October 31, 1909
LETTERS TO RICH MEN
COST HIM LIBERTY.
THADDEUS WILSON GOES TO
JAIL FOR DEMANDING MONEY.
Must Face Charge in Federal Court
Today -- Young Man's Father
Pleads in Vain for
A father's eloquent pleading and an aunt's tears availed nothing yesterday morning when Thaddeus S. Wilson was arraigned before John M. Nuckols, United States commissioner on the charge of sending letters with fraudulent intent to R. A. Long and Lawrence M. Jones, and he was bound over to the United States district court which meets tomorrow. In default of the $2,000 bond Wilson was sent to the county jail.
"I knew my boy never meant anything wrong," said the Rev. W. E. Wilson, the father of the young man, who arrived yesterday from Earlton, Kas. "He simply wanted to borrow the money to pay me back the debts he has incurred during the past years. If he has violated any law, I'm willing to have him punished, but I can't see where it is. He has the best reputation in our part of the country, and I can't see where any harm was done."
According to the father, the young man's past had not always been a rosy one. He had become extravagant and had invested his savings in mining stock which never amounted to anything. He had been successful as a school teacher, the father said.
When Commissioner Nuckols announced that the young man would have to be bound over and that the bond was $2,000, the father said:
"I can get him here to trial. He won't have to stay in jail, will he?"
"I'll have that disagreeable duty to perform if the bond is not furnished," was the commissioner's response.
Labels: courtroom, jail, ministers, R A Long, United States District Court
October 30, 1909
TELLS OF ROBBERY.
ENTERED SCALES OFFICE ON
NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 8.
Prisoner, Who Wrote Threatening
Letters to R. A. Long, Will Be
Turned Over to Federal
After "sweating" Thaddeus S. Wilson all day yesterday, E. P. Boyle, inspector of detectives, finally obtained a confession from the young man last night in which Wilson admitted that he had not only sent the two threatening letters to R. A. Long on Thursday but also had broken into the office of the Moneyweight Scale Company, 730 Delaware street, about three months ago.
"I might as well own up," he admitted. "You have the goods on me."
His signed statement offered the confession not only to sending threatening letters to R. A. Long, but also of the burglary of checks and money from the offices of the Moneyweight Scale Company on the night of September 8.
Although state law is drastic in its punishment of blackmailers, and the letter in which $5,000 is demanded is clearly within that class, Inspector of Detectives Edward Boyle announced last night that Wilson would be turned over to the federal authorities today.
The United States punishes with unusual severity persons who attempt to use the mails to defraud, and in Wilson's case there is no avenue of escape. Wilson will be taken in charge by the postoffice inspector.
Close questioning of Wilson yesterday afternoon at police headquarters by Inspector Boyle elicited the information that R. A. Long was not the only Kansas City man from whom he had demanded money.
Lawrence M. Jones was requested to send $1,000 to the young man September 6, but had paid no attention to the matter.
LIGHT ON POLICE METHODS.
When Wilson first came to Kansas City three months ago, he secured employment with the scale company. A few days later the place was robbed. Among the papers taken from the safe was $75 in currency. A couple of days following the robbery, Mr. Shomo of the Moneyweight Scale Company received an anonymous letter signed "C. O. D. 1239." A promissory note was also enclosed in which "C. O. D." intends to pay back the $75. The letter follows:
"KANSAS CITY, MO., September, 1909.
"Dear Sir: You will please find inclosed certain papers that are perhaps of value to you, also note covering the amount with interest computed that looks good to me. Thanks, humbly, C. O. D. 1239.
"P. S. -- Better send to Wichita and tell Mr. Reade to send another money order.
"P. S. 2 -- Say while I was sitting there in that big chair a bluecoat and a graycoat came along, saw an open window and began to talk about it. Yes, they wondered if any one was in there. I began to think it was a hell of a place for me. But I had to sit there and take it. Come very near offering them a ten spot to go on away and leave me alone. Then I heard one of them say to the other one:
" 'Crawl in through that window and see what's wrong inside.'
"Things getting hotter for me.
" 'Me?' says the bluecoat. 'Oh, no.'
