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up-to-the-last-second Chicago. Take off your hat
and salute. Should he not answer, or push you
out of the way, move quickly on. Don't argue,
for he has not only a club but a loaded revolver. ' '


Bank Robbers Start On Their Annual March
Through the Country.

As said above, much of the current diffi-
culty is due to the annual migrations of the
yeggmen. Said the St. Louis Republic con-
cerning this serious phase of things:

New York. — At the first indication of frost
this month, the 'yeggman' of the burglar type

leaves his hole where he has been living a life
of idleness, and renews activity. He has a sea-
son for work to which he adheres, and never
operates in the summer months because the risk
of capture is greater than in fall and winter.
He is as superstitious of a moonlight night as a
negro is of a cemetery.

The yeggmen are the driftwood of humanity,
burly fellows of marked physical strength, de-
void of conscience, with sneering criminal ex-
pressions. Jail to them is a better home than
they are usually accustomed to. Single-handed
many of them are cowards, but when banded
together they are exceedingly reckless. A life
to them has no value and they will shoot on the
slightest provocation. They are the most des-
perate class of criminals the police have to con-
tend with. The yeggman is a plant mostly of
native origin and its growth is on the increase.
About one-half are natives, one-quarter of for-
eign descent and the remaining quarter of foreign

The operations of the yeggmen have been con-
fined until this year to the Middle West and
South, but their activity during the last winter
down through the New England states has be-
come alarming. No section of the country is
immune — they are known from the Atlantic
to the Pacific, from the Lakes to the Gulf.
Post offices and business houses in small country
towns where the police protection is not very
good are their prey. Banks are not infre-
quently attacked. Inspector Byrnes, who was
for many years the head of the detective bureau,
was of the opinion that it was impossible for
them to operate in this city. Occasionally, how-
ever, a robbery does take place here that has the
ear-marks of their work.

Their Amazing Skill.

The caution used against detection, the care
with which the operation is planned and the
dispatch with which it is carried out are amazing.
The actual burglar with his gang never visits the
scene where the robbery is to take place until
the night set for action. A scout, called a 'gay-
cat,' or a 'finder,' is sent in advance. He is a
frail sort of fellow, demure and youthful, and
above all things he endeavors not to arouse any
suspicion. He explores under the guise of a
beggar or peddler, with the right or left arm
swathed in bandages protecting a self-inflicted
wound or discoloration, which he exposes for
sympathy. Chemicals are principally used in
this work, and it is called 'jigging.' The 'finder'
must be a master of detail and operation, and
must be trusted by the leader. The success of
the future undertaking depends upon his work.
From the data which he collects the plan of pro-
cedure is devised. He first acquaints himself
with the habits of the police or night watchmen
and their methods of patrol ; if the town is well
iUuminated and what advantages it affords for
escape — 'the get-away.' The time-tables of all
outgoing freight trains, called 'rattlers,' are
studied, and where they are likely to stop. All




First Burglar — What you goin' to do this winter?

Second Burglar — Oh, I guess I'll go back to drivin' a cab in Chicago. The holdin' up's
easier an' it's more respectable. ■ — Chicago Inter-Ocean.



coal chutes and water tanks are carefully noted;
and also where hand cars or rigs can easily be

With this knowledge in hand, he visits the
various places about town and singles out one
where the 'swag' is likely to be large; where
it is most easily obtained and the chances of
capture are the smallest. After a complete sur-
vey of the neighborhood and conditions he re-
ports back to the 'camp,' or dump.

The hangout is usually in some cheap lodging-
house or low saloon, quite a distance from the
scene of the supposed action. During the ab-
sence of the 'feeler' very little drinking is done,
as everyone must be at his best and ready to
move at the word of command. A whisky-
drinker is referred to as a ' white liver. ' All the
details collected by the 'gayeat' are minutely
considered by the master mind of the gang, the
leader. He is the general in command. His
word is absolute. After the plan of procedure
has been determined upon the advance is begun.
The town is never visited until late at night.
They conceal themselves in the outskirts of the
woods near by so as to avoid as much as possible
future recognition in case of capture. They
are usually armed with bogus or genuine union
cards, which they exhibit if picked up on sus-
picion. Cases are known where yeggs have been
discharged from custody on the strength of these
cards. They always say they are in search of
work, and cite some city as their home in which
labor troubles are known to exist.


