Pinkerton Report - Jan 24-25, 1891

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New York Jan 28,91.
Jos. M. Ives Esq.
257 Main St
Danbury, Conn.


Our operative J.T. McM. further reports.

Saturday Jan 24/ 91.
After breakfast, I went out to the vicinity of No 65 Deerhill ave to get spot on James McNab. It was 11 a.m. before I saw him come out, he then came out with a basket of washing, and hung them up on a line. He is quite tall about 5ft 11inches, medium stout, a little round shouldered, and has what looks to be a sandy mustache. After getting a view of him, I went to the vicinity of White and Ives sts. To get a spot on Edward Jenne. Spot was given me at 12.20 p.m. by John Foley bartender for M.McPhelemy. I was him as he left his shop back of Ackers lunch rooms on White st. Jenne is about 5ft 11inches in height, weighs about 180 pounds, straight, has a heavy mustache. After getting spot on him I went to dinner,
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After which, I called on Mayor Hopkins who instructed me to use Pat McCarty for a few days for the purpose of watching the movements of Jenne and McNab. the mayor said, he had cause to suspect McNab was the man, that he had full confidence in the story related by Mr. Parker.
I went to the saloon of M.McPhelemy where I met McCarty. I instructed him to pick up Hack just as soon as he could to watch and see if he connected with either Stevens or Jenne, and if so to get on to any conversation that they might have, or if he met Jenne first, to get into conversation with him and learn from him what part of the fire department he was a member of in Chicago, to report to me on Sunday, at the hotel. McCarty then left me to look for Hack or Jenne.
I went out and met Capt Keating at the cor of Ives and White sts. He said he was not positive that McNab would be out tonight, but they would do their best to get him to come out, and to have Parker get a look at him. After I left Keating, I went to Hull and Porters store, where I met Porter. He told me that officer Dittma[r] wanted to see me on important business. I left and walked down White st. and near the bridge, I met Officer Dittma[r]. he told me that a William Washburn had served a term
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In prison in New York, for setting fires just like these set in Danbury, while living in Brewster N.Y. and was now living in Danbury, that he was waiting not to learn where in Danbury the man lived, and would let me know. I told him that I would meet him at the cor of Ives and White sts.
I called again upon Capt Keating and enquired regarding Washburn. He said that some time ago, they made a search for Washburn, but could not find him in the city, and that he had not yet been informed that Washburn was here, that he took no stock in the story regarding Washburn excepting the fact that the man had just served a sentence for arson from Brewster.
I returned to cor of Ives and White sts, and at 5.20 p.m. I met officer Dittma[r]. he told me that William Washburn was living now on West st second house from the corner of Williams and next to the residence of Sam Brewer. William Washburn lived on 2nd floor, that he was there now, that he had got his information from a brother-in-law of Washburns who had told him, that it would be a good thing to watch him.
I went to supper, and then to the vicinity of 65 Deerhill ave, the house which sets back a distance from the street was dark, no lights were burning in it, at the time.
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I waited there until 8p.m. but there being no indications of any person coming out of it during the evening. I again went to the vicinity of Ives st to watch for McCarty, but I could not find him. I did not see during the entire night, Hack, Stevens or Jenne.
The match that I found on stoop at Manions’s house, I have at only one place been able to find one like it, and that was at Dillons saloon. As I said in a previous report, I found one on the end of the bar at that place, that without doubt is the same make.
Identification by Parker or his daughter of the man seen by them, I am positive can never be got, as they say they cannot give any description of him, only as to the height, coat and hat, and that they would not know him even if they were placed face to face. No one has cause to doubt the story of Mr. Parker so far as I have been able to learn, nor question the honesty of Mr. Manion, that the attempt was made is evident by the oil marks, and match found on stoop.

Sunday Jan 25/91.
I did not leave my room until 11.20 a.m. today, as I am suffering with a heavy cold contracted one week ago last
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Saturday. I did not feel well enough to go out in such a storm as we have had today. I returned to my room at 1.30 where I remained the rest of the day.
Yours Res[ting]
Pinkerton Nat. Dect Agy
Robt. A. Pinkerton
Genl Supt Ediv.




Pinkerton, Robert A. (Robert Allan), 1848-1907. “Pinkerton Report - Jan 24-25, 1891.” Pinkerton Detective Agency Danbury Fires Investigation Collection, MS020. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.


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