"If I had been out in the country I'd laughed out. Come I couldn't. Well, they argued which it should be to go in. Well, they finally said they would send the janitor.
" 'No, no, no! I'm not on the police force yet,' says he. Then there was some more arguing. Well, they came back and looked at the crack in the window with more argument. I was afraid I would have to give up that ten spot. They said they would wait and see. I don't know where they waited. I didn't see them when I made my exit.
"I will close. I would like to tell you some more about those cops. They're true bloods, all right. Say, you will get my check someday. C."
Labels: crime, Delaware street, Inspector Boyle, R A Long
October 29, 1909
TRIES TO BLACKMAIL
R. A. LONG FOR $5,000.
LETTERS TO MULTIMILLIONAIRE
DEMAND THIS AMOUNT.
Is Arrested Just as He Is Given
THADDEUS SEBASTIAN WILSON.
Accused of Writing Letter to R. A. Long Demanding $5,000 Under Thread Against His Home.
A bungling attempt to "black hand" R. A. Long out of $5,000 resulted in the arrest of a man at the general delivery window of the postoffice at 8:30 o'clock last night, just as he had been handed a decoy package, supposed to contain the money demanded.
At police headquarters the prisoner gave the name Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, who recently came to Kansas City from Garnett, Kas. He denied writing letters to Mr. Long asking for money, and at the same time making a veiled threat. Wilson was placaed in the holdover to be questioned later. Inspector E. P. Boyle said he had reason to believe that he had the right man.
When Mr. Long went to his office in the R. A. Long building yesterday morning, he found this letter on his desk, addressed and written in long hand, on plain stationary:
"Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 27.
"Mr. R. A. Long.
"Dear Sir: -- Say, old man, I am broke, and want some money. I have to help take care of my mother and sister. You know times are pretty hard on poor people and it is pretty stiff.
"I am trying to give my sister an education. If I had some money I would buy a little store for my mother, and I would work. We could make and save money that way.
"Now, I have to have some money, and I am not going to knock some poor devil down to get it. I want you to send me $5,000 at once. I don't want you to give it to me. I will pay it all back with interest.
"You get up $5,000 in bills of different kind and wrap 'em in a package like goods from the store. Wrap them up good so they won't be tore open. Then you mail it like store goods. It will come all right.
MADE NO THREATS.
"Now I must have the money. I want to be honest so I ask you for it. No guess work or foolin, nothin but the dow will do. Send it today. Sure now. Say I've made n o threats. I have not been foolin either. I have lots of friends that will stand by me.
"You send me $5,000.00 as soon as possible today, as I told you konw. I guess you understand. Now get busy if you want us both to prosper. You needent say nothing to anyboydy, either. For the love of your home send that money as soon as you get this. This is more important. Let your work go.
"Waiting for results. O. B. VANDELLER.
Mr. Long read the letter over, then tossed it to his secretary to make a copy. He did not give it a second thought.
R. A. LONG.
But a second letter was received at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This was more insistent. The writer in his first letter had apparently feigned illiteracy, but in the second the language was pointed and written in the best of style. There were none of the misspelled words that had appeared in the first.
SECOND MORE INSISTENT.
"Kansas City, Mo., October 27, 1909.
"Dear Sir -- Now the best, cheapest and healthiest, and the most satisfacaotry way for you to do is to send along that $5000. No fooling goes much longer. You'll get it all back within three years. Now mind, $5,000 in the postoffice by tonight. Quicker the better; cheaper and healthier way is to send it along. I'll send you a note duly signed for the amount.
"Earnestly, O. B. Vandaller.
"P. S. -- You send a letter also.
Mr. Long notified the police about 4 o'clock and Detectives Jo Keshlear and J. J. McGraw were assigned to watch the postoffce.
NERVOUS IN POSTOFFICE.
When Wilson went into the postoffice he appeared very nervous. He looked around the rotunda before he took courage to step up to the general delivery window. Finally he edged in among a small crowd of peole and in time reached the window. He went into his pocket and from a notebook handed a sheet of paper to the man at the window.
