that year. Following him, Captain Simon O'Donnell 
was promoted to general superintendent of police, and 
Captain William Buckley was put in command at the 
Harrison Street Station, and during the year 1880 there 
were 28,480 arrests made in the precinct. 

About this time the police telegraph system was in- 
troduced into the department. It was invented by Austin 
J. Doyle, then secretary of the department, and perfected 
by Professor Barrett. By means of this service a patrol- 
man who is miles away from this station can easily com- 
municate with his superior officer. 

William J. McGarigle followed O'Donnell as genera/ 
superintendent. He was appointed the latter part of the 
year 1880. During the first year of Chief McGarigle's 
service the total number of arrests for the entire depart- 
ment was 31,713, Harrison Street Station being credited 
with 3,643. 

The following year, 1882, Austin J. Doyle assumed 
control of the department as general superintendent, 
and his first report showed that during the year the total 
number of arrests amounted to 32,800, of which Harri- 
son Street Station was credited with 3,733. In 1883, 
the second year of Chief Doyle's service, the population 


of the city was estimated at 675,000. The total number 
of arrests this year was 37,187. 

Frederick Ebersold was the next general superintend- 
ent of police, and during the first year of his service in 
1886 the police department was confronted with one of 
the most gigantic and fearful crimes ever committed 
and one which will be remembered when the present 
force has passed away forever. This was the great Hay- 
market riot, which took place in Haymarket Square, near 
th,e corner of Desplaines and Randolph streets, on the 
night of May 4. 

By. the explosion of a dynamite bomb, thrown into 
the ranks of the policemen on duty there, one officer was 
killed instantly, six fatally wounded and sixty others 
more or less seriously injured, many of them being 
maimed or crippled for life. The story of that riot has 
been written often and is too well known to be repeated 

George W. Hubbard assumed command of the de- 
partment in 1888, and his report at the end of his first 
term of service showed that there was a total of 50,432 
arrests in the entire department, Harrison Street Sta- 
tion being credited with 3,522. 

On January i, 1890, Frederick H. Marsh was made 
general superintendent of police, and the total number 
of arrests for his term increased very largely from that 
of the previous year until it had reached a total of 

R. W. McClaughry succeeded to the office of general 
superintendent of police May 18, 189 1. 

Michael Brennen was appointed successor to Mc- 
Claughry. This was in the year 1893, during. the World's 
Fair, and when the number of arrests made in the entir*? 


department reached the enormous figure of 96,976, more 
than 30,000 greater than two years before. Harrison 
Street Station was credited with 6,633 of these arrests. 

In the following year the total number of arrests fell 
off about 8,000. In the year 1895, when J. J. Badenoch 
:was general superintendent, the total number of arrests 
'dropped to 83,464. 

Joseph Kipley was the next general superintendent of 
police, being appointed April 16, 1897, by Mayor Carter 
H. Harrison. The total number of arrests during his 
first term amounted to 83,680. Of this number, 4,695 
went to the Harrison Street Station. In 1898 there were 
77,441 arrests in the entire department, Harrison Street 
Station being given 4,347. Chief Kipley was reappointed 
in 1899, ^"^ during that year the grand total of arrests 
reached 71,349. Of this number, 4,917 were credited 
to the Harrison Street Station. Of a total of 70,438 
arrests made in 1900, Harrison Street Station was cred- 
ited with 4,763. Chief Kipley resigned at the expiration 
of his term. 

In 1901 Mayor Harrison appointed Francis O'Neill 
as general superintendent of police, which office he is 
holding at the present time. 

By figuring up total arrests made by the police depart- 
ment from 1 87 1 to the close of the official year 1900, ii 
is seen that there were 422,345 arrests, and of this amount 
a fair calculation gives to the Harrison Street Station 
a credit of 111,983. 

This is a brief history of the old Harrison Street 
Station to date, yet the half of it has not been told. 
More space would be required than is consumed in this 
entire volume to tell of all that has taken place within 
its walls. The police justices who have presided there 


could add much to that which is told by the detectives. 
The desk sergeant and the cell-keeper, the matron and , 
the patrol-driver, all could figure in the record of this 
old landmark of police history. 

But it will soon be only a memory. The march of 
progress is not only consigning this station to the dead 
past, but is driving the levee out of existence. Business 
men, promoting gigantic commercial enterprises, need 
the space occupied by the station and that used by dis- 
reputable houses adjacent to it, for advancement of trade, 
and in a few years this territory of depravity, immorality 
and crime will disappear from the map of Chicago. 

Tough saloon-keepers and the proprietors of thieving . 
resorts will be compelled to seek other localities. The 
advance of civilization and industry is too strong in the 
twentieth century to be obstructed by the cohorts of the 
world of crime. 

It has often been said that the world is daily growing 
more wicked, but the fact that morality will soon per- 
vade one of the most sinful spots that has evef thrived 
on the face of the earth disproves this assertion. While 
this work is being compiled, two of the most notorious 
and vicious resorts on Custom House place have closed" 
their doors under the crusade that is being made by 
Chief of Police O'Neill. "Tom" Gaynor and his brother 
John, who, with all their political "pull" and other in- 
fluence, could not stop the onward tread of virtue and 
commerce, have decided to go out of business. 

Nearly all the criminal history of the levee and Har- 
rison Street Station is contained in the different stories 
within the covers of this book; the other material facts 
concerning the station are given in this sketch. While 
the author stands aloof and watches the scenes of so 


many of his dangerous experiences melting away, he has 
no regrets, but is able to point with pride to the part he 
has taken in wiping out of existence one of the greatest 
pest-holes of crime in the world. 



Companies with high-sounding names and alleged gi- 
gantic capital stock flourished in Chicago for many years 
by conducting what was in reality nothing more or less 
than lotteries. They were patronized almost as exten- 
sively as the old Louisiana lottery,, but it is doubtful i£ 
their business was nearly as honest and square as that 
of the old concern. 

Many complaints were sent to the police department 
of Chicago by persons who claimed to have been s{vin- 
dled by these concerns. This started an investigation 
that resulted in the arrest of the agents of two of them 
and their subsequent indictment. The complaints were 
placed in the hands of Detective Wooldridge and two 
assistants, who collected enough evidence to warrant 
them to make the arrests. 

On April 5, 1900, the first man was taken into custody. 
He was D. H. Jones, who was the local manager of the 
Guaranty Loan and Trust Company of San Francisco, 
with offices in the Masonic Temple. There the detective 
took possession of 40,000 tickets and much printed mat- 
ter, including a circular letter of warning to the com- 
pany's patrons, who, judging from the corresponaence 
and books found in the office, numbered many thousands. 


The plan of this concern comprehended, according to its 
hterature, a system of loans. It claimed that by paying 
from 50 cents to $2 for a certificate of membership in the 
company, the patron was enabled to borrow sums of 
money ranging from $25 to $25,ocx), without having to 
furnish security, providing that the list of drawing certi- 
ficates which was issued contained a number correspond- 
ing to that on the alleged certificate held by the custo- 

An advertisement inserted in the morning paper by a 
man who claimed he had been swindled in this way gave 
the police the first intimation they had that a lottery was 
being conducted. This with other evidence was deemed 
sufficient to sustain the charges of conducting and pro- 
moting a lottery. When Detective Wooldridge entered 
Jones' office and asked if he was in, he replied : 

"Yes, that is my name. I suppose you wish to ne- 
gotiate a loan," 

"Of your time only," answered Detective Wooldridge, 
as he announced to the manager that he was under ar- 

This started a wild confusion in the office. Stenog- 
raphers attempted to escape by a side door, and over- 
turned typewriters, tables, chairs and waste paper baskets 
in their flight, but all were taken into custody before 
they reached the elevator. These employes, however, 
were not held by the police, who only took their names 
and addresses for the purpose of using them as wit- 

When arrested, Jones was writing a letter in which 
he outlined precautions that should be taken on account 
of attempts which he thought would be made by the 


officials to apply a lottery law to this company. Jones 
was taken to the Harrison Street Police Station when 
.arrested. The next morning he was held on $1,300 bail, 
m default of which he was taken to jail. 

The list of bonds published by the company, it was 
found out, were merely announcements of the prizes that 
had been drawn. Some persons who owned tickets did 
not receive loans. Jones said this was because the col- 
lateral was no good. It was found that he conducted 
business through the express companies instead of 
through the mails, but he refused to give his reason for 
doing this. The company, according to the circular let- 
ter which was found, had three correspondents, namely, 
Lathrop & Company, 123 Market street, San Francisco, 
for the Pacific states ; D. F. Piatt, 96 Fifth avenue, New 
York, for the eastern states and Charles H. Kissam, 125 
Dearborn street, Chicago, for the middle and western 
states. Among the letters found was one addressed to 
Kissam which read as follows : 

"Please send me some printed matter and rules in regard to 
the Guaranty Loan and Trust Company, as I think I can handle 
some tickets. I have certificate No. 8061 1 for January, 1900. I 
have ijot seen the list yet, but hope it's a winner." 

Jones was indicted and held to the criminal court. 
A few days after the arrest of Jones, Detective Wool- 
dridge raided the office of John J. Jacobs, who was the 
manager of 'the Montana Mining and Investment Com- 
pany, located in Temple Court building, at the corner of 
Quincy and Dearborn streets. The same charge was 
made against him that was made against Jones : that 
of conducting a lottery. In this place the detective seized 
-^certificates, which very closely resembled lottery tickets, 
to the face value of $70,000. Jacobs' plan was similar 


to that used by Jones. Customers were given certificates, 
whose value ran from 25 cents to $1, and the buyer of 
each certificate had the right under the stipulations made 
in the circulars to borrow money without security at any 
time, but he only could get his money when the number 
on the certificate corresponded to a number on the 
monthly list. This in the language of the literature of 
the company made him an "eligible applicant for a loan." 
The police were of the opinion that the list contained 
few "eligibles." A letter found in Jacobs' office showed 
that their construction of the game was correct. The 
letter was ffom an agent in Philadelphia, and was as 
follows : 

Dear Sir: — Inclosed find November returns, also the amount 
of which I was short in my October account. Some time ago 
I intimated to Mr. Haupt that a "principal loan" to Philadelphia 
would swell my sales of certificates. 

The $7,500 coming here last month has done the trick, and I 
worked it for all it was worth, too, as far as my stock of cer- 
tificates lasted. A friend — financially so situated as to enable 
him to do so — cheerfully corroborated the statement of receiv- 
ing the money, with the result that I was completely sold out 
of certificates several days ago. But for some dilatory collec- 
tions of my sub-agents, I believe I could have sold at least one 
hundred more; did not send for them for the reason that I 
probably would not receive them on time. 

Were I sole agent here I would know how to derive all the 
benefit possible out of all the "principal loans" you could con- 
sistently send this way without causing any ugly conflictions or 
unsavory details. 

The result of such tactics would be to knock out the old 
Louisiana, as the money that came to my friend has converted 
no less than fifty Louisiana cranks into the Montana belief. 

One of the principal loans sent here occasionally will do the 
businesss. Yours sincerely, 


It was evident that $7,500 was not distributed by the 
company. A statement to that effect, however, was 
circulated by the Philadelphia agent, and he induced his 


friend, who had enough money to convince inquirers that 
he had drawn a prize, to uphold him in this statement. 
A "principal loan" was supposed to have been made 
in Philadelphia, and then there was a rush for tickets 
and certificates. 

Jacobs and a bookkeeper, who was also taken into 
custody, were taken to the Harrison Street Station. The 
former did not appear to be greatly disconcerted by his 
arrest, notwithstanding the damaging evidence found 
against him by Wooldridge. He declared he had been 
engaged in selling mining stocks on the same plan in 
Chicago since 1892, and no efforts had ever been made 
before to interrupt his business. No attempt had been 
made by him, he said, to use the United States mails 
to promote his plan of selling certificates. 

Abundant evidence was found in his office, however, 
to disprove this statement. There was a large number 
of envelopes containing letters and printed matter giving 
details of his scheme, many of which were from cus- 
tomers who had sent money orders, checks and cash, 
amounting to a large sum, and some making inquiries 
as to when the next drawing would take place. These 
letters were from every section of the country and 
were writt^ by persons in every degree of life. 

In the safe, which was opened by the police, was 

found several hundred tickets and certificates ranging 

from 25 cents to $1. A letter from an agent in Omaha 

was found which indicated that the company had been 

doing an extensive business there. It was from a brother 

of Davis, and was as follows: 

"Send me $25 worth of February goods at 25 cents for H. P. 
Hansen, 724 South Thirteenth street, Omaha. Rush 'em out to 
ihe^ Swedish agent. I have more business here than a school 
boy, and am billing the city properly." 


Other letters were found which referred to "draw- 
ings," and some spoke of lucky numbers and mentioned 
the names of some of the winners. 

Three charges were made against Jacobs, that of con- 
ducting a lottery, promoting a lottery scheme and selling 
lottery tickets. 

He was held to the grand jury in bonds of $1,500 and 
later indicted. 

Both these cases were put on the court calendar for 
trial, but have not been disposed of at this writing. 
Since then there have been no fraudulent schemes of 
this kind in Chicago, or at least no complaints have been 
made to the police. 



After a dangerous encounter, Detective Wooldridge 
arrested a colored footpad, Charles Smith, by chasing 
him several blocks and had to threaten to shoot the 
leaders of the mob to prevent the prisoner from being 

Wooldridge was concealed in an alley near Polk street 
on the night of June 26, 1894, for the purpose of arrest- 
ing some hold-up men who had infested the locality for 
some time. He had not been there long when an old 
gentleman stepped into the alley from Polk street. In- 
stantly two colored men seized him. One held his throat 
while the other, after dealing a vicious blow with a slung 
shot, began to go through his pockets. 

Wooldridge saw both of the men when they" ran into 


the alley and seized the stranger, and with one bound was 
at their side. Covering both robbers with his revolver, 
he commanded them to surrender. They had not noticed 
VVooldridge up to this time, so bent were they on getting 
all the change which their victim might have had in his 

Both men released their victim and faced the officer. 
The ©ne with the slung shot made a vicious blow at 
Wooldridge, which, had it taken effect, would have 
crushed his skull, but the little detective was not to be 
caught napping while he had two desperate robbers 
facing him. He jumped aside and fired at the man, 
the shot taking effect in his hip, and clasping the wound 
with his hands the robber fell to the ground. 

The officer next seized Charles Smith by the coat tail, 
but the cloth parted, and leaving part of his coat in 
Wooldridge's hands Smith started on a full run west on 
Polk street to Pacific avenue. There were hundreds of 
people on the street, and Wooldridge did not dare shoot 
at Smith for fear of hitting an innocent person, but 
he fired three shots in the air and blew his whistle, which 
attracted two special officers and a flagman for the Lake 
Shore & Michigan Southern railroad at the corner of 
Taylor street and Pacific avenue, who intercepted Smith 
in his flight for liberty. 

He was placed under arrest and a start made for the 
station, but before going half a block more than five 
hundred men xnd children surrounded the officer and 
his prisoner, and .cried, "Hang the robber!" "Hang 
him !" 

Wooldridge drew his revolver, and threatened to kill 
the first man who laid a hand on his prisoner. There 


were five or six men in the crowd whom Wooldridge 
knew personally, and he called on them for assistance. 

Smith was finally landed behind the bars at the Har- 
rison Street Station. Several men were sent with the 
patrol wagon to Polk street to bring in the wounded 
robber, but he had made his escape and could not be 
found, though a thorough search was made. 

Charles Smith was arraigned the following morning, 
fined $ioo and sent to the House of Correction. He 
would have been bound over to the criminal court, but 
his victim could not stay in the city to prosecute him. 



On the night of June 5, 1894, two colored women, 
Ella Sherwood and Mattie Moore, were drinking in a 
saloon at the comer of Polk street and Pacific avenue. 
They became engaged in a quarrel, when the Sherwood 
woman drew a revolver and shot her companion, who 
fell to the floor dead. The murderess then ran out of the 
saloon and fled east on Polk street. 

Detective Wooldridge was passing along Clark street, 
and hearing the shot, started to the saloon to see what 
caused the shooting. He met Ella Sherwood, and think- 
ing her actions suspicious, placed her under arrest. Just 
then another officer came running up and Wooldridge 
turned his prisoner over to him until he could make an 
investigation. Entering the saloon he found that the 
Sherwood woman did the shooting. He then asked the 


officer, who was guarding his prisoner, to call the wagon 
and send her to the station, while he secured the wit- 

This officer, finding it was a murder and a good catch, 
took the woman to the station and booked her to him- 
self and another officer, which, under the circumstances, 
was, to say the least of it, very unfair on his part. It 
would not have been so bad if he had only claimed a 
share of the honors with Wooldridge, who made the 

Wooldridge gathered five or six witnesses and took 
them to the station, and made a report of the shooting 
to the Chief of Police, not knowing that the arrest of the 
Sherwood woman was credited to any one except to 

•The case was allowed to stand, the credit of the arrest 
going to the two officers, and Wooldridge was ordered 
to assist them on the case. They refused all assistance 
and neglected to bring the witnesses into court or have 
them before the grand jury. They were only accustomed 
to handling drunk and disorderly cases, which would 
take care of^themselves. 

When the case was called for trial before the criminal 
court, they knew nothing, had no witnesses and no evi- 
dence prepared for the state, consequently Ella Sherwood 
was discharged, when she should have been hanged. 

Few of the notorious footpads who frequented the 
levee had a greater criminal record than Ella Sherwood. 
She was one of the most daring strong-arm habitues 
of this district. She was an opium fiend, and one of the 
most vicious colored women that ever roamed the street 
When her temper was aroused she would fight like an 
infuriated tigress, and was always armed with a revolver 


and dirk. She has been connected with a number of 
shooting and cutting affrays. 

Some months prior to the shooting, Ella Sherwood 
robbed a ranchman from Kansas of $375, which she gave 
to a saloon man to keep until the robbery had blown over 
and the ranchman had left town. She then went to him 
and asked for the money. He only gave her the laugh, 
told her he was going to keep it, and wanted to know 
what she was going to do about it. 

Ella soon convinced him what she was going to do. 
She armed herself with a revolver and a baseball bat. 
With the bat she knocked the front windows out, then 
whipped out her revolver and riddled the saloon, almost 
every bottle in the place being shot into pieces. She 
was arrested, and the saloon man lost no time in turning 
over the money, and even refused to prosecute her. 

After this a white man with whom she had been liv- 
ing deserted her for another woman, who was also a 
notorious footpad. This so aroused the jealousy of Ella 
Sherwood that she went after the other woman and came 
near killing her. One of the cuts she inflicted commenced 
from the lower part of the eye and extended to the lower 
part of her face, down to the bone. The whole jaw was 
almost severed, and she was marked for life. 

Ella fled to Kansas City, where she was arrested by 
Officers Jones and Reed, brought back, and bound over 
to the grand jury, but when her victim was wanted as a 
witness, she could not be found. 

Ella Sherwood went to Springfield once in company 
with her lawyer for the purpose of getting a negro 
named Louis Baker pardoned. Baker was serving an 
indefinite time in Joliet penitentiary for larceny. It is 
not known what representation was made to Governor 



Altgeld for clemency, but the chief executive of Illinois 
promised to look into the case. Baker was among the 
batch of convicts pardoned the day before Thanksgiving 
that year, and the Sherwood woman was at the gates 
to meet him. 

She was locked up later at the Harrison Street Sta- 
tion charged with assault. While standing in her cell 
with her hands clutching the bars of the door, she paid 
this extravagant tribute to Governor Altgeld : 

"Mista Altgeld, he's jes' de nices' man in de whole 
state of Illinois. He pahdoned out my fellow, Looey 
Baker, afta he'd been in Joliet jes' twenty-seven days. 
It costs me fo' hundred dollahs to get him out. Yes, 
indeed, fo' hundred cool plunks. I tole Mistah Ander- 
son if he get Looey out I'd give him fo' hundred, and 
I did jes as shoo as I'm standin' heah. When me and 
Mr. Anderson went down to Springfield to see the gov- 
nah, he was jes' as nice as pie to us. Mistah Altgeld 
is jes' a perfec' gem'en. It cuts no ice with him, white 
or black. We talked about what a nice good boy Looey 
was, an' de ole^air o' pants he stole wa'n't no good. 
When we come home I tole de govnah I'd die fer him 
if he'd pahdon Looey, an' I would, too. But it cost me 
fo' hundred, jes' de same." 



Detective Wooldridge in September, 1895, made a 
clever capture of a man who made an exclusive business 
of stealing plumbers' tools. He had become so perfect 
in his methods that his victims had almost despaired of 
ever catching him. Detective Wooldridge was detailed 
on the case, and after an investigation of the complaints 
and informing himself of the man's plan of operation, 
arrested him in two hours. 

For several months complaints were made at the Har- 
rison Street Station by the owners of plumbers' shops 
that they were being plundered regularly of tools, lead 
pipes, etc. 

The detective discovered that a man of the name of 
John McCabe was selling a quantity, of tools and pipe 
at a second-hand store on Harrison street near Custom 
House place, and that he was a daily visitor there. Woold- 
ridge secreted himself in the second-hand store on Sep- 
tember 19, 1895, and after waiting two hours, was re- 
warded for his trouble. 

Mr. McCabe, dressed as a machinist, with a suit of 
overalls on, a pencil behind his ear, and a book in his 
hand, walked in. In this guise he would visit a plumb- 
ing shop, and if he found no one there, which he fre- 
quently did, he would use his bunch of keys, unlckk the 
door, or in case the keys did not fit he would use a 
jimmy, and get in any way, taking away the most salable 

He had been seen many times by the neighbors of 
some of the plumbers, when he came or went to the 


places, and on several occasions was stopped and ques- 
tioned, but in the garb of a machinist, with book and 
pencil, and a 'list of what he had, he would tell them 
that the owner of the shop had sent him, and those 
who made the inquiry would suppose it was one of the 

On one occasion, when McCabe could not gain an 
entrance by keys and was forcing his way, the man 
who lived next door to the plumbing shop, when told 
that the plumber had sent him in great haste after some 
tools, even assisted him in forcing the door, thinking 
he was doing his neighbor a good turn. 

When arrested, McCabe had his arms full of tools. 
He was taken to the Harrison Street Station and held 
for a further investigation. Several hours later John 
Pickett, of 344 Clark street, reported that his place had 
been broken into. He was shown the tools, which he 
identified, and also recognized McCabe as the man who 
was hanging around the shop when he left it. 

Ten cases were made out against McCabe and he con- 
fessed. He was heH to the criminal court, indicted, and 
when arraigned for trial was sentenced October lo, to 
an indefinite lime in the Joliet penitentiary by Judge 
Sears. He had served one term there before for the 
same offense. 



Two birds figured as the heroes in incidents in the 
career of Detective Wooldridge. The sagacity of one 


caused the arrest of a thief, and the other saved a house 
from destruction by fire. 

In 1894, Siegel, Cooper & Co., proprietors of the larg- 
est department store in the world, discovered that some 
one had been stealing birds from them. Nearly every 
day one of the songsters was missed. One man, who 
had been frequenting the bird department daily and 
buying a small quantity of bird seed, was suspected of the 
thefts. He came in as usual one day, and just as he 
started to leave a small boy saw him reach into a cage 
and take a mocking bird out. The boy gave the alarm 
and a clerk went in pursuit of the thief. When the 
latter reached the door, Detective Wooldridge entered 
and heard the clerk accuse the man. Both his hands were 
buried in his pockets. Wooldridge inquired what he had 
in his pockets. 

"Nothing," he replied, but just then the imprisoned 
mocking bird began to sing, "Going to Leave My Happy 
Home." The thief then gave up the bird, and it was 
returned to its cage. 

The bird thief, who gave his name as Charles Huber, 
was taken to the station, where he confessed stealing 
other birds and selling them. He was sent to the House 
of Correction. 

