Historical sketch of the police service of Hartford, from 1636 to 1901, from authoritative sources. Illustrating and describing the economy, equipment and effectiveness of the police force of to-day. With reminiscences of the past, including some notes of important cases online

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Online LibraryUnknownHistorical sketch of the police service of Hartford, from 1636 to 1901, from authoritative sources. Illustrating and describing the economy, equipment and effectiveness of the police force of to-day. With reminiscences of the past, including some notes of important cases → online text (page 8 of 11)
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many important cases entrusted to his care, as may be noted
by reference to other parts of this historical sketch. He is
painstaking and persistent, and has a great deal of native
shrewdness to aid him in his pecnliar work.


Sergeant Burton L. L niberfield began duty as a patrolman
May 20. 1889. and for some time prior to his appointment as
sergeant was deskman at police headquarters during the day
hours. His commission as sergeant dates July 27, 1897.
He is well known, and is an excellent officer, going about his
business in a straightforward, unassuming manner.


Sergeant John F. I'mtler entered the service April 19, 1893,
as a patrolman, and was for some time on the State Street beat,
where he became familiar with some of the hard life of the city.
He was made acting sergeant some time before his commission
was given him. He is one of the largest men on the force, finely
proportioned, and has an enviable reputation for courage and
downright pluck. He is often at the head of the police platoon
on parade days. His commission dates May 8, 1900.


Sergeant John Creedon began service as patrolman January
16, 1893, and for a few months prior to his appointment as
sergeant was acting sergeant. His commission as sergeant was
issued Febrnary 7. 1901. and was the first to be issued nnder the
civil service examination adopted by the police commission.

152 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.


Sergeant Patrick J. Finley was a patrolman May 20, 1889,
and served as such until he was appointed sergeant by the com-
mission, February 7, 1901, under the civil service examination
and entered upon his duties immediately.


Garrett J. Farrell was appointed detective sergeant March
11. [901. He has been on the force since 1893. anc ^ early in


his career as a patrolman evidenced ability in the line of detec-
tive work, and for some years previous to his appointment as
sergeant had been detailed on detective work. He has had a
fine experience in the- work for so young a man. and his daily
duty requires an amount of shrewdness and knowledge of hu-
man nature that is not alwavs easy to find in an officer.

History of Police Depart men t, Hartford, Connecticut. 155


Theodore Dietrich was appointed acting sergeant February
7, 1901. His commission as patrolman dates November 6, 1893.
He has been an east side officer and is thoroughly familiar with
that locality, and has been called upon to do much detective
work. He is a trusted man in important matters, and is reck-
oned as a good officer, thoroughly competent and reliable.

Mitchell ( ). Liebert was appointed acting sergeant February
7, 190 1. His commission as patrolman dates from January 14,
1897. He has shown himself to be an exceptionally intelligent
officer, and his promotion to acting sergeant was under the civil
service examination rules that have been recently adopted by
the commission.


Herbert E. Tinker, the court officer, entered the service as
patrolman, August 25, 1873, an< ^ f° r eleven years was the offi-
cer on the City Hall Square beat, and consequently is very well
known. He has been for several years detailed as court officer,
and his duties are the care of the prison during the day, the pres-
entation of the prisoners before the Police Court at its sessions,
and the supervision of the transportation of prisoners from the
police station to the jail, accompanying the '* Black Maria " to
the jail with the necessary commitment papers. He has charge
of the prisoners who are sentenced to pay fines, and sees to
their discharge after the fines are paid, and looks out that they
are not free prematurely. He keeps the record of the court for
the police department. Officer Tinker served in the First Min-
nesota Volunteers during the war for the Union, and prior to
his coming upon the police force was night clerk at the United
States Hotel. His duties are very exacting and oftentimes
trvintr in their nature.

154 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.



Officer Strickland Bears the Oldest Commission as a Patrolman — Some
of the Well-Known Patrolmen.

Hartford has reason to be proud of its police force. It is
made up of men selected for their intelligence and physical con-


dition, and their tenure of office is so fixed that they become
thoroughly familiar with the city, its people, and its needs for
protection. This policy brings the force up to a very high
average of excellence, and Hartford is a city of good order.
While it is often the fashion to complain of all public institu-

History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut. 155

tions, that being the privilege of all citizens, those who com-
plain of the police have, as a rule, small idea of the great under-
taking of handling a large force of men, who in turn care for
the peace of the city. If all men were peaceful and law-abiding
there would be no need of any police at all, but they are not,
and the perplexing circumstances that often surround a patrol-
man in his duty cannot be appreciated by the average citizen.
A day and a night in the police office and a day and a night on
an east side beat, passed in observation of the actual workings
of the establishment and its individual officers, would be a reve-
lation to those who complain.