By that time McGraw and Keshlear knew he was the man after the Long decoy package. Before the clerk could hand it to him, however, Keshlear arrested Wilson. He made no resistance, but became more nervous. The slip of paper, which he handed the clerk and the window has been taken from a loose leaf note book in Wilson's pocket. On it was written, in identically the same hand as that of the Long letters:
"Give man my mail. -O. B. Vandeller."
The package which Wilson would have received, had he been given time, was a twelve-ounce bottle in a cigar box. The package was wrapped in newspapers with plain wapping paper on the outside.
To Inspector Boyle Wilson denied that he had written a letter demanding $5,000. Just a brief statement was taken down in shorthand at first, and the prisoner, who gave his name as Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, was locked up to think the matter over.
Labels: black hand, crime, Inspector Boyle, R A Long, R A Long building
October 23, 1909
LONG'S DELEGATION RETURNS.
With a Band and Special Train
They Excited Admiration.
The greatest religious convention ever was that which was held in Pittsburgh last week when more than 30,000 members of the Brotherhood of Christ met in one great body, according to R. A. Long, who returned yesterday from Chicago with the special train carrying 210 Kansas City representatives from the convention.
Half an hour after the train arrived in Kansas City, Mr. Long was busy in his office attending to work which had piled up during his absence.
The Kansas City delegation, with Hiner's band, excited the greatest admiration. A special train with the best Pullmans in the service, all furnished by Mr. Long, was a subject that filled whole columns of the Eastern press. The special train was routed to Buffalo where Niagara Falls was visited, and then over the Lake Shore to Chicago, where the party remained a day.
"It was a great gathering," Mr. Long said yesterday. "Thirty thousand delegates in song and prayer has an influence that no one could resist. Yes, I think our delegation was the largest, considered the distance that we had to travel."
Topeka is to have next year's convention, though Des Moines and Louisville and Boston made a fight for it. If 30,000 delegates attend the Topeka convention it is rather doubtful whether quarters could be found for such a gathering. The distance, however, makes it improbable that such an event will take place.
Labels: Des Moines, R A Long, railroad, Topeka
September 8, 1909
R. A. LONG FOR EXTENSION.
Says It Would Be Mistake to Hamper
Street Railway Company.
Having spent two months on vacation, R. A. Long, the man who set the pace for imposing structures in the West by putting up the skyscraping Long building, said yesterday that he "hoped the people of Kansas City will stand by the Metropolitan Street Railway and grant them an extension."
"I have not read the ordinance through yet," said Mr. Long, "but in a general way I understand it wants to extend its present right sixteen years, asking no new ones, but granting the city half fares for children and one-half its profits for the accommodation.
"We ought not to be penurious in dealing with our public utilities. There is a great risk which they assume. We must let them make money. The successful public service corporation always spends its money liberally in the way of improvements. The unsuccessful one cannot. The Metropolitan sure has shown this in its treatment of Kansas City.
"It would be a great mistake to hamper the company. It is a credit to the city and we are proud of it."
Labels: Metropolitan Street Railway Company, R A Long, R A Long building
June 6, 1909
Y. W. C. A. FUND OF
$300,000 IS RAISED.
THOMAS L. SWOPE DOUBLES
SUBSCRIPTION OF $25,000.
Other Voluntary Donations Make a
Total of $303,000, Which Is
$3,000 in Excess of the
Through the donation of $50,000, by Thomas L. Swope, the largest single gift ever made for a similar enterprise in the history of the Y . W. C. A. , a gift of $20,000 by the R. A. Long family and $10,000 from the banks of Kansas City, the hard fought battle of the Young Women's Christian Association for $300,000 to build a new home was yesterday changed from a faded hope to a joyous reality. At the close of the campaign, May 25, the sum subscribed was $37,000 short of the necessary amount.
Since the end of a most strenuous campaign, every day of which was fraught with brilliant prospects which faded, forces have been at work, and yesterday the announcement was made that the money needed had been raised and there was some to spare.
Mr. Swope, feeling the absolute need of an institution such as has been proposed for the women of Kansas City, agreed to double his first subscription, raising it from $25,000 to the magnificent sum of $50,000. The amount was given with the proviso that the donor's name be withheld from the public, but Miss Nettie E. Trimble, general secretary of the association, considered such a proposition unfair to the man through whose charity their hopes are to be realized.