In 1897, a fire started in the closet in the flat of Mrs. 
Ritter, on Wabash avenue. Mrs. Ritter owned an in- 
telligent parrot, 'which, on seeing the flames burst out, 
began to scream, "Fire!" as loudly as it could. At the 
same time some one in the adjoining room discovered 
the blaze and began to fire a pistol to attract attention. 
Detective Wooldridge was passing by, and after turn- 
ing in an alarm ran up to the flat in which the fire had 


been discovered. The flames were bursting eut ©f the 
closet and had just reached a handsome piano cover. 

Wooldridge caught tlij piano cover, and throwing it 
into the closet clostd the door and kept the blaze from 
spreading. The fire department soon arrived and ex- 
tinguished the fire, which caused very little damage. 

The parrot continued to scream "Fire!" "Fire!" until 
the firemen left the house. It afforded a great deal of 
amusement to every one. 



The negro and his razor have always cut a large figure 
in police and detective work. There seems to be an 
affinity between a colored man and a razor. 

Here is a story which shows how the detective was 
adroit enough to prevent the use of one of these dan- 
gerous and deadly weapons on him. 

While patroling his post at the Stanton Avenue Police 
Station on the night of May 27, 1891, Officer C. R. 
Wooldridge discovered two men on the opposite side 
of the street, coming out of a side window from H. 
Woolmen's residence, which was in the rear of his 
tailor ghop, 31 11 Prairie avenue. Officer Wooldridge 
gave chase and caught one of the two, Harry Anderson, 
who, after he was placed under arrest, stooped down, 
presumably for the purpose of lacing his shoe, when 
all at jxnce he reached for a razor he had concealed on 
the inside of his sock. 

It was very evident that Anderson intended carving 
his way to liberty and life, but both movemint and mo- 


live were discovered before he had time to put them into 

Wooldridge, with one blow from his heavy oak baton, 
dehvered under the ear, knocked his prisoner out, and 
before he came to his senses, the detective had secured 
the razor and had the handcuffs, or, as they are called 
in police parlance, "come-alongs," on his wrists, and 
at the point of the revolver took him to the patrol box, 
called for the wagon and landed him behind the bars. 
The other fellow, who had been with him, made his 

It appears that this man had effected an entrance into 
the residence by raising up a window, and had with his 
partner collected several hundred dollars' worth of goods, 
which they were tying up when they were discovered by 
a daughter of Mr. Woolmen, who instantly gave the 
alarm, and the two ruffians fled, leaving their booty be- 

Anderson was taken to the Bureau of Identification 
at the Harrison Street Police Station, and was identified 
as an ex-convict who had recently come from the Joliet 
penitentiary, where he had just served a term for the 
same offense. 

He was held to the grand jury, but was discharged 
because they got the little girl witness so confused on the 
witness stand, she lost her head completely, which weak- 
ened the evidence. . 



In the early days of Detective Wooldridge's service 
in the Chicago police department and while he was trav- 


eling a post from the Warren Avenue Station, he pre- 
vented a burglary, which three men were intent upon, 
and captured one of the robbers and wounded another, 
This was accompUshed, however, after one of the most 
desperate hand-to-hand struggles he ever engaged in, 
and when it was over, Wooldridge and the captured man 
were both badly used up. 

On the night of June 4, 1889, Wooldridge saw three 
men near the residence of Edward Shaw cross, 931 Jack- 
son boulevard. Rain "had been falling in torrents and 
the officer was nearly as wet as if he had taken a plunge 
into the lake. A heavy fog had settled over the city 
which enabled Wooldridge to get close to the burglars 
without being detected. 

He hid behind a small tree, and the men came to 
within a few feet of him and turned into the alley in the 
rear of the residence and soon began to bore holes in the 
rear door of the bourse. Wooldridge stepped out and 
called to them to surrender. 

Instead of this they turned on the officer and knocked 
him down three times, inflicting a scalp wound in the back 
of the head. While they had him down he managed to 
draw his revolver and fired. One of his assailants fell 
with a bullet in his thigh and begged for his life. At the 
same time he caught hold of the leg of another and they 
came up together. When they went down again Woold- 
ridge was on top. He held fast to his man and finally 
clubbed him with the butt of his revolver into submis-, 
sion. J,n the meantime the wounded man had gotten up 
and ran away. Wooldridge saw the third scaling a fence 
and fired at him, but he also escaped. 

The shots brought two other officers to his assistance, 


who searched the neighoorhood for the two burglars who 
had gotten away, but they could not be found. 

The prisoner was taken to the station and proved to be 
Frank Kelly, a notorious sneak thief and room worker, 
and who had served a term in the penitentiary. He had 
also just gotten out of the House of Correction, where 
he served a year for larceny. 

When the case was taken before the grand jury, Shaw- 
cross and his wife requested that body not to return an 
indictment, as they did not want to appear as prosecu- 
tors, and consequently Kelly was discharged. 


A pickpocket came near being mobbed in February, 
1894, for trying to steal a purse from Mrs. George D. 
Potter at 320 Dearborn street. Mrs. Potter and a lady 
friend were standing in a doorway at that number, when 
she felt a tugging at her coat pocket, and turning, saw 
a young man with her pocketbook in his hand. She 
struggled with the thief, but the fellow broke away and 
ran, with hundreds of pedestrians in pursuit. At Cus- 
tom House place and Harrison street Detective Woold- 
ridge joined in the chase. Wooldridge overtook the 
fugitive and recognized him as John Burns. The officer 
had a hard time in getting the prisoner to the station. 
The crowd which followed seemed determined to wreak 
severe punishment on the thief, but another officer ap- 
peared and kept the enraged mob back, and the man 
was landed safely behind the bars at the station, charged 
with highway robbery. Dr. Wise of 324 Dearborn 
street testified that he saw Burns throw the pocketbook 


away, which contained $7, and that he, the doctor, 
picked it np and gave it to the officer. Burns was ar- 
raigned for trial May 16, 1894, before Judge Payne and 
given sixty days in the House of Correction. 



This work would scarcely be complete without a ref- 
erence to four men who figured largely in the police 
history — Michael J. Schaack, the big inspector, whose 
earthly career ended while still in service at the East 
Chicago Avenue Station ; John R. Bonfield, one of the 
old-time inspectors; Charles G. Koch and Ed. Laugh- 

Michael J. Schaack was born in Germany in 1843, 
and came to America with his family in 1853. He came 
to Chicago with his father and mother, and entered 
the regular police force as patrolman June 15, 1869, be- 
ing assigned to duty at the old armory station. 

He was promoted successively as sergeant, detective 
and lieutenant. August 17, 1885, he was made captain 
and placed in charge of the old Fifth precinct, where 
he remained until a short time after the Haymarket 
riot, when he was transferred to the Desplaines Street 
Station, where he remained until September, 1887. 

He was then sent back to his former station, and 
laterjvas made inspector of police at the East Chicago 
Avenue Station by Mayor Harrison. He remained on 
duty there until his death in May, 1898. 

John R. Bonfield was born in County Clare, Ireland, 


April, 1836. The family came to America in 1842. In 
the summer of 1844 settled in Chicago. In the spring 
of 1877 he began his first duty in the police department 
as patrolman and was assigned to the Twenty-second 
Street Station. 

After two years he was taken to the Central Station 
and placed on the detective force. After this he was 
promoted as lieutenant and given command of the Twen- 
ty-second Street District. Soon after the first election 
of Mayor Harrison, senior, he was transferred to Des- 
plaines street, and a year later was ordered to West 
Twelfth street, then known as the terror district. 

Following this, six months later, he was made captain 
with headquarters at Central Station. When Captain 
Ebersold was promoted to the inspectorship, he was 
placed in command of the Third Precinct, and when 
Ebersold was made superintendent Bonfield was selected 
to supersede him as inspector. He is at present lieuten- 
ant in charge of the Seventh Precinct. 

Charles G. Koch, who is at present on the retired list 
of captains, was born at Hessen, Germany, in 1847. He 
came to Chicago in 1865 and joined the police force 
in 1872. While acting as patrolman he was seriously 
wounded in a fight with a half-dozen tough characters 
at Halsted and Thirty-seventh streets. 

He shot three of them, two of them dying the next 
day. He was promoted gradually until he reached 
the position of captain, and remained in the service in 
this capacity until he was made inspector and assigned 
to the Harrison Street Station. He made an enviable 
record as a police ofiicer. 

Ed.- Lauf^hlin was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 
1843. He came to Chicago in 1862 and entered the 


police force in 1872 as a patrolman. He was promoted 
rapidly as a reward for meritorious service, and became 
lieutenant of police of the Harrison Street Station. 

Later he was made inspector of police, and has a long 
and creditable record as a police officer. He has always 
borne himself bravely and stands high in the estimation 
of his superiors and brother officers. 



One of the most famous white female footpads of the 
levee, and one who has given the police as much trouble 
as dozens of others combined and terrorized the district 
for more than ten years, was Kitty Adams, She was 
known to be a dangerous woman in all the practices in 
which the characters ot that locality indulged, and 
though once convicted and sentenced to a term in prison, 
secured her release by strategy and returned to her old 

Kitty Adams was the wife of a pickpocket named 
George Shine, whose picture is in the rogues' gallery 
and who is known to the police as a "good man," which 
means to the outsider that he is a very bad man. Years 
ago this woman lived in a house in the lower section 
of Clark street and was famous among the police for 
always carrying a razor. Whenever^ it became neces- 
sary^© arrest her, the officers who were assigned to the 
duty always kept an eye open for the appearance of that 
deadly weapon. One night her house was raided and 
she jumped from a third-story window. She was pur- 


sued by two officers and ran down Clark street to Polk 
street, where she fell over a curbing and broke one of 
her collar bones. 

At another time she had some trouble with the driver 
of a scavenger wagon in an alley west of Clark street, 
and drawing out her ever-ready razor she cut a gash 
six inches long in the side of one of the horses. About 
this time she became famous as one of the band of the 
strong-arm women which had so long defied the police 
and which had been such a terror to strangers in Chi- 

Finally, however, she wag arrested and convicted of 
highway robbery and sent to the penitentiary at 
Joliet. In a few months her friends secured a petition 
which was signed by a great many sympathetic people, 
declaring that she was dying of consumption and re- 
questing the governor to pardon her. An investigation 
followed, and when Kitty Adams was brought before 
the committee on pardons, she convinced the members 
of that committee that she was suffering from hemor- 
rhages. She did this by puncturing her gums with a 
toothpick until they bled freely. While she was before 
them, she coughed in imitation of a consumptive and 
expectorated the blood from the bleeding gums. This 
clever scheme readily convinced the committee that she 
was going to die in a week, and when they reported 
her condition to the governor she was at once pardoned. 

She returned to Chicago and went back to her old 
haunts, and week after week she was arrested on dis- 
orderly charges, but was usually discharged after paying 
a small fine. On August 15, 1896, she and Jennie Clark 
attacked and robbed an old and respectable business 
man while he was walking to his home opposite Hop- 


kins' Theater on State street. Kitty at once said to 
her companion : 

"There's a guy with rocks. Let's get him." 

In a moment they overtook him and without any for- 
malities Kitty threw her arm around his neck and held 
his head back, while her partner in crime went through 
his pockets and relieved him of all the money he had, 
which was only $5. This case was made famous on 
account of the fact that when the two women were 
arrested and arraigned for trial, the late Judge Goggin, 
who was then presiding in one of the branches of the 
criminal court, practically endorsed robbery of this char- 
acter and reprimanded the victim of these two women. 
Before this both women were sent to jail, but the Adams 
woman gave bond and did not appear for trial when 
the case was called. Jennie Clark, however, was in 
court face to face with her victim. After hearing but 
little of the evidence, Judge Goggin stopped the proceed- 
ings and said to the prosecutor, who had just related the 
facts in the robbery: 

"It serves you right, sir. You ought to have known 
better. You are an old man and look as though you 
might be a Sunday-school teacher. Probably you are 
a Sunday-school teacher, and have been doing like many 
others when they want to have a good time. What 
business had you out at that time is what I'd like to 
know. Let the prisoner be discharged." 

While the victim of these two women was in their 
cluFches he shouted for help. At that moment Detective 
Wooldridge turned the corner of Congress street about 
twenty feet away and heard the cry. Before the robbers 
had found their hiding places they were caught by the 


detective and identified by a number of people who saw 
the hold-up. 

In 1898 Kitty Adams was again arrested for larceny. 
She was held to the grand jury, but gave bonds and 
then ran away, going to some small town in Illinois. 
Later she was arrested there as a fugitive from Justice 
and taken back to Chicago, where, on June 6, she was 
tried and sentenced to Joliet penitentiary for an in- 
definite term, and it is not likely she will get out on the 
same pretense which liberated her before. 


Detective Wooldridge probably saved his star once 
by preventing the escape of a prisoner whom he had 
arrested for robbery. On October 6, 1895, Monroe 
Thompson, alias Chick Monroe, a colored highwayman, 
held up an aged soldier at Polk and State streets, robbed 
him of $36 and got away with the money. He was 
arrested the next day by Detective Wooldridge and taken 
before Justice Underwood for trial. The detective turned 
away for a minute in the court room, and the negro made 
a dash for liberty. Wooldridge wheeled in time to see 
his prisoner trying to escape, and started in pursuit. 
The fugitive and detective rushed through the crowd 
in the court room, and a number of persons in attend- 
ance were roughly handled by both, but Wooldridge was 
determined to recapture his man. One woman was 
tumbled over into a crowd of Chinamen who were pres- 
ent and her screams aroused the whole room. Thomp- 
son was caught by Wooldridge just as he reached the 
door, and was brought back and held to the grand 


jury under bonds of $800, after taking a change of 
venue from Justice Underwood to Justice Richardson. 
When the case reached the grand jury, however, it was 
thrown out because the victim of the robbery refused to 
return and prosecute. 



The work of a detective often reveals some strange 
stories, some of which are filled with romance and others 
with misfortunes, sorrows and distress. The one re- 
lated below discloses a romance and acquaints us with 
a hero who would not permit a footpad to interrupt his 

He was smiling in spite of two heavy valises, when he 
passed through the gate and took a seat in the forward 
end of one of the coaches of the three-o'clock east-bound 
train. The train left on time. 

Before it had proceeded to Sixteenth street some 
mysterious hand had pulled the bell cord. While pas- 
sengers and train crew looked about to see why the 
train had stopped so suddenly, John Johnson, a farmer 
of Calloway, Custer county, Neb., was pursuing a Chi- 
cago robber up Clark street. The highwayman had $120 
of Mr. Johnson's money. 

The thief ran down the street and turned into an alley, 
soon distancing Johnson. The latter was directed to the 
Harrison Street Police Station to report the robbery. 

It was on a Sunday, about 3 p. m., when he came rush- 
ing into the station, hat in one hand, two valises in the 


other, and the perspiration streaming down his face. 
He certainly bore the most forlorn and distressed face 
ever seen, and in a loud voice asked "if that," meaning 
the police station, "was the Mayor's office, and where 
the Chief of Police was, for he wanted to see him right 
away on d — d important business." 

Thinking him some eccentric or a crazy person, the 
desk sergeant and several others standing by thought 
to have a little fun at his expense, and pointed out De- 
tective Wooldridge, who just then entered the room, as 
the chief, to whom he narrated his troubles with tears 
in his eyes. 

He shook like a man with palsy. He said his name 
was John Johnson, from Calloway, Custer county. Neb., 
and that he was on his way east to be married, and 
that he was due in Cleveland December 3, as he was to 
be married that night ; that as he boarded the train a 
thief had snatched his pocketbook and fled. 

Wooldridge secured a description of the man and told 
him every stone should be turned that could be, and 
that he would put out twenty of the best detectives on 
the force and have the man inside of a few hours, or 
any way by morning, if he would wait over. 

To that, however, he said " No " most emphatically, 
declaring that he did not intend to remain over one 
minute longer than the next train, which left at 8 p. m., 
as he did not propose to disappoint that "gal," who had 
waited for him fifteen years. 

"I will be there in time for the wedding," was the 
telegram John Johnson sent from the Lake Shore sta- 
tion to Miss Isabella Martha Rust at 3272 Spadford 
avenue, Cleveland. 

The robbery of John Johnson brought to light a little 


romance which had been running its course for fifteen 
years. John Johnson and Martha Isabella Rust were 
playmates together in South Victoria, Canada. Their 
parents lived near each other, on the same street of the 
little Canadian town, and in the morning when Martha 
Isabella Rust started for school, she found John John- 
son waiting on the curb to carry her lunch, and hand- 
in-hand they tripped along to the school-house. 

"When we get big like papa and mamma," said John, 
"we will get married. I will be your husband and you 
will be my wife." 

Martha Isabella agreed to the proposal every day or 
two, and so the children grew to manhood and woman- 
hood. But when they did get old enough to think about 
marriage and a word of their intentions was whispered 
to their parents, a prohibitory command was issued. 
Then John secretaly plighted troth with his young fiancee 
and left Canada to winius fortune. 

" When I am rich," he told her, " I will return and 
we will be married anyway." 

Johnson crossed to Rochester, N. Y., and there heard 
of the opportunities for young men in the far west. 
He took a train for the cattle ranges of Nebraska. Sev- 
eral years were spent in the saddle, and saving the money 
that he earned. Finally he had enough money in the 
bank to buy a piece of land and stock it. This was two 
miles from Calloway, in Custer county. Everything pros- 
pered and soon more land and more cattle were pur- 

By the heat of buffalo-chip fire John fried his own 
steak and made his own coffee until he thought he could 
support a wife. He wrote to Martha Isabella Rust, who 
had moved to Cleveland. She was of the " old opinion 


still," and John made her a visit. The day set for the 
Wedding was December 3. He returned to his home to 
await the day. 

Meanwhile he sold some cattle, procured a wedding suit, 
and with $200 in his pocket started for Cleveland. He 
reached Chicago and went to the Garden City Hotel for 
^the night. He was so pleased over the outcome of the 
long courtship that he told all of the guests of the hotel 
about it and about the money in his pocket. 

When he went to the depot and sat down, a stranger 
paced back and forth before him. When Johnson boarded 
the train this same man came through the car. 

" Will you give me a match ? " he asked. Johnson ac- 
commodated him, and the man went into the smoker. 
After the train had started the man returned and asked 
Johnson to give him two $10 bills for four $5 bills. John- 
son drew his roll of money out and searched for the bills. 
The man seized a handful and rushed to the door. John- 
son caught him, but was knocked down. Then Johnson 
pulled the bell cord and brought the train to a stop. He 
seized his two valises and pursued the fugitive. The man 
escaped, and Johnson applied to the Harrison Street 
Police Station. 

Detective Wooldridge was detailed to search for the 
robber. The chief of detectives of the Lake Shore road 
also offered assistance, and he requested Johnson to stay 
a few days until a search could be made. 

" Not a day," said Johnson. " I have waited fifteen 
years and I have said that it shall come off Wednesday. 
I will be there if I am robbed a hundred times, and I 
have telegraphed home for more money. Do you think 
I will permit a Chicago footpad to prevent what my 
parents fought against in vain for fifteen years ? " 


When Johnson returned to Chicago with his bride, 
Detective Wooldridge had the thief under bond, but the 
young wife persuaded her husband to proceed to their 
western home. She declared they could do without the 
money that had been stolen, and did not want her husband 
to have to return to Chicago to attend the trial. The 
case was therefore dismissed for want of prosecution. 



Police officers have been connected with many cases 
in which the truth of the saying that " murder will out " 
was demonstrated. One of these cases came up in the 
work of Detective Wooldridge. 

On October 6, 1893,. David Conners, alias " Daddy " 
Connors, and James Lamon, a brakeman, gambler and 
confidence manj/went to Charles Patterson's saloon, 1441 
State street, and engaged in a game of dice. .Lamon and 
Connors became involved in a quarrel and blows were 
passed between them. They were separated by the pro- 
prietor and Lamon was advised to go home. 

He started, and had just got out on the sidewalk and 
on the way to his boardiilg-house, when Connors started 
after him. Patterson and a man named Bauer tried to 
stop him, and discovered that he had a knife in his hand. 
Breaking away, he again started on a run after Lamon. 
^auer called to Lamon to look out for Connors, as 
he had a knife. At the warning Lamon turned around, 
and as he did so Connors slashed the knife across the 
abdomen, inflicting a wound which disemboweled him. 


Bauer ran up and grabbed Connors and attempted to hold 
him until the arrival of the police, but Connors slashed 
at him with the knife, cutting his coat in several places, 
but fortunately he escaped with only a slight wound. 

Connors broke away and made his escape. Lamon was 
taken to the St. Luke's Hospital where he lingered for 
a few days and died. 

Detective Wooldridge was detailed on the case. Lamon 
refused to tell who did the cutting, although notified 
that he was in a serious condition and would die. 

The detective finally secured the names of those in the 
saloon at the time, and arrested and took them to the 
station. At first they refused to give any information, 
but after being locked up a while, one of them weakened 
and said that it was " Daddy " Connors, and little by 
little the information was pumped out of them until he 
had the whole facts. 

Before Lamon died he took his ante-mortem state- 
ment at the hospital, and with all this information at- 
tended the inquest. The jury heard the evidence and 
recommended that Connors be held to the grand jury for 
the murder of James Lamon. 

Wooldridge next secured a photograph and descrip- 
tion of Connors, and issued a circular to locate and ar- 
rest him. On April lo, 1894, Wooldridge learned that 
he was in Chicago and notified the Chief of Police. 
Through his eflForts and work Connors was located on 
the west side, and a number of officers were detailed to 
assist Wooldridge to arrest him. He was arrested and 
Wooldridge took charge of the case, and when the trial 
came up, through the evidence presented by Wooldridge 
and his untiring energy in pushing it, Connors was, on 
November 30, 1894, sentenced in Judge Blank's court 


to twenty-one years in the p^nitentiary. He died there 
two years later. 



A clever and successful plan was executed by De- 
tective Wooldridge in August, 1891, to capture the men 
who robbed H. Wagner, a saloon keeper at 3144 State 
street. The burglars rifled his cash drawer and also took 
away a large quantity of tobacco, cigars and liquors. 

Wooldridge was assigned to the case, and after making 
a careful investigation, he learned that a few minutes 
before the saloon was closed on thic night of the robbery, 
R. Halman and William Hoyt were there, and that Hoyt 
was dressed as a wonian and wore a thick veil which 
completely concealed his features. 

Some time after the saloon closed, both these young 
men were observed to be acting in a very suspicious man- 
ner, and the detective also uncovered l';c fr.ct t' on 
the following day Hoyt had a plentiful s"p;;!y of cigars, 
tobacco and liquor. Further inquiry developed the fact 
that he was living with his mother not a very great dis- 
tance from the scene of the robbery. 

Wooldridge made a number of visits to the residence 
of his mother, but each time was informed that the 
young man was not at home. It appeared he had 
heard he was suspected of the robbery and kept away. 

Then the detective devised a plan which resulted in 
the arrest of the robber. He wrote a note to him and 
sent it to his mother's residence, in which he said he 


had heard he was out of work, and a friend of his had 
asked him (Wooldridge) to get him a position. He knew 
a place that was open and could secure it if he would 
meet him at the store of a certain firm that night at 8 130 

Hoyt appeared on time, and was then arrested and 
taken to the Stanton Avenue Station, where he confessed 
to the burglary. When he was arraigned •for trial the 
court was lenient and he was fined $50. 



There are two worlds in the life of a police officer. 
He sees the criminal side of life, and he sees life from 
a sympathetic side. Sometimes he sees from the latter 
point alone, and when he does he is one of the most suc- 
cessful moral agents in the long list of charitable institu- 
tions. A woman in distress, who has been the victim 
of a heartless man, or a family suffering from the ad- 
versities of life often become objects of the especial care 
of these guardians of the peace, and the heroic work 
they do for these people would often stagger the profes- 
sional reliet societies, if they were acquainted with the 

One peculiar and interesting case presented itself to 
Detective Wooldridge, and it came up in the regular 
routine of his duties. The wife of a gentleman residing 
on Vernon avenue rushed into the Stanton Avenue Station 
one evening and excitedly exclaimed that there were 
burglars or ghosts or something in her cellar. She said 


she had gone into the cellar to get some coal and heard 
sounds which almost made her hair turn gray. 

