Edward Lilly (#100)

Edward Lilly (Abt. 1822-1894), aka Big Ned Lilly, Ed Lillie, Joseph Morgan, Edward Walsh, etc. — Sneak Thief, Confidence Man

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Sixty-five years old in 1886. Born in United States. Sailmaker. Married. Slim build. Height, 6 feet i inch. Weight, 166 pounds. Black hair, turning quite gray; gray eyes. Wears a gray chin whisker. Has a sloop and owl in India ink on right arm ; spots of ink on left arm.

RECORD. Ed. Lillie is one of the most notorious confidence operators in America. He does not confine himself to that particular branch of the business, as he has done service for forgery and robbing boarding-houses. He is known in a number of the large cities of the United States and Canada, and is considered a very clever man.

He was arrested in New York City on November 25, 1876, under the name of James H. Potter, charged with purchasing from George C. Flint, of West Fourteenth Street, New York City, $600 worth of furniture, and giving him in payment therefor a worthless check for $750 on the National Bank of Newburg, N.Y. The bank’s certification on the check was forged, and he received $150 in change. In this case Lillie pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison, on February 2, 1877, by Judge Gildersleeve.

He was arrested again in New York City on July 28, 1879, in company of one John Hill, alias Dave Mooney (173), charged by Mrs. Lydell, who kept a boarding-houSe at No. 46 South Washington Square, with entering the room of one of her boarders and stealing $575 in money, three watches, two chains, and a locket, altogether valued at $1,000. In this case he was discharged for lack of evidence. Lillie was arrested again on board of a Galveston steamer, lying at the dock in New York City, on January 9, 1881, charged with obtaining $50 from Miguel S. Thimon, a Texan, by the confidence game. In this case Lillie was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison, on January 12, 1881, by Judge Cowing.

He was again arrested plying his vocation along the river front in New York, in June, 1884, and sentenced to six months in the penitentiary, charged with vagrancy. He obtained a writ, and was discharged by Judge Lawrence, of the Supreme Court, on June 13. 1884. He fell into the hands of the police again in New York City, on February 27, 1885, charged by Benjamin Freer, of Gardiner, Ulster County, N. Y., with swindling him out of $250 in money. One David Johnson, of Catasauqua, Pa., also charged him with swindling him out of 102 English sovereigns on January 2, 1885, on board of an Anchor Line steamer, while lying at the dock in New York City. Johnson was on his way to Europe. Lillie was tried for swindling Johnson, and sentenced to five years in State prison on March 9, 1885, by Recorder Smyth, in the Court of General Sessions. Lillie’s picture is an excellent one, taken in November, 1876.

As per usual, Byrnes recites a criminal record starting in the late 1870s; but Ed Lilly was one of the oldest criminals in Byrnes’ book, and had already had a long career by that time. In fact, even by 1858, was was described as an extensive operator of confidence games in New York, Philadelphia, and other large cities. His origins are not known, but he likely came from New York City or Boston. As a young man he learned an honest trade–sailmaking.

In 1858, Lilly was arrested in New York for swindling a man via a con known as the “patent safe game.” [Note: in some instances this small patent safe was called a “little joker”; but “little joker” was a term also used for the object hidden under a shell in the shell game; and later, a device used to crack combination locks.] In this operation, Lilly would make the acquaintance of the victim, and then both he and the victim would happen meet a total stranger (who in actuality was an accomplice of Lilly). The stranger would show them a new small safe he had invented with a hidden chamber, inside of which was an object. While the stranger was (supposedly) distracted, Lilly would sneak the object out of the chamber in view of the victim, then would bet the stranger that the object was no longer in the safe. Lilly would then ask the victim for a loan to cover the sure bet. The victim would supply the loan. Then the stranger would open the safe and (via a trick mechanism in the safe) find that the object (actually its double) was there, losing the bet. Lilly would pretend bafflement, and would promise to meet the victim later to pay back the loan for the lost bet. In this instance the victim went to the police. Lilly was convicted and sent to Sing Sing for two years.

Capture

Upon his release, Lilly was arrested in 1860 for burglary, but escaped conviction. At the onset of the Civil War, Lilly moved to Washington, DC, and opened up a canvas tent and flag store–his skills as a sailmaker were now in high demand, as the War required huge amounts of canvas camp goods. As busy as he was, Lilly was often mentioned in the Washington newspapers for getting into fights in gambling houses, carrying concealed weapons, intoxication, and attending prize fights.

It was while in Washington that Lilly proved he had a heart. He became upset over a lost dog:

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He had even named the dog for his favorite gambling game, Faro. Lilly seemed less attached to his female companions: including Kate Walsh, Sarah Hart, and Margaret Lilly–the last of whom ditched Ned Lilly in favor of the affections of fence Moses Erich (to mention just two of Mag Lilly’s several notorious male companions).

In 1870, Ed Lilly was arrested in Syracuse, accused by one of his victims. Police there confiscated Lilly’s baggage, and found some fascinating items:

kit

During the 1870s, Lilly added forged checks and counterfeit bonds to his kit, a risky choice, in that being caught with those subjected him to the risk of additional charges. It was on a charge of Forgery that he was convicted in New York in 1877 and sent to Sing Sing under the alias James H. Potter, the crime that Byrnes first recites in Lilly’s history.

As Byrnes recounts, Lilly was sent to Sing Sing two more times, in 1881 and 1885. In 1889, Lilly was arrested with bogus bonds in his possession at the Hoboken ferry terminal, and was consequently sent to the Hudson County Penitentiary (Snake Hill) for six months.

In 1894, Lilly checked into a Baltimore boarding house under the name “Alexander Stewart.” He was found one morning in his room, asphyxiated by gas escaping from an unlit lamp. He would have died anonymously, had it not been for the distinctive tattoos that he, like many criminals, bore on his body: in his case a sailing ship and an owl. Those features had been recorded several times in Sing Sing, and were recognized by New York officials.