This sketch of the force is intended as a general description
of its workings, and it has been impossible to even point out
the individual efforts of the members of the force. Life is too
short to tell so long a story as it would make. It is sufficient
to say that the men are conscientious in their work, and that
results prove this assertion.

It is fitting, however, without discriminating in any way, to
make a few allusions.

The oldest patrolman's commission is held by ( )fficer George
E. Strickland, who has served thirty years on the force, having
been commissioned as supernumerary in 1870, and promoted
to the regular force in 1 87 1 . He is an army veteran, and fol-
lowed Sherman in the march to the sea. He had his struggles
with the toughs of those days of the early force, and in recent
years has been known as a guardian of Bushnell Park, where he
has for some time been a great favorite of the children. He is
at desk work in the office just now. His reminiscences are al-
ways enjoyable.

Some of the patrolmen are as well known by public appear-
ances in other fields of endeavor. Officer Steele is drum major
of the First Regiment Band (Colt's), Frjftik Heise is one of the
best trombone players in New England, and is frequently heard

1 56 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.

with pleasure. His brother George is also a musician and a
band man. The two bear a striking- resemblance to each other.
The Sullivan brothers. John and Peter, are so often mistaken
for each other that they are frequently identified by citizens
only by the numbers of their shields. ( )fficer ( \. Herbert Peck
is the heaviest man on the force. ( )fficer Ahearn is the tallest
man of the force. Officer Felix Quinn has for some vears been
identified with the east side, and is mighty well known to many
of its residents. Supernumeraries Edward W. Haves and Ed-
ward F. O'Brien are drivers of the patrol wagon, and will soon
be installed on the seat of the new automobile that is to substi-
tute the horse and wagon patrol. The full list of all members
of the force, with the date of their appointment, follows:

Chief of Police, George F. Bill, December 25, 1867.

Captain, Cornelius Ryan. October 3, 1861.

Lieutenant, William F. Gunn. February 16, 1886.

Sergeant, James P. Carter, August 5. 1889.

Sergeant, Walter W. Smith. November 4. 1871.

Sergeant, Burton L. Umberfield, May 20, 1889.

Sergeant, John F. Butler, April 19. 1893.

Sergeant, John Creedon, January 16, 1893.

Sergeant, Patrick J. Finley, May 20. 1889.

Acting Sergeant. Theodore Dietrich, November 6, [893.

Acting Sergeant. Mitchell ( ). Liebert. January 14. 1897.


George E. Strickland, November 4. 1871.
William E. Tucker, December 4. 1871.
William L. Steele, December 4, 1871.
James Maloney, June 4, 1872.
Michael Gavin, November 11. 1872.
William H. Harris. April 9, 1873.
Herbert E. Tinker, August 25. 1873.
Edwin Johnson, September 4, 1876.
Mat hew Pagan, March [, 1876.
Justin ( Goodwill, July 4. 1881.
Patrick Mahonev. November II, 1881.

History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut. 157

George P. Harvey. November 16, 188 1.
Keren Malloy, November 16, 1881.
Charles H. Lloyd, June [9, 1882.
Thomas McCue, November 10, 1884.
Michael Gaffey, March 15. 1886.
Charles A. Schiller. May 20, L889.
William Tobin, May 20, 1889.
John O'Malley, May 20. 1889.
Albert M. Case. May 22. 1889.
James F. Lally, August 5. 1889.
John E. Palmer. December 22. 1889.
Felix Quinn, April 13, 1891.
John F. Sullivan. July 2S>, 1892.
Edward J. Langrish, July 28. 1892.
Charles E. Ramsden. July 28. 1892.
Peter A. Sullivan, January 7, 1893.
( ieorge E. Heise, January 7, 1893.
Mark Grady. January 7, 1893.
W. W. Whitehead, January 16. 1893.
I'M ward Beecher. January 16, 1893.
Charles E. Russell. February 18, 1803.
James J. Noonan, April [9, 1893.
Benjamin G. Schulze, April 19. 1893.
John O'Sullivan, April 19. 1893.
Garrett J. Farrell, June 6, 1893.
Frank Santoro, November 6, 1893.
Frank P. Geary. November 6. 1893.
Charles Mantie, November 6, 1893.
John T. McDermott, November 6, 18^3.
James Dunn. November 6. 1893.
Edward J. Dillon, November 6, 1893.
Homer A. Hogaboom, November 6. 1893.
John Flannery, March 6. [894.
Arthur McLeod, March 6, [894.
lames J. Hennessey, March 6, 181)4.
William O. Brown, March 6, 1894.
G. Herbert Peck, March 13, 1894.
John J. Burns, September 17, 1894.
James F. Havens. September 17. iS .1.