Detective Wooldridge was sent to Aake an investiga- 
tion, and when he reached the house, which was only 
a few blocks from the station, he led the way to the 
basement with a revolver in each hand, followed by the 
frightened woman with a lamp and a hatchet. A man 
who roomed in the house armed himself with a rolling 
pin, and a serv came next, leading a pugnacious look- 
ing bull-dog. 

And what did they find?* Not a burglar, not a ghost, 
but a little baby, wrapped in a mop cloth and rags, lying 
in a market basket. On top of the basket there was a 
large board, and on this was a pile of lumber. The help- 
less little one was left alone to die of starvation or to be 
devoured by the rats which infested the cellar, and the 
author of this act of chielty was the mother of this child, 
a German girl who was employed as a servant in this 

Censure would naturally follow an inhuman act of this 
character, but it will be asked if the girl was more re- 
sponsible than the base-hearted villain who w^s the cause 
of her downfall. She was compelled to work for a living, 
and in her hour of distress he deserted her. She could 
not afiFord to lose her position, and when the time came 
for the deliverance of this child of sin and indiscretion, 
she went to the basement alone, in the dead hours of the 
ntght, and consigned it to whatever fate awaited it. 

There was no physician or nurse to help her in this 
liour of the greatest trial of a woman's life, and her 
heroism went even further. She arose the following day 
and began .her regular duties; worked the entire day; 


did a large washing, and scrubbed two flights of stairs, 
besides many other things which are required of a servant. 

She must hide 'her shame at any cost, and no one, 
except a woman who has known the sufferings of ma- 
ternity, can really understand what this poor girl must 
have endured. 

Suspicion, of course, was directed toward the girl. 
At first she persistently denied all knowledge of the 
child, which had not even been washed after its birth, 
but under the close questioning of the detective, she 
finally broke down and confessed that she was the mother 
of the little foundling. The baby through neglect had al- 
most lost its eyesight, but it and the mother^ were taken 
to the county hospital in the police ambulance in charge 
of an officer, and a complaint of child abandonment and 
an attempt to murder was lodged against the young 

In three weeks' time the young mother recovered thor- 
oughly, and under the skillful treatment of physicians the 
child's eyes were saved. Then that little baby girl grew 
in strength, and beauty set its mark on its pale face. 

The story of the unfortunate girl was told to some 
sympathetic and kind neighbors, who went to her rescue. 
They raised by subscription enough money to buy the 
baby a lot of comfortable clothing, and made its little life 
as happy as it was possible to do under the circumstances. 

The natural love and affection of a mother grew in the 
young girl and won her many friends in the hospital. 
When she was arraigned at the Thirty-fifth Street Police 
Court before Justice Wallace, the court and public were 
moved to tears, and for the good of both she was dis- 
charged, and the child placed in the Home for the Friend- 
less, where the mother paid for its board. SJie married 


later, and the little girl grew to be one of the most lovely 
children the sun ever shone upon, and seven years later 
she v^as the pride of the woman who once abandoned her. 



Women are frequently lured by the ticker in the bucket 
shop as well as men, and in a raid made by Detective 
Wooldridge on the fifth floor of the Rialto building, he 
found a dozen there who were trying to better their for- 
tunes. ~" 

When the officers entered, there was great confusion. 
Some of the women screamed with terror, others sobbed 
as if they were heartbroken, while a few took their ar- 
rests very philosophically and laughed, over the pre- 
dicament in which they found themselves. 

Costly and magnificent dresses adorned some of them, 
while others wore gems that cost thousands of dollars. 
All, however, did not present these evidences of pros- 
perity. There were some who seemed to come from the 
poorer classes. Their costumes showed that if they were 
ever possessed of the luxuries of a fine wardrobe it had 
been some time before, but each eagerly watched the rise 
and fall of grain, stocks and provisions. 

All of them were arrested and taken to the police sta- 
tion in the patrol wagon, where they were locked up. 
This frightened them more than the raid, and they vigor- 
ously protested at the sight of a prison cell. 

They finally gave bond and were released. In the 
rooms occupied by the bucket shop the officers found five 


tickers, one of which was supposed to be connected with 
a similar institution in the Chicago Opera House build- 
ing. There were also seven telephones. The proprietor 
had been posing as a member of the New York Stock 
Exchange, stating that he had a direct wire with an east- 
ern correspondent. 

The raid was instigated by the wife of a prominent 
Chicago lawyer, who resided in the Morrison Hotel. She 
claimed that the proprietor of the place had swindled her 
out of $1,200 by means of alluring circulars and pam- 
phlets alleging that he was a regular broker and member 
of the New York Stock Exchange. 

A typewritten circular, ready for the printers, was 
among the property confiscated.. This is the alluring 
language of the circular which caused the raid and which 
has separated many unsuspecting persons from their hard^ 
earned money : 

"Our financial methods and enterprise may not be indorsed by 
narrow-minded, pessimistic wiseacres. To these we can only 
assert that if you will stop to give the points herein presented 
careful consideration, you will perhaps realize your vision has 
been too narrow, and there are to-day greater opportunities than 
ever for making large profits in a perfectly safe manner. No- 
where has wealth accumulated so fast in recent years as has 
been the case in Wall street. It is there that millions have been 
added to the fortunes of the Vanderbilts, Goulds, Rockefellers, 
Morgans and people of that class. 

"The real facts are that the grand or tidal movement in Wall 
street (not the daily fluctuations) are arranged by men who con- 
trol millions; in other words, the insiders of those corporations 
whose securities are dealt in, certain Wall street banks and some 
of the big life insurance companies. Do such notoriously con- 
servative people play a game of chance? Not much; these men, 
the real insiders, do not put their millions into a scheme that de- 
pends unon .1 hazard, and as they are sure to win, it is equally 
certain that an outsider, unless exceptionally well advised, is sure 
to lose. I am on the inside." 

Thousands believe every word that is written of the 
glittering opportunities to make money. If the victims 


of these men would only stop to consider the fact that if 
any one is sufficiently posted to double money in grain 
speculation, he would use his own capital and make a 
fortune, instead of trying to make a fortune by charging 
a small commission for handling the money of some one 
else, much misery and disappointment would be pre- 

A man who is " on the inside " in reality can get all 
the money in all the banks of Chicago to speculate with 
instead of getting the small savings of poor men and 

Those v/ho were arrested on the occasion referred to 
above were discharged the next morning on the payment 
of costs. 



Through the aid of Detective Wooldridge, Hattie Wil- 
son and Maude Brown, two young girls, neither of whom 
were eighteen years of age, escaped from a bondage 
worse than death, at 445 and 447 Clark street, on October 
18, 1895. 

The girls had been prisoners in the place for several 
days, the landlady, Blanche McCarty, taking their cloth- 
ing from them and locking them in a room on the top 
floor, where their cries for rescue were useless. 

The girls were virtually sold into bondage for the sum 
of $5 per head. Both came of good and respectable 
though poor families from South Bend. Maude Brown's 
father was a carpenter, and the other girl's father an ex- 


pressman. Both of the girls appeared to be respectable 
and were too young to be of an abandoned character. 
They met two young men who gave the names of Burk 
and Davis at the races at South Bend. 

These young men told the girls of golden opportunities 
to make money in Chicago, guaranteeing that it could 
be done by honest means. Their oily tongues won the 
day, and the four came to the city on the Lake Shore 
& Michigan Southern. Arriving here, the men took the 
girls to Peck court, placed them in a room, and kept them 
over Saturday and Sunday. Monday night the men took 
them to the McCarty woman's place and turned them 
over to the latter, receiving as a reward $io. 

The girls said the men told them that the woman 
would keep them about ten minutes. Instead, Mrs. Mc- 
Carty locked them in a room and took away their cloth- 

The girls begged to be allowed to go, insisting that they 
did not want to live a life of shame. It was useless. 
Finally, they wrote a letter telling their troubles, and 
dropped it through the window to a boy who happened 
to be passing by, and begged him for God's sake to take 
it to the police station. The next few hours were full 
of anxiety for the girls, but the note was carried to De- 
tective Wooldridge at the Harrison Street Police Sta- 
tion, who lost no time in going to the rescue. 

When found, the girls were almost nude. Officer 
Wooldridge provided them with wrappers and took them 
to the Harrison Street Annex. The two men who acted 
as procurers were searched for, but escaped. The place 
at 445 Clark street is notorious. The girls were held 
until their relatives were notified. 

Blanche McCarty was arrested, locked up in the Har- 


rison Street Station, and later taken before Justice Un- 
derwood and held under bonds of $i,6oo to the criminal 

The girls were sent back to their parents at South Bend, 
and when the case came before the grand jury both re- 
fused to return to Chicago to prosecute. The police were 
informed that they received a snug little sum to drop the 



A novel experience fell to the part of Detective Wool- 
dridge one hot night in August, 1893. He was dressed 
in plain clothing and presented the appearance of a 
farmer from Posey county, Ind., but he was not so green 
as he looked. / 

While he was passing in front of a saloon on State 
street a confidence man stepped up and said : " Can you 
tell me which line of cars will take me to the World's 
Fair grounds ? " 

The detective saw at once that the man who asked the 
question was a confidence worker. Biting off a chew of 
plug tobacco, Wooldridge said he thought the State 
street car would take him to the World's Fair. " I am 
a stranger in town," said the detective, " and I am kinder 
turned around myself in this part of the city." 

" So am I, stranger," said the man who attracted his 
attention, " Come in and have a drink." The two went 
into the saloon and a game of dice was soon started. 
Another man, who was a confederate of the one who in- 


vited the officer into the saloon, came up and also took 
a hand ip the game. One of the men tried to rob Wool- 
dridge, and the officer then made known his identity and 
arrested them. Several loungers about the saloon tried 
to rescue the confidence men and a desperate struggle 
began. Wooldridge had his coat torn off, and one of his 
fingers badly chewed up. He clung to his prisoners, 
however, and had to draw his revolver out to keep the 
crowd of toughs back. The men whom he arrested gave 
their names as George Low and James Cory. They were 
arraigned in court the next morning and fined $50 and 
$20 respectively. Both were sent to Bridewell. 

ROBBED OF $5,000. 


Two women, Lena Blake, white, and Josie Rice, col- 
ored, held up and robbed Albert Hoyder, of Buffalo, N. 
Y., of $5,000 in cash on January 23, 1893, in a dive on 
Clark stre^et. 

Hoyder was returning from Galveston, Texas, where 
he had gone to receive a portion of a fortune left him 
by his uncle, who had just died, and which amounted to 
$42,000 cash, and real estate which brought $600 every 
month. Hoyder was forty-five years old and the father 
of several children. Having disposed of all the legal 
formalities in Texas, he was on his way home, and upon 
arriving in Chicago, had in a buckskin belt, which was 
fastened around his waist beneath his undershirt, a littl^ 
over $5,000. 

He strolled down Clark street, between Harrison and 


Polk, when he was met by Josie Rice and Lena Blake. 
He said his attention was attracted by the colored 
woman's antics, which were like those of a young Hot- 
tentot, and a new element was introduced into his merri- 

Hoyder, with the perfect honesty of a man having no 
knowledge of Clark street life, allowed his curiosity to 
lead him. upstairs into a room, where he was drugged 
by wine furnished by these women. 

When he awoke his buckskin belt had been cut loose 
and taken by these two women thieves, who had hed. 
Soon after both women were arrested and locked up at 
the Harrison Street Station. Lena Blake secured bond, 
which was furnished by one of the professional bailers 
that hang around the court, and she then skipped out. 
Josie Rice made a full confession of her guilt, and said 
that when it came to dividing the spoils the white woman 
only gave her $137, while she kept the balance. 

Six months later Detective Wooldridge found Lena 
Blake, who had returned to Chicago, and arrested her 
on an indictment charging her with robbery. 

She was placed on trial before Judge Baker, and 
through perjured testimony presented, she was dis- 
charged. She had spent all the money, except what she 
gave her mother to start a restaurant. Some two years 
after this she died in Chicago. 



In their pursuit of lawbreakers the police frequently 
meet with some great surprises, not at the amount of 
lawlessness, but at the stupidity of the victims of the 


criminals. In fact, it is surprising to them sometimes 
that there is not more lawlessness, seeing that so many 
people are so easily victimized, and by the simplest and 
most apparent fraudulent methods. 

In 1897 there was a colored man in Chicago v/hose 
treal name was E. H. Dillard, but who for the further- 
fance of his schemes assumed the name of " Dr." Baxter. 
His scheme was to convince people that he had fabulous 
wealth, and then on one pretense or another get n.oney 
from them. He dressed well, made a fine appearance, 
and was a good talker, yet he was very illiterate. 

He secured large amounts of money from many Chi- 
cago people (mostly colored) by passing himself as a 
doctor and also as a buyer and raiser of stock. 

He roomed and boarded in the most fashionable places 
and cultivated only the acquaintance of moneyed men for 
the furtherance of his own interests. 

Being illiterate, he had to employ an educated man to 
attend to his affairs, and make him acquainted with the 
influential men in the neighborhood. » 

It was about September i, 1897, that Dillard arrived 
in Chicago from the west, and on his way he formed the 
acquaintance of A. B. Williams, a porter on a Pullman 
car. He told this man that he had large interests in 
stock ranches in Montana, and had some 6,000 head of 
cattle on the road to the Union Stock Yards in Chicago. 

He also said that he had bought 20,000 more which 
would follow the first shipment. He offered Williams 
employment as his secretary at $150 a month if he would 
leave the Pullman Company's employ and work for him. 
This offer was accepted by Williams, who took the " doc- 
tor " to his boarding-house, that of Mrs. Ella Clark, 
2442 Dearborn street, where Dillard also secured board. 


Two of the best rooms in the house were refurnished for 
the use of the " doctor " and his secretary. 

The following morning Williams was taken to the 
stock yards and shown thousands of head of cattle in 
the pens, which the '* doctor " said all belonged to him. 
He told Williams that he expected two checks for $1,500 
each, payable to him, and a draft on the Merchants' Ex- 
change Bank of Melbourne, Australia, for $36,000, pay- 
able on demand, and endorsed b) William Shakespeare 
& Co., bankers, of Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

He borrowed from Williams and Mrs. Clark all their 
available cash, and gave Mrs. Clark a check for his 
board, which was presented to the bank for collection, 
and she received the information that Dillard had no 
account there. Then complaint was made to Detective 
Wooldridge and his arrest followed. 

Dillard had in his possession ..when taken into custody, 
several bogus drafts, checks and bills of lading. Several 
of his victims appeared to prosecute, and on Septem- 
ber 16, 1897, he was held to the criminal court by Justice 
Hall under $3,500 bonds. 

Upon arraignment before Judge Gary, October 6, 1897, 
he feigned insanity, but his past record and some thirty 
witnesses soon convinced the court that the man was 
shamming, and he sentenced him to the penitentiary un- 
der the indeterminate act. 

Among his victims was The Fair, where he bought 
some $300 worth of goods on a bogus check, but these 
goods were not delivered. Other victims who appeared 
were R. Bacon, 208 Walnut street, who cashed a worth- 
less check for $65 ; Edward Levy, 483 Francisco street, 
who cashed a check for $95 ; Albert Lanyer, 491 Fran- 
cisco street, and George S. Andison, 730 Austin avenue, 


who loaned Dillard money and acted as his secretary 
for two months under promise of future pay, believing 
his employer to be a wealthy cattle man. 



The officer often meets as fierce resistance in his at- 
tempt to arrest a man who is guilty of petty larceny 
as he does in his attempt to capture a safe blower or a 
murderer. Detective Wooldridge had a conflict of this 
kind on a bitter cold day in November, 1893, when he 
attempted to take into custody a man who had stolen a 
horse blanket. On this occasion Charles Day, who was 
the proprietor of the Wqjwick Hotel, had just returned 
from a drive, and the horse was somewhat hot from the 
exercise. Mr. Day took out of the buggy a handsome 
robe which he placed on the horse to prevent the animal 
from becoming chilled. 

He then stepped into the hotel, and had hardly closed 
the door behind him when John Donohue, who had been 
watching him from the opposite side of the street, crossed 
over, stripped the blanket from the horse, and rolling it 
up started on a run to the alley, south of Van Buren 
street and "between Clark street and Pacific avenue. 

The detective was standing on the comer of Clark and 
Van Buren streets waiting for a car and witnessed the 
entire transaction, but the thief had a start of about 
three hundred feet and was soon joined by four other 
Vnen, who, judging from their actions, were his com- 


Wooldridge jumped on a passing car going south with 
the intention of overhauHng them, recovering the blanket 
and arresting the thief. Donohue was just coming out 
of the mouth of the alley adjoining the police station 
on Harrison street when Wooldridge overtook him. . The 
detective asked the fugitive what he had in the bundle. 
Donohue replied, " None of your business, and if you 
touch me I'll kill you." He then put his hand into his 
back pocket as if he intended to draw a weapon. Wool- 
dridge pulled out his revolver and told the fellow he was 
a police officer, and at once placed him under arrest. The 
thief was a powerful man and did not propose to submit. 
He seized the officer and tried to get possession of his 
revolver, but instead of this he received a blow on the 
head which made a wound three inches long. Donohue 
then dropped the blanket, and breaking away from the 
officer, ran across the street into the alley on the opposite 
side. Wooldridge followed and commanded him to halt. 
He turned and answered that if the officer attempted to 
follow him any further he would kill him. Wooldridge 
fired a shot in the air which brought Donohue to a stand- 
still again, and once more they clinched and both fell. 

The trial board, which is a body appointed for the pur- 
pose of investigating the conduct of officers who are 
charged with violation of various police rules and regu- 
lations, happened to be in session on this day. Three 
inspectors and a large number of commanding officers 
from various stations were present. 

There were more than seventy-five officers in the sta- 
tion when the shot was fired, and all of them came run- 
ning out to see what had caused it. They were headed 
by Captain Hartnett, who was in charge of the station 
at this time, and he was surprised to find Wooldridge 


and Donohue in a deadly struggle. The latter was try- 
ing to get possession of the revolver which Wooldridge 
held, and it was perhaps very fortunate that assistance 
arrived when it did, as it probably prevented either Wool- 
dridge or Donohue from being shot. 

Donohue was overpowered and finally landed in the 
station. When he was taken down into the cell rooms 
he attempted to convince the officers that he was wounded 
in order that he might be sent to the hospital, which 
would give him another chance to escape. Wooldridge 
knowing, however, that the man was not shot, strongly 
insisted that he should not be sent to the hospital, which 
was agreed to, and the man was locked up. On trial the 
next morning he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct 
and was fined $ioo and sent to the House of Correction 
for six months. The four men who were with him made 
their escape. 



In 1896 Clark street, from Polk to Twelfth streets, was 
about as tough and vicious a place as there was on the 
face of the earth. 

Almost every other house was a saloon, dance hall, or 
house of prostitution. These saloons never closed their 
doors, and women of all ages, of every nationality and 
color, and of every stage of depravity, were to be found 
in this locality. Around the doors of these places could 
be seen gaudily-bedecked females, half-clad in flashy 
finery, many with loose wrappers, and others wearing 
short scarlet dresses which never come below their knees, 
with many-colored stockings and fancy shoes. 


Many of them wore bodices cut so low that they did 
not amount to much more than a belt. There they would 
congregate and tell filthy stories and sing vulgar songs, 
making all kinds ol comments in a loud tone of voice in 
the hearing of all passers, right under the gaze of all 
passengers on the passing street cars. This was the re- 
sort and hang-out of the most depraved men in the city ; 
the home of all alleged highwaymen, burglars, thieves, 
sure-thing gamblers, and any kind of a game, " con " or 
otherwise, could be found there. 

Detective Wooldridge was the smallest man in the 
station, but it must be remembered that good things come 
in small packages sometimes. 

For months he had waged incessant war upon these 
characters, scarcely a day passing that he did not single 
out five or six of these men and land them in the Har- 
rison Street Station for vagrancy and other misde- 
meanors, and they were usually heavily fined. He re- 
ceived many threatening letters by means of which they 
tried to scare him, but not the slightest attention was 
paid to them, and the good work went on. 

Wooldridge was called into Qiarles Kinnucan's saloon 
at 435 Clark street on account of a fight between George 
Kinnucan, a nephew of the proprietor of the place, and 
Dave Sanch. They were separated three times, but their 
blood was up. Both of them had fully made up their 
minds for the occasion, and not for one miunte would 
they allow even a Chicago police officer tp interfere with 

George Kinnucan fought desperately with Wooldridge 
when he arrested him, but he was landed in the police 
station. The detective had a hard time of it though, 
as there were eighteen or twenty tough characters present, 
among them being four ex-convicts, and many grafters 


and thieves, who were avowedly friends of Kinnucan 
and defied the officer to take him. 

The plucky detective, however, nothing daunted, de- 
termined not to show the white feather, and said he would 
take his prisoner in spite of them all. From that time 
the fight was on, and they clinched, and down they went 
with Wooldridge on top. His " billy " was snatched out 
of his pocket, and he was knocked down as fast as he 
could get up, and this was done three times in succession. 

While he lay unconscious Kinnucan was pounding 
him, and all in the room joined in kicking him. His head 
was one mass of bruises, and over the temple and on his 
head were cuts from which the blood flowed. 

Wooldridge had the presence of mind to throw his left 
arm over his face when they all jumped on to him^ thus 
saving himself from being disfigured, and at the same 
time he succeeded in getting his right arm free, and with 
this he pulled his revolver, and while Kinnucan was on 
the top of him and the others kicking him, he fired and 
the bullet imbedded itself in the bar. just grazmg the 
barkeeper's hand. 

Kinnucan then caught hold of the barrel of the revolver 
and tried to wrench it out of Wooldridge's hand, and 
at that Wooldridge fired again. The bullet passed through 
Kinnucan's hand, between the thumb and forefinger, 
passed all along the bone of the arm, and finally came 
out at the elbow. Kinnucan grabbed a heavy oak stick, 
but before he could use it he received a blow over the 
forehead which cut a gash three inches long, which had 
the effect of laying him out. This blow was from Wool- 
dridge's revbivei. 

Officer Phil Miller came to the rescue, and six of the 


men were arrested and locked up, and they were after- 
wards fined and sent to the Bridewell. 

For the next six years not one of the Clark street 
toughs had any desire to have a personal encounter with 
Wooldridge even though he were the smallest man work- 
ing out of the Harrison Street Police Station. 



One of the best known female pickpockets in Chi- 
cago tried to rob Detective Wooldridge once, and of 
course got the worst of it. The detective was stand- 
ing in front of the First National Bank at the corner 
of Monroe and Dearborn streets when she attempted 
to rob him. She might have had the impression that 
Wooldridge was the president of this big financial in- 
stitution, or she possibly mistook him for the cashier. 

At any rate she mistook him for an easy "mark" 
and sailed in to get his money. The woman was Mary 
Seating, who, with her sister Nora, were well known 
to the police. Mary had been arrested many times 
and always went peaceably with the officers to the 
police station. She would sometimes try to escape by 
running, but never fought her captors except on this 
one occasion. Her sister was notorious as a fighter, 
and there are many officers on the force who bear 
scars which are the result of a conflict with Nora 

It was on April 24, 1892, that Mary Keating at- 
tempted to rob Detective Wooldridge. She, with an- 


other woman, was standing on the corner of Monroe 
and Dearborn streets, discussing the propriety of rob- 
bing some one, when Mary saw Wooldridge not far 
from her. The detective had heard a part of their con- 
versation and determined to watch them. 

The Keating woman approached him and asked 
where State street was. He told her it was one block 
east. The woman, however, did not manifest any in- 
tentions of going that direction, and engaged the de- 
tective in conversation. Suddenly she threw one arm 
around his neck and at the same time thrust her hand 
into his vest pocket. The officer seized her by the 
wrists and told her she was under arrest. She was 
not in the least disconcerted, and to all appearances 
was willing to submit without any resistance. She 
tried to persuade Wooldridge to release her, but he 
refused. She at last consented to walk to the station, 
and they started away together. 