 

 

 

 

#8 Walter Sheridan

Walter Sheridan (Abt. 1833-1890), aka William A. Stoneford, Charles H. Ralston, Walter A. Stewart, William Holcomb, Doc Dash, Charles H. Keene, etc. — Horse thief, con man, bank sneak thief, counterfeiter, forger

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Fifty-five years old in 1886. Born in New Orleans, La. Married. No trade. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, about 165 pounds. Light brown hair, dark eyes, Roman nose, square chin. Generally wears blonde whiskers. He is a good-looking man, and assumes a dignified appearance.

RECORD. Walter Sheridan is an accomplished thief, a daring forger, bank sneak, hotel thief, pennyweight-worker and counterfeiter. He is also one of the most notorious criminals in America. Among his aliases are Stewart, John Holcom, Chas. Ralston, Walter Stanton, Charles H. Keene, etc. When a boy, Sheridan drifted into crime and made his appearance in Western Missouri as a horse thief. He finally became an accomplished general thief and confidence man, but made a specialty of sneaking banks. In 1858 he was arrested with Joe Moran, a noted Western sneak thief and burglar, for robbing a bank in Chicago, Ill., and was sentenced to five years in the Alton, Ill., penitentiary, which time he served. He was afterwards concerned in the robbery of the First National Bank of Springfield, Ill., with Charley Hicks and Philly Phearson (5). Sheridan engaged the teller. Hicks staid outside, and Phearson crawled through a window and obtained $35,000 from the bank vault. Hicks was arrested and sentenced to eight years in Joliet prison. Philly Phearson escaped and went to Europe. Sheridan was arrested in Toledo, O., shortly afterwards with $22,000 in money on him. He was tried for this offense but acquitted.

He next appeared in a “sneak job” in Baltimore, Md., in June, 1870, where he and confederates secured $50,000 in securities from the Maryland Fire Insurance Company. After this he secured $37,000 in bonds from the Mechanics’ Bank of Scranton, Pa. He was also implicated and obtained his share of $20,000 stolen from the Savings and Loan Bank of Cleveland, O., in 1870. He was arrested in this case, but secured his release by the legal technicalities of the law. Sheridan’s most important work was in the hypothecation of $100,000 in forged bonds of the Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad Company to the New York Indemnity and Warehouse Company, in 1873, for which he obtained $84,000 in good hard cash. It took months to effect this loan. He took desk room in a broker’s office on the lower part of Broadway, New York, representing himself as a returned Californian of ample means. He speculated in grain, became a member of the Produce Exchange, under the name of Charles Ralston, and secured advances on cargoes of grain. He gained the confidence of the President of the Indemnity and Warehouse.

Walter Sheridan is among the handful of the most infamous criminals profiled by Chief Byrnes.  He was often successful, and tried his hand at many different types of crimes. The accounts of Walter Sheridan’s origins are fairly consistent: he came from a respectable family in Kentucky; was sent to New Orleans for his education; went astray, and, in the late 1850s, was known as a horse thief in central Missouri. Unfortunately, none of this can be verified–not even his supposed full name: Walter (Cartman or Eastman) Sheridan.

Capture

Several more complete accounts of Sheridan’s criminal career have been written, most recently by Jay Robert Nash in his Great Pictorial History of World Crime. However, the most succinct summary appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch of January 22, 1890, on the occasion of Sheridan’s death:

18900122stlouispostdispatch

The identity of Sheridan’s wife and son Walter (who claimed his body from the coroners in Montreal) have defied solving. The body was said to have been taken back to Baltimore, but no burial records have been found.

 

Walter Sheridan (#8)

Walter Sheridan (Abt. 1833-1890), aka William A. Stoneford, Charles H. Ralston, Walter A. Stewart, William Holcomb, Doc Dash, Charles H. Keene, etc. — Horse thief, con man, bank sneak thief, counterfeiter, forger

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Fifty-five years old in 1886. Born in New Orleans, La. Married. No trade. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, about 165 pounds. Light brown hair, dark eyes, Roman nose, square chin. Generally wears blonde whiskers. He is a good-looking man, and assumes a dignified appearance.

RECORD. Walter Sheridan is an accomplished thief, a daring forger, bank sneak, hotel thief, pennyweight-worker and counterfeiter. He is also one of the most notorious criminals in America. Among his aliases are Stewart, John Holcom, Chas. Ralston, Walter Stanton, Charles H. Keene, etc. When a boy, Sheridan drifted into crime and made his appearance in Western Missouri as a horse thief. He finally became an accomplished general thief and confidence man, but made a specialty of sneaking banks. In 1858 he was arrested with Joe Moran, a noted Western sneak thief and burglar, for robbing a bank in Chicago, Ill., and was sentenced to five years in the Alton, Ill., penitentiary, which time he served. He was afterwards concerned in the robbery of the First National Bank of Springfield, Ill., with Charley Hicks and Philly Phearson (5). Sheridan engaged the teller. Hicks staid outside, and Phearson crawled through a window and obtained $35,000 from the bank vault. Hicks was arrested and sentenced to eight years in Joliet prison. Philly Phearson escaped and went to Europe. Sheridan was arrested in Toledo, O., shortly afterwards with $22,000 in money on him. He was tried for this offense but acquitted.

