Pinkerton Report - Jan 22-23, 1891

Dublin Core


81/2 x 14"




MS020 1/11

Document Item Type Metadata


Jos. M. Ives Esq.
259 Main St.
Danbury, Conn.

Our operative J. I. M.M. further reports,
Thursday Jan, 22.91
To-day in Danbury.
After breakfast I went to Wooster house to see if Howard Stevens was there as he had promised me to call last night. In passing Hurd’s saloon I saw Mr. Porter, we both went in. I saw Howard Stevens with his head down on a table in side room. As we came in, he looked up and seeing us come out, he came up to me and said, “I was drunk last night, and did not get in until late, so I could not see you, but I am not going out to my Mother’s to see her, and I will be right down to see you. I have a point I want to give you.” I told him I would go back to the hotel, inside of fifteen minutes and that I would wait for him. I then
[page break]
made some purchases in turn, after standing treat for Porten, Stevens, and Dan Lyons. I went to hotel, when I waited until 11:10 am. It was storming so hard at the time, that I did not think he would come but he did, and had about as much liquor as he could stand, and talk straight. He came to my room, and excused himself, for being away so long, saying that he was up the night before, and had to get some sleep. He commenced his talk by telling his conversations and fights with Meyers. I told him, that I did not want to hear anything about that, but that I wanted him to get right down to business, and let me know what he knew. He stated that we would be square with me, and tell me the truth. He then made a statement, but ran much of what he stated yesterday into it. I got him to speak of his friend Jennie, but I find later that the name is Edward D. Jenne and he is a wire worker, and lives at #35 Locust-ave. The record of Jenne while in “Patrol” in Chicago is worth looking into. Stevens remained with me until 12:35 pm when we went into the bar-room of hotel and had a drink, he then left at 1:45 pm. I went down town and went to Main St Bridge to see the raise in the water. I there met Morris Meyers. I enquired of him about Ed. Jenne, “Oh! He is all right”
[page break]
said Meyers, “do not let any one let you anything about him.” I did not like the way that Meyers [cornered] me, so I said no more.
I went to Will McPhelney’s saloon where I had an engagement to meet Patrick McCarty who saw the two suspicious men one week before the Reed and Beebe’s fire. McCarty has not in the past [come] a very good reputation, but Mr. McPhelney said what McCarty said could be relied upon. He tells a very straightforward story, and I give a great amount of confidence to it. The party (tall) that he speaks of is about the same description that both Stevens and Parker give. McCarty then made a Statement. I told McCarty that the best thing for him to do was to meet me at 7 om, and walk up and down the street, through Elm, Ives, Main, and White St’s, and see if we could see our man.
At 6:15 pm I returned to the hotel, had supper. I left the hotel and met Cap’t Keating He told me to meet him between 9 and 9:30 am tomorrow morning, and that the was positive that he could put me onto the “Grand St Man”, the one that tried to set the house of Mr. Manion on fire. He would not tell me first where the man lived, but that the man was considered and little crazy. I promised to be on hand, and 9 am, tomorrow.
I met Patrick McCarty at Wooster
[page break]
House, and walked the streets until 9 pm. we then visited Hurd’s saloon, McPhelney’s, Dillon’s, Bartley’s, Turrell’s, Dougherty’s, and Madden’s on Ives St. On White St we visited Gagahan’s, and on Elm Street we went into Lehey’s. At no saloon would McCarty drink any beer or liquor. He took cigars. He would not meet or see any person, he promises to keep up the search tomorrow, and report to McPhelney if he should see and such person.
At 9:30 pm, I discontinued leaving McCarty in fron of Hura’s Saloon.