No sooner had she secured the use of one arm than 
she struck the officer a heavy blow in the face. He 
fell, but had the presence of mind to seize her dress 
and held to her. Then the woman dealt him another 
blow and at the same time called to her friend, whose 
duty apparently had been to keep watch for a police- 

"Come on," she said, "we can both fix him." 

Wooldridge managed to regain his feet, still holding 
to his prisoner. In an instant he took from his pocket 
a pair of "come-alongs" and fastened them around her 
wrists. Twisting them tightly, he caused such pain 
that she was a willing prisoner, but only for a few 
minutes. She then resorted to her plan of bribery. 

First she oflFered $50 if the officer would let her go, 


then $75, and at last $icx). Seeing that this did not pre- 
vail, she promised to walk peaceably if the chains were 
removed from her wrists. This was done, and for a 
few blocks she kept her promise. When the corner 
of Harrison and Clark streets was reached she said her 
dress was unfastened and asked the privilege of step- 
ping into a doorway to fix it. 

She was bending slightly forward and Wooldridge 
was directly in front of her. Suddenly the woman's 
arm shot out, and the detective received the full force 
of the blow between the eyes. Twice she struck him 
and started to run up Harrison street. 

Wooldridge was after her immediately, and after 
another brisk fight succeeded in overpowering her. 
She was booked for attempted robbery, and the next 
morning was fined $200. She appealed the case, but 
the decision of the lower court was affirmed. The 
. money was paid and the woman was not compelled to 
go to jail. 

Mary Keating was shot by her lover, John Rooch, 
from the effects of which she died at the county hos- 
pital, April 24, 1895. 


The police wanted to take the picture of Frankie 
Smith, whom Detective Wooldridge had arrested, but, 
unlike most women, she gave feminine vanity a shock 
by protesting against facing the camera. When Wool- 
dridge attempted to escort her to the gallery at the 
Harrison Street Station, he came near losing as much 
of his face as Frankie could take in one bite. Luckily 


he escaped with only a few scratches from Frankie's 
finger nails, which appeared to be as sharp as tiger 

Frankie got into trouble by a chance acquaintance 
with one Turner, whom she met on Wabash avenue 
on July I, 1895. The acquaintance had been of only a 
few minutes' duration, Turner says, when she had $35 
which he carried in his pocket. She positively denied 
having the money or taking it until the wagon was 
called, and then she attempted to pass it over to Tur- 
ner. This was detected by Wooldridge, who seized 
the money, which was still in an envelope with Tur- 
ner's name written upon it, and had been received a 
few hours previous from his paymaster. She was held 
to the grand jury, indicted, arraigned for trial in the 
criminal court and found guilty by a jury. 



While strolling along Wabash avenue one December 
day in 1896 Detective Wooldridge met another stroll- 
er. It was a woman who said she was Jennie Ward. 
She was not very different from other women, but she 
attracted more attention because she was smoking a 

The detective would perhaps not have noticed the 
woman so much if she had been smoking a cigar, but 
a cigarette was the limit. He arrested Jennie and took 
her to the station. 

When she was arraigned for trial the court said; 
"Who is this prisoner?" 



"This person is Jennie Ward, your honor," answered 

"Ahem ! Quite a young girl," the court observed, as 
he inclined the judicial head and critically regarded 
the prisoner. 

"Quite young," Wooldridge replied, "but a 'beaut,' 
though ; just see how she's dressed. You can hear 
her clothes in Europe. They're actually - disorderly, 
for a fact. It's really deafening, the noise they make." 

"There's nothing disorderly in those accusations, 
and the clatter of her raiment does not substantiate 
your allegation that Miss Ward was not peaceful last 
evening," the court said, with a frown as black as a 
Herodic heart and. as threatening as a cold tip from 
the weather man's map. 

"But, your honor, I saw her coming down Wabash 
avenue Sunday smoking cigarettes like a college dude. 
She spotted me and doused the ghm, but I pinched 

This was surely enough to satisfy the court. He 
fined Jennie $i, remarking, as he entered up the assess- 
^ment, "I don't know what the equal suffragists will 
think, but as the thing being smoked was a cigarette 
I guess they won't make a disturbance. Now, if it had 
been a pipe — but then." 

The court did not muse further, and Jennie paid the 



With vaulting ambition and the exulting vanity of 
a parvenu, "Pony" Aloore started out once to startle 
the world b}' becoming a shining light in society. This 
would not appear strange or astonishing were it not 
for the fact that "Pony" Moore is a colored man who 
then conducted a saloon and gambling house at 171 
Twenty-first street, which was called the Turf Ex- 
change, and was one of the worst dives in Chicago. 

Moore was known as a "high-flyer," but the great 
and insurmountable obstacle to his consuming ambi- 
tion was his color. "He had his face enameled; he 
had his hair made straight," or, rather, he had it all 
cut off, thus avoiding the vain task of trying to have 
it made straight, but notwithstanding all this and his 
desire to be a white man, "instead of a coon, coon, 
coon," he was doomed to disappointment. 

However, he came as near, on one occasion, reach- 
ing the pinnacle to which he aspired as was possible. 
After undergoing treatment at the hands of special- 
ists and the use of many chemicals guaranteed to 
change the color of the skin, he concluded that by 
making a bold dash he could at least deceive stran- 
gers. Then he arrayed himself in the most expensive 
and flashy clothes that money could buy, bedecked 
his shirt front and fingers with diamonds that looked 
like sunbursts, and dropped into Newport at the height 
of the season and cut a swell that made the four hun- 
dred look like hoosiers. 

In a few days he was hobnobbing vv^ith ^millionaires 



and titled foreigners at the clubs in the afternoons and 
dancing with their wives and daughters at night. He 
was feted continually. He was invited to dinners and 
receptions by members of the exclusive set, and for a 

"pony" MOORE. 

time his cup of happiness was filled to overflowing, 

and he thought his sole aim in life had been attained. 

Some one who knew him in Chicago dropped into 

Newport one Sunday and "tipped off" his game. Then 


followed the greatest consternation that was ever seen 
in that gay resort. The swells with whom Moore had 
been on such intimate terms packed up and left in the 
night, so fearful were they that they would meet him 
again. In twelve hours Newport was practically de- 
populated. Some went to Europe, some to Hong 
Kong and Vladivostok, and others went to Monte 
Carlo and Egypt. They vanished like ships in the 
night, and Mr. Moore arose the next morning to find 
that he would have to take his ocean plunge all alone. 

This dampened his ardor somewhat, but he braced 
his drooping spirits by planning a campaign at Atlan- 
tic City. 

The news of the sensation at Newport had not 
reached the other fashionable resorts, and he invaded 
Atlantic City like a conquering hero. In a few days 
he was in the whirl of society again. Then the gay 
revelers heard of the calamity at Newport, and once 
more there was a wild scramble to get off the earth. 

By this time the secret had gotten out and spread 
along the shore from Maine to Florida, which put an 
end to "Pony" Moore's summer social campaign, and 
he returned to his Chicago dive, to get back some of 
the coin he had spent in society. 

In 1897, just after the election of Carter Harrison 
as mayor, Moore's ambition took another turn. He 
wanted to branch out as a professional bailer. In 
order to establish himself in this line of business he 
had a large number of placards printed bearing the 
words : 

" Tony Moore, the official bondsman at the Twenty- 
eecond Street Police Station." 

As soon as the police heard of this, Mr. Moore was 


visited and told that he would be given so many hours 
to gather in all those cards, and he found that it was 
an easier job to distribute them than to gather them 
in, but they soon disappeared. 

His place at Twenty-first street was the resort of 
depraved women, both white and black. It was also 
frequented by Chinamen and Japanese. 

It was known to the public as a wide-open, care- 
fully guarded gambling resort, where any kind of a 
game could be had. It had the reputation of being 
almost impregnable, being protected with pickets, who 
were kept on duty night and day. Electric wires and 
other devices were brought into requisition to help 

Again and again the police had swooped down on 
the house expecting to catch the inmates gambling, 
but the players had feceived the tip from the "look- 
out," and when the police got inside they invariably 
found the inmates complacently smoking cigars or en- 
gaged in some innocent amusement. 

During the winter of 1899 war was declared upon 
poolrooms and handbooks on horse racing. Detective 
Wooldridge was in charge, of gambling and had a 
large detail of picked men from the Central Station 
to assist him. 

Moore, surrounded with his pickets ready to give 
the alarm at the least sign of apparent danger, defied 
Wooldridge and his detectives to catch him, and one 
effort after another failed. Finally, one day, after a 
number of complaints had been received respecting 
Moore's place, Wooldridge went to Twenty-first street 
and looked the ground over, and determined on using 
strategy to catch this important chap. 


Several hours before the races opened Wooldridge 
went to George Raymond's saloon, just south of 
Twenty-first street on Dearborn, and managed to se- 
crete himself, and there he waited until three o'clock 
in the afternoon. 

Raymond's saloon fronted on Dearborn street, and 
ran back to the alley directly in the rear of Moore's 
place, with but three feet of space between the walls, 
and through this place Wooldridge crawled and shoved 
a board eighteen inches wide and six feet long, with 
which to hide himself from the vigilant eyes of 
Moore's pickets, who were keeping a sharp lookout 
for the police. 

In order to protect himself and at the same time see 
the guard, Wooldridge ran the board out about twelve 
inches. It rested against the wall of Moore's saloon 
and was one inch above the ground. Through this 
space under the board the detective observed the 
picket as he pranced and danced up and down to keep 
himself warm in the zero weather. 

By chance two boys became engaged in a fight on 
the opposite side of the street, and the picket's atten- 
tion was attracted only for a few seconds, but those 
few seconds gave Wooldridge the opportunity he was 
waiting for, and he arose and ran forward and suc- 
ceeded in getting between the picket and the door. 
The consequence was the bookmaker was caught mak- 
ing bets on the races and was arrested. 

As soon as "Pony" Moore heard of the arrest he 
discharged the picket and gave him a good thrashing 
in the bargain, and in his stead placed four men on 
guard, one in the front, one in the rear, and one on 


each corner, and then he sent for the pxayers to come 


Wooldridge was notified that "Pony" Moore had 
resumed making a book and that his place was filled 
with players. He then went to Wabash avenue and 
Twenty-third street, where he secured the driver of a 
coal wagon with a good team of horses, and employed 
him to drive him down to Moore's saloon. Wool- 
dridge stated to the driver of the wagon that he was 
a police officer and that he wished to surprise and 
capture a man who was badly wanted by the police 
department and who was then in Moore's saloon. 

Spreading several newspapers on the bottom of the 
wagon, to keep the coal dust from his clothes, Wool- 
dridge laid down to prevent being seen by anyone. 

The driver was instructed to drive his team in a 
trot to the Turf Exchange, and when he reached the 
front of the place to pull in to the curb and check his 
team, which instructions were duly carried out, and 
' as the team came to a stop, Wooldridge arose and 
jumped over the side of the wagon, and before the 
picket could recover from his surprise, Wooldridge 
had brushed past him and entered the saloon, had the 
bookmaker under arrest and the evidence secured. 

After this Moore gave up making books on the 
races, but opened up a "crap" game for the benefit 
of the waiters and piano players who get through 
with their night's work around the restaurants and 
saloons from three to four o'clock every morning. 
This gam.e was usuall} in full blast from 4 to 6 a. m., 
and was well patronized, though many charges v/ere 
made that "loaded" dice were usec^ and many players 
swindled out of their hard-earned money. 


The game was played on an improvised layout on 
the end of the bar. There were pickets stationed at 
the front and rear doors, and one also on the street 
corner, and it was difficult for any one to enter with- 
out being seen. 

On July 12 Detective Wooldridge took four assist- 
ants and went to the corner of Twelfth street and 
Wabash avenue, where he waited several hours for the 
game to open. Finally information was received from 
one of the players who had been swindled that it was 
time to start, as the game was in progress. 

Wooldridge then secured a closed carriage, and with 
the curtains drawn the five detectives were driven 
down through the alley to Moore's place. The pickets, 
who were pacing up and down in front of the door, 
.were taken by surprise when the carriage drew up 
suddenly in front of the door, and the five detectives 
sprang out. One of them covered the pickets with a 
drawn gun, while the others bounded into the house 
before an alarm could be given, secured evidence that 
gaming was going on, and arrested the keeper and 
two wagon loads of players, who were taken to l;he 
station and locked up. This broke up the crap game. 

For several months Moore made no trouble for the 
police, but he finally started another game and got 
surprised again by Wooldridge. At about 4:30 o'clock 
on a dark, rainy morning, the detective put on a wig 
and false whiskers and started for Moore's place ac- 
companied by his assistants. 

They went through the side streets and dark alleys. 
Arriving at the saloon, he had no difficulty, in his 
disguise, in getting inside. When the pickets saw the 
other officers they gave the alarm, and the keeper of 


the^ame seized the money and dice and started to get 
away with them. Wooldridge quickly snatched off 
his wig and false whiskers, and shoving a big re- 
volver into the man's face, informed him to leave that 
money and dice where it was. 

The detective then took charge of everything on 
the gambling table and arrested the crowd. Some of 
them tried to escape by the doors, but there was an 
officer at each exit waiting for them. That was one of 
the most thoroughly surprised sets of "crap shooters" 
that were ever caught in a game. 

On May 24, 1900, Detectives Conick and Culhane 
visited Moore's place and found 125 pieces of cut 
glassware, the value of which was $2,500. The raid 
was the result of complaints made by a number of the 
large uptown stores that shoplifters had been sys- 
tematically robbing them. Moore was arrested, and 
on the same day the officers and witnesses went be- 
fore the grand jury. As a result "Pony" Moore, Her- 
man Boppart, alias "Kid" Kelly, and Bessie Mitchell 
were indicted. 

Herman Boppart was located in New York the lat- 
ter part of May, 1900, and brought back" by Detective 
Conick. Boppart was the chief operator in the gang 
of shoplifters. Bessie Mitchell was in Paris enjoying 
the exposition at the time of Boppart's arrest. 

The glassware recovered consisted of various pieces, 
including valuable vases and a punch-bowl so large 
that it seemed incredible to the police that it could be 
taken out of a store unnoticed. 

Marshall Field & Co., Burley & Co., Pitkin & 
Brooks, Mandel Bros., Schlesinger & Mayer, W. S. 
Thurber and J. D. O'Brien's art store were the victims 


of the shoplifters. Among the property recovered 
were four valuable picture frames, two of them the 
property of Burley & Co., valued at $500 each. 

Mrs. Jessie Pretty went into Moore's saloon be- 
tween two and three o'clock on the morning of April 
9, 1901. Moore invited her into a wine room, where 
she, Moore and James Pollett were served with drinks. 
While the drinks were being prepared, Mrs. Pretty 
took her diamond earrings, brooch and finger rings 
off, placed' them in her handkerchief, and then con- 
cealed them about her person. 

Moore wanted to take them for safe keeping, but 
she said they would be safe with her. After drinking 
the woman became unconscious and was taken to a 
room over the saloon, where she remained in an un- 
conscious condition until eight o'clock the next even- 

When she awoke she was alone and her jewels were 
gone. The matter was reported to the police, and 
Officers Lacy and Ptacek arrested Moore and Pollett, 
who were held to the grand jury for the larceny of the 
jewels, which were valued at $800. Moore was in- 
dicted, but Pollett was released, as the police did not 
think that he was guilty. The case is still pending 



There were schemes in Chicago in 1899 and 1900, 
which for getting rich quick surpassed anything that 


had up to that time ever come to the notice of the 
poHce or postoffice authorities. It is true these 
schemes had been in operation for several years be- 
fore, but the men who were at the head of them had 
not been exposed before the complaint was made to 
•he police, when Detecitve Wooldridge and a detail 
of assistants were sent out to make an investigation. 
The plan of these concerns was an alluring one. They 
were usually called "Investment Companies," and sent 
circulars to all parts of the country guaranteeing to 
investors from 7 to 12 per cent weekly on the money 
they would risk. 

The claim was made that the investment companies 
were able to get inside information on races and could 
always, by betting carefully, make large winnings. 

Tabulated statements of each week's winnings were 
sent to each customer, which showed that fabulous 
profits were made. 

The strong card played by these companies was 
that they paid each customer on demand his dividends, 
but this only increased the business of the companies. 
If a man who had invested $100 called for his divi- 
dends and capital, it would be given him without hesi- 
tation. In some cases he would receive from $200 to 
$500 profits on his investment. What was the effect 
of this? He would at once conclude that the invest- 
ment was a good one and would re-invest both his 
capital and profits and perhaps leave it there to be 
credited *o what was called an accumulation account. 
Furthermore, it would make him an agent for the 
company, and he would induce others to go into it, 
and thus for every thousand dollars paid out the com- 
panies would perhaps get back $5,000. 


The reader will perhaps inquire where all the money 
paid out in dividends came from, if it was not won 
on the races. It is well enough to state at once that it 
"does not come from the winnings, because a very 
small percentage of the money sent for investment 
is ever staked on the result of a race. 

It comes from those who have been encouraged by 
drawing dividends and from those who have been 
induced to invest by the stories of fabulous gains told 
by dividend drawers. 

Then the reader will ask how this can be kept up 
without an accounting some day. It is not kept up. 
When the investment company, which usually consists 
of two or three persons, realizes that the end is coming 
and that a final statement must be made, those two or 
three men take what money there is on hand and 
leave with it, informing the customers that by an un- 
fortunate risk they have lost all their capital. Some- 
times the company will reap an immense harvest this 
way, and the customer as a rule is left without a prop, 
because he knew he was in a gambling game from the 
start and often will not complain. 

When the detectives under the leadership of Wool- 
dridge had gotten sufficient evidence to obtain war- 
rants, they began to raid these concerns, and the first 
one visited was that of the Co-operative Trust Com- 
pany, which was located at 80 and 84 Adams street, 
in offices that were luxuriously furnished. It was 
claimed that C. F. Taylor, David D. Duflf and J. W. 
Blackridge had incorporated this company on October 
24, 1899. 

The detectives found L. M. Morrison, the manager, 
in charge here and at once placed him under arrest. 


He protested and vigorously denied that there was 
anything illegitimate about his business. The office 
presented the appearance of an important commercial 
counting room, and three stenographers were busily 
engaged in writing letters and other documents. 

The detectives took charge of enough advertising 
matter, circulars, pamphlets, letter files, correspond- 
ence and the books of the company to almost fill a 
patrol wagon, all of which was taken to the Har- 
rison Street Police Station. The advertising matter 
and circulars promised prodigious returns to invest- 
ors, which promise was based on what was called a 
sure system of playing the races. In the load of 
matter carried away from the office were more than 
one thousand letters which were ready for mailing. 
The books showed that the company had customers 
all over the United States. 

The next place visited by Wooldridge and his assist- 
ants was the Turf Investment Company, which had 
offices just opposite the Co-operative Company. They 
found E. E. Farley in charge as manager and at once 
arrested him. His literature was also seized, and it 
showed that his plans were almost identical with 
those of the former company. 

These two men were booked at the Harrison Street 
Station charged with conducting a confidence game 
^nd getting money under false pretenses. 

The Inter Ocean Commission Company was the 
next place visited by the officers. This concern was 
located in room 308, 64 and 66 Wabash avenue. The 
circulars of the Inter Ocean Company bore the name 
of Tames F. Mitchell as manager, but he was not in 
when the detectives were there. They were informed 


by the stenographer that JVFitchell only came to the 
office occasionally. Nearly a load of printed matter 
was also taken away from this place. His scheme 
was similar to the others, and he also sold plans 
for winning on the races. From 6 to 15 per cent 
weekly profits were promised investors. A great mass 
of correspondence from all parts of the country was 
found here. 

Following this the officers went to the office of D. 
W. Moody, 17 Rowland Block, 182 and 184 Dearborn 
street. It was said that Moody was acting as an agent 
for the Security Savings Society, which failed a short 
time before, when its manager, W. R. Bennett, disap- 
peared. He claimed to have been swindled by Ben- 
nett. It was alleged that Moody received money ad- 
dressed to the defunct society and was in charge of its 
business for some time after Bennett disappeared. 

The warrants which the officers served at Moody's 
place called for the books and other papers belonging 
to the Security Company. While the detectives were 
searching for this, several customers appeared for the 
purpose of getting a return of the money they had 
invested. Among them were two very poorly clad 
women. One of them declared she had invested $200 
and had received in small sums dividends amounting 
to only $50. 

Among the articles taken from this place were 
several boxes of books and papers and a list of ad- 
dresses of several hundred investors. According to 
the books, nearly thirty thousand dollars had been 
received from these customers. 

From this place the officers went to the office of 
Frank E. Stone, an attorney, and manager of the 


Investors' Protective Association, in the Rialto build- 
ing. Stone was not present, having disappeared when 
the Security Savings Society failed, because of his 
connection with Bennett in that concern. The papers 
found in Stone's place showed that he advertised in 
the eastern press that he would furnish information 
concerning the reliability of such a concern as the 
Franklin Syndicate of Brooklyn, by which so many 
people were swindled and which was conducted on 
the same plan as the Chicago companies. 

All the property belonging to Stone's company was 
taken to the station to be used as evidence. The de- 
tectives then went to the offices of the Security Sav- 
ings Society, which were located in the Security build- 
ing. They were accompanied by D. W. Moody and 
found a bundle of mail there which had not been 
opened and which seemed to contain money or 
checks. These were taken and turned over to the post- 
office authorities. Before the detectives left the place 
a lawyer appeared on the scene and said he had a client 
in Kansas who had invested $400 with the Security 
and that the money had been paid to Moody. The 
latter replied he paid the money to other customers 
in dividends. 

The result of the raids was that the principals fled 
the country and are badly wanted by the United 
States authorities, and the cases against those indicted 
are still pending. 



There was never an officer on Chicago's vast police 
force who could disguise himself so completely as De- 


tective Wooldridge. His success in making lightning 
changes would make a professional actor ashamed of 
himself* He never "made up" and started out to catch 
some criminail and came back empty-handed. He was 
always successful. 

One of the cleverest pieces of work and most orig- 
inal "make-ups" he ever figured in was when, in May, 
1895, he took the role of a ragpicker for the purpose of 
capturing some desperate negro highwaymen who 
had robbed and beaten a Chicago contractor named 

On the afternoon of May 28, 1895, Mr. Anderson 
came down to the city, met some friends, and at night 
visited the theater. After the theater was over they 
went to a cafe and had some refreshments, and he 
accompanied his friends back to the hotel where they 
were stopping. He remained longer than h6 had 
intended and missed the last train home. 

Mr. Anderson had friends who conducted a hotel at 
Twelfth street and Wabash avenue, some six blocks 
distant, and concluded he would go there and remain 
until morning, as it was then one o'clock. 

His course to the hotel took him through a por- 
tion of the levee district, which at that time was 
infested by strong-arm women, footpads, as well as 
thieves, burglars, robbers and other tough characters. 

Mr. Anderson was cautioned by his friends not to 
go on foot alone through the levee district, as he 
might get held up, but he only laughed at them. He 
was powerfully built, stood six feet two inches tall, 
weighed 235 pounds, was as strong as an ox, and the 
very picture of health. 

He strolled along State street, from Adams to Polk 


street, in the central portion of the city, meeting 
hundreds of people, male and female, going and com- 
ing, besides a police officer in every block, and when 
he reached a point opposite the Polk stret depot the 
clock struck 1 130 a. m., and in three blocks more he 
would be at his journey's end. 

He had reached 519 State street, a few doors north 
of Harmon court, when something happened. Back 
in the doorway at this place stood six colored high- 
waymen, and as Mr. Anderson approached them, Ed 
Lane, alias Charles Williams, stepped forth in front of 
him and asked what time it was. Mr. Anderson stopped 
and was just in the act of taking his watch from his 
pocket when, without a moment's warning, the rob- 
bers sprang from the doorway, attacking him from 
every side. He fought desperately and knocked two 
of the footpads down and had another by, the throat 
when he was felled to the ground by a blow from a 
slung-shot in the hands of another of the robbers, and 
before he could rise from the ground all six of the 
colored highwaymen were on top of him. Three of 
his teeth were knocked out, and he was choked, 
kicked and beaten unmercifully. His gold watch and 
chain, a pocketbook containing $20, a knife and a 
comb were taken from him, and then the highwaymen 
fled. Anderson was found a few minutes later by De- 
tective Wooldridge, who was passing that way. He 
was conveyed to the Harrison Street Police Station, 
where medical aid was given him. 