He next appeared in a “sneak job” in Baltimore, Md., in June, 1870, where he and confederates secured $50,000 in securities from the Maryland Fire Insurance Company. After this he secured $37,000 in bonds from the Mechanics’ Bank of Scranton, Pa. He was also implicated and obtained his share of $20,000 stolen from the Savings and Loan Bank of Cleveland, O., in 1870. He was arrested in this case, but secured his release by the legal technicalities of the law. Sheridan’s most important work was in the hypothecation of $100,000 in forged bonds of the Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad Company to the New York Indemnity and Warehouse Company, in 1873, for which he obtained $84,000 in good hard cash. It took months to effect this loan. He took desk room in a broker’s office on the lower part of Broadway, New York, representing himself as a returned Californian of ample means. He speculated in grain, became a member of the Produce Exchange, under the name of Charles Ralston, and secured advances on cargoes of grain. He gained the confidence of the President of the Indemnity and Warehouse.

Walter Sheridan is among the handful of the most infamous criminals profiled by Chief Byrnes.  He was often successful, and tried his hand at many different types of crimes. The accounts of Walter Sheridan’s origins are fairly consistent: he came from a respectable family in Kentucky; was sent to New Orleans for his education; went astray, and, in the late 1850s, was known as a horse thief in central Missouri. Unfortunately, none of this can be verified–not even his supposed full name: Walter Cartman Sheridan.

Capture

Several more complete accounts of Sheridan’s criminal career have been written, most recently by Jay Robert Nash in his Great Pictorial History of World Crime. However, the most succinct summary appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch of January 22, 1890, on the occasion of Sheridan’s death:

18900122stlouispostdispatch

The identity of Sheridan’s wife and son Walter (who claimed his body from the coroners in Montreal) have defied solving. The body was said to have been taken back to Baltimore, but no burial records have been found.

 

#14 Charles O. Vanderpool

Charles O. Brockway (Abt. 1837-1901), aka Charles D. Vanderpool, Chester C. Brockway, Charles Seymour, Curley-Headed Kid — Counterfeiter, Forger

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Fifty-one years old in 1876. Born in United States. Married. Medium build. Dark curly hair, blue eyes, sallow complexion. Height, 5 feet 9 inches. Weight, 160 pounds. Black beard.

RECORD. Charles O. Brockway, whose right name is Vanderpool, is one of the cleverest forgers in America. He has no doubt been responsible for several forgeries that have been committed in America during the past fifteen years. He at one time kept a faro bank in partnership of Daniel Dyson, alias Dan Noble, who is now serving twenty years in Europe for forgery. He subsequently branched out as a counterfeiter, and served two terms in State prison for it. The last one, of five years, was done in Auburn, New York, State prison. His time expired there in 1878.

He afterwards went West, and was arrested in Chicago, Ill., with Billy Ogle, in June, 1879, for forgery on the First National Bank of that city. At the time of his arrest a full set of forgers’ implements was found in his room. He made a confession, and charged an ex-government detective with having brought him to Chicago and picked out the banks for him to work. This statement was corroborated by a subsequent confession of Billy Ogle. The authorities indicted the ex-detective, and Brockway was admitted to bail in $10,000. The case never went to trial for lack of other evidence to corroborate Brockway and Ogle, who were both men of bad character.

Brockway came back to New York, where he was credited with doing considerable work. The following banks are said to have been victimized through him : The Second National Bank, the Chemical National Bank, the Bank of the Republic, the Chatham National Bank, the Corn Exchange Bank, and the Phoenix National Bank. He was finally arrested at Providence, R. I., on August 16, 1880, with Billy Ogle (13) and Joe Cook, alias Havill (15), a Chicago sneak, in an attempt to pass a check on the Fourth National Bank for $1,327, and another on the old National Bank for $1,264. Brockway pleaded guilty to two indictments for forgery, and was sentenced to eight years in State prison at Providence, R. I., on October 2, 1880. His time will expire, allowing full commutation, on August 26, 1886. See commutation laws of Rhode Island. Brockway’s picture is a good one, taken in 1880.

 

Contrary to Byrnes’ assertion, Charles O. Brockway was born to John O. Brockway and Abigail Carey in Washington, Sullivan County, New Hampshire in 1837. John Brockway passed away in South America just two years after Charles was born. In 1846, Abilgail remarried to Sylvanus Clogston. By 1850, Charles Brockway was living with a young farming couple named Fletcher, rather than with his step-father’s family.

Fourteen years later, at age 27, he had not moved far away; he was said to be living in Laconia, New Hampshire. One account suggests he had soldiered for New Hampshire in the Civil War; but his name is not found in muster rolls, and a different account suggests he had been in prison in Concord. Residents of Laconia say he was suspected of being involved in a failed attempt to rob the Laconia Savings Bank in 1864.

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It was about this time that Brockway fell in with one of the nation’s most infamous counterfeiters, Bill Gurney. Brockway was said to be a “passer of the queer”, i.e. one assigned to put counterfeit currency into circulation. Brockway was also said to be an avid faro player, the card game favored by gamblers before poker replaced it in later decades. In October, 1864, officers from Albany and New York captured Brockway in Troy, New York. He was accused of drugging and rolling a businessman in a Houston Street saloon; and of passing counterfeit bills in Albany. Though committed to trial in New York, he was eventually returned to Albany and was jailed there. The 1865 state census found Brockway still in the Albany prison.

Upon his release, Brockway connected with a New Hampshire-based counterfeiter named Bill Dow, who was equally notorious in that endeavor as Bill Gurney. After the Civil War ended, federal bank notes replaced individual bank notes, and the United States Secret Service was founded to counter widespread counterfeiting operations. Dow was indicted in Maine, while Brockway tried to set up an operation in Mount Vernon, New York. The house he had rented was raided by agents of the Secret Service, but Brockway convinced one of the agents, Abner Newcomb, that he could provide information leading to much larger counterfeiting operations. They also made a deal to help settle Dow’s Maine indictment by setting up a fake raid and crediting Dow for making the raid possible. Eventually, the whole tawdry affair was exposed in a federal court, to the great embarrassment of the Secret Service. Brockway was sentenced to fifteen years for counterfeiting, to be served in Albany.