Friday, Jan 23.91
At 9 am, I met Cap’t Keating in his office when I asked him if he had any news from his man. (meaning the one that he told me that he would inform me of this morning) He said, “You wait here, and I will go out and see.” He then left me in the station and went out and returned in three quarters of an hour. He told me that the man was in the house as he thought – drunk. I had to do a great deal of talking before I could get this man’s name, at last Cap’t Keating said it was James McNab, living on Deerhill ave, a worthless drunken bum. That he was the identical description given by me, as the one spoken of by McCarty, as the one going under Reed
[page break]
+Beebe’s steps one week before the fire, and answered descriptions small as it was of man seen by Mr. Parker.
I left the station and obtaining directory found that James McNab lived at 65 Deerhill ave, was a laborer. Deerhill ave is first back of Grand St and no 65 is not far out of a line from Manions House.
I called with Cap’t Keating on Mr. Parker again. He cannot give the faintest description that might lead to the identification of this man. He can onle say, that he was tall, and wore and long coat and derby hat, cannot even say if he was black or white, his young daughter who had a look at the man also cannot give any idea of him. Mr. Parker said he could not identify this man well if he was to see him again.
It is my opinion, is a clear case of “scare”, on the part of Mr. Parker. On last Monday night, and he did his best to scare the man away, Cap’t Keating is feeling quite sure, that the right man has been got at this time. Cap’t Keating will arrange it, that he will have Parker see this James McNab. On Saturday night he intends to have one of the residents of Deerhil[l] Ave that McNab does odd jobs for, take a note to McLeans dry goods store, and see
[page break]
if Parker can say it is the same man.
Cap’t Keating in answer to my questions regarding Jenne (not Jennie as was given by Howard Stevens) said he remembers him, his name is Edward D. Jenne, that he came to this city about 4 years ago selling a patent fire extinguisher, but now is working in a small shop back on Crosby lane, as a blacksmith. He lives out on Locust ave, is a man that gets drunk, quite often. While we were talking Morris Meyers came in and upon inquiry he said that Jenne was, he thought, a member of Hose No [7] Independent, that he did not know him very well, but that he would look up his record. As he remembers him, he was a very officious man at a fire, and one that liked to give a great many orders; further than this he does not know.
On returning to the Hotel I found dispatch from Agency, informing me of the fact that no such man as Jennie was ever connected with the “Patrol” in Chicago, just at this time I received an telephone from Mr. J.M. Ives asking me to call at his store at 3 pm for interview.
After dinner, I went out to Grand St where I made inquiry at all houses but could not find any that had seen any strange man about there nor
[page break]
could I find this stranger that Mr. Parker speaks of as coming through the street during the time that the late man was on the street.
Upon making inquiry regarding Manion, I find that Manion is very well thought of, is a hatter by trade. The double house No’s 60 and 601/2 is owned by his Father, Timothy Manion, a man in fair circumstances, living at No 19 Wooster St and is a very reputable man. So far as known neither of these men have and enemy in the world. A search had been made after Cap’t Keating and I had made the search on Monday for any bottles or such like vessel, that oil might have been carried in that Monday night, but no such article was found.
A Special Policeman had been put on in this section, with others to look out for any Strange Man.
I then took car to J.M. Ives store where I met Mr. Ives and Mr. Rundle and received further instructions.
After supper I went to the house of Heber Pettit of 601/2 Grand St. I had a talk with him, he stated that neither he, his wife, nor any of his family knew of the attempt made until at breakfast the next morning, when Mr. Manion came in and told them, saying he did not call him the night before, because he knew
[page break]
he was asleep, and that it would do no good at the time, as the man was gone. Mr. Pettit said he then went out on the front stoop, and saw where the oil was. He did not know as to the quantity, but saw that there must have been over a pint. It had soaked into the wood, and down the side of the stoop. Mr. Pettit said it could not have been done through any spite against him, as he was friends with everybody. He could not give any reason, except that it was set out of pure delight to see a fire.
The reputation of Mr. Parker is given by everybody as one of the very best. A strict member of Church, a man that would not see any such notice, as he has got the past four days. It is the opinion of the Mayor, Mr. Ives, Rundle, McPhelney, and by the Police that Parker was frightened so much by the sight of the man, that the memory is knocked all out of him. His story is believed by all. It would be of no use to have him go out to look up his man, for he is positive in his statement that he would not know him again, if he was brought face to face with the man that he saw that night. His daughter cannot give any descriptions of the man, not even as much as the father, but it is hoped
[page break]
by Cap’t Keating and myself that Parker can form some conclusion, when he gets a view of McNab.
At 8:30 pm, I met with McCarty at cor. of Main and Railroad, and went with him. I went through White, Ives, and Main St to pick up Jenne, or to see if McCarty could pick out the man that he has described. We visited a number of saloons, remaining in the same 10 or 15 minutes, but could not see either of the men.
At 11:15 pm I went out to the vicinity of No. 65 Deerhill accce, but I saw no light in the house. It is evident that Cap’t Keating is having the house shadowed, as I saw a man standing in shadow of a fence just across the street from the house. This man I do not know by name, but have always had the opinion that he was a special policeman
Yours Respect[fully]
Pinkerton Nat. Dect. Agy.
Robt. A. Pinkerton
Genl. Supt. Ediv.




Pinkerton, Robert A. (Robert Allan), 1848-1907. “Pinkerton Report - Jan 22-23, 1891.” Pinkerton Detective Agency Danbury Fires Investigation Collection, MS020. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.


Copy the code below into your web page

Item Relations

This item has no relations.