He then made a complaint in regard to being 
robbed and beaten, and gave a good general descrip- 
tion of the six colored men who had participated in 
the hold-up. 


Anderson had a good look at Ed Lane, alias Will- 
iams, when he stopped him and asked him the time, 
and also while he was relieving him of his valuables, 
and said that Lane was the man who knocked his 
three teeth out, and held him by the throat so that he 
could not make an outcry. 

He gave Detective Wooldridge a complete and 
minute description of this man as to weight, height, 
color and every piece of wearing apparel on him. 

The victim of the robbers was given a bed in the 
station and made as comfortable as the circumstances 
would permit, and Detective Wooldridge told him that 
every effort would be made to recover his property 
and to arrest the guilty persons, and in ten minutes 
Wooldridge had formulated a plan and was ready to 
start out and arrest the six colored highway robbers. 

He first secured a pair of overalls and an old coat 
twice as large as he generally wore, and picking up 
several papers he wadded them into a lump and 
shoved them down his back between his shoulders, 
which gave him the appearance of being a deformed 

With some burnt cork he blackened his hands and 
face. Over his head was pulled an old wig, which 
was at one time white. A faded black slouch hat, 
tied with two strings under his chin, completed his 
make-up. Then a gunny sack was found, into which 
all the old waste paper in the station was dumped, 
and from a heavy piece of telegraph wire a hook three 
feet long was made, with which to rake out the bones, 
paper and rags from the garbage boxes. 

While passing through the alley, bounded on the 
east by State street and on the west by Plymouth 


place, between Taylor and Polk streets, he saw, almost 
in the center of the alley, six colored men quarreling 
over the division of some money, and they were 
almost coming to blows over it. 

Upon drawing nearer, Wooldridge discovered 
perched on a garbage box Ed Lane, alias Williams, 
the colored robber whom Anderson had described so 
minutely as the person who had robbed and brutally 
abused him a short while before, and here were also 
five other colored men in company with him. 

To have attempted to arrest Ed Lane, alias Will- 
iams, at this time and place, single-handed and alone, 
surrounded by five other desperate robbers, possibly 
all armed, would have been both foolish and danger- 
ous. Wooldridge concluded that he would secure all 
the information he could and get a good look at the 
other five men at the same time, so that he could re- 
member their faces and arrest them afterwards. He 
gathered up the rags, paper and bones in the garbage 
boxes in the alley, pulling them out with his hook 
from the scavenger and ash boxes, drawing nearer 
and nearer to the group all the time. 

He continued doing this without in the least excit- 
ing their suspicion or arousing their attention, until 
he picked up an old coat belonging to one of the high- 
waymen which was lying on the ground, and he was 
just in the act of putting it into his gunny bag when 
the owner of the coat commanded him to drop the 
same or he would cut his throat from ear to ear. 

Seizing the gunny sack, the robber secured his coat 
and threw the sack with the paper, rags and bones, 
which the detective had been collecting, over the 


fence into the adjoining yard, and then ordered him 
to leave the alley under penalty of death. 

The robbers separated in a few minutes, going in 
different direction. Ed Lane and Reed went north to 
Polk street, thence east to State street, then south 
on State street, followed by the wily detective on the 
opposite side of the street. 

When Lane and Reed had reached a point two- 
hundred feet north of Taylor stret, going south, De- 
tective Wooldridge slipped across the street, came 
behind them and seized them both by the collars of 
their coats. Ed Lane drew a knife, but before he 
could open it Wooldridge kicked it out of his hand. 

Henry C. Reed assaulted him and was promptly 
knocked down with the detective's billy. Ed Lane 
and Detective Wooldridge then clinched and fought 
desperately, Lane trying to make "his escape. Then 
the detective kicked-Lane on the shin of his leg (this 
is the most tender part of the colored man), and it 
proved a lucky blow for the detective. Lane there- 
upon loosened his hold, and grabbing his shin with 
both hands, screamed from pain. Before he could re- 
cover from the shock Wooldridge had his ''come- 
alongs" around Lane's wrists, and had Reed covered 
with his revolver. Just at this particular juncture in 
the proceedings he was reinforced by a brother officer. 
Both men were then marched to the station. 

On the way to the station Ed Lane, with his left 
hand, which was loose, managed to work a pocket 
comb out of his pocket, but as it fell to the street it 
was detected by Wooldridge, who made him pick it up. 
They had scarcely gone a square further when Lane 
again succeeded in dropping the comb, and he was 


again compelled to pick it up and restore it to his 

Mr. Anderson was awakened, and Reed and Lane 
were placed in line Avith a number of other colored 
men, but the moment the contractor's eyes fell on 
Lane he exclaimed : "There is the man ; I would 
know him among a million men." 

Lane was then searched, and when he removed his 
coat the pocket comb, which he had tried so hard to 
get rid of, stuck out of his vest pocket and was seen 
by Mr. Anderson, who exclaimed: "There is my 
comb sticking out of that man's pocket, and you will 
find two of the teeth missing, and on the case you will 
find my initials, J. H. A. I carried that comb through 
the late civil war, and it was in my pocket the night 
when I met those robbers." 

Ed Lane, alias Williams, was held to the grand 
jury, indicted and arraigned for trial, found guilty on 
June 25, 1895, and sentenced to three years in the 
penitentiary by Judge Charles G. Neely. Anderson 
could not identify Henry C. Reed, and he was turned 

On July 21, 1895, Henry C. Reed was arrested with 
two other colored men for being concerned in a 
burglary, and was convicted and sentenced for an in- 
definite term in the penitentiary. 

Ed Lane served his term, and was only out a few 
weeks when he hunted up his old friends in crime, and 
to"-ether with two other colored men committed a 
robbery and murder, and was captured and sentenced 
for life. 

The murder for which Lane got a life sentence was 
committed on Saturday night, November 9, 1898. 


Robert Aletcalf on this date, after drawing his money, 
left the machine shop on the west side where he was 
employed, and instead of going home drifted down- 
town. Just what caused him to go downtown will 
never be known. Through what pathways his foot- 
steps wandered that night will also never be made 

From the time he parted from his friends at the 
machine shop and boarded a car until he stood in a 
doorway in an alley running from Taylor to Polk 
streets, just west of State street, in the very heart 
of the levee district> no traces of Metcalf's movements 
have ever been discovered. 

Directly above this doorway, at a window, was a 
colored woman awaiting her husband, who ran a little 
shop around the corner on Plymouth place. She was 
awaiting his return home. 

The woman at the window carelessly observed the 
man in the doorway talking to a woman, but such 
scenes were common in that neighborhood, and this 
little incident attracted but small attention. But just 
at this particular moment she saw three colored men 
come out of a doorway across the alley, and running 
rapidly towards the couple, attack Metcalf fiercely. 
They fell upon him, wrestled with him and tore at his 
clothes. One pinioned his hands behind him ; another 
one seized him by the throat, and the third struck at 
him repeatedly. 

The woman who was with him fled upon the first 
attack, and at the mouth of the alley bumped into a 
passer-by. "What is the matter?" he demanded 
roughly. "Three men are slugging a man down in 
the alley," she replied, pointing in that direction. 


The pedestrian, who evidently knew the neighbor- 
hood, looked down the alley where the slugging was 
going on, and stepping to the door of the adjacent 
saloon, called a friend to accompany him. The two 
.hen started down the alley on a run, but seeing the 
three assailants, stopped for fear of a bullet. 

A slugging or robbery was not a matter of much 
moment on the levee. They were of nightly occur- 
rence, and of greater or less gravity. 

It was almost two hours later that the police heard 
of this case. Down in that particular district they 
do not like the police, and will not call on them unless 
it is absolutely necessary. They do not like to have 
a man in uniform nosing around, because no one 
know? what they might uncover. So although a num- 
ber knew of the robbery, the police were not informed 
until 12:15 o'clock, and the three murderers had 
effected what is known in police parlance as a "get- 

It may be that those who witnessed the assault did 
not know the victim was dead. They may have sup- 
posed that he was merely choked and robbed like 
many others had been, and that like them he would 
recover in time to make his way to the police station 
and tell it, but Robert Metcalf was dead and lay there 
in the dark alley, half sunk in the mud, with the rain 
beating down on his bruised head and face, while the 
murderers hastened to conceal themselves and the 
booty they had stripped from his body.' 

When the matter was reported, the patrol wagon 
was called and took the body to the morgue. Then 
the police drag-net was thrown out and every well- 
known colored thief and crook was arrested and p^ 


in the sweat box. It was found that Ed Lane. 
"Moustache" Howard, alias Charles Williams, and 
Joseph Smith, alias "Snakes," had been seen running 
away from the scene of the murder. Howard was 
arrested the following morning, and in his room was 
a portion of the booty taken from Metcalf. Several 
witnesses came forward who had witnessed the strug- 
gle and recognized Howard, Lane and Smith. 
■ All three were indicted by the grand jury. "Mous- 
ache" Howard was tried and found guilty of being 
an accessory to the murder of Robert Metcalf, and 
sentenced to be hanged, which sentence was carried 
into effect July 17, 1899. Joseph Smith made his 
escape and is still at large. Ed Lane was traced to 
New Orleans, La., and arrested July 6, 1899. He 
was arraigned and pleaded guilty to robbery and ac- 
cessory to murder April 3, 1900, and was sentenced 
to life imprisonment in the Joliet penitentiary by 
Judge Stein. 



In the great building trades strike of 1900, when 
60,000 laborers were out of work, it was found neces- 
sary to increase the efficiency of the police force to 
prevent the numerous assaults that were taking place 
on workingmen. 

It had been charged that the police were favoring 
the strikers, and this was brought to the attention 
of Chief Kipley. He then made an order which wa» 


a surprise and the sensation of the day. Calling him 
into his private office, he told Detective Wooldridge 
that he had an important mission for him. He then 
and there made him the chief of as strong a body of 
men, not in numbers, but in police ability, as ever 
were placed under the direction of a leader. He told 
Wooldridge he must take twenty-six men from the 
force of Chief of Detectives Colleran and that he was 
to take command of them and restore order among the 
strikers. His specific duty was to take these men and 
use them according to his own judgment in watching the 
labor situation. 

The following detectives were then named, who re- 
ported to Detective Wooldridge instead of to Captain 
Colleran as before : 

J. E. Fitzgerald, John Hanley, George Cudmore, 
John Galliker, J. J. Garrigan, Simon Kelly, Thomas 
Meskell, J. J. Mason, M. F. Wagner, C. W. Mc- 
Carthy, A. J. Rohan, W. J. Russel, Frank Stephens, J. 
E. Quinn, J. J. Tierney, W. C. Spain, J. O'Hara, 
James Gonick, John E. Culhane, Joseph Durbach, M. 
J. Broderick, John Anderson, J. E. McGinn, William 
Taylor, T. DeRoche and M. J. Farrelly. 

Chief of Police Kipley addressed the staff of de- 
tectives as they gathered at Central Station head- 
quarters previous to assuming strike duty. He said 
in part: "You must see that no further assaults occur. 
Detective Wooldridge is in charge here, and when 
a report reaches him you will be sent out to investi- 
gate. Do not come back without the guilty men. You 
will be held responsible for the suppression of vio- 


Detective Wooldridge's appointment as head of the 
poHce squad on the special work of investigating the 
labor war assaults was a unique move and attracted 
much attention in police circles and among the poli- 
ticians. The assumption was that he was picked out 
for this special work an account of his recognized ex- 
ecutive ability and his thorough fearlessness in the 
discharge of his duties. He reported direct to Chief 
Kipley in this instance, and was in no way associated 
or accountable to the head of the city detective de- 

His instructions from the Chief of Police were to 
utilize the officers working under him "to stop all 
lawlessness in picket work."' Wooldridge's methods 
to secure the desired end were to institute a campaign 
for the arrest and prosecution of all persons who per- 
petrated assaults on workingmen. 

In order that it may be known how important and 
onerous his work was a few facts concerning the 
strike are necessary. 

The building trades strike started February 5, 1900, 
and a settlement or agreement was signed by the 
bricklayers June 2^, making the length of the strike 
twenty weeks. The total number of workmen affected 
were as follows : In the building trades proper, 30,- 
000 ; in stone yards and quarries, 10,000 ; in brick 
yards, 7,000; in building supply mills, 3,000, and in 
other lines, 10,000, making a grand total of 60,000, 
There were 2,500 contractors involved in the struggle, 
and the loss in wages per day was estimated at $187,- 
000, making a total loss in wages to the men of $2,- 
244,000. The value in building contracts which were 


delayed on account of the troubles was estimated at 

During the strike the building industry of Chicago 
suffered almost complete paralysis. What little work 
was carried on was prosecuted under many difficulties, 
and was confined almost exclusively to the small con- 
tractors who had work to do in the outlying dis- 
tricts of the city where they were comparatively free 
from molestation. 

A few important contracts, however, were pushed 
along in the business districts of the city at a tre- 
mendous cost to the contractors and at the risk of per- 
sonal violence to the non-union workmen employed, 
and it was for this work that the detectives with 
Wooldridge at their head were brought into requi- 

Rioting was one of the specific features of the strike, 
and assaults on non-union workmen and contractors 
were numerous. Five murders or killings were traced 
directly to the labor troubles, while the cases of as- 
saults were more than 150. A number of non-union 
workmen were crippled for life as a result of their 
encounters with strikers. 

By his shrewd directions and clever handling of his 
forces, Wooldridge soon put a stop to the many as- 
saults that were being made on the workmen who re- 
fused to join the strikers. He protected the former in 
every way he could, and was diligent in the pursuit 
and capture of their assailants. He became a terror 
to those who tried to interfere with laborers who were 
at work, and did a great deal towards enabling con- 
tractors to complete the work they had in hand and 
keep those who wanted to work from being assaulted 


by the strikers, and in this way accomplished much 
toward bringing the strike to an end. 

It was a memorable struggle and will go down in 
history as one of the most prolonged and costly con- 
flicts ever indulged in between capital and labor. It 
cost many poor men the savings of a lifetime and 
almost bankrupted some wealthy contractors. It 
drove thousands of workingmen from Chicago, and 
»vas also the cause of many factories going to points 
where their employees would be away from the control 
of a spirit in the unions which was said to be encour- 
aged by officeholders for political purposes. 

Detective Wooldridge also did excellent work in the 
great railroad strike which so paralyzed business in- 
terests and stopped the wheels of commerce in the 
year 1894. The strike started at the Pullman Car 
Works, Pullman, 111., owned and operated by the 
Pullman Palace Car Company, May 11, and reached 
Chicago proper June 2'], and continued to spread until 
every trunk line was tied up, and only the mail and a 
few passenger trains were operated. 

For want of fuel and supplies many of the large fac- 
tories and packing houses were also closed. Matters 
grew worse each day until 450,000 men were idle. 
A lawless mob had taken charge of Chicago and the 
railroads, and many incendiary fires were started. On 
July I five regiments of the state militia and the 
Fifteenth Regiment of the United States troops were 
called into service and the police force was also con- 
siderably increased. In addition to this, hundreds of 
United States marshals were sworn in and placed on 
duty, with instructions to guard life and property. 

July 6, 1894, some two or three thousand men, wo- 


men and boj'-s, among them being many criminals and 
vagrants of the lowest tjpe, together with the usual 
riff-raff and a few strikers, set fire to cars and de- 
stroyed much property in the railroad yards on the 
south side. A riot call was sent in at Thirty-ninth 
street, on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and 
the Chicago & Western Indiana railroads, to the effect 
that a car had been set on fire and overturned, 
switches broken and spiked, switch tower overturned 
and much property dest yed. Detective Wooldridge 
and five other officers reached the scene in advance of 
other forces by some thirty minutes, and in a few brief, 
stirring words he told the assembled crowds that the 
depredations and lawless acts must cease at once, 
and he therefore commanded them to disperse. He 
was hooted at and called names, and some twenty- 
five or thirty men immediately ran forward to turn 
over a freight car which had been run out on the main 
track from a siding. Wooldridge stepped forward with 
two drawn revolvers and informed them that the first 
man who put a hand on the car would be shot dead. 
This had the desired effect of stopping them, and they 
were thus held in check until assistance arrived, when 
the crowd was dispersed. 

Wooldridge was next sent to the switch tower on 
the Illinois Central railroad at Fourteenth street and 
Indiana avenue, from which all the signals and 
switches in the passenger yards and depot of the Ill- 
inois Central are operated. This was one of the most 
important points to be guarded, and here Detective 
Wooldridge stayed until the great strike was termip- 



Among the many criminals who have been brought 
to justice by Detective Wooldridge there is one who 
tried to take shelter under the broad canvas of the 
United States navy. The name of this man is Charles 
Barhytt. He was arrested with Joseph Neponuck, 
who had been driving a delivery wagon for J. Golden- 
berg's large furniture house in Chicago, and had con- 
spired with Neponuck to rob the house. Through 
carelessness or dishonesty Neponuck had lost many 
small articles which should have been delivered to 

Neponuck charged the shipping clerk with neglect 
in putting up the orders, and the shipping clerk for his 
part contended that the goods in question had been 
properly delivered to Neponuck, and further contended 
that if the said goods were not delivered to their 
proper destination it was Neponuck's fault and not his. 

The complaint, together with the general dullness 
in trade and business at that time, was the cause of 
Joseph Neponuck's discharge. Detective Wooldridge 
was at this time working from the office of Joseph 
Kipley, the general superintendent of poHce. 

On or about December 13, 1899, Wooldridge was 
sent out on an investigation concerning the where- 
abouts of a man who was wanted by the New York 
city police. He dropped into Jennie Love's place at 
561 Clark street while in pursuit of this information. 

When Detective Wooldridge called she told him 
that a burglary was to take place eitlier that very 


night or the next at Goldenberg's furniture store, at 
1837 ^nd 1839 State street, and she furthermore stated 
that an ex-employee, who had been discharged and 
who was anxious to get revenge, was the man who 
would do the job. She did not know the man's name, 
but gave the dectective a good description of him. 

Detective Wooldridge proceeded at once to Mr. 
Goldenberg's store and notified him, at the same time 
describing the man who intended to commit the 
burglary. After comparing notes, it was taken as 
conclusive that the man in question was none other 
than Joseph Neponuck, the former driver of one of 
Mr. Goldenberg's wagons, and whom he had occasion 
to dismiss from his service for the reason stated 

The Cottage Grove Avenue Police Station was noti- 
fied, and two officers were stationed in the store from 
December 15 to December 20, when it was supposed 
Neponuck had abandoned the job, and the officers 
were taken away. The very night the men were taken 
away the burglary was committed, and the following 
morning Mr. Goldenberg telephoned to Wooldridge 
and asked his assistance, which was granted. 

Boarding a car, Detective Wooldridge was soon 
hard at work upon the case. The first move and stop 
was made at Jennie Love's place, 561 Clark street. 
.Mrs. Love had left Chicago the evening before, but 
had left her housekeeper, Laura Rusk, in charge, and 
though she did not know Detective Wooldridge, he 
lost no time in introducing himself and told her he had 
called for the goods which had been left there by 
Joseph Neponuck, describing the man. 

She led the way to a closet in the rear, and there 


three large rugs were found. She info-liied the officers 
that about dayHght that morning two men had called 
there and left the rugs and they were going to bring 
some curtains and carpets that night. They told the 
housekeeper that Mrs. Love knew all about it, all of 
which was true, as Detective Wooldridge had told her 
(Mrs. Love) to take in any goods which might be 
brought to her by these men; but when she left she 
had neglected to tell the housekeeper anything about 
the matter. 

The housekeeper also described the young man who 
was with Neponuck and who carried one of the bun- 
dles. He wore a white woolen sweater. 

Visiting the store of Mr. Goldenberg, a list of the 
stolen goods was obtained by the detective. Neponuck 
was located at ten o'clock the same night at 1352 
Wabash avenue, where he lived with his wife and one 
child. He was placed under arrest, and a search for 
the stolen goods was made, but none was found. 
In one of the bureau drawers a 38-caliber revolver of 
the Harrington & Richardson make was found, also 
a combination pocket screw driver and saw, which 
is used for sawing nails. Both of these articles were 
taken in charge. 

In the wash room was found a tall, smooth-faced 
young man, about twenty-one years old, who gave 
his name as Charles Barhytt. He said he was a ma- 
rine in the United States navy, and presented a card 
to the officer, upon which was written, "Charles Bar- 
hytt, U. S. Navy, Recruiting Office, Masonic Temple, 
Chicago, 111." 

Mr. Barhytt stated that he was only making a 
friendly call on Mr. Neponuck. Upon being fv^ber 


interrogated he refused to talk, and appeared very 
nervous. He also resembled the description of the 
second man w^ho was with Neponuck that morning 
when the stolen goods were carried to Jennie Love's 

The proprietor of the boarding-house was sent for, 
and he stated that Barhytt was known as Charles 
Thompson, and had been there two days ; that he was 
a friend of Neponuck's, and had the adjoining room. 
Upon further investigation a white woolen sweater 
was found in Barhytt's room, which he said was his. 

It will be remembered that the man who was with 
Neponuck the morning the burglary was committed 
had a ,white sweater. All the foregoing facts being 
taken into consideration, Barhytt was arrested, and 
they were both taken to Jennie Love's place, where 
they were identified by Mrs. Laura Rusk and two 
other women. 

Barhytt still maintained that he was a member of 
the United States navy and innocent. The next 
morning he was taken to the Bureau of Identification, 
where his picture was located in the rogues' gallery. 
He had been arrested for burglary in 1895 by Officer 
Buggie and sent to the Pontiac Reformatory, and had 
only been released from said institution a few weeks 

When he was sent to the institution he was only a 
boy, and during the time he had been there he had 
grown six inches, and he thought that he would never 
be identified by his picture, as he had changed so much 
during the time he had been there. 

This is where many criminals make a big mistake. 
Under the Bertillon system of measurement it is well 


known by officials that there are not two men in a 
milhon that measure the same. Once the police get 
a man's picture and measurements, it is utterly im- 
possible for that man to pass through their hands 
without detection. 

Barhytt finally admitted that the picture was his, 
and told Detective Wooldridge where a large portion 
of the stolen goods was hidden, they having been 
buried under some steps in the rear of Goldenberg's 
pla^e on Wabash avenue. They were recovered and 
returned to the owner. Barhytt was convicted Febru- 
ary 20, 1900, and given an indefinite sentence in the 
penitentiary by Judge Jonas Hutchinson. Neponuck 
escaped punishment because Barhytt took all the re- 
sponsibility on himself for the robberies, even saying 
he planned them himself. 



One of the blackest-hearted villains that ever in- 
fested Chicago or any other city is, after committing 
the most heinous of all offenses a number of times, 
at last serving an indeterminate sentence in the Joliet 
penitentiary, which may keep him there the remainder 
of his life. The crime for which he is serving time is 
that of rape, and no less than four respectable and 
virtuous women have been victims of this demon in 
human flesh. 

His name is Peter Hammerling, and the offense for 
which he was arrested by Detective Wooldridge on 


March 25, 1896, for brutality and inhumanity, stands 
ahnost without a parallel in criminal annals. Seven 
days before, Mrs. Julia Allen, a frail and sickly little 
woman weighing only ninety-five pounds, and living 
on Indiana avenue with her two little children, was 
returning to her humble home from the postoffice, 
where she had gone to get a letter. 

Just as she reached the corner of Eldridge court 
and Michigan avenue, Peter Hammerling sprang out 
of a gate beside an empty lot and gave the delicate 
woman a blow in the face, from which she fell to the 
sidewalk unconscious. The villain then dragged her 
through the gate into the yard, then down a narrow 
stairway into a basement beneath the empty h^use. 