Brockway was pardoned in early 1869 by President Johnson (in the last days of his administration) having served just one year and eight months of his fifteen year term. Shortly after his release, as he approached Mrs. Bunker’s residence on W. Houston Street in New York City, he was shot in the back by George Lockwood. The cause of the dispute between Lockwood and Brockway isn’t known; both were womanizers and gamblers.

Upon recovering, Brockway partnered up with a check forger named Lewis M. Van Eaton, and made a forging tour that went from New Orleans to Detroit. Both men were captured; Brockway was brought from Detroit to New York, where he was tried and convicted for forgery. He was sent to Sing Sing for a term of four years and nine months.

Upon gaining his freedom in 1875, Brockway tried to reform himself and landed a job as a streetcar conductor on the Lenox Street Line in Boston. Within weeks, he was arrested for forging streetcar tickets.

Fleeing Boston, Brockway settled in Chicago and attempted to set himself up as a financial broker. Now over forty, Brockway romanced a girl of eighteen and married her. Whether his intentions to go straight were honest or not, his criminal acquaintances sought him out, involving him in further forging schemes. Their operations ranged from Chicago, to Boston, to Washington, and Baltimore, but it was in Providence, Rhode Island where a case was made against him. In 1880, he was sentenced to eight years in the Rhode Island State Prison. His young wife divorced him.

After his release from prison this time, Brockway returned to Chicago and once again set himself up as a broker on the commodities market. In the last dozen years of his life, he stayed out of trouble with the law, though never was particularly successful in his new vocation. He died in debt in 1901 at age 64.

 

 

 

 

 

Charles O. Brockway (#14)

Charles O. Brockway (Abt. 1837-1901), aka Charles D. Vanderpool, Chester C. Brockway, Charles Seymour, Curley-Headed Kid — Counterfeiter, Forger

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Fifty-one years old in 1876. Born in United States. Married. Medium build. Dark curly hair, blue eyes, sallow complexion. Height, 5 feet 9 inches. Weight, 160 pounds. Black beard.

RECORD. Charles O. Brockway, whose right name is Vanderpool, is one of the cleverest forgers in America. He has no doubt been responsible for several forgeries that have been committed in America during the past fifteen years. He at one time kept a faro bank in partnership of Daniel Dyson, alias Dan Noble, who is now serving twenty years in Europe for forgery. He subsequently branched out as a counterfeiter, and served two terms in State prison for it. The last one, of five years, was done in Auburn, New York, State prison. His time expired there in 1878.

He afterwards went West, and was arrested in Chicago, Ill., with Billy Ogle, in June, 1879, for forgery on the First National Bank of that city. At the time of his arrest a full set of forgers’ implements was found in his room. He made a confession, and charged an ex-government detective with having brought him to Chicago and picked out the banks for him to work. This statement was corroborated by a subsequent confession of Billy Ogle. The authorities indicted the ex-detective, and Brockway was admitted to bail in $10,000. The case never went to trial for lack of other evidence to corroborate Brockway and Ogle, who were both men of bad character.

Brockway came back to New York, where he was credited with doing considerable work. The following banks are said to have been victimized through him : The Second National Bank, the Chemical National Bank, the Bank of the Republic, the Chatham National Bank, the Corn Exchange Bank, and the Phoenix National Bank. He was finally arrested at Providence, R. I., on August 16, 1880, with Billy Ogle (13) and Joe Cook, alias Havill (15), a Chicago sneak, in an attempt to pass a check on the Fourth National Bank for $1,327, and another on the old National Bank for $1,264. Brockway pleaded guilty to two indictments for forgery, and was sentenced to eight years in State prison at Providence, R. I., on October 2, 1880. His time will expire, allowing full commutation, on August 26, 1886. See commutation laws of Rhode Island. Brockway’s picture is a good one, taken in 1880.

ArtLargImg9332

Contrary to Byrnes’ assertion, Charles O. Brockway was born to John O. Brockway and Abigail Carey in Washington, Sullivan County, New Hampshire in 1837. John Brockway passed away in South America just two years after Charles was born. In 1846, Abilgail remarried to Sylvanus Clogston. By 1850, Charles Brockway was living with a young farming couple named Fletcher, rather than with his step-father’s family.

Fourteen years later, at age 27, he had not moved far away; he was said to be living in Laconia, New Hampshire. One account suggests he had soldiered for New Hampshire in the Civil War; but his name is not found in muster rolls, and a different account suggests he had been in prison in Concord. Residents of Laconia say he was suspected of being involved in a failed attempt to rob the Laconia Savings Bank in 1864.

Capture2

It was about this time that Brockway fell in with one of the nation’s most infamous counterfeiters, Bill Gurney. Brockway was said to be a “passer of the queer”, i.e. one assigned to put counterfeit currency into circulation. Brockway was also said to be an avid faro player, the card game favored by gamblers before poker replaced it in later decades. In October, 1864, officers from Albany and New York captured Brockway in Troy, New York. He was accused of drugging and rolling a businessman in a Houston Street saloon; and of passing counterfeit bills in Albany. Though committed to trial in New York, he was eventually returned to Albany and was jailed there. The 1865 state census found Brockway still in the Albany prison.

Upon his release, Brockway connected with a New Hampshire-based counterfeiter named Bill Dow, who was equally notorious in that endeavor as Bill Gurney. After the Civil War ended, federal bank notes replaced individual bank notes, and the United States Secret Service was founded to counter widespread counterfeiting operations. Dow was indicted in Maine, while Brockway tried to set up an operation in Mount Vernon, New York. The house he had rented was raided by agents of the Secret Service, but Brockway convinced one of the agents, Abner Newcomb, that he could provide information leading to much larger counterfeiting operations. They also made a deal to help settle Dow’s Maine indictment by setting up a fake raid and crediting Dow for making the raid possible. Eventually, the whole tawdry affair was exposed in a federal court, to the great embarrassment of the Secret Service. Brockway was sentenced to fifteen years for counterfeiting, to be served in Albany.