Like Birds of Passage They Seek the Regions of
Warm Climate.
Parallel with the autumnal movements of
the yeggmen are the annual shiftings of what
might be called the unfixed labor element.
While most of this moving class are un-
questionably of the most honorable sort, the
very changeableness of their environment
develops the irresponsible, and adds each
year to the number of men who prefer wan-
dering in crime to remaining stable in
honest work. Said the Kansas City Star :

Many of the railroad gang laborers migrate
as do the wild ducks and geese. In the summer
they work up north, where it is cool. In winter
they go south, where it is warm.

They are coming into Kansas City now by
the hundreds from the north. They are looking
for jobs in Texas and other Southern States.
There will be plenty of work there for them, for
the railway companies plan to do their con-
struction work at a time when labor is the most
plentiful. The majority of it is done in the
north during the summer months and in the
south in the winter.

Nearly all of the railways that enter Kansas
City have employment agencies here. At present
there are from fifty to seventy-five men sent
out of Kansas City daily for grading, track lay-
ing and the handling of steel and ties. The wages
vary from $1.75 per day for extra men in grad-
ing gangs to $5 per day for men who handle
materials. Some of the laborers who move sup-
plies make as high as $7 per day. They are paid
by the piece.

Caste Among the Workmen.

The railroads recognize the ideas of caste
among the men, and as much as possible the races
are kept apart. Negroes are scarcely ever
worked in white gangs. The American and Irish
laborers often refuse to work with Mexicans,
Italians or Greeks and are rarely asked to. Even
the foreign races are separated into different
gangs. The Mexicans work together, the Greeks
in another gang and the Italians in another.

The American and Irish laborers usually draw
))etter wages than the others. They usually
board at the railroad's boarding cars. The for-
eigners board themselves. The railroads usually
charge about $4 per week for board. The Greeks
can live on $1.25 a week if they board th»m-

They Save Money.

The Greeks and Italians are the savers among
railway laborers. They work fairly regular and
spend little of their money. After one has saved
up several hundred or thousands of dollars, he
either goes back to the 'Old Country' or starts
into business.

"It is surprising the amount of money those
Greeks save," said an employment agent. "Re-
cently an interpreter who had a gang of forty-
five Greeks with him brought in $46,000 to have
placed in the bank. He said part of the money
belonged to men in two other gangs. They
usually do their business through one of their
number who can talk a little English. Often
one of these interpreters does nothing but look
after two or three gangs of his countrymen.
When they are out of work he comes to the em-
ployment agencies and secures places for them.
He oversees the purchase of provisions for their
camp and takes care of their money. One of
these men rarely imposes upon his countrymen.

Their Calloused Hands.

A man who was not a railroad laborer would
find it difficult to 'ship out' as one. He might
be able to pass inspection at the employment
office but the railroads or contractors usually
have an inspector who looks over the men when
they are placed in the cars. He takes notice of
every man.

The other night an inspector was examining
a gang of men who were going to Texas.

"Hold on, there," he said to a young man,
"do you belong to this outfit?"

"Yes," answered the boy.

"Let me see your hands. That's what I
thought — too soft. You can't go. Go back to


















the agent who hired you and get your deposit
money. You don't look like a laborer to me."

"But I've been working "

"Go on back," said the inspector. "I don't
want you."

Another man wore a starched linen collar.
The inspector caught sight of it.

White Collars Won't Do.

"You, there," he shouted, "don't get on that
car. We can't use you. The idea of a man
goin' out to skin mules in a starched collar."