Following the lead made by Mr. Swope, R. A. Long added another $5,000 to his already large donation, making the total $20,000. Then through the Kansas City clearing house, the various banks donated $10,000, making in all a total of $40,000 since the closing of the original campaign. This brings the subscriptions up to $303,000, $3,000 more than was originally asked. This money will be used for equipments for the new building.
A meeting of the members of the board of directors of the association will be held some day next week to decide upon the plans for the new buildings. The "Home," which is to be erected at Eleventh street and Troost avenue, will be started at the earliest moment. Plans for this building have not yet been decided upon, as the national association has agreed to furnish them, provided use can be made of some that have already been used.
"We wish to thank the public spirited people of Kansas City who have helped in this campaign and made our project possible," said Miss Trimble yesterday. "Especially do we feel indebted to the press of Kansas City for the interest it has shown in the work and the good it has done to further the interests of our cause. We feel the responsibility of our position and we will do all within our power to merit the confidence of the people who have put this great sum at our disposal."
Labels: charity, Eleventh street, R A Long, Thomas Swope, Troost avenue, YWCA
May 19, 1909
Y. W. C. A. HAS YET TO
BRIDGE $125,000 GAP.
MUST RAISE $40,000 A DAY FOR
Hundreds of Women Are Working
in the Campaign, and Still
There Are Not Enough
Y. W. C. A. HEADQUARTERS IN THE R. A. LONG BUILDING.
With only three days of its ten-day campaign left, the Young Women's Christian Association has obtained pledges amounting in all to $178,3443.45. A gap of nearly $125,000 yawns between the $300,000 required for the contemplated new buildings, and to bridge it successfully an average of about $40,000 a day must be obtained in the short space of time that is left. It seems an impossible task, and yet there is not the slightest indication of discouragement among the scores of women workers who are giving ever moment of their time to the campaign.
"Fail? Why such a contingency has not even been considered," said one of the officers of the ways and means committee last night. "Everyone of us is perfectly confident that the $300,000 mark will be reached before Saturday. Although hundreds of women are working in the campaign, still we haven't enough canvassers to call on all of the persons we have on our lists. If there was some way we could see all of these people in the next few days, we could get more, much more, than the amount needed. There can be no doubt of this. I know that hundreds and hundreds of people we have not seen are only waiting for our solicitors to call before giving their subscription. What a help it would be if they would send in the amounts voluntarily."
The total amount obtained yesterday was nearly $9,000. About $6,000 of this was pledged in the morning, and the remainder in the afternoon. Besides five gifts of $1,000 there was one $500. The names of the $1,000 givers are as follows:
The Kansas City Journal, the Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company, Mrs. J. L. Abernathy, Mrs. C. A. Baker and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Marty.
Hundreds of donations in varying amounts have been received during the subscription campaign, including $25,000 from Thomas H. Swope, $15,000 from Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Long, $10,000 from Frank Hagerman, and $10,000 from Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods.
Labels: charity, R A Long, R A Long building, Thomas Swope, women, YWCA
April 11, 1909
NEW RELIGIOUS MAGAZINE.
"Christian Men" the Title of a Kan-
sas City Monthly.
"Christian Men" is a new religious magazine published monthly in Kansas City. The space in this magazine is devoted entirely to things pertaining to the church, and while no particular denomination is mentioned, the material more directly affects the Christian church. It is called the organ of the Brotherhood of Disciples of Christ and its work is purely masculine.
The publication deals not with local church affairs in particular, but with the religious activities of the Christian faith all over the country. Under the caption of "Wireless Whispers" news is printed from Christian Churches from all parts of the United States.
At the head of the publication as editor is P. C. McFarlane. R. A. Long is president of the organization, F. Bannister, treasurer, and Mr. McFarlane, secretary. The offices of the company are in the R. A. Long building. On the editorial staff are C. Chilton, T. S. Ridge, R. A. Long, W. Daviess Pittman, Fletcher Cowherd, H. Allen and Burris A. Jenkins.
Labels: churches, R A Long, R A Long building
December 2, 1908
JUDGE WALLACE ENJOINED
FROM MOVING HIS HOUSE.