Brockway was pardoned in early 1869 by President Johnson (in the last days of his administration) having served just one year and eight months of his fifteen year term. Shortly after his release, as he approached Mrs. Bunker’s residence on W. Houston Street in New York City, he was shot in the back by George Lockwood. The cause of the dispute between Lockwood and Brockway isn’t known; both were womanizers and gamblers.

Upon recovering, Brockway partnered up with a check forger named Lewis M. Van Eaton, and made a forging tour that went from New Orleans to Detroit. Both men were captured; Brockway was brought from Detroit to New York, where he was tried and convicted for forgery. He was sent to Sing Sing for a term of four years and nine months.

Upon gaining his freedom in 1875, Brockway tried to reform himself and landed a job as a streetcar conductor on the Lenox Street Line in Boston. Within weeks, he was arrested for forging streetcar tickets.

Fleeing Boston, Brockway settled in Chicago and attempted to set himself up as a financial broker. Now over forty, Brockway romanced a girl of eighteen and married her. Whether his intentions to go straight were honest or not, his criminal acquaintances sought him out, involving him in further forging schemes. Their operations ranged from Chicago, to Boston, to Washington, and Baltimore, but it was in Providence, Rhode Island where a case was made against him. In 1880, he was sentenced to eight years in the Rhode Island State Prison. His young wife divorced him.

After his release from prison this time, Brockway returned to Chicago and once again set himself up as a broker on the commodities market. In the last dozen years of his life, he stayed out of trouble with the law, though never was particularly successful in his new vocation. He died in debt in 1901 at age 64.

 

 

 

 

 

#75 George Lockwood

George Lockwood (Abt. 1843-????), aka George Livingston, Cully, John McDonald — Burglar

From Byrnes’s text:

DESCRIPTION. Forty-four years old in 1886. Born in New York. Medium build. Married. Plumber. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, 153 pounds. Reddish brown hair, brown eyes, sandy complexion; generally wears a sandy mustache. Has pistol-shot wound on his arm.

RECORD. George Lockwood, or “Cully,” the alias he is best known by, is a professional safe-burglar, and a son of respectable parents who reside in New York City. His father, a boss plumber, learned Cully his trade. When but a boy he became entangled with a gang of thieves who frequented Mrs. Brunker’s basement, on the corner of Wooster and Houston Streets, New York City, and was arrested for robbing a pawnbroker in Amity Street, and again in the Eighth Ward, in November, 1873, for having a set of burglars’ tools in his possession, one hundred and eight pieces in all. Later on he was arrested on suspicion of robbing the premises of Brougham & McGee, gold pen and pencil manufacturers, Nos. 79 and 81 William Street. He was also arrested for attempting to assassinate Charles Brockway (14), the forger, in West Houston Street. Lockwood, as Brockway was passing by, jumped out of the hallway of his wife’s (Mrs. Brunker’s) residence, and shot Brockway in the back Brockway turned and shot him through the arm. He was not prosecuted, as Brockway refused to make a complaint.
He was arrested in New York City in January, 1871, in company of Pete Burns, alias McLaughlin, for an attempt at burglary and carrying burglars’ tools. Judgment was suspended in this case. He was arrested again in January, 1874, with Pete Burns, in a thieves’ resort that had been raided by the police. They were both arraigned on the old suspended indictment on January 14, 1874, and Burns pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison. Lockwood was remanded until January 21, when he also pleaded guilty to burglary in the third degree, and was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison at Sing Sing, under the name of George Jackson. He was arrested in the Eighth Ward, New York City, on December 1, 1878, on suspicion of a burglary, but was discharged. Next he was arrested in New York City on January 8, 1880, with Charley Woods, alias Fowler, on suspicion of robbing Station F, New York Post-office, but was discharged by Justice Bixby for lack of evidence. Arrested again in New York City on January 1, 1880, and tried in the Court of Special Sessions, on June 15, 1880, for assaulting a man named James Casey, of New Jersey, whom he mistook for an officer who had arrested him some time before for burglary. He succeeded in keeping Casey out of court on the day of his trial, and the court, being in ignorance of his character, discharged him.

He was afterwards arrested in New York City with Jim Elliott, the prize-fighter (now dead), on June 24, 1880, secreted in the cellar of Cornelius Clark’s saloon, at No. 86 Henry Street. They had bored through the floor with the view of robbing a safe containing about $500 in money, and some jewelry that was in the store. A full set of burglars’ tools was found with them. In this case they pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to two years each in State prison, on June 30, 1880, by Judge Cowing. Lockwood was arrested again in New York City on October 14, 1884, in company of Frank Russell, alias Little Frank, another sneak and burglar, for the larceny of three watches from the store of Conrad Baumgarth, No. 16 Sixth Avenue, in July, 1884. “Cully” was committed for trial in $1,000 bail, by Judge Patterson, but discharged in the Court of General Sessions, by Judge Cowing, on November 7, 1884. He was arrested again in Albany, N. Y., in company of Andrew McAllier, for attempt at burglary. They were sentenced to eighteen months in the Albany Penitentiary, on June 26, 1885, by John C. Nott, County Judge, and his sentence will expire on September 25, 1886. Lockwood ten years ago was considered a very skillful and nervy burglar. It is claimed that he is a first-class mechanic and manufactured all his tools. He and Johnny Coady generally use the wood screw for forcing in an outside door. A hole is bored with an auger in the jamb of the door, exactly behind the nosing of the lock, after which a wood screw is inserted into the hole, and with the aid of a good bit- stock or brace, the nosing of the lock is easily and quietly forced off. Of late he has become somewhat dissipated, and is not rated now as a first-class criminal. His picture is a good one, taken in November, 1877.