Woman's Club President's Views Strongly
Opposed to Roosevelt's.
Coupled with the story given above as to
the hold which crime is gaining upon the
imagination of the youth, the following from
the New York World on "Race Suicide" is
of interest, as showing one person's view of
the means of correcting the existing con-
ditions :

Denver. — Mrs. Sarah Piatt Decker, president
of the National Federation of Women's Clubs,
who recently took issue with President Roose-
velt's demand for more children, is receiving let-
ters commending her claim, that it is of greater
importance to a nation aiming at mental, moral,
and physical progress to have a thoroughbred
progeny than to have the highest possible num-
ber born without regard to their parentage. All
these letters so far are from men.

One writer, evidently a physician and scientific
student, rejoices at the prospects that the ques-
tion of race suicide and race progress will now
be more generally discussed. He says there has
been a quiet discussion for some time among
scientific men who believe that imbeciles, degen-
erates and sick persons should be weeded out and
forbidden to marry, and that a movement is on
foot to bring the matter, before Legislatures and
Congress. He endorses Mrs. Decker's view that
there should be a sufficient period of courtship
before marriage, so that the parties might de-
termine satisfactorily whether they really, love
each other and are properly mated.

One letter is from a young man who says he has
detei-mined he will not marry, even should he fall
in love, till he is sure his marriage will aid in
the progress of the race. He says he has not yet
found a partner of that kind.


Farm in Stockholm Where Unfortunate Couples
Disposed of Children.
Perhaps not so indirectly associated with
the above as might appear at first thought.

if. the following from the Chicago Inter-
Ocean :

Stockholm. — Revelations concerning the "Na-
tional Children's Sanitarium" have been an-
nounced after an investigation by the authorities,
which has been going on for some weeks. It ap-
pears that the alleged sanitarium was simply a
baby farm on an immense scale, and that whole-
sale murders of babies were committed.

The authorities are trying to trace the "Rev-
erend Gustav Holmen" and the woman who
passed as his wife. They were the heads of the
sanitarium. It was situated on a little island
in the Lilla Vartan, to the south of this city.
There the man and woman established themselves
some years ago in a group of farm buildings. He
posed as a minister of the gospel, and she as a
trained nurse and specialist for children and their
bringing up.

Audacity Aids Couple's Scheme.

Their very audacity in coming to the capital
and in making their appeals to the highest in the
land made their scheme successful. They secured
numerous contributions, and especially handsome
amounts were subscribed to the building fund. It
is true that some building was done, but this was
in the nature of additions to the farm house and
other buildings and did not entail much ex-

The couple advertised extensively. It was gen-
erally understood that babies orphaned or with
parents too poor to look after them were received
free. Parents who on account of work found
their babies for the time being in the way also
sent them to the sanitarium. It has been dis-
covered that very few children were received
free, and that various sums were extorted, either
in a lump sum, or by installments.

Their specialty was babies brought by domestic
servants and other girls who had been endowed
with illegitimate offspring. These, or their sweet-
hearts, all had to pay heavily for the privilege
of finding a home for their babes. It is calcu-
lated that in the three years the institution has
been running over 1,000 babies had b^en received.
Yet only thirteen babies are alive and well.
These were the healthiest, fattest, and prettiest
of those received, and were used as decoys or
show babies. They were shown to mothers and
to all visitors, and their pictures were sent out
on the literature used.

Young Mother Starts Inquiry.

The investigation was the result of the visit
of a young girl whose mother-love was too strong
for her. She had taken a baby to the place and
surrendered it as a good way to get rid of it.
Some few days later her sweetheart yielded to
the entreaties of the young mother and married
her. She rushed off to reclaim her infant. The
proprietress at first refused, but as the girl grew
stronger in her demands, a baby, one of the show
thirteen, was brought to her. She denied it was
hers and created a scene. She saw the whole
thirteen and refused them as not hers. Then the
"Reverend Gustav" and the woman commenced



to turn ugly, and said she would be kept prisoner
on the island until she became tractable. The
girl replied that her husband knew where she
had gone and what her errand was, and that if
she did not return on time he would come with
the police to search for her.

The couple were frightened and let her go.
She went at once to the police, but it is thought
she was tracked, for when the police went to the
island some hours later the "Reverend Gustav"
and his female companion had fled. They had
secured practically all the funds from the bank
and taken everything portable of value.