His Neighbors Say It Would Destroy
Valuable Trees in Norledge Place.
Beset in front with the dragon quo warranto, Judge W. H. Wallace, advancing to give battle, has been assaulted from the rear. He has been enjoined from moving his own house. The temporary order was issued yesterday afternoon by Judge J. E. Goodrich in the circuit court and made returnable today.
William C. and Edward L. and Nathan Scarritt and Mrs. Annie E. Hendrix are the plaintiffs in the action, which is brought against William H. Wallace, Elizabeth C. Wallace and Grant Renne. The last named is a house mover, who has the contracting for transporting the Wallace dwelling from its old to its new site.
Boiled down to the briefest terms, the petition seeks to prevent the moving of the Wallace home westward from its present site along Walrond avenue or Norledge Place. It is stated that an agreement was made last October by the Wallaces by which they agreed not to remove their dwelling except in an easterly direction, so as to locate it east of Indiana avenue. The objective point for the house is now Norledge Place, to a lot adjoining on the west the home of W. C. Scarritt.
The real reason of the suit is an endeavor to prevent the destruction of the fine shade trees which line Norledge Place. One large oak is especially spoken of in the petition as having great value. Says the petition: "At least twenty trees would be destroyed, of great value, of more value, in fact, than the building."
At first R. A. Long's was mentioned in the papers as a plaintiff, because the Wallace home, according to the petition, is to be moved across Mr. Long's land. "Mr. Long's name was taken from the papers because he is not in the city and could not read over the petition," said W. C. Scarritt. "However, he is in sympathy with us and moving the house across his land would be done without his consent and against his will."
Labels: Judge Wallace, Lawsuit, Norledge avenue, R A Long, Walrond avenue
February 8, 1908
TO SAVE BOYS AND GIRLS.
Juvenile Association Determined to
Raise Fund of $10,000.
An active campaign is to be begun by the Juvenile Improvement Club to raise $10,000 for use in caring for neglected children in Kansas City. In this association are gathered all the workers for the juvenile criminal and homeless. The money will be spent to endow the Boys' hotel, a hotel for negro girls, boys clubs in the West, North and East bottoms, and to provide scholarships for boys who now have to stay out of school and work to support smaller children dependent upon them. The idea of the club is to get all varieties of juvenile reform and educational work under one management.
Judge McCune of the juvenile court is president of the club, the Rev. Daniel McGurk is vice president, Arthur L. Jelley is treasurer, and Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer is secretary. On the executive committee there are in addition to these men the Rev. Charles W. Moore of the Institutional church, Mayor H. M. Beardsley and H. J. Haskell. Subscriptions may be sent to Hughes Bryant, R. A. Long, Charles D. Mill, C. A. Young or C. V. Jones, who comprise the finance committee.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, East bottoms, hotels, Institutional church, Judge McCune, North bottoms, organizations, R A Long, West bottoms
September 27, 1907
WIPE OUT TUBERCULOSIS
OBJECTS OF A SOCIETY FORMED
Building and Endowing of a Tent
Colony and a Sanitarium
Among the Purposes
Fresh Air, Fresh Milk and Fresh Eggs.
That's the motto of the Jackson County Society for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis, organized last night. The leading men of the city -- doctors, ministers, priests, lawyers and officeholders -- attended the meeting and promised their assistance in putting the society in shape to do real work.
The programme of intentions outlined for the next few months is:
The building and endowing of a tent colony and a sanitarium near the city for the treatment of tuberculosis patients.
The employment of nurses to visit in the homes of consumptives and teach the people how to live properly when afflicted with the disease.
The enactment of laws by the city council to compel the reporting of all cases of tuberculosis, and to clean and disinfect all houses in which consumptives had lived or died.
The distribution of literature and the holding of public meetings to educate the people in healthy living -- fresh air, baths and wholesome food.
"Kansas City is twenty years behind Eastern cities in dealing with tuberculosis," said Dr. C. B. Irwin, one of the organizers of the society, last night. There is no fumigation, no reports of deaths from the disease, and practically no effort to check the spread of the plague. I know one house in this city from which there men have been carried out dead from consumption in the past five years. It's easy to know how the last two got it. As fast as one family moved out another moved in.