When she returned to consciousness this dark- 
visaged demon was bending over her. She attempted 
to scream for help, but he choked her into insensibility 
again and then criminally assaulted her — outraged 
her person — took her money which amounted only 
to $3, and left her still unconscious. He not only out- 
raged her, but abused her so shamefully, that when 
she regained her senses, three-quarters of an hour 
later, she was barely strong enough to crawl on her 
knees to the sidewalk. Then she fainted from loss 
of blood and the cruel beating she had received. As 
soon as she gathered sufficient strength she called for 
help and was answered by several young women from 
the Young Woman's Christian Association, which 
was next door to the vacant house. She was carried 
by them to their quarters and the police notified, who 
removed her to her home and summoned medical as- 

No one had seen the assault or could give any in- 


formation of the aflfair, except Mrs. Allen, who said 
her assailant looked like an Italian, whose eyes were 
deeply sunken in his head. He had a very dark, long 
moustache, and wore a cloth cap and brown faded 

Detective Wooldridge was placed on the case with 
this description of the man and no other clew. He 
interviewed every one in the neighborhood, and finally 
came to the party who jvas having the empty house 
cleaned and repaired. He informed the detective that 
a man answering that description and representing 
himself to be a carpenter had been around the house, 
and two days before had hung some windows for 
him. He also said he expected the m?n back in a few 
days to fix the doors in the building. 

Every carpenter shop on the south side and in the 
Italian settlement was searched for this man, but 
without success. The newspapers and the Young 
Woman's Christian Association took a very active 
part in trying to run down this villain, and asked the 
Chief of Police to make a special effort. 

The detective waited day after day in the empty 
house for the carpenter to show up, and at two o'clock 
on March 25, seven days later, he returned. He was 
arrested and taken directly to the house of Mrs. Allen. 
The woman was sitting on the side of her bed when 
Wooldridge entered with the man. Her face was 
turned, and as soon as she saw Hammerling, cried 
out, "That's the villain!" then fainted and fell back 
on the bed. 

Hammerling was arraigned before Justice Under- 
wood on April i, 1896, and held to the criminal court. 
He was indicted, and when placed on trial severai 


months later the attorney for the defense got the com- 
plaining witness, who was extremely nervous, so 
confused that the case was weakened. This and the 
fact that the prisoner had established an alibi causjed 
the court to release him. 

His record was looked up by Detective Wooldridge, 
and it was found that he was sent to the penitentiary 
July 24, 1894, upon being convicted of assault, rape 
and robbery, and was released July 24,' 1895. At the 
time he was convicted and sent to Joliet, four other 
charges and indictments were hanging over him for 
the same offense against four different women. One 
of them was a young lady whom he assaulted while 
she was returning from her work at a downtown 
store. Another was a married woman whom he 
knocked down and outraged while she was in her own 
doorway with her children. 

Hammerling, who had a number of aliases, was 
again arrested October 22, 1900. This time there were 
filed against him three charges of rape, two of rob- 
bery and two of assault. In his trial he was identified 
by all the complaining witnesses and was found guilty 
and sentenced under the indeterminate act, and it is 
not likely he will have another opportunty to commit 
any more offenses against the law and society. 

One very remarkable fact was developed in the 
trial. It was shown that he had a strong, healthy 
wife and two interesting children, and was spoken of 
by his neighbors as a good provider and a kind hus- 
band, who went with his children to Sunday school. 
Ev^n the pastor of the church he attended came for- 
v/ard and spoke a good word for him. 





Strangers coming to Chicago are often the victims 
of women who keep houses for the purpose of engag- 
ing in all kinds of vice and crime. On Jiily 25, 1895, 
W. Hopkins, a traveling man, was robbed by a wo- 
man who was afterward convicted of larceny through 
the efforts of Detective Wooldridge and sentenced to 
an indeterminate term in the penitentiary. 

While walking along State street, Mr. Hopkins was 
met by Lillian Belmont and went with her to the 
house ef Mattie Smith at 470 State street, which place 
was known to the police as a very tough dive. 

While this stranger was in the house Alattie Smith 
entered his room and robbed him of $125. He com- 
plained and demanded the return of his money, but 
the woman tried a ruse which she had time to regret 
while serving in prison for it. 

She went into an adjoining room, extracted $25 from 
the roll of bills, returned and dropped the remainder 
on the floor, then picked it up, and handing it to him 
tried to convince him that it had fallen out of his 
pocket. She insisted that no robbers were ever per- 
mitted in her house. 

She then called the Belmont woman out of the room 
and permitted her to pass out a back way into the 
alley. Mr. Hopkins also went out, and meeting a po- 
lice officer stated the case and appealed to him for 
assistance. The officer went with him to see Mattie 
Smith, and she told him that the victim had been 


brought there by a strange woman who robbed him 
and fled. 

One hour later Detective Wooldridge arrested both 
the women, and they were confronted by Mr. Hop- 
kins. Propositions were at first made to restore a part 
of the money, but when the Smith woman discovered 
that her victim was a non-resident of Chicago she re- 
fused to give up any of the money, her plan being to 
wear out the case by getting it continued from time 
to time. 

When the case was called for preliminary hearing 
she asked and was granted ten days' postponement. 
Then she told the detective that she would get a cer- 
tificate from her physician and get another ten days' 

Detective Wooldridge, in his long experience with 
criminals, however, was too well informed to be out- 
witted by this ruse, succeeded in getting State's At- 
torney Kern to take the case before the grand jury, 
and before the prisoner's attorney could interfere, he 
had secured an indictment against both the women. 
Mattie Smith gave a bond of $500, and the Belmont 
woman had to go to jail. 

The former forfeited her bond and went to Pitts- 
burg, but returned later to have her furniture and 
other ill-gotten gains shipped to her new home. De- 
tective Wooldridge learned of this by following a 
trunk to the depot and ascertaining its destination. 

On August 16, Detectives Wooldridge and Schu- 
bert went to her house at 5 a. m. and searched the 
place, but Mattie succeeded in making her escape be- 
fore the officers got into her room, by means of a 
ladder to the roof of her house, and thus to the adjoin- 


ing house. She was again seen at the window at 5 130 
p. m., but before the officers effected an entrance she 
made her escape again in the same way. Detective 
Wooldridge secUided himself in a' closet of the third 
story, which was vacant, and awaited her return. 

He carried a ball of cord in his pocket, and he 
agreed with Officer Schubert that if he did not return 
to the station by 8 p. m., which would be after dark, 
they would communicate with each other in writing, 
and the message was to be attached to the cord, 
which was hung out of the third-story window and 
reached to the ground. 

Wooldridge's message was as follows: 

" Mattie Smith has not returned, but is expected during the 
night. They have searched the house three times. I am undis- 
covered. Will remain on guard till morning. Secure and send 
me at once, one candle, one box of matches, and the best bull's- 
eye lantern to be found, and attach the same to the cord which 
you will find hanging from the window, the other end of which 
will be attached to my arm. Pull lightly on cord when ready to 
send them up. 

"(Signed) WOOLDRIDGE." 

At 9 130 Mattie Smith knocked on the trap door, and 
Jack Smith, a man with whom she consorted, ran a 
ladder up to the opening. He told her to blacken her 
face and hands with soot, so that no one would recog- 
nize her, and gave her other instructions, which were 
overheard by the detective, relative to her escape and 
departure for Pittsburg. 

The man and woman laughed heartily as they talked 
of the way in which they had given Detective Wool- 
dridge the slip in the early morning and again in the 


afternoon. The woman stood on the bottom rung of 
the ladder and as the light from a candle which Jack 
held above his head flashed in her face, her big laugh- 
ing eyes flashed fire, and as she smiled displayed one 
of the most remarkable sets of teeth ever seen. Then 
she raised her arm, and in a triumphant tone dramat- 
ically exclaimed: 

"Jack, when I have given old Detective Wooldridge 
the slip, and have arrived safely at our future home in 
Pittsburg I will then be out of danger. Then my 
bondsman may have the pleasure of paying that $500 
and charging the same up to profit and loss. My at- 
torney can take a trip up Salt Creek for his health, 
and incidentally for his fee of $25 which I owe him. 
As for Lillian Belmont, who is now in jail, indicted 
jointly with me for taking that man's money, well, 
she will have to go to the penitentiary, I reckon. It 
is true that Lillian did not get the money, and is not 
guilty, but poor dog Tray was killed for being in bad 
company, and Myrtle was caught in the 'jam,' also 
bad company, and I suppose must suffer. Jack, I see 
no reason why both of us should be punished. It 
would be a mortal shame if both of us were locked up 
in a house with a big stone wall around it." 

At this particiilar juncture in the strange proceed- 
ings, Mattie Smith's foot slipped from the round of 
the ladder and she fell forward into Jack's arms, and 
the candle which he held was thus extinguished, leav- 
ing them both in the dark. Detective Wooldridge then 
stepped forth from his hiding place and flashed a 
searchlight from his dark lantern, which made the 
room as light as day, and as the flashing light fell 
upon the guilty pair they were speechless with sur- 


prise and terror. Detective Wooldridge then in- 
formed Mattie Smith that he held a capias for her 
arrest, and holding a revolver to Jack Smith's head, 
requested him to hold up his hands while he removed 
Jack's horse pistol. Then the procession moved. All 
requests being complied with, Mattie Smith was es- 
corted to the street below and conveyed to the county 
jail in the patrol wagon and turned over to the sheriff. 

Mattie Smith failed to secure bonds and offered the 
Belmont woman a sum of money if she would make 
a confession. She also promised to have any punish- 
ment inflicted on her suspended. 

Detective Wooldridge heard of these offers, ascer- 
tained that they were true, and then laid the facts be- 
fore the State's Attorney, who allowed the Belmont 
woman to sign her own bond for her appearance in 

The case was tried September 19, 1895, when Mat- 
tie Smith was found guilty of larceny and sentenced 
to an indefinite term in the penitentiary by Judge John 
Barton Payne. 



Emil Schwart was taken, fed, given shelter and 
finally put to work by Mr. Pollett of 478 State street, 
and the first time he stepped out Schwart took French 
leave after taking $15 and the best suit of clothes Pol- 
lett had. This was in May, 1896, Nothing more was 
seen of him until he was seen on Clark street six 
months later, and Mr. Pollett made complaint at the 


Harrison Street Station. Detectives Wooldridge and 
Schubert were detailed to locate and arrest him. 
Schwart was said to be a bad man with a razor. He 
was finally located in one of the tough saloons on^ 
Clark street. Wooldridge and Schubert both were 
afraid of razors, and it was decided to draw cards 
as to who should grab him first. It fell to poor Schu- 
bert, and after maneuvering twenty minutes for an 
opportunity without endangering himself, Wooldridge 
yelled, "Look out for the big spider coming down the 
wall." Schwart turned his eyes up to the ceiling, and 
Schubert grabbed him by the neck, in what is known 
as the "strong-arm" hold, and before he could draw 
his razor, Wooldridge had the come-alongs around 
his wrist, and he was taken to the Harrison Street 
Station. He was bound over to the grand jury in 
$500 bonds, indicted and arraigned for trial. July 8 
he was found guilty and sentenced to the Joliet penr- 
tentiary for an indefinite time by Judge Windes. 



By a very clever ruse Detective Wooldridge located 
and arrested an employee of a large cloak manufac- 
turer who had been systematically robbed for many 

The victim of the thief or thieves was A. Ellinger, 
whose place of business was at 280 Madison street. 
Everv effort was put forth to detect and bring to jus- 
tice the guilty parlies. Mr. Ellinger secured the serv- 


ices of the best men in the Boland Detective Agency, 
also men from the Pinkerton Agency. A number of 
the cleverest detectives from the Central Station of 
the Chicago Police Department were also assigned on 
the case, and a private watchman of the Veteran Po- 
lice Force was secured, whose duties were to visit the 
store and inspect the locks, doors and windows. 

The uniformed police officer who patrolled that post 
was ordered to double his vigilance and watch for the 
robbers. Mr. Ellinger was compelled to give up his 
comfortable home pleasures and sleep in the store 
with the hope of catching the thief or thieves, and of 
putting a stop to the plundering. 

On Thanksgiving night, in 1892, at 10:30 o'clock, 
Joseph Russend passed down Clark street, and almost 
staggered under the weight of a large bundle wrapped 
in heavy paper. This man and his bundle aroused the 
suspicion of Detective Wooldridge, and he concluded 
it would be a good scheme to follow and keep track 
of him. Russend passed down along the busy thor- 
oughfare on Clark street from Van Buren to Taylor 
street, and then he came back on the opposite side of 
the street until he reached 357 Clark street, where he 
disappeared in a clothing store or pawnshop kept by 
a Mrs. Mincer. 

He passed through to the rear of the store, where 
he was hidden by the great stacks of clothing, and 
there he deposited his precious burden, which con- 
sisted of plush, velvet and sealskin cloaks valued at 

Detective Wooldridge gained admission by the 
front door undetected by the pawnbroker, whose at- 


tention was too much taken up by the prospects of 
securing the valuable addition to her store. The de- 
tective crouched on the floor, and waited several 
minutes for developments, and finding all quiet, 
crawled along on hands and knees under the tables 
which ran across the room and held the great stacks 
of clothing, until he was within three feet of the 
burglar and pawnbroker. There he heard all that was 
said by both. 

The pawnbroker then started after the money 
which was kept in the front part of the store. Seizing 
this opportunity, Wooldridge, by a quick move, 
reached Russend undiscovered, and engaged him in 
a conversation, securing his name and residence. He 
also made a bargain with him to deliver fifty more 
of these costly garments on the following night at $io 
each, Russend thinking that Detective Wooldridge 
was a partner in the store, as he had represented him- 
self to be. 

The pawnbroker returned with the money in her 
hand, and discovering Wooldridge tried to give the 
burglar warning, but she was too late, for quicker 
than lightning Wooldridge had the handcuiTs on Rus- 
send's wrists, and he was a prisoner. 

The detective then started with his prisoner for the 
latter's room, but Russend, instead of going to the cor- 
ner of Market and Van Buren streets, where he at 
first said he roomed, piloted the officer to several other 
places, showing that he did not intend going to the 
right place if he could avoid it. Wooldridge got tired 
of wandering around in the cold. They were on tlie 


Clark street bridge. The officer stopped his prisoner, 
removed the handcuffs, and said: 

"Now I am going to give you a bath in the icy 
waters of the Chicago river. I have spent enough 
time waiting for you to take me to that room, and 
unless you do so at once I am going to throw you off 
this bridge into the river. Decide quick." 

Russend decided at once that he did not want a 
bath, and led the officer to the room. There Wool- 
(1 ridge found George Varnars, a clerk in Ellinger's 
store, upon whom many acts of kindness had been 
bestowed by Mr, Ellinger. 

Seeing a trunk in the room, Wooldridge asked Var- 
nars for the key. He said he had no key. "Empty 
your pockets," the officer demanded. Out fell the 
key, and when the trunk was opened Wooldridge saw 
nine more fine cloaks. Varnars was then placed under 
arrest, and later both men confessed to the theft of 
the cloaks. 

Part of Varnars' duties after business hours was to 
see that the stock was properly covered vip and the 
doors and windows securely fastened. Being left 
alone and in charge of the store, he selected at his 
pleasure just what goods he wanted, and these he 
made up in large packages. There was a blind alley 
which ran from Market street through a court be- 
hind the store, and twenty feet from the ground a 
fire escape with winding steps was attached to the 
house. It was by these means that Varnars got the 
goods away from the store through the assistance of 

When Mr. Ellinger opened his store after the big 


haul had been made, he had a large order to fill, and 
found that the very goods he wanted for the order had 
been stolen. Then he determined to clean out his 
entire force of clerks, as he had begun to suspect all 
of them. He called ten of them up and said they 
should go to the office and get their time. 

Just at this moment another clerk arrived with a 
morning paper in his hand which contained a full ac- 
count of the arrest of Varnars and Russend and the 
recovery of the goods. Mr. Ellinger had not seen a 
morning paper, but snatched this one quickly and 
then countermanded his order discharging his clerks, 
and told them to go to work. Then he grabbed his 
coat and hat and did not stop until he reached the 
station at Harrison street, and found that the state- 
ment made in the papers that morning was true, 
which was to the eflPect that Detective Wooldridge 
had all of the goods at the Harrison Street Station 
that were stolen in Mr. Ellinger's place the previous 
night, and not only the goods, but in addition had in 
safe custody the two thieves who were responsible 
for the depredations. It is needless to add that De- 
tective Wooldridge was very highly complimented by 
Mr. Ellinger for his clever capture, and also for put- 
ting an end to the suspense under which Mr. Ellinger 
had been laboring for some time. 

George Varnars was indicted and tried before Judge 
Dunne, and on January 2, 1893, was sentenced to the 
penitentiary for two years. 

Joseph Russend was convicted in the same court, 
and on January 24, 1893, was given an indefinite term 
in the Reform School at Pontiac. 




Women thieves do not confine' themselves to the 
criminal districts of Chicago or any other large city 
in which they operate. There is a class which is en- 
tirely distinct from those known as pickpockets and 
robbers, and many of these have been found in the 
upper walks of life. These are known as shoplifters. 
There is also a class known as kleptomaniacs. The 
latter is a person who has a mania for stealing, but 
who does not steal for profit. The former steal for 
profit, and they are called shoplifters, because they 
get all their plunder from the big department stores, 
while they are to all appearances out shopping. They 
visit the dififerent departments of these large concerns 
and make a few trifling purchases in each, and while 
waiting for their packages to be wrapped they lift or 
steal frequently very valuable articles from the coun- 
ter, conceal them under their cloaks or skirts and get 
away without being suspected. 

They go to these stores on "bargain days" or on 
fall or spring openings ; days when there is always 
sure TO be a large crowd shopping, and by mixing up 
with the throng of buyers have a better opportunity 
to ply their vocation. They have become such a terror 
to the big merchants that an extra detective force is 
usually employed on these days to prevent them from 
carrying away so many valuable articles. Nearly all 
of these business houses have their own private de- 
tectives, but the shoplifters frequently get away with 


the stolen goods, and sometimes tall mto the hands 
of the regular detectij^e of the police force. 

Detective Wooldridge caught a pair of these people 
on October 2, 1895, who had stolen a bolt of silk from 
one place, and seventy-five yards of silk in another, 
Mary Maxwell and William Lowrie were the two 
whom he arrested. He had seen them going through 
A. M. Rothschild's mammoth store at Van Buren and 
State streets. 

The woman attempted to steal a bolt of silk at this 
place, but became so excited while trying to get it 
under her skirt that she permitted it to fall to the floor. 
This was made to appear accidental and she picked it 
up and placed it back on the counter. The man who 
was with her was simply "staUing." This is a term 
known to the police as the act of engaging the atten- 
tion of the clerk or salesman while the woman does 
the stealing. 

This pair of shoplifters then went to the Boston 
Store, at the corner of Madison and State streets, from 
which place the bolt of silk was stolen. They next 
visited the Fair, at the corner of Adams and State 
streets, where the woman stole the seventy-five yards 
of silk. 

The detective watched them closely in their rounds, 
and after leaving the store he saw them enter a saloon 
at the corner of Quincy street and Plymouth place, 
where the woman brought forth the stolen goods from 
their hiding place beneath her skirts, and was in the 
act of passing them over to the proprietor of the 
saloon when the detective stepped in and arrested her 
and Lowrie. 

They were both taken to the Harrison Street Sta- 


tion. On the following day the proprietor of the sa- 
loon was also arrested, but he insisted he knew noth- 
ing about what the packages contained. He also 
stated that the woman came to his place quite often 
and left packages, but he never knew what they con- 

He made the impression that he was innocent of any 
connection with the stealing and was discharged. 
Mary Maxwell and William Lowrie were held to the 
criminal court and indicted, and upon trial the woman 
took all the blame upon herself and was sentenced to 
the House of Correction for six months. 



Detective Wooldridge was compelled one night in 
February, 1892, to "stall" for two thieves who wanted 
to rob a grocery store. In doing this, however, he was 
only playing the part of a city officer and landed both 
of the thieves in the station. A Clark street grocery 
man had complained at the Harrison Street Station 
that the basement of his store was entered nearly 
every night by means of false keys, and that coal and 
other things had been stolen. 

Wooldridge was sent to investigate, and dressing 
up like a tramp he secreted himself in a doorway not 
far from the store and waited for the robbers. Be- 
tween eleven and twelve o'clock a man named John 
Noland appeared and crossed the street, from which 
place he eyed the building all over to see that no one 


was around and that the lights were out. He knew 
that the proprietor of the store Hved upstairs and 
wanted to be sure that he had gone to bed. 

Everything appeared to be satisfactory, and he gave 
a low whistle, then recrossed the street and was joined 
by another man named John Riley. Some words 
passed between them, and they were about to go into 
the cellar when Wooldridge was discovered standing 
in the doorway. Both men came forward to see who 
he was, and as thty came up to inspect him Wool- 
dridge began to stand first on one foot and then on 
the other, with his teeth chattering as if he had a chill. 

Detective Wooldridge said to them: "Comrades, 
can't you do something to help a man? Just a few 
pennies to get me a bed. I have walked all day look- 
ing for work, and expect to receive some money from 
home to-morrow and will return the loan." 

Riley inspected him and said: "He looks like a 
good, honest boy, and we will help him out if he will 
stall for us for a few minutes, while we get two bags 
of coal." Wooldridge repHed that he did not know 
what they meant by "stalling," but if they would show 
him what to do he would be glad to assist them. They 
then told him to keep a lookout for the police, and if 
one appeared to give two low whistles. The detective 
answered he would be glad to do that part of the job 
for them. 

When they entered the cellar Wooldridge ran across 
the street to a patrol box, which he quietly opened 
and told the station to send the wagon in a hurry to 
288 Clark street, as he had two burglars cornered. The 
thieves had just gotten to the sidewalk again with a 
bag of coal when Wooldridge seized them. They pre- 


pared for a fight and resistance, but at this point the 
patrol wagon dashed up and the men were loaded 
into it. The next morning they were fined $25 each. 



Thieves have a mania for robbing clothing stores, 
especially colored thieves. Detective Wooldridge has 
arrested these without number, and has had some nar- 
row escapes in his dealings with them. The stoi^e of 
Woolf & Goldstein, at 415 Clark street, was robbed 
January 20, 1893. The same evening Detective Wool- 
dridge met Frank Drake, a colored thief, with two 
new overcoats going into Currie's pawnshop, on State 
street. Drake could not give any satisfactory answer 
as to where he got the garments, and was taken to 
the station. When Wooldridge and Drake arrived at 
the station they were met by Goldstein, who had just 
come in to enter a complaint that his store had been 
burglarized and about $500 worth of goods taken. 

He was shown the two overcoats, which he recog- 
nized by the private mark on them. Drake was put 
in the sweatbox and confessed that four other colored 
men had given him the coats to pawn for them. Henry 
Johnson, alias Kerley, Henry Jackson, Sam Drake, 
Frank Smith, alias Leper, and Charles Jackson were 
arrested by Wooldridge and most of the goods recov- 

Henry Johnson, alias Kerley, is a most powerfully 
built colored man, weighing 275 pounds; is an ex- 


prize fighter, a strong-arm highwayman, a thief and 
all-around crook, and went heavily armed. He was 
feared by all who knew him. Wooldridge found him 
asleep in a colored house of prostitution kept by Mi- 
randa Whitesides at 390 Clark street. 

Finding that Wooldridge was alone, Johnson re- 
fused to go with him, but finally consented at the 
point of the gun, and a start was made for the door. 
Johnson turned back to light a cigarette. Picking up 
a lamp, he turned it down until it was almost dark and 
announced that he was ready to go. When the door 
was reached Johnson caught Wooldridge with his 
right hand and sent him sprawling into the hall over 
a pile of lumber. 