While Chief Byrnes entry for George Lockwood is one of his most extensive, parts of it are muddled by citing events out of order, name errors, and a few omissions. When it comes to determining Lockwood’s family history, the references to his wealthy, respectable plumber father seem to lead nowhere. New York City directories offer no instances of plumbers named Lockwood (or Livingston, Lockwood’s favored alias). The best evidence of his identity was a tattoo on his body, reading “Lockwood.”

 

Lockwood’s first brush with the law came years earlier than Byrnes indicates: In September, 1865 he was sentenced (as George Lockwood) to Sing Sing for a term of two years and six months for burglary. He was released and soon caught again, reentering Sing Sing as “John McDonald” in April, 1868; unfortunately, the Sing Sing registers for that period do not exist, but this term is referred to in a later Sing Sing entry.

As Byrnes indicates, Lockwood was arrested in January, 1871 for an attempted burglary. His partner was William Burns (not Pete Burns). As Byrnes relates, Lockwood frequented Bunker’s (sometimes spelled as Brunker’s) at the corner of Wooster and Houston Streets–a notorious criminal hangout. Lockwood gave up on one girlfriend, Maggie Lockwood, who was said to be his wife–in favor of the widowed Mrs.  Minnie Bunker. The cause of his attack outside the Bunker saloon on forger Charles O. Brockway (Vanderpool) is not known.

Capture

Lockwood was suspected of stealing from the premises of Starr’s pawnbrokers in early 1873, but no case could be made against him. George was caught with a valise full of an impressive collection of burglar’s tools in mid-November, 1873; judgement was suspended in that case, but a week later, Lockwood was accused of the burglary of Brougham & McKee, gold pen dealers, on William Street. Evidence was lacking, so he was prosecuted on the charge of having burglar’s tools. He was sentenced to two and a half years at Sing Sing under the name George Livingston.

In February, 1876–just a month after his release from Sing Sing, he was caught again carrying burglar’s tools; and again in July of 1877. In both instances he claimed he had reformed, and was discharged. In 1880, Lockwood and a partner, Jimmy Elliott (a former heavyweight boxing champion) was caught breaking in to a saloon. Consequently, Lockwood wound up in Sing Sing again.

Lockwood’s final jail term began in 1885 in Albany. Lockwood had been ranging around the country with several partners, conducting burglaries in Montreal, Cleveland, and Luray, Virginia.

After his release in 1886, George and Minnie migrated west, and apparently escaped further trouble with the law.

 

 

 

 

 

George Lockwood (#75)

George Lockwood (Abt. 1843-????), aka George Livingston, Cully, John McDonald — Burglar

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Forty-four years old in 1886. Born in New York. Medium build. Married. Plumber. Height, 5 feet 7 inches. Weight, 153 pounds. Reddish brown hair, brown eyes, sandy complexion; generally wears a sandy mustache. Has pistol-shot wound on his arm.

RECORD. George Lockwood, or “Cully,” the alias he is best known by, is a professional safe-burglar, and a son of respectable parents who reside in New York City. His father, a boss plumber, learned Cully his trade. When but a boy he became entangled with a gang of thieves who frequented Mrs. Brunker’s basement, on the corner of Wooster and Houston Streets, New York City, and was arrested for robbing a pawnbroker in Amity Street, and again in the Eighth Ward, in November, 1873, for having a set of burglars’ tools in his possession, one hundred and eight pieces in all. Later on he was arrested on suspicion of robbing the premises of Brougham & McGee, gold pen and pencil manufacturers, Nos. 79 and 81 William Street. He was also arrested for attempting to assassinate Charles Brockway (14), the forger, in West Houston Street. Lockwood, as Brockway was passing by, jumped out of the hallway of his wife’s (Mrs. Brunker’s) residence, and shot Brockway in the back Brockway turned and shot him through the arm. He was not prosecuted, as Brockway refused to make a complaint.
He was arrested in New York City in January, 1871, in company of Pete Burns, alias McLaughlin, for an attempt at burglary and carrying burglars’ tools. Judgment was suspended in this case. He was arrested again in January, 1874, with Pete Burns, in a thieves’ resort that had been raided by the police. They were both arraigned on the old suspended indictment on January 14, 1874, and Burns pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison. Lockwood was remanded until January 21, when he also pleaded guilty to burglary in the third degree, and was sentenced to two years and six months in State prison at Sing Sing, under the name of George Jackson. He was arrested in the Eighth Ward, New York City, on December 1, 1878, on suspicion of a burglary, but was discharged. Next he was arrested in New York City on January 8, 1880, with Charley Woods, alias Fowler, on suspicion of robbing Station F, New York Post-office, but was discharged by Justice Bixby for lack of evidence. Arrested again in New York City on January 1, 1880, and tried in the Court of Special Sessions, on June 15, 1880, for assaulting a man named James Casey, of New Jersey, whom he mistook for an officer who had arrested him some time before for burglary. He succeeded in keeping Casey out of court on the day of his trial, and the court, being in ignorance of his character, discharged him.