"Since in 1880 New York city began fumigating houses in which tuberculosis patient had died, began educating the people and commenced a systematic fight upon the disease, the death rate from it had fallen 50 per cent. The same is true of Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
"In the Western cities one death in every seven is from the white plague."
The directors of the society, chosen last night, are: Rev. Father W. J. Dalton, Dr. E. W. Schauffler, Judge H. L McCune, Mayor H. M. Beardsley, Frank P. Walsh, R. A. Long, Rev. Matt S. Hughes, Hugo Brecklein, Dr. St. Elmo Sauders, Congressman F. C. Ellis, Mrs. Robert Gillam, Ralph Swofford, Albert Bushnell, F. A. Faxon, George F. Damon and J. W. Frost.
The others are: Dr. R. O. Cross, president; Dr. C. B. Irwin, secretary, Albert Marty, treasurer; John T. Smith, Rev. Wallace M. Short, J. W. Frost and E. A. Krauthoff, vice presidents; chairman finance committee, Mrs. Kate E. Pierson; chairman soliciting committee, Mrs. E. T. Brigham; chairman legislative committee, J. V. C. Karnes, and publication committee, Dr. E. L. Stewart, chairman; Dr. E. L. Mathias and Clarance Dillon.
Labels: Boston, City Chemist Cross, Congressman Ellis, doctors, Dr Mathias, Father Dalton, Frank Faxon, health, ministers, nurses, organizations, R A Long
August 1, 1907
HE SWINDLED LONG
CAPTURE OF MAN WHO VICTIM-
OLD HAND AT THE GAME
HAS DONE TIME IN PRISON FOR
Represented to R. A. Long That He
Would Give Him a Write-Up
in a Magazine and Was
Given a Check
Brought From Denver to Answer the
Charge of Victimizing R. A. Long.
Oliver Smith, alias H. O. Lee, alias Benton Smith, alias O. B. Smith, alias S. H. Peabody, alias James T. Ridgeway, said to be one of the cleverst swindlers and forgers in the United States, was brought to Kansas City yesterday by Detective Thomas McAnany, after waiving extradition.
HIS VICTIMS MANY.
Smith is wanted here to answer a sort of confidence game he is said to have worked upon many wealthy men all over the country. He represente dto Mr. Long that he was James T. Ridgeway, treasurer of the Ridgeway Publishing Company, publishers of Everybody's magazine. He contracted for an illustrated article, of which Mr. Long was to be the subject, to be printed in that periodical at an early date. In payment, Mr. Long gave him his check for $750 drawn on the National Bank of Commerce, which Smith indorsed as "James T. Ridgeway, Treasurer," and cashed through the Bankers' Trust Compay. Mr. Long later became suspicious fo the man and ordered the check cancelled, but not until Smith had obtained most of the money and gone to Denver.
Smith is said to have worked this game upon scores of wealthy men all over the country. His plan seems to have been to represent himself as the agent for a large publication, to which he obtains subscriptions, asking amounts that varied as the means fo the intended victim were small or great. He is supposed to have carried a list with him containing the names of the prominent men of the city he intended to work, and from these to have culledo ut the prospects that bade fair to be the best "picking." When arrested in Denver he was occupying a suxurious suite of rooms at the largest hotel there. He made no resistance to arrest when the Denver detectives found him, but quietly admitted his identity and acknowledged the transaction with Mr. Long in Kansas City. He is said also to have acknowledged to the chief of the Denver police that he had planned to swindle some of the leading capitalists of that city.
TRUNK FULL OF MEMORANDA.
In his trunk were found memoranda of the men he intended to victimize, forged letters of introduction bearing the signature of W. H. Moore, head of the Rock Island railroad, and George F. Baker, an Eastern banker, and letters of indorsement purporting to be written by men like John D. Rockerfeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, Elihu Root, and others. The forgeries were clever and likely to deceive even those familiar with the handwriting of the originals. In his room at the Denver hotel were found eight different kinds of ink with which he is said to have forged countless names.