The door was closed and locked before Wooldridge 
could gain his feet, and Johnson attempted to escape 
by a window in the rear, but the plucky little de- 
tective was not so easy to lose. Regaining his feet, 
he burst the door open and was just in time to grab 
Johnson by his leg. The window sash and both men 
fell in a heap on a porch seven feet below, which runs 
between the houses. 

Johnson gained his feet first and attempted to reach 
the street by a flight of steps in front. With one 
bound Wooldridge jumped fourteen steps and grabbed 
him by the coat tail just as he reached the street, and 
at the point of the gun landed him in the station. 

On April 13, 1893, all were arraigned for trial and 
discharged except Charles Jackson, who, the others 
said, entered the store and took the goods. He was 
sent to the penitentiary at hard labor for two years 
by Judge Brentano. 

About six months after this Henrv Johnson mur- 


deted his mistress, I\Tiranda Whitesides, at 390 Clark 
street, and fled. All efforts to locate him have failed, 
and he is still a fugitive from justice. 



Thirty-seven male and female thugs were rounded 
up and captured at a resort on State street on the 
morning of December 26, 1897, which was considered 
by the police one of the biggest and most important 
raids that had been made in a long time. 

Detective Wooldridge had been looking for a gang 
of thieves in that locality for several weeks. They 
had been committing depredations of every character, 
and many robberies had been reported. He finally 
located them on the night prior to the raid. When 
he reported to the Harrison Street Station that he 
had found this gang of plunderers and thugs a heavy 
detail was ordered to go early next morning and cap- 
ture all of them. 

Three patrol wagons filled with well-armed men 
were taken to the place by Wooldridge and the house 

The doors were broken open and after a short en- 
gagement thirty-one men and six women were 
marched out under arrest and taken to the station, 
More than $2,000 worth of stolen property was also 
taken out of the place. 

Among those arrested were several hold-up men 
and a number of well-known thugs and highwaymen. 


Among other things found in the den were masks, wigs 
and false beards and more than 200 pawn tickets. A 
large number of pawn tickets were torn up by the 
prisoners while on their way to the station — so many, 
in fact, that the floors of the wagons were covered 
with scraps of paper when they reached their destina- 

The prisoners were not booked at once, but were 
held for identification. 

, The house where the big haul of thugs was made 
was a rooming house where the suspects were packed 
away four or five in a. room. Several were lying half 
stupefied in an opium resort carried on in the build- 
ing. A trip to a similar place on Wabash avenue, 
near Twelfth street, on the same morning resulted in 
the capture of three prisoners, who were stowed away 
in the wagons with the crowd. 

The entire crowd was exhibited for identification, 
and many victims of hold-ups and robberies came to 
select the thief that had impoverished them. It was 
the biggest haul of the kind that had been made in a 
year, and there was hardly a prisoner in the lot who 
had not served in jail or the Bridewell and at lea^t 
a dozen who had been wanted on various charges. 

The larger part of them were sent to the House 
of Correction by Justice G. VV. Underwood, under 
fines ranging from $10 to $25. 



Thomas McCarthy, a wealthy manufacturer from 
the East, visited the World's Fair with his family and 


Stopped at the Auditorium Hotel. Oh September 2 
he made complaint that he was robbed of $715 at Fay 
Conklin's panel house, 497 State street. Detective 
Wooldridge was detailed on the case, and upon inves- 
tigation he learned that a woman, Lillia Hamilton, 
who was a stranger from St. Louis, committed the 
larceny. No one seemed to know her, and to locate 
her was no easy job among the many thousands of 
strangers visiting the World's Fair. 

The arrest of William Garrett, a sneak-thief, on 
September 5 gave him a clew to the woman. Garrett 
was taken to the Harrison Street Station, and upon 
him were found two railroad tickets to St, Louis, two 
baggage checks and $10. 

Garrett called a messenger boy and wrote a note, 
telling the messenger to take the note to A. Chenne's 
opium, joint, at Eighteenth and State streets. This 
aroused the suspicion of Wooldridge, and he inter- 
cepted the messenger and asked him for whom the 
message was intended. The note was handed to him 
and he read the following, which was directed, to Lillia 
Hamilton: "Get me a bondsman at once. I still have 
all the swag except $10, which was found on me. We 
are still undiscovered, and must leave the city to- 

Wooldridge read the message over several times to 
be sure that he read it right, and then handed it back 
to the messenger boy, telling him to hurry along with 
it, as it was all right, and to be sure and deliver it 
promptly. Wooldridge changed his clothes for a 
farmer's suit and set out after the messenger boy, who 
was a block ahead, and managed to get on the same 
car and rode with him to Eighteenth street. Planting 


himself in a doorway, he waited for developments. 
He did not haye to wait long. Lillia Hamilton soon 
appeared, and was arrested and taken to the police 

William Garrett was again taken from the cell and 
searched. Around his ankle was found $499, securely 
fastened under his underclothes. Thomas McCarthy 
was sent for and identified Lillia Hamilton as the 
woman who robbed him. She admitted the fact, and 
with Garrett had arranged to take the train to St. 
Louis that night. 

Both secured bail, which was $500 each. After 
Garrett was released a vagrancy warrant was served 
on him. Another woman, by the name of Emma Gar- 
rett, whom he had been living with before he fell in 
with the Hamilton woman, came forward and testi- 
fied that she had supported Garrett for six months, 
and during that time he had done nothing, and be- 
cause she would not give him more money he left her, 
taking all her clothes and pawning them, though they 
were afterwards recovered. Justice Bradwell fined 
him $100. An appeal was taken and he again gave 
bond, his surety obtaining an order for the $499 whicH 
was being held as evidence. 

In due time an indictment was secured against both 
of them. The bondsman boasted that the case. would 
be called, and none of the witnesses or Wooldridge 
would know about it. He was right. The case was 
placed on call before Judge Freeman. Wooldridge 
and the witnesses were not notified, but with all of 
bis shrewdness the bondsman was beaten. 

Wooldridge secured the number of the cases, and 


every morning for months looked at the court calls, 
which were published in the Chicago Herald. 

One morning he found the case on call and reached 
the room just as the court opened. This was the first 
case. Garrett and Hamilton were not present, and 
Judge Freeman promptly ordered the bond forfeited. 
Next morning, however, Wooldridge received a letter 
from the State's Attorney informing him the case was 
reinstated, and to have his witness in court the follow- 
ing morning, which was done. For two days he 
waited, and when the case was called her counsel 
stated that Lillia Hamilton was dangerously ill and 
secured another continuance. 

The following term of court the case was placed 
on trial again. Not wishing to wear his witness out, 
Wooldridge did not notify him to attend. The de- 
fense found that McCarthy was not present. Lillia 
Hamilton and William Garrett were in a cab two 
blocks away waiting until they got the tip that every- 
thing was all right. When the cab drew up to the jail 
Wooldridge was in waiting with a capias for each. 
He arrested and turned them over to the jailer and 
acquainted the State's Attorney with the facts. 

When the case was reached the counsel for Garrett 
and Hamilton, finding McCarthy not there, demanded 
trial or discharge, and the State's Attorney did not 
offer a word of opposition. 

Detective Wooldridge requested perrnission to speak 
to the court before any order was made in the case. 
He stated that he was a police officer as well as an 
officer of the court, and had something important to 
say which the court should hear before the order was 


Counsel for the defendants objected, saying that 
the State had a represtmtative there looking after the 
case. * 

Judge Freeman ^id we would hear what the officer 
had to say, and he narrated the case from the time 
the complaint was made; the forfeiture of the bond; 
the notice of reinstatement, and the sick plea. He 
further stated that he hunted up the records and 
found no forfeiture set aside by the court; also had 
found that the defendants had never come into court 
and given a new bond after it was forfeited. 

He also said that the complainant had come i,ooo 
miles three times to attend the trial. He then re- 
spectfully requested twenty-four hours, in view of 
these facts, to bring the complainant from the East to 
Chicago. Judge Freeman granted the request, and set 
the case for one week later, which fell on Thursday. 
Mr. McCarthy was present, but intentionally or 
through a mistake, another case was on hearing, which 
took this case over to the following Monday. Mr. 
McCarthy having pressing business which called him 
home, could not remain. 

When the case was reached, Wooldridge received a 
telegram from the complainant stating that it was im- 
possible for him to be present, and as it seemed that 
he could not obtain justice, he would not lose any 
more time and did not intend to come again. Then 
began a scramble for the stolen money which had been 
held as evidence, and for which the bondsman had an 

The attorney who had defended Lillia Hamilton 
and William Garrett in the case of vagrancy expected 


to receive his fee from this money. He was also re- 
tained to defend them in the criminal court. 

But Lillia Hamilton and William Garrett took an- 
other counsel for the criminal court, and the first at- 
torney was thrown overboard. He threatened to turn 
state's evidence and was again taken. 

When Wooldridge received the telegram from Mr. 
McCarthy that he would not go further with the case, 
he notified the attorney, who secured an order for the 
money held as evidence and claimed by Lillia Hamil- 
ton and William Garrett. Wooldridge presented the 
telegram to the court and the case was stricken oflf 
the docket. The court then honored -the attorney's 
order for the money, and it was turned over to him. 

Afterward Lillia Hamilton, William Garrett and 
their bondsman demanded of the attorney a division 
of the money. They were reminded of the double 
dealings with him and of their efforts to prevent him 
from getting his fee, and he suggested to them that they 
had better drop the matter where it was, which was 
done. The wily bondsman was beaten at his own game 
and he never got over it. 



A gan^ of young robbers tried to run a corner on 
the chewing gum market in Chicago in 1899, not by 
buying all there was in sight or by getting options on 
it, but by stealing it. 

Primley's chewing gum factory at 15 19 Wabash 


avenue was robbed seven times in succession before 
the gang was caught. They not only took chewing 
gum, but carried away everything portable they could 
get their hands on. A wagon load of stolen goods 
was recovered which Mr. Primley recognized as his 

In 1896 the factory was broken into ana robbed half 
a dozen times before the police caught the thieves. 

On the night of May 8, 1898, the factory was again 
burglarized and $200 worth of property stolen. The fol- 
lowing night about the same amount was stolen. Half 
a dozen detectives were set at work on the case, but 
the traps they laid for the robbers failed, and June 10 
there was another raid by burglars. In less than a 
month a fourth occurred, and the police set a watch 
on the factory. This watch was maintained for some 
weeks, but resulted in nothing, and in a few weeks 
Mr. Primley lost $50 worth of goods again. New 
Year's eve the robbers again entered the factory and 
stole a bicycle, a quantity of gum and some silver- 

After this Mr. Primley left nothing valuable about 
the place. He put all the money in the saife instead 
of leaving it in the cash drawer. The burglars were 
disappointed at the next visit, and wrote the follow- 
ing message on the back of an envelope and pinned it 
to the cash drawer: 
"Just please leave something next time or we will get even." 

The police considered this message a defiance, and 
several detectives made fruitless attempts to trap the 
robbers. When the burglars paid their last visit they 
broke up' several pairs of scales and a typewriter, 


carrying out their threat to get even if Primley did 
not leave some cash in the money drawer. 

This act of depredation incensed the patient Mr. 
Primley, and his complaint to the police resulted in 
Detectives Wooldridge and Schubert being assigned 
to the case, with orders to work on it until the rob- 
bers were landed in jail. 

Detective Wooldridge at last found a boy at 340 
State street who had a quantity of gum in his posses- 
sion. The stolen gum was put up in a peculiar way. 
It was placed in a hollow tube that resembled an 
elongated capsule. Wooldridge saw the boy draw 
from his pocket one of these packages and take from 
it a chew of gum. He at once recognized it as the 
kind of chewing gum that had been stolen, and by 
the exercise of a little diplomacy found out all he 
wanted to know. 

He induced the boy to tell him where he got the 
gum. The boy led him to 1221 Wabash avenue. This 
was where the gang of young robbers lived. When 
the door was opened one of the leaders, Thomas Ste- 
venson, fell into the hands of the detective. Then a 
man named James Daly, who was well known to the 
police as an all-around crook, appeared and rushed 
to Stevenson's rescue. He made an attempt to get 
possession of two loaded revolvers which were on a 
dresser in one of the bedrooms, but Wooldridge 
caught him, and after a struggle placed him under 

Two bicycles, an umbrella, and a large quantity of 
chewing gum stolen from Primley were found in the 

February 25, 1899, James Daly and Thomas Ste- 


venson were arraigned for trial before Judge Stein, 
and James Daly was sent to the penitentiary under 
the indeterminate act. Thomas Stevenson was 
found to be under the age of twenty-one and was sent 
to the Pontiac Reformator3\ 



There are among thieves many plans* to rob their 
victims, but Detective Wooldridge once arrested a 
woman who had devised a clever plan to steal a man's 
diamond shirt stud. 

While standing on the corner of State and Thirty- 
first streets one night in December, 1896, George 
Smith got into a flirtation with Mamie Fitzgerald, a 
handsome young woman, with a pretty figure and 
stylish clothes. 

Smith was smitten vith the fair Mamie, as she 
stood under the electric light, and after a little con- 
versation he asked permission to call on her. While 
discussing the matter he accompanied her into a wine- 
room in the saloon on the corner, where a bottle of 
wine was bought and drunk. 

Mamie became very affectionate, and, throwing her 
arms around Smith's neck, she placed her head down 
on his bosom, which brought her mouth almost di- 
rectly over the handsome $75 diamond stud which he 
wore, and she bit the stone from -the screw which 
held it to the shirt bosom. Then, granting him per- 
mission to cal^ on her whenever he liked, she started 
to leave him 


Smith, upon rising to his feet, felt the screw, which 
a few moments before had held the diamond secure 
in his shirt, slide down his pants leg, and, throwing 
his hands up, he discovered his diamond was gone. He 
rushed to the door just in time to see the fair Mamie 
vanish into the Columbia Hotel on the opposite cor- 

He made complaint to the officer who was patrol- 
ing the post and who was standing on the corner when 
they went into the saloon, and also when the woman 
came out. Together they went to the hotel, but the 
fair Mamie could not be found. 

Several weeks after Smith saw and recognized 
Mamie Fitzgerald going into one of the saloons on 
State street. He made complaint to the Harrison 
Street Station and procured a warrant, and Detective 
Wooldridge was detailed to locate the fair Mamie. 
She was found at the Boston saloon, near Vai? Buren 
and State, streets, with a number of thieving and panel 
house steerers, and was arrested. 

She was held in bonds of $500 to the criminal court, 
indicted and arraigned for trial before Judge Gibbons 
and found guilty of larceny. A motion for a new trial 
was made and granted. 

A few weeks later she went with her attorney and 
bondsman to the criminal court to attend the new 
trial. When she left she laughed and winked at her 
companions. The cause of her merriment was the 
ease and grace with which she had played the role of 
a penitent before Judge Gibbons and the desired re- 
sults it had brought about. 

She had shed many tears and begged the courf: to 
be merciful. This melted the heart of Judge Gibbons 


and he let her go, with the understanding that if she 
returned in two weeks and brought evidence of the 
fact that she was honorably employed she might have 
a longer stay of proceedings, but that she would be 
required to report to him once a month for one year. 
The woman is well known to the south side police, 
and has been charged with many robberies. 


An ex-employe of a hotel took advantage of his 
former duties to commit a robbery in November, 1893, 
and it cost him eighteen months in the- penitentiary 
at hard work. 

At that time H. V. Bemis was proprietor of the old 
Richelieu Hotel on Michigan avenue. He had in his 
service for a long time a man named Graham Kepner, 
a part of whose duties was to go to the postoffice daily 
for the hotel mail. After his discharge from the hotel 
he went to the postoffice one day as usual and .called 
for the mail. He was well known there and was given 
several letters, one of which was addressed to Mr. 

Other letters were for guests. The one intended for 
the proprietor of the hotel contained a check for $30.50 
which Kepner appropriated and had cashed. Some of 
the other letters also contained money which Kepner 

Detective Wooldridge was asked to investigate the 
case and was given a photograph of Kepner, by which 
he was recognized while in a sporting house on Custom 
House place and arrested. He was indicted and when 


placed on trial December 19, 1893, was found guilty 
and sentenced to the penitentiary for one and a half 



During-the years 1893 and 1894 there was perhaps 
more public depravity in the city of Chicago than in 
any other city in the United States. This was car- 
ried on in Custom House place, which is in the very 
heart of the metropolis. Here at all hours of the day 
and night women could be seen at the doors and win- 
dows, frequently half-clad, making an exhibition of 
themselves and using vulgar and obscene language. 
At almost all of these places there were sliding win- 
dows, or windows that were hung on hinges and 
swung inside. There were also doors which were used 
when there were no officers in sight. These swinging 
or sliding windows were used by the women to invite 
pedestrians on the street to enter these places and also 
for the purpose of exhibiting themselves. 

Extension fronts were built to many of these houses 
from which a better view could be had of the police 
and pedestrians. All the houses were equipped with 
electric bells and a sentinel, whose duty it was to 
watch for the police and give a signal to the inmates, 
.was stationed at each end of the street between Polk 
and Harrison. The electric wires ran from one house 
to another, and warning could be given at either end 
of this thoroughfare. It was no unusual thing in those 


days fo see from fifty to one hundred women lounging 
in the doors and windows in this one block at one 
time. The habitues of this place embraced every na- 
tionality, both black and white, their ages ranging 
from eighteen to fifty years. The costumes worn by 
these people embraced every kind known to the hu- 
man race, from that of the Hottentot to the belle of 
the ball. Some were in tights, some having nothing 
on but a loose "Mother Hubbard," made of some 
flashy material which resembled a mosquito bar, 
through which the entire form of the woman could be 
seen. Others were dressed as jockeys, while others 
had no sleeves in their dresses. The waist was cut 
so low that their bosoms were entirely exposed, and 
some were dressed almost exclusively in the garb 
which nature gave them when they were born. 

These women would frequently stand for hours in 
the windows and doors of these houses; and when one 
grew tired some one else would take her place. They 
made all kinds of indecent gestures and remarks and 
invited every man who passed to come inside. There 
were two classes of houses in this block. Some of them 
were known as "straight" houses, where a man could 
be entertained in any way if he was willing to pay for 
it. He could have any kind of music he wanted, any 
kind of drink or any kind of dancing. The other 
houses were known as thieving dens where every 
method known to the artful, thieving women was 
practiced to secure a man's money. In these houses 
could be found every low and demoralizing phase of 
life that the human mind could think of. Many of 
these women were even lower than brutes. 

Exorbitant rents were charged for these buildings, 


some of them bringing as high as $250 to $275 per 
month. Several enterprising landladies rented and 
furnished from two to four houses each and sub-let 
them for from $15 to $25 per day in advance. Among 
the worst characters on this street was Mary Hast- 
ings, who rented and furnished four of these places 
and received as high as $25 per day for each of them. 
She was not particular to whom she rented these 
houses. One day a colored woman would occupy the 
house, and the next a white woman would be installed. 
In order to pay these exorbitant prices these women 
were compelled to commit crimes, and nearly every 
man who entered one of them was robbed before he 
got out. Almost daily these houses were raided by 
the police, but when one party was broken up and driven 
out another was ready to go in, and in a few days things 
would be as bad and perhaps worse than before. 

Conditions grew so alarming in that locality that 
business men and a committee from the Civic Federa- 
tion waited on George B. Swift, then Mayor, and J. J. 
Badenoch, then Chief of Police, and requested them 
to take some action to suppress the daily routine of 
depravity and crime of these women, declaring that 
they were a menace to the public and to society, and 
were leading astray many young boys who were drawn 
there by curiosity. A large number of women and 
young girls were employed in several printing houses 
near there, and these exhibitions could be seen by 

The Mayor and the Chief of Police made a personal 
investigation, and when they saw what really existed 
in that locality they were greatly shocked. Orders 
were issued at once to have the windows painted and 


securely fastened. Detective Wooldridge was placed 
in charge of these orders and instructed to enforce 
them without fear or favor, and to compel these wo- 
men to observe the laws of human decency. After 
several weeks of hard labor he succeeded in making 
a great change in this locality. The inmates of these 
houses rebelled against the orders, and every excuse 
that could be thought of was made to avoid obeying 
them. Several of them went to Wooldridge and de- 
clared they did not have money to buy the paint or 
pay the painter, which was, of course, untrue, but the 
detective gave them the benefit of the doubt and 
painted the windows himself free of charge. This for 
a time prevented further complaints against these 
places, and Wooldridge was warmly cong^ratulated on 
the great change which followed his work in that lo- 



There is a class of thieves in every large city called 
box-car thieves, which give the police and railroad 
companies a great deal of trouble. They break into 
loaded cars and frequently carry away thousands of 
dollars' worth of goods. Detective Wooldridge had a 
fierce struggle with one of these thieves in April, 1895. 
The officer saw William Smith, a powerfully built 
colored man, coming out of one of these box-cars in 
the Western Indiana railroad yards at Taylor street. 
He had a bag full of coal on his back and was arrested 
and taken to the patrol box. 


Wooldridge had a firm hold of Smith by the sleeve 
of his coat, but as he opened the patrol box to call the 
wagon Smith struck him with the hand that was free, 
and at the same time wrenched Wooldridge's arm 
backward against the door, nearly breaking it. He 
broke the detective's hold, and before he could get out 
of the patrol box and recover from the blow, Smith 
had gotten twenty-five feet ahead of him, starting 
north through the alley from Taylor street. 

Wooldridge had on a heavy overcoat and was no match 
for Smith, who ran like a greyhound. He was deter- 
mined, however, not to give up the chase and let Smith 
get away if he could held it. 

He thought he could possibly attract the attention 
of the officer who was traveling post north of him 
by firing his revolver. The alley was muddy, and 
when Smith heard the crack of the revolver he only 
ran the ' faster. This attracted the attention of every 
one in the neighborhood, and the)'- were able to keep 
the officer posted as to which direction Smith took. 

When he got to Polk street several of the people 
said the fugitive went east, and was throwing mud as 
high as the buildings with his feet. Wooldridge followed 
Smith by the aid of those who saw him to the alley south 
of Polk street, between State street and Plymouth 
place, where he lost track of him. He searched as long 
as ten minutes, and was rewarded by locating him in 
a garbage box. 

Smith sprang out of the box and made a vicious 
smash at Wooldridge with his right hand, but missed 
the detective, who dealt Smith a heavy blow with his 
club across the shins, one of the tenderest and weak- 
est points to be found on a colored man. He followed 


this with. another blow across Smith's forearm. Both 
clinched and went down together. Smith was much 
the stronger of the two and was about to get the best 
of Wooldridge when he managed to deal him another 
tremendous blow over the shins, which caused him to 
loosen his hold and cry with pain. 

Before he recovered Wooldridge had the "come- 
alongs" around his wrists, and he submitted without 
further trouble. 

While passing the Polk street depot Smith was rec- 
ognized by August Frank, an expressman, who lived 
at 256 Forty-first street, and who claimed that Smith 
and another' man held him up several days before and 
took a watch and $13 from-him. 

Smith was fined $50 and sent to the House of Cor- 



If it becomes the duty of a police officer to pursue an 
investigation of charges made against fellow officers, 
there is no halting, no hesitancy. If there are crimi- 
nals on the police force, those officers who want to 
uphold the integrity and good name of the department 
owe it to themselves to use their best efiforts to run 
down these criminals. 

A robbery occurred at a picnic in Sharpshooters' 
Park on July i, 1900, and the charge was made that 
two policemen were among the robbers. Patrick 
Sheehan and John W. Mosher were among the officers 
who were assigned to duty at the park that day. 


At about eleven o'clock that night Hugh Mc- 
Dougall, an old man, entered the park. He was ac- 
costed by Sheehan and Mosher, who accused him of 
climbing over the fence. He insisted that he had en- 
tered through the gate. Then the officers declared 
there was no gate on that side of the park. At this 
the old man said he would show them the gate if they 
would follow him. They agreed and started toward 
the entrance. On the way Sheehan placed his hand 
on McDougall's hip and told him he had a revolver. 
He then took from McDougall's pocket a spyglass 
about six inches in length, 

Mosher then went into McDougall's pockets and 
took from his vest a roll of bills amounting to about 
$i6o. McDougall asked, "Why do you take my 
money from me?" Mosher replied, "You will get it 
back when you get to the station," and told him to 
march ahead. 