158 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.

Terrence \V. Brazel, October 15, 1894.
William II. Marshall, February 18, 1895.
John T. Fagan, October 21, 1895.
Frank A. Heise, January 14, 1897.
John Sheehan. January 14, 1897.
John P. Flynn, January 14, 1897.
Stanley J. Riley, January 14. 1897.
William Weltner, January 14, 1897.
William Florence, January 14, 1897.
Thomas J. Gunning", January 14, 1897.
James Morgan, January 14, 1897.
Edward H. Costello, January 14, 1807.
Edward T. Losty, January 14, 1897.
Patrick Doran, January 14, 1897.
Edward English, January 14, [897.
Edward J. Farrell, January 14, 1897.
John E. O'Brien, January 14, 1897.
Thomas J. Pillion, January 14, 1897.
James J. Flynn, January 14, 1897.
Michael Finley, February 7, 1898.
Thomas J. Elwood, February 7, 1898.
Daniel T. Malloy, February 7, [898.
Frank S. Young, February 7. [898.
Frank H. Trask, February 7, 1898.
Sprague W. Edwards, February 7, [898.
Joseph (iraff, February 7, 1898.
William J. Redmund, February 7. 1898.
Andrew J. Williams, February 7, i8(j8.
Charles F. Nichols. December 4. [898.
James 1'. Moran, October 2, 1800.
John Flannagan, October 15. kjoo.
J. A. Callahan, April 2. 1 901.
M. J. Dooley. April 2, 190 1.

D. B. Ahern, April 2, 1901.
W. M. Dower, April 2, 1901.
L. (i. Melberger, April 2, T901.
John M. Henry, April 2, 1901.

E. F. Babcock, April 2, 1901.
H. L. Hart, April 2, [901.

History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut. 1 59


Edward F. O'Brien,
Arthur H. Torrey,
John C. Bogue,
Judson Dunlap,
John E. Borgeson,
John J. Jordan,
Charles H. Brooks,
George H. Sterzing,
William J. Moran,
James M. Connolly,
Arthur Pruning,
John H. Watson.
Antonio Notine,
Daniel M. Keleher,
John W. McGrath,
Edward J. Relihan.
Patrick Sheehan,
John P. Duffy.
Samuel G. Adams.
Joseph W. Rogers.
William J. Pendergast,
William Luckingham,
Martin P. Leany.
James Riley.
William E. Hogan,
John Ff. Hurley.
George W. Butler.
Axel L. Carlson.
James H. Vail.
James A. Corrigan.
Seymour E. Hilton.
Edward W. Hayes,
James J. Powers.
Michael D. Connors.
William J. Sullivan,
James W. Allen,
William T. Meany,
Louis F. Hogan,
Albert L. Thomas.
Frank T. Cowley,
Lawrence J. Lowe.
John J. Butler,
Daniel P. Broderick,

Robert L. Myer,
James M. Francis,
Olaf Mathewson,
John L. Dorsey,
Patrick J. White.
T. Charles Tredeau,
John M. Sayres,
Fred. S. Kendall.
J. W. Miller.
John M. O'Malley,
Timothy Killiard,
Herbert A. Quintard,
James A. Shea,
John R. Murphy.
George K. Marvin,
Charles P. Flynn.
James H. O'Mara,
Patrick J. Mannix,
John J. Malone,
Mark Keefe,
Otto E. Frost.
William H. A. Conlon,
Patrick J. McCarthy,
Otto M. Martin.
George M. Hetzell.
Lawrence P. Lacey,
Simon Freund,
Patrick F. McKee.
James L. Roper,
Patrick Moynahan,
Harvey C. Bacon.
Patrick M. Quinn,
James A. Tracy.
James J. Tiley,
George M. Cadwell,
James PL Clarkin.
Jacob I. Beizer,
James T. Heffernan.
Thomas Nagle.
John F. Roach.
Morris C. Foley.
Charles F. KoeniL r .

i6o History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut .


Successful Voluntary Organization for Relief of Policemen's Families —
Has Distributed $8,800 to Widows and Orphans — Sources of its

The Hartford Police Mutual Aid Association is one of the
important humanitarian accessories of the police department.
It gathers together, by dues, by entertainments, and by the an-
nual ball given in the large drill hall of the police building, funds
to be distributed at its annual meeting to the widows and or-
phans of deceased policemen. Nearly all of the members of
the force belong to the association, and each member is assessed
at $6 annually for the first three years of his membership, and
$4 annually thereafter. By this means and by such means as
have been outlined above the fund has reached the comfortable
sum of nearly $12,000 now on hand in addition to $8,800 already
distributed to its beneficiaries. ( )ccasionally the association
receives contributions from citizens who are interested in the
police or who have been personally benefited by its protection,
such as caring for houses during the summer vacation and ren-
dering other service in the line of police duty.

The association was organized April 1, 1880, with absolutely
nothing in the way of funds but prospects. The officers were:
Walter P. Chamberlain, then chief of police, president; Frank
L. Martin, vice-president; Cornelius Ryan, treasurer, a post
which he has continuously occupied; George F. Bill, secretary.

The present officers are: President, Chief of Police George F.
Bill; treasurer. Captain Cornelius Ryan; secretary, Herbert E.

History of Polite Department, Hartford, Connecticut. 161

Tinker: trustees, Sergeant Walter \V. Smith, Sergeant [ohn
Creedon, Thomas McCue, James I". Lally, Edward F. O'Brien,
William Weltner, I reorge P. Harvey, Charles L. Ramsden, and
Edward Beecher.

One of the brilliant events connected with the history of

this association was the dedication ball given April 3, 1899, when
the great hall of the new department building was open to the
general public for the first time, and the entire police building
was overflowing with the friends of the police and of the asso-
ciation. The occasion was one long to be remembered. Mayor
I'reston. with the members of the citv government, members
of all the commissions, and many of the prominent citizens of
Hartford were present with their ladies, and the social char-
acter of the occasion, the general good will of the brilliant as-
sembly, and. not the least, the hue addition to the treasury of
the association, made the event one of the most notable happen-
ings in the annals of the police department.


i62 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.


The Police Court — It had an Existence Ten Years Before the Police
Department was Organized — List of Judges — Present Judge.
Albert C. Bill.

I iii''. Police Court is an independent organization, upon its
own basis, and not in any way connected with the police depart-
ment, except that it must naturally be in the- closest possible- touch


with it. it was organized in 1S51, nearly ten years before the
( niiiiiiiiii Council established the police ordinance and took cog-
nizance ot all cases brought before it by the old watch or by
constables that arrested persons for crimes or misdemeanors.

I he court is a state organization, and the judge is appointed
b\ the legislature after nomination by the county representatives.

History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut. 163

It has no cognizance of any civil cases whatever, and its juris-
diction of action in cases of theft is limited by the amount of
property taken, having no jurisdiction above S50. Crimes upon
the person are taken cognizance of. but jurisdiction is only for
minor crimes. The court may hold for the Superior Court any
person over whose alleged crime it has no jurisdiction.

The judges of the Hartford Police Court have been able men,
many of them having gone into positions of greater and wider
usefulness, but of scarcely more responsibility. The first judge
of the court was Eliphalet A. Bulkeley, many years a leading
citizen of Hartford, founder of the - Etna Life fnsurance Com-
pany, and father of ex-Governor Morgan G. Bulkeley, General
William 11. Bulkeley, and Mrs. Leverett Brainard, all holding
large places in the affections of the people of the city.

Other judges of the court, and something about them, are
given in the following paragraphs :

Goodwin Collier, who served as judge from 1855 to 1859
with interims, was one of the best-known lawyers of the time,
and it was to his discernment of the needs of the city that the
Common Council owed its consideration of the police ordinance,
lie drafted the first ordinance, as has been stated heretofore, and
in connection with other suggestions incorporated it became
the foundation for the service.

Elisha Johnson was judge in 1 86 1 and 1S63 and served with
great acceptance. Judge Johnson is still remembered by many
ol the younger generation of the city as a man of tall, com-
manding figure, and he was for a long time a force in the
affairs of the city, although he held no public office except to
serve as councilman during two terms.

Samuel F. Jones was judge in 1866, and is one of the best-
remembered criminal lawyers in this section of the country.
He was connected with more famous cases than any man of his
time. He died but a few years aero.

164 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut .

Monroe E. Merrill held the office of judge in 1867, 1868, 1869,
[870, and [876, and was a man universally respected.