The few servants employed on the baby farm
were arrested, but after a lengthy examination
were discharged. They knew nothing" of the
happenings that threw very much light on the
subject. It is believed that the guilty couple
fled to the United States, or at least that the
"Reverend Gustav" went there. It is also
thought that he may have abandoned the woman
and sailed alone with the plunder, for an anony-
mous letter was received from Hamburg in her
handwriting giving some details too horrible
for publication.

Infants Quickly Disposed Of.

From the servants it was learned that seventy-
five babies were received the last month. The
place where the bodies of sixty were buried has
been discovered. The infants had apparently
been murdered soon after being received, and
probably immediately after those who brought
them had left the island. It is thought that at
first the babies were simply drowned, but that
it was a dangerous practice, for the bodies were
washed ashore and turned over to the police.
The "Reverend Gustav" was a skilled butcher,
according to the anonymous letter, and some of
his methods of getting rid of the children were
too ghastly for publicity.


New York Child Could Never Recover From
Early Sufferings.
Something of the causes that occasionally
incite youth to crime is reflected in the fol-
lowing from the New York World :

"Self-confessed murderer, girl, fourteen years

The prisoner answering to this notation in the
book of crimes is a brown-eyed school girl, a
pathetic little inmate of the White Plains jail.

Frocked in checkered gingham, with a thick
braid of brown hair falling in school girl fashion
down her back, Jennie Burch, charged with the
poisoning of Wilbur Winship, the infant son of
Mr. and Mrs. Winship, of Cowles Corners, N. Y.,
represents one of the few youthful murderers
on record.

Doomed to successive years of loneliness from
her birth, this little girl was never so absolutely
alone, so completely separated from the love and
kindness of human touch or word as she is now
in her cell in the big jail. A whole week in
prison, this girl, charged with the gravest of
crimes, has heard no other voices than the subt
dued chattering of old women who occupy the
nearby cells.

Driven to the desperation of loneliness in this
strange home, with only her own morbid thoughts
and remorse for companionship, she asked for a
piece of paper and wrote a note to her aunt in
Connecticut, who, she said, had once been kind.
Perhaps she would come.

"I know my mother won't come," she rea-
soned, "for I haven't seen her for a long time,
and since she has married again and there are
other children she maybe doesn't care for me.
My grandfather and my grandmother are old
and too poor to take rides on the railroad, and,
then," and here the child broke into a fit of
sobbing, "there are the Winships, my best
friends for three years, but they now would only
come to punish me."

Home With Poor Grandparents.

When still a small, toddling baby girl, Jennie
was placed by her mother in the care of the
child's grandparents on the little farm near
where the tragedy occurred recently. The grand-
father was almost helpless with rheumatism.
The two old people went out to work, but with
the small income from such uncertain work as
chopping wood, doing a few washings and tend-
ing the neighbors' gardens when needed the sup-
port of the girl baby became a burden.

One day, more than three years ago, when the
family purse was thinner than usual, and the
man's rheumatism greater, Grandmother Burch
sat down and wrote a letter, a pleading, friendly
note to her neighbor, Mrs. Winship. The Win-
ships were looked upon as the 'rich' family of
Cowles Corners. Their home was the most pre-
tentions and comfortable in the village, and their
gardens the trimmest, their barns the largest and
best stocked.

The Winships had two boys then — one twelve,
the other five. The little, brown-eyed girl, with
her quick intelligence and willingness to make
herself useful in exchange for the privilege of
living in this fine house, appealed to the Win-
ships. She was immediately installed in the fam-
ily circle. She took pride in the pretty clothes
Mrs. Winship bought for her, and she occupied
one of the leather-upholstered chairs at the Win-
ship table.

The Winship Santa Claus proved the same
kind-hearted, thoughtful Santa to the little girl
as he did to the Winship boys. But there can be
no doubt that, while she was happy with the
things that please the childish mind, she must
at times have contrasted her own sad babyhood



with the care and comforts of the Winship chil-

And there is little doubt but that these mo-
mentary reflections had their influences upon her
sensitive nature when she chose to take her life
when the finger of accusation for burning the
Winship barn was directed against her.