He was afterwards arrested in New York City with Jim Elliott, the prize-fighter (now dead), on June 24, 1880, secreted in the cellar of Cornelius Clark’s saloon, at No. 86 Henry Street. They had bored through the floor with the view of robbing a safe containing about $500 in money, and some jewelry that was in the store. A full set of burglars’ tools was found with them. In this case they pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to two years each in State prison, on June 30, 1880, by Judge Cowing. Lockwood was arrested again in New York City on October 14, 1884, in company of Frank Russell, alias Little Frank, another sneak and burglar, for the larceny of three watches from the store of Conrad Baumgarth, No. 16 Sixth Avenue, in July, 1884. “Cully” was committed for trial in $1,000 bail, by Judge Patterson, but discharged in the Court of General Sessions, by Judge Cowing, on November 7, 1884. He was arrested again in Albany, N. Y., in company of Andrew McAllier, for attempt at burglary. They were sentenced to eighteen months in the Albany Penitentiary, on June 26, 1885, by John C. Nott, County Judge, and his sentence will expire on September 25, 1886. Lockwood ten years ago was considered a very skillful and nervy burglar. It is claimed that he is a first-class mechanic and manufactured all his tools. He and Johnny Coady generally use the wood screw for forcing in an outside door. A hole is bored with an auger in the jamb of the door, exactly behind the nosing of the lock, after which a wood screw is inserted into the hole, and with the aid of a good bit- stock or brace, the nosing of the lock is easily and quietly forced off. Of late he has become somewhat dissipated, and is not rated now as a first-class criminal. His picture is a good one, taken in November, 1877.

While Chief Byrnes entry for George Lockwood is one of his most extensive, parts of it are muddled by citing events out of order, name errors, and a few omissions. When it comes to determining Lockwood’s family history, the references to his wealthy, respectable plumber father seem to lead nowhere. New York City directories offer no instances of plumbers named Lockwood (or Livingston, Lockwood’s favored alias). The best evidence of his identity was a tattoo on his body, reading “Lockwood.”

Capture2

Lockwood’s first brush with the law came years earlier than Byrnes indicates: In September, 1865 he was sentenced (as George Lockwood) to Sing Sing for a term of two years and six months for burglary. He was released and soon caught again, reentering Sing Sing as “John McDonald” in April, 1868; unfortunately, the Sing Sing registers for that period do not exist, but this term is referred to in a later Sing Sing entry.

As Byrnes indicates, Lockwood was arrested in January, 1871 for an attempted burglary. His partner was William Burns (not Pete Burns). As Byrnes indicates, Lockwood frequented Bunker’s (sometimes spelled as Brunker) at the corner of Wooster and Houston Streets–a notorious criminal hangout. Lockwood gave up on one girlfriend, Maggie Lockwood, who was said to be his wife–in favor of the widowed Mrs.  Minnie Bunker. The cause of his attack outside the Bunker saloon on forger Charles O. Brockway (Vanderpool) is not known.

Capture

Lockwood was suspected of stealing from the premises of Starr’s pawnbrokers in early 1873, but no case could be made against him. George was caught with a valise full of an impressive collection of burglar’s tools in mid-November, 1873; judgement was suspended in that case, but a week later, Lockwood was accused of the burglary of Brougham & McKee, gold pen dealers, on William Street. Evidence was lacking, so he was prosecuted on the charge of having burglar’s tools. He was sentenced to two and a half years at Sing Sing under the name George Livingston.

In February, 1876–just a month after his release from Sing Sing, he was caught again carrying burglar’s tools; and again in July of 1877. In both instances he claimed he had reformed, and was discharged. In 1880, Lockwood and a partner, Jimmy Elliott (a former heavyweight boxing champion) was caught breaking in to a saloon. Consequently, Lockwood wound up in Sing Sing again.

Lockwood’s final jail term began in 1885 in Albany. Lockwood had been ranging around the country with several partners, conducting burglaries in Montreal, Cleveland, and Luray, Virginia.

After his release in 1886, George and Minnie migrated west, and apparently escaped further trouble with the law.

 

 

 

 

 

#69 Joseph Otterburg

Joseph Ottenburg (Abt. 1858-19??), aka Joseph Newman, Joseph Clark, Joseph Stearn, etc. — House burglar

From Byrnes’s text:

DESCRIPTION. Twenty-eight years old in 1886. Born in New York City. Single. No trade. Medium build. Height, 5 feet 5 inches. Weight, 125 pounds. Brown hair, blue eyes, light complexion. Generally wears a light-brown mustache.

RECORD. Joe Otterburg is a very clever house sneak, that being his principal business. He will stand watching when you go to arrest him, as he generally uses a pistol. He is an associate of Hoggie Real (67), and is well known in several Eastern States. He was arrested in New York City and sentenced to four years in State prison on October 6, 1870, under the name of James Oats, by Recorder Hackett, for a sneak robbery. Otterburg was convicted for having burglars’ tools in his possession at White Plains, N. Y., on September 19, 1875, and was discharged from the penitentiary at Albany on July 15, 1877, after serving two years there, under the name of Joseph Osborne.

He was arraigned for trial in the Kings County Court of Brooklyn, N. Y., on May 11, 1878, for robbing the residence of Mrs. Adolphus Nathan, of No. 117 Adelphi Street, that city, on January 25, 1875, of $450 worth of property. In this case he was tried and acquitted on May 31, 1878. Christopher Spencer, who was in this robbery with Otterburg, was afterwards sentenced to the Albany (N. Y.) Penitentiary for five years for breaking jail and assaulting his keeper at White Plains jail, Westchester County, N. Y. Otterburg was arrested again in New York City, and sentenced to four years in State prison by Judge Gildersleeve, on April 24, 1883, for robbing a house in Harlem in company of Joseph Real (67). His time expired on April 23, 1886. His picture is a good one, notwithstanding his eyes are closed, taken in April, 1883.

Chief Byrnes begins his profile of Joseph Ottenburg by misspelling his name (although it was variously spelled Ottenburgh, Ottenberg…but never “Otter–“) and by mistakenly confusing him with a different prisoner, James Oates, arrested in 1870. In 1870, Joseph Ottenburg was still a boy of 11 or so, living in the Boys Reformatory in New York City. His parentage is unknown, but he did have a sister and an aunt living in New York City.