They had by this time gotten into a part of the park 
where there was less light and which was practically 
vacated at that time of night. As McDougall ap- 
proached within a few feet of the gateway, he, feeling 
some force behind him, immediately reached out his 
right hand and clutched Sheehan's watch chain and 
at the same time received a blow in the back of the 
head which dropped him to his knees. As he fell the 
chain gave way. He rose to his feet and saw the po- 
licemen running along a fence leading to the west, 
where they disappeared. 

McDougall then ran back to the park, where he met 
Officer Moore, to whom he related ^ the occurrence. 
He was without his hat, and, his story not being cred- 
ited, Officer Moore and some others went with him to 


the spot where he was assaulted and found his hat, 
and upon further search found two pieces of a watch 
chain, upon one of which was a Royal Arcanum 

They proceeded from that spot along the passage- 
way to Western avenue. When they got there, they 
saw Sheehan and Mosher coming from the north on 
the sidewalk about fifty feet away from them. The 
two officers went near the front entrance to the park, 
and there Officer Moore and another witness saw a 
piece of chain with the guard hanging in the button- 
hole of Sheehan's vest. Officer Moore at once went 
to the patrol box and notified his superior officer. 
Lieutenant Jeunger, who subsequently came with the 
patrol wagon and ordered the officers there on duty 
to stand in line and be. examined. 

When the officers were lined up Sheehan was par- 
tially identified by McDougall, who was suffering in- 
tensely at the time from the blow he had received, and 
was in a dazed condition. In the meantime the piece 
of chain had disappeared from Sheehan's vest and he 
denied being a member of the Royal Arcanum society^ 
and said he had not worn a chain at a picnic for five 

Two days afterwards these officers were again lined 
up at the police station, when McDougall with some 
reserye declared that Sheehan and Mosher looked like 
the men. An investigation was had before the Trial 
Board, resulting in the discharge of Sheehan and 
Mosher from the force, and they were then indicted. 
Detectives Wooldridge, De Roche and McGrath then 
arrested the indicted men. At the first trial the jury 
could not agree apd was discharged. 


Witnesses at the second trial were produced who 
testified to seeing Sheehan and Mosher in -the east side 
of the park at the time of the assault, which took place 
in the west side, and also that Sheehan wore no chain 
on that day. 

There was produced a tintype of Sheehan and 
Mosher taken that day at Sharpshooters' Park which re- 
vealed a chain and charm on Sheehan. A magnifying 
glass disclosed a rim to the charm which was of an un- 
usual style of workmanship. 

The taker of the tintype swore that he took no tintype 
excepting at picnics and fairs, that the tintype was taken 
in the year 1900, and that he was at Sharpshooters' 
Park that day taking tintypes. The defendants admitted 
that they sat for a tintype that day, but claimed there 
were three in the tintype, and prodiKed a tintype of three 
persons, one other officer besides themselves. 

A witness was produced who testified to the sale of 
the watch charm to Sheehan in March, 1899, and that 
he had at the time entered the transaction on his 
books, Sheehan having bought it on credit, and the 
salesman produced his books showing that fact. He 
remembered the transaction, and told what other offi- 
cer was in his place at the time with Sheehan. 

The other officer, however, denied being there with 
Sheehan, and Sheehan denied ever having been in his 
place of business or even knowing him. 

But the fatal circumstances which discredited Shee- 
han were that he was the only policeman assigned on 
duty who had no chain on after the robbery ; that he 
denied being a member of the Royal Arcanum, al- 
though he was a member of that order; that he de- 
nied having worn a watch chain at a picnic for five 


years, whereas the tintype in question disclosed one 
on him, and the further fact that he had bought, as 
claimed and sworn to, the Royal Arcanum charm of 
the pattern found at the scene of the assault, which 
corresponded in detail with the one shown in the tin- 
type, and an enlarged photograph of the same. 

The trial was had before Judge Horton, and when 
the case was submitted to the jury on May 15, 1901, 
a verdict of guilty was returned in fifteen minutes. 
They were sentenced to indefinite terms 'in the peni- 
tentiary on May 25, and are now paying the penalty 
at Joliet. 



When a thief sees a man with a roll of money he is 
like a wild animal that has become enraged at the 
smell of blood. There is no peril too menacing to 
prevent him from attempting a robbery. The sight of 
money inflames his passion for crime. The chance of 
getting killed or possibility of a term in prison does 
not deter him. 

In a room at 497 Clark street, in 1896, two women 
and a man attacked and robbed a stranger whom they 
knew had a 44-caliber Colt's revolver in his pocket. 
This did not deter them, however. They even took 
his revolver. 

The victim in this case was D. M. Elliston, whose 
home was in a small town in Idaho. He had stopped 
in Chicago while on his way from his western home to 


Indianapolis, and met and drank with several women 
in a saloon on the floor below the room in which he 
was robbed. One of the women induced him to go 
upstairs. Soon the landlady appeai'ed and demanded 
$ioo for the use of the room. Elliston refused to pay, 
as he did not use the roojn. 

Another woman then appeared and demanded the 
money, threatening the stranger with trouble unless 
he settled. Elliston then opened his pocketbook and 
took out a bill, when all of them seized him and at- 
tempted to rob him. He threatened to shoot, and then 
the barkeeper below came running up* and struck the 
stranger with a blunt instrument of some kind, which 
knocked him down and closed his eye. He was robbed 
of $45 and the railroad checks for his baggage. 

Elliston got out of the house after the thieves had 
fled, and was joined by one Milton Seely, who was at- 
tached to the house as porter. He pretended to want 
to befriend Elliston, and said he would see him 
through, and, learning that the man was stopping at 
the Grace Hotel, said he would see him home. 

He took him through various streets and cross 
streets trying to confuse him, and finally left him. 
Elliston wanted to go to the police station and report 
his loss, but was advised not to do so until the next 

He went to the station the next day and reported 
his loss. Detective Wooldridge went with him to 
search for the robbers. Elliston could not tell where 
the robbery took place, but said he would know the 
house again if he saw it. Street after street was 
traversed without success, and some three hours spent 
hunting the place. At last they were compelled to go 


back where Milton Seely had left him. Here they 
started and went over the course and soon found the 
house. Elliston's revolver was recovered under the 
bed with the cartridges drawn, which were found in 
the hands of the barkeeper, Charles Miller. 

Maud Murray and Charles Miller were arrested for 
robbery, and on the way to the station Maud Murray 
slipped a card intC) Elliston's pocket telling him if ht 
would not show up at the police court the next morn- 
ing his money would be returned and all his expenses 
paid. Wooldridge saw the act, extracted the card 
from the pocket and held Elliston a witness to give 
them a surprise the next morning, knowing that if 
Elliston was seen or appeared in court a continuance 
of ten days would be asked for to wear the witness 
out. Maud Murray and Miller made a diligent search 
for Elliston, with the aid of their attorney, and sev- 
eral times asked WooMridge if he had seen him, who 
replied, "No," and said to them that if Elliston should 
not show up he would ask them for a continuance, and 
asked them if they would consent to it. 

They both said they would not, and when the case 
was called they demanded a trial or discharge. 

Wooldridge had in the meantime posted the judge, 
who asked their attorney and eiach of them if they 
were ready to go to trial, receiving from each an af- 
firmative reply. "And so is the prosecution," said 
Wooldridge, and called another officer to bring in 
Elliston, which was done. Thus the thieves were 
caught in their own trap. They were speechless in 
their surprise, and the worst beaten and bewildered 
couple that ever stood before the bars of justice. They 


were held in bonds of $i,6oo and $800 respectivel}'^ to 
the criminal court. 

When Elliston reached Indianapolis he wrote back 
and refused to prosecute the case, and of course it was 
then dropped. 



In the summer of 1899 the old passenger steamer 
Chief Justice Waite was leased and used by a syndi- 
cate for the purpose of making excursions on the lake. 
It was finally discovered, however, that the purpose of 
the syndicate was not so much to conduct excursions 
as it was to conduct a gambling house on board the 

Complaints frequently reached the city hall from 
parties who had been swindled at crooked games dur- 
ing the excursions in which they were passengers. 
The boat was the resort of all kinds of confidence 
men. Shell games, three-card monte, slot machines 
and various other devices w^ere said to have been used 
to separate men from their money. 

Two detectives from Central Station had been 
among the excursionists on several trips, getting evi- 
dence on which to base charges of gambling. When 
they had succeeded, state and city descriptive war- 
rants were sworn out for the captain and some of the 
crew. When the old steamer arrived at the Clark 
street dock at midnight Detectives Dodd and Trafton, 
who held the warrants, went aboard and served them 


on the captain of the vessel. They were followed by 
Detectives Wooldridge, Schubert, Sullivan, Tobin, 
Duffy, Focklan and Tierney. 

As soon as the captain of the vessel found out what 
was in progress he ordered the boat unmoored, his 
intention being to steam away from the shore and get 
back into the lake, where the officers would have no 
jurisdiction. He blew the whistle vigorously for the 
bridge tender to turn the bridge, but the officers who 
remained ashore intervened. The harbor master was 
summoned and the bridge tender was ordered not to 
open the way for the steamer to pass out. 

In the meantime the old steamer was drifting 
around in the stream. Detective Wooldridge, who 
had been assigned to the duty of taking care of the 
vessel's captain, asked the latter where he was going. 
The captain replied that he was going to take the 
officers on a long trip. To this Wooldridge, of course, 
objected, and said to the captain: 

"You take this vessel back to the shore, or I will 
take you without the vessel. I will give you just five 
minutes to decide whether you will accompany me 
peacefully or compel me to jump overboard with you, 
and if you force me to do the latter, I will ride you 
ashore or drown you in the attempt. Come, sir, what 
course will you have me adopt? Speak up. I am a 
man of few words and am through talking." 

Seeing that the officer was in earnest, the master of 
the steamer concluded he had better make a landing. 
He then directed the engineer and pilots to return to 
the shore, but instead of tying the boat up at the dock 
on the south side of the river he steamed across to 
the north side. 


Nothing was gained by this, however. On the dock 
fifty uniformed policemen under command of Lieuten- 
ant Deely were waiting with a number of patrol wag- 
ons. The officers and wagons quickly crossed the 
bridge, and when the boat was made fast these officers 
were on hand. They took their positions and cleared 
the way for the passengers and crew. 

Every one on board was arrested and great excite- 
ment followed. It was nearly two o'clock in the 
morning before the last passenger was taken from the 
excursion steamer and landed in the station. 

This broke up the gambling on the Chief Justice 
Waite, and the old vessel was put to better uses. But 
it had done service around Chicago so long that it 
soon became useless. Its owners carried it around to 
the harbor on the lake front, where it settled down to 
the bottom of the lake, and lies there to-day, with 
only the upper deck and smokestacks above the water. 

There were other excursion steamers engaged in 
the same kind of business, but the raid on this one 
put them all out of commission. 



Desperate and dangerous means are sometimes re- 
sorted to by detectives to obtain the information de- 
sired in locating law breakers. Detective Wooldridge 
took a desperate chance in 1891 in his effort to break 
up a gambling resort. 

Several complaints had been made to F. H. Marsh, 


who was then Chief of Police, that gambhng was car- 
ried on over John Gillan's saloon, 3848 State street. 
Officers had been on the case for two weeks trying to 
get evidence against this place and break it up, but with- 
out success. It was in the second story and run as a 
club, with passwords and sentries, rear and front. 

Wooldridge was called to the office at 2 p. m. and 
told to put on citizens' clothes, go to the above num- 
ber, find out if there was any gambling going on, who 
ran it, how drinks were served and how to get into 
the place in case of a raid, and moreover not to return 
until he had obtained the information. 

This was an unsually strong order, and he was left 
alone to solve the mystery and make the report, but 
there is no such a word as "fail" in Wooldridge's vo- 
cabulary. He disguised himself, went to the saloon, 
bought a cigar, pretended to read and put in a half- 
hour looking for a starter to solve the mystery. 

He then went into the alley and took a survey there 
with some success. Across the street there was an 
empty building, which was one story higher than the 
saloon, and into this he went to make further observa- 
tion. He saw that five or six of the buildings oppo- 
site, including the saloon, were constructed alike, and 
over each was a skylight. His plan was to reach this 
roof after dark and make an investigation. 

He recrossed the street and went into the first 
building south of the one where the gambling was 
supposed to be going on, and found the upper front 
occupied by Alcott, a real estate agent, and the rear 
occupied by a family. 

Wooldridge waited until the real estate agent had 
left his office and the family had retired. He then took 


a small ladder and entered the building. There he 
found a stepladder ten feet high, but the trapdoor in 
the roof was seventeen feet from the floor. Directly 
under the trapdoor was an iron sink three feet high. 
He placed the stepladder on this. When he got to the 
top of it he was still four feet from the opening. Then 
he tied the ladder he had brought along to the other, 
reached the trapdoor and was soon on the roof. 

Going over to the roof of the next building, he found 
a skylight directly over where the gambling was going 
on. He remained there until one o'clock in the morn- 
ing, saw and heard all that was necessary to establish 
a case against the house, then went away. 

While descending, the small ladder from the trap- 
door b-roke, and Wooldridge got a fall which came 
near breaking his neck, ruined a pair of trousers, 
sprained his ankle and badly bruised his leg. 

He did not stop to pick up his ladder, but got out 
the best way he could and returned to the station, 
where he made a detailed report in writing to the lieu- 
tenant in charge. The next morning he was called 
to the station again and made a verbal explanation of 
the means he adopted to secure the information he 
gave. It is needless to say that the gambling was 
speedily broken up 



Men who tried to make hand-books on the races in 
Chicago just after Francis O'Neill became Chief of 


Police resorted to all kinds of devices to deceive the 
police. But the detectives who were working from 
the chief's office w ere not to be fooled by the schemes 
invented to run gambling houses. 

The most ingenious device used by hand-bookmak- 
ers during the summer of 1901 was that started by 
William Broadwell, who conducted a meat market at 
Fifth avenue and Madison street. Inside the market 
there was a large ice box, or reTrigerator, and within 
the walls of the refrigerator, surrounded by big chunks 
of ice and fresh beef, there was a ticker which brought 
reports of races from the various tracks. 

Broadwell had been arrested twice before on gam- 
bling charges, and had gotten oJff with a small fine in 
each case. It was reported to the Chief of Police that 
he was still conducting a hand-book on the races, and 
the head of the police department sent Detective 
Wooldridge out to get evidence against him. 

The detective found evidence that the reports which 
came to the Chief of Police were true and that Broad- 
well was making a hand-book, notwithstanding the 
fact that he had been warned not to repeat his offense 
and had promised not to do so. 

Upon securing this evidence, Wooldridge, accom- 
panied by Detectives Schubert, Dubach, Gleason and 
Walley, secured warrants for Broadwell and his as- 
sistants, and started out ior the purpose of doing a 
little marketing. 

The meat market was there, and there were a num- 
ber of customers in the place. Broadwell was not only 
selling beefsteaks and slices of ham, but also selling 
pools on the races. When the detectives entered the 
place it was filled with customers. Seeing that a raid 


was on hand, many of them made a run for the doors, 
but all exits were guarded and no one escaped until 
they convinced the efficers that they were not gam- 

Broadwell was so confident that he had his appara- 
tus concealed and that the detectives would be un- 
able to discover his plan, that he smiled and remarked 
to Wooldridge, "You've made a mistake this time, 
old man ; there is nothing doing here." 

"I will see about that," Wooldridge remarked, and 
then he told his men to search the premises. When 
they went to the ice box and opened the door Broad- 
well said, "It's all up with me now. There is a ticker 
in there, but any man has a right to have a ticker." 
Inside the ice box the detectives found the ticker on 
a shelf returning reports from local -and out-of-town 

This, however, was not sufficient, and they made a 
further search. They found a hogus ham which con- 
tained the bets and money wagers. It was discovered 
hanging along with other genuine hams behind the 
meat counter. 

Taking it down, they found there was an opening 
on top, which was cleverly concealed by a cover. It 
was easily discovered, however, and on the inside they 
found all the evidence they needed. There were a 
number of small envelopes within this ham which 
contained bets on the races, with the bettor's initials 
and tickets, also betting sheets. 

Broadwell and his brother, Edward Broadwell, and 
F., Wilson, a clerk, together with the wooden ham and 
the ticker, were taken to the Harrison street Police 
Station in a patrol wagon. 


There was a young woman in the place v/ho was 
acting as cashier, but she shed so many tears when 
she saw the detectives that she washed away all evi- 
dence against her and was not arrested. 

The first raid made on this place was on May 31, 
when Broadwell was fined $50. The second raid was 
made on the day the Derby was run at Washington 
Park, and this time Broadwell and R. L. Phine were 
arrested as keepers of the place. Broadwell was again 
fined $50 and Phine $25. 


"The >1ain LINE" 

of Popular Paper Covered Books. 

Printed on good paper f torn cleat 
typCf numerous illustrations. 
Handsome covers lithographed 
in many colors. 

Pock's Bgd Boy Abroad. By Hon. Geo. W. 
Peck. Illustrated, 12mo. 
Retail price 50c 

Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus. By 

Hon. Geo. W. Peck. Author of "Peck's Bad Boy 
and His Pa." Retail price 50c 

Twenty Years of Hus'ling. By J. P. John- 
ston. Illustrated, 12mo. 
Retail price 50c 

WThat Happened to Johnston. By T. P. 

Johnston. Illustrated, 12mo. 

Retail price 50c 

How to Hustle. By J. P. Johnston. Illustrated. 12mo. 

Retail price 50c 

Grafters I Have Met. By J. P. Johnston. 

Is the expose of the many schemes devised to fleece the unsuspectingr. 

338 pages. Retail price 50c 

On the "Shoe-string" Limited with Nye and Riley. 

236 pages. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Stories and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln. By Paul Selby. 

Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

The American Cavalier. By Opie Read. 

346 pages. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Adventures of a Vice President. ByOpieReac'. 

226 pages, Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

The Captain's Romance. By Opie Read. 

312 pages. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

The Mystery of Margaret. By Opie Read. 

A story that engulfs the reader in a maze of mystery «. id love. 322 pages. 

Retail price 25c 

The Colonel and the WIdovtr. By Opie Read. 

A novel of to-day. 356 pages, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

The Bandit's Sweetheart. By Opie Read. 

A thrilling story of love and adventure. Retail price 25c 

Uncle Joshes Punkin Centre Stories. By Cal. Stewart. 

Talking machine edition. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Odd Folks. By Opie Read. 

238 pages, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Twelve Years a Detective. By Clifton R. Wooldridge. 

Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Other yifoman 's Husband. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox. 

Over 200 pages, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Hypnotism. By William Wesley Cook. 

274 pages. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price , 25c 

Buffalo Bill and Story of Wild Vtfest. 

312 pages, Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

Uncle^eremlah and His Neighbors at the St. Louis 

Exposition. 332 pages, Illustrated, 12mo. R«tail price 25c 

Up to Date Practical Letter l^rlter. By E. J. Strong, B. S. 

276 pages, 12mo. Retail price .25c 

Merciful Unto Me, a Sinner. By Elinor Dawson. 

The cry of a soul. 446 pages. Retail price 25c 

Aboard the Bandwfagon. By Forrest Crissey. Author of "A Country 

Boy." etc. Illustrated by John T. McCutcheon. 487 pages, 12mo. 

Retail price 25c 

Dick Lane, The Converted Thief. By Dick Lane. 

200 pages. Illustrated, 12mo. Retail price 25c 

The Charles C. Thompson Co. 


The Thompson Series of Home Study Books 

Books that not cnly TELL you how to do things 
But SHOW you how 

Charles P. Root, Former Editor of Motor Age. 225 pages, fully illustrated, round 
corners, pocket size, red edges. A practical book for Automobile Owners, Drivers, 
Repairmen, intending purchasers and all those Interested directly or indirectly in 
Motor Cars. Overhauling and general repair of the car is taken up and discussed 
at length. A book that not only tells you how to locate trouble and make repairs 
but shows you. The only book of its kind published. Price, PJexible Leather, 
$1.50. Cloth $1.00 

M. E. LL. D., Former Editr"- of Modem Machineiy, Editor of the 'American Cyclo- 
pedia of the Automobile, Author ol the J listori/ of the Automobile, Automobile Motors 
and Mechanism, Ignition. Timing and Valve Setting, Motor Boats: Construction and 
Operation, etc. 230 pages, liberally illustrated, round corners, pocket size, red edges. 
An exhaustive treatise on the operation, management and care of ^Iotor Cars.. 
Handling the car on the road under all conditions, making repairs, and locating faults 
are treated in a thorough manner. The hints on management of cars would be worth 
many times the price to beginners. Price, Fle.xible Leather, $1.50. Cloth, $1.00 

M. E. LL. D., Author of Automobile Driving Self-Taught. Ignition, Timing and 
Vahe Setting. Motor Boats: ConslJ-uction and Operation, etc. 265 pages, round cor- 
ners, red edges, pocket size, fully illustrated. A practical illustrated treatise on the 
power plant and motive parts of the modern motor car, for owners, operators, re- 
pairmen, and intending motorists. Price, Flexible Leather, $1,50. Cloth, $1.00 

M. E. LL. D., Author of Autom.obile Motors and Mechanism. Automobile Driving 
Sclf-Taught. Motor Boats: Constmttion and Operation, etc. Fully illustrated, 225 pages, 
round corners, pocket size, red edges. A comprehensive illustrated manual for self- 
ipstruction for automobile owners, repairmen and all interested in motoring 
Price, Flexible Leather, $1.50 Cloth, $1.00 

H. Russell, M. E. LL. D., Editor of The American Cyclopedia of tht Automobile, 
Author of The History of the Auiom/)bik. A^Uomubile Driving t>elf-Taught. Automobile 
Motors and Mechanism. Ignition. Timing and Valve Setting, etc. 300 pages. An illus- 
trated manual for motor boat, launch and yacht owners, operators of marine gasolene 
engines and amateur boat builders. Intended principally for the man who is not a 
mechanic. Its purpose is to provide a compendious guide to the design, construction, 
installation and operation of marine motors and to the design and construction of 
motor boats. Price, Flexible Leather, 01.50 Cloth, $1.00 

A B C OF THE MOTORCYCLE— By W. J. Jachman, M. E. Author of 
Facts for Motorists. Crushed Stone and its Uses, etc. Former Editor of the Chicago Daily 
Journal. Liberally illustrated, 250 pages, round corners, red edges, pocket size. 
A book of practical information for men who use motorcycles. It describes the mec- 
hanism and operation of the motorcycle so plainly that any man of average intelli- 
gence can understand it, regardless of mechanical training. It is the one practical 
book that really shows you how and should be read by every man who uses a 
motorcycle. This book shows how you to remedy road troubles almost instantly. 
Price, Flexible Leather .' $1.50 Cloth $1.00 

W. J. JacHman. M. E. Author of ^ B C of the Motorcucle, Facts for Motvrists, 
Crushed Stone and lis Uses, etc., and Thomas H. Russell, A. M., M. E. Charter 
Member of the Aero Club of Illinois, author of History of Ove Automobile, Motor Boats: 
Construction and Operation, etc. With introductory chapter by Octave Cbanute, 
C. E., President of the Aero Club of Illinois. Profusely illustrated, about 250 pages, 
round corners, red edges, pocket size. Just the book for those who want to know 
how to consiruci and operate gliders and flying machines. It "shows how" in both 

pictures and text. Price, Flexible Leather. '..$1.50 Cloth, ...$1.00 

These booHs are written in plain, simple, every-day laneuage, fully 
Illustrated Tvith especially prepared dra^vmes, diagrams and illustra- 
tions that show you how. Sold by BooRsellers generaUy, or sent 
postpaid on receipt of price. _ 

ai2Q'So. Wabash Ave^ Chicago, U. S. A. 


364W882H1906 C001 


III !|ll|||||l|l III III llllll lllll|l 

3 0112 025303741