Love for Baby She Poisoned.

Then a third son was born to the Winships,
and her deep affection for the Winships showed
itself in the girl's almost complete care of the

Separated from the baby with the reopening of
the village school, which she attended, the girl
redoubled her efforts night and morning caring
for the baby. When it grew older she insisted
on taking it to Sunday school with her. Like
Mary's little lamb, there was scarcely any place
around Cowles Corners that Jennie went without
that baby.

"I wish my Harry was as fond of books as
Jennie," often remarked Mr. Winship to his
wife. While not large, the Winship library was
stocked with standard books. After the baby
was abed, the supper dishes put away, bright and
shiny on the kitchen shelf, the back door bolted
against tramps, the ambitious girl student, with
book, pencil and paper to work out her lessons
for the morrow, would settle down for two hours
of reading or study.

It is recorded that the general reputation of
the young prisoner at White Plains is good.
Even a little woman in black, who mourns the
loss of the two-year-old baby, speaks tenderly of
the girl who has wrought destruction in her home.

"Jennie was a good girl," said Mrs. Winship,
' ' and we feel no spirit of revenge toward her ; but
we feel she must be punished merely to protect
others from a possible recurrence of such a
crime. ' '

Lawfully there are four charges which this
young girl could be required to answer to : Burn-
ing the Winships' barn, attempt to burn their
home, attempted suicide and murder. Doubtless
the only charge pressed against the girl prisoner
will be that of murder, for which she will be in-
dicted before the December grand jury.

The flippant saying: "It is bad to think,"
becomes the girl prisoner's case. She thought
one day that wet hay which lodged between the
two great barns of the Winship farm would not
burn. She struck a match and tried it. The
match probably dropped beneath to some dry
strands of hay. She thought it had smothered
and gone out, and, satisfied with her experiment,
walked away. But the experiment worked itself
out without her assistance, for shortly after both
barns, with more than fifty tons of stored hay,
were being devoured in the shooting flames.

Watched the Bam Bum.

Too overcome to speak, she stood watching it
until it had nearly burned itself out. Her ad-
mission to this incendiary fire, together with her
confession of poisoning the baby later, caused her
arrest. Following the long line of mourners in
the funeral procession was the sheriff's wagon

carrying the girl to prison, as the baby was being
carried to its grave.


Stuenenberg Murderer and His Associates Soon
to Be Tried.

Denver, Colo. — Harry Orchard, the self-con-
fessed murderer of former Governor Frank
Stuenenberg, of Idaho, whose confession im-
plicated the officers of the Western Federation in
that and a dozen other murders, has gone insane,
and now is confined in the hospital ward of the
Idaho penitentiary at Boise, Idaho, according to
a report that reached Denver recently.

It is chiefly on the testimony of Orchard and
Steve Adams, recently released from the Idaho
penitentiary on a writ of habeas corpus and im-
me.diately rearrested on a fresh murder charge,
that the state hoped to convict the officers of the
Western Federation of Miners of having en-
gineered a campaign of individual and wholesale
murder that culminated in the killing of Stuenen-
berg on the night of December 20, 1905.

The officers of the Federation are still in the
Idaho penitentiary, despite the most strenuous
efforts to secure their release which have been
made ceaselessly since their arrest last February.

The trial was to have been held in the little
town of Caldwell, in Idaho, last April, but was
postponed until this fall. When it takes place
it promises to be the most sensational trial ever
held, in this country. All the strength of the
Western Federation of Miners, the richest,
strongest, and most perfectly organized body of
its kind in the world, is behind the accused of-

The union has declared itself ready to spend
$1,000,000 if necessary in their defense. As an
evidence of its determination it has secured some
of the best criminal talent in this country to de-
fend its officers. The array of lawyers for the
defense includes Clarence S. Darrow, of Chicago,
and Bourke Cockran, of New York. The prose-
cution is headed by Governor Gooding of Idaho,
who has declared himself ready to spend the last

Online LibraryArthur I. StreetPandex of the press (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 70)