It seems that the man's favorite game was to enter a city, select his victims, present his bogus credentials and attempt to secure subscriptions for magazine articles. Of adroit address, and armed with his forged letters of introduction, he was able to impose upon the cleverest businessmen, and relied largely upon their reluctance to tell the story to get him out of danger. In Denver he is said to have presented himself as representing the New York Herald Publishing Association, Syndicate of Fifty Representative Newspapers, Temple H. Hamilton, treasurer, and the "Men of the Time," from "Everybody's," S. H. Peabody, secretary. In Kansas City he passed as James T. Ridgeway, treasurer of the Ridgeway Publishing Company. It was under the last title that he obtained the check from R. A. Long.
SWINDLED SOME BIG ONES.
Among the past victims of the man are said to be Melville E. Stone, manager of the Associated Press, General Russell A. Alger, and Jesse Seligman, the New York banker. He is said to have served time in Sing Sing and the Minnesota and Ohio state penitentiaries for forgery. After his arrest in Denver he confessed his identity to Chief of Police Delaney and freely admitted that he was the notorious swindler and forger. In the Kansas City prison yesterday, however, he repudiated his interviews in the Denver papers and declared that he was not guilty of the gorgeries named. He admitted getting the money from Mr. Long, but claimed that he had made a bona fide contract and that he had signed his own name to the check given him in payment. Asked why he had given his name as Smith both here and at denver he said he was drunk and registered at the Savoy and Albany hotels in the two cities through a prank. He contradicted himself several times in his statements ot the newspaper reporters, however, and practically admitted everything he had been charged with.
An interesting light was thrown upon his method of working by a memorandum list found among his possessions, containing names of leading capitalists of Denver and remarks upon the best means of getting at them. Names only of important business men were selected and these were labeled with a running fire of comment that indicated his thorough familiarity with the personal charactaristics of each.
While in this city he was accompanied by a woman he says was his wife, who has disappeared since the news of his arrest in Denver.
PINKERTONS KNOW HIM WELL.
"Our agency is well acquainted with this man, whom we consider one of the cleverest criminals in the United States, said John A. Gustafson, assistant superintendent of the local Pinkerton office, "and our records are full of accounts of his misdeeds. He began his operations as an expert 'write-up man,' as we term the swindlers who use his peculiar method of operation, in New York in 1902. From there he went to Philadelphia in 1903, and pulled off one deal that netted him $10,000. From there he went to Cleveland, O., where he was caught uttering a forged check, and was given eight months in the county workhouse. In the fall of 1903 he was caught trying to work General Russel A. Alger on the write-up game in Detroit, Mich. After he got out of prison in Michigan he pulled off another little affair in New York, which got him a sentence in Sing Sing. He was liberated from there a few months ago, to turn up here in Kansas City at his old game."
That he is no ordinary swindler, the manner Smith "listed" his Denver victims is hsown in the following memoranda taken from his pocket when he was approached by the Denver police:
Senator Walsh -- Telephone him to his country place and then go out. Has a secretary who is a tough one.
Senator Guggenheim -- Just elected United States senator. Will make a splurge.
A. D. Parker -- Vice president Colorado & Southern. Is reputed to be worth $15,000,000, all made in mining. He has the distinciton of being the only man that grub staked a miner for twenty years, who after a number of years of hard luck finally won out. A great deal has been written about him in newspapers in this conneciton.
J. J. Hentry -- Again on his feet promoting sugar beet factories. Likes publicity.
E. J. Wilcox -- President of railroad and mining companies. Was at one time a minister and is probably worth $5,000,000. Is a good fellow and likes publicity.
John F. Campion -- Mining man' probably stands the highest of any man in the mining game in Colorado. Worth about $5,000,000. Does not care particularly about publicity, but has had several steel plates and is known to subscribe to everything. Always winters at Los Angeles, where he is a heavy investor and associates with millionaires of the East.
Thomas F. Daly -- Insurance president, good fellow; has made a million in a few years in insurance and mining.
Otto Mears -- Railroad and mining. Well known character in Colorado. Has the title "Pathfinder of the San Juan." Dont think he has over $500,000.
J. A. Thatcher -- President of bank; a good fellow and worth about $5,000,000.
Labels: banking, con artist, Denver, detectives, forgery, hotels, newspapers, R A Long
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