Byrnes is correct about Ottenburg’s 1875 conviction, and his May 1878 acquittal. However, a few months later in October 1878, Ottenburg was caught burgling and was sentenced to two years in Sing Sing–an episode missing in Byrnes’s account. After a couple of years of freedom, he was arrested again in 1883 and returned to Sing Sing under the name Joseph Stern.

 

Upon release from Sing Sing in 1886, Ottenburg changed scenery and moved to Chicago, where he met and wed an Irish girl, Bridget Higgins Fitzgerald. Their first child, a daughter, Mabel Ottenburg, was born in Chicago in 1887. However, the next year, 1888, Joseph Ottenberg was caught in Chicago with burglar’s tools and swag in his rooms, along with crucibles for melting down silver and gold (the safer way to dispose of metal wares if they are not to be sent to a fence far away). This evidence sent Ottenburg to Joliet prison for several years.

He returned to Chicago after his release from Joliet and sired a son, Herbert, in 1894; and a daughter, Ruth, in August of 1897. He had no known brushes with the law after Joliet; but can not be said to have gained much righteousness: he abandoned his family and moved back to New York City, enlisting in a volunteer militia during the Spanish-American War. He was 42 years old at that point, and was assigned duties as a nurse in Army hospitals. He became sick himself and was invalided out after the War ceased.

Joe’s daughter Mabel, 13 when he abandoned the family, likely was old enough to become a servant; but his wife Bridget was forced to place the younger children, Herbert and Ruth, in an orphanage: the Chicago Home for the Friendless.

Ottenburg’s three children all survived their traumatic childhood, and grew into adulthood. Mabel and Ruth both married, and Herbert lived with his sister Mabel and her family. However, all trace of their father is lost after 1899.

Joseph Ottenburg (#69)

Joseph Ottenburg (Abt. 1858-19??), aka Joseph Newman, Joseph Clark, Joseph Stearn, etc. — House burglar

From Byrnes’ text:

DESCRIPTION. Twenty-eight years old in 1886. Born in New York City. Single. No trade. Medium build. Height, 5 feet 5 inches. Weight, 125 pounds. Brown hair, blue eyes, light complexion. Generally wears a light-brown mustache.

RECORD. Joe Otterburg is a very clever house sneak, that being his principal business. He will stand watching when you go to arrest him, as he generally uses a pistol. He is an associate of Hoggie Real (67), and is well known in several Eastern States. He was arrested in New York City and sentenced to four years in State prison on October 6, 1870, under the name of James Oats, by Recorder Hackett, for a sneak robbery. Otterburg was convicted for having burglars’ tools in his possession at White Plains, N. Y., on September 19, 1875, and was discharged from the penitentiary at Albany on July 15, 1877, after serving two years there, under the name of Joseph Osborne.

He was arraigned for trial in the Kings County Court of Brooklyn, N. Y., on May II, 1878, for robbing the residence of Mrs. Adolphus Nathan, of No. 117 Adelphi Street, that city, on January 25, 1875, of $450 worth of property. In this case he was tried and acquitted on May 31, 1878. Christopher Spencer, who was in this robbery with Otterburg, was afterwards sentenced to the Albany (N. Y.) Penitentiary for five years for breaking jail and assaulting his keeper at White Plains jail, Westchester County, N. Y. Otterburg was arrested again in New York City, and sentenced to four years in State prison by Judge Gildersleeve, on April 24, 1883, for robbing a house in Harlem in company of Joseph Real (67). His time expired on April 23, 1886. His picture is a good one, notwithstanding his eyes are closed, taken in April, 1883.

Chief Byrnes begins his profile of Joseph Ottenburg by misspelling his name (although it was variously spelled Ottenburgh, Ottenberg…but never “Otter–“) and by mistakenly confusing him with a different prisoner, James Oates, arrested in 1870. In 1870, Joseph Ottenburg was still a boy of 11 or so, living in the Boys Reformatory in New York City. His parentage is unknown, but he did have a sister and an aunt living in New York City.

Byrnes is correct about Ottenburg’s 1875 conviction, and his May 1878 acquittal. However, a few months later in October 1878, Ottenburg was caught burgling and was sentenced to two years in Sing Sing–an episode missing in Byrnes’ account. After a couple of years of freedom, he was arrested again in 1883 and returned to Sing Sing under the name Joseph Stern.

Capture

Upon release from Sing Sing in 1886, Ottenburg changed scenery and moved to Chicago, where he met and wed an Irish girl, Bridget Higgins Fitzgerald. Their first child, a daughter, Mabel Ottenburg, was born in Chicago in 1887. However, the next year, 1888, Joseph Ottenberg was caught in Chicago with burglar’s tools and swag in his rooms, along with crucibles for melting down silver and gold (the safer way to dispose of metal wares if they are not to be sent to a fence far away). This evidence sent Ottenburg to Joliet prison for several years.

He returned to Chicago after his release from Joliet and sired a son, Herbert, in 1894; and a daughter, Ruth, in August of 1897. He had no known brushes with the law after Joliet; but can not be said to have gained much righteousness: he abandoned his family and moved back to New York City, enlisting in a volunteer militia during the Spanish-American War. He was 42 years old at that point, and was assigned duties as a nurse in Army hospitals. He became sick himself and was invalided out after the War ceased.

Daughter Mabel, at 13, was likely old enough to become a servant; but Bridget was forced to place Herbert and Ruth in an orphanage, the Chicago Home for the Friendless.

Ottenburg’s three children all survived their traumatic childhood, and grew into adulthood. Mabel and Ruth both married, and Herbert lived with his sister Mabel and her family. However, all trace of their father is lost after 1899.