Harrison \'>. Freeman was the first judge of the court after
the two-years term was established, and served in 1871-1873.
He is a well-known lawyer and a man of public affairs, a grad-



nate ot Yale, and lor many years lias been judge of probate for
this district, a most responsible place.

Art Inn- F. Eggleston served four years as judge of the Po-
lice Court, from 1877 until [883. Me is a lawyer of splendid
abilities and tine reputation, and has been for main years state's
attorney Eor Hartford county. The criminal class has a whole-
some dread of his searching and critical examination of the
charges against it, and the court terms an' materially shortened

History of Police Department , Hartford, Connecticut. 165

by the fact that prisoners had rather plead guilty than stand an
open trial under his tremendously energetic prosecution. Not-
withstanding his apparent severity he is one of the kindest-
hearted of men. a true friend, and a man whose acquaintance is
well worth the having.

William F. Henney served as judge from 1883 to 1889. and
his scholarly abilities added lustre to the Police Court bench.
It was his fortune to have some unusually remarkable cases be-
fore him, and his opinions as handed down from the bench were
strong- documents. Judge Henney afterwards served as city
attorney, and is a well-known lawyer, interested in corporation

William J. McConville was on the Police Court bench from
1890 to 1893. He had previously been through the clerkships
of the legislature, and since his term as judge expired he has
been city attorney and interested in municipal affairs. He is
one of the best known of public officials, and his opinion has
been called for in innumerable cases as to the construction of
ordinances and acts. He has the esteem of those associated
with him in the business of the city and has hosts of friends.

Svlvester Barbour was judge of the court for one term, cov-
ering the years from 1893 to 1895. He is one of the well-known
old-time lawyers of the city, and was esteemed as a conscientious


Albert C. Bill, the present judge of the Police Court, is a
native of Hartford, born September 29, 1863. He early went to
Enfield with his parents and was educated in the high school of
that town and the Hartford Public High School. He studied
law with Judge Charles H. Briscoe of Enfield, and was admitted
to the bar May 26, 1886. He was appointed clerk of the Pro-
bate Court January, 1887, and served for two years, when he
was appointed clerk of the Police Court, serving from July 1.

1 66 History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut.

1889, until April 1, 1893. He was then appointed assistant
judge of the Police Court, and for two years was associated on
the bench. In April, 1895, he took his seat upon the bench as
judge and has served three full terms, his fourth term beginning
April 1, [901. Judge Bill is prominent in Masonic circles, a
member of Lafayette Lodge, and of the various higher degrees
of Masonry, and a member of Charter ( )ak Lodge, Odd Fel-
lows, lie is of the firm of Bill, Tuttle & Dickenson, and enjoys



a large law practice. He has had many important cases before
him during his long term on the bench, and has the reputation
of being just and fair in his decisions. His judicial office is
conducted with much dignity and lie has brought about many
reforms by his action upon the bench. Mis treatment of Sunday
drunkenness and of the railroad tram]) and trespasser has been
salutary, and the city is no longer overrun with criminals of this
sort. The position of a police court judge is not an enviable

History of Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut . 167

one at the best, but Judge Bill makes of the court a tribunal
which is thoroughly respected by the people and is a wholesome
deterrent of the criminal classes.

The assistant judge of the court is Arthur P. Perkins, who
is on the bench when Judge Bill is detained by any reason.
fudge Perkins sees many days of service during the year and
has his share of the important work of deciding upon the de-
gree of punishment meted out to offenders. He lias been a
member of the Common Council, where he was useful to the
citizens, and is a successful law practitioner of the firm of Per-
kins cc Perkins, his father, Charles E. Perkins, president of the
State Par Association, being the head of the firm.

The clerk of the court is Robert C. Dickenson, who was
formerly clerk of the Probate Court. He is of Bill, Tuttle cv
Dickenson, a prosperous law firm having" a large business and
representing many interests.

The prosecuting attorney for the Police Court is J. Gilberl
Calhoun of the younger generation of lawyers in the city, a man
of much force of character and abundantly able to represent the
people before this bench.

The assistant prosecuting attorney is Harrison B. Freeman,
Jr., one of the best-known young lawyers of the state, a graduate
of Yale, and now serving his second term as representative in
the General Assembly from the city of Hartford. He is a mem-
ber of the judiciary committee and chairman of the important
House committee on constitutional reform.

Bennett H. Pepper is the messenger for the Police court,
and is one of the best-known minor officers in the city. He has
served in this capacity for main- years, and a session oi the court
without his presence would be an anomaly. He is an amateur
florist of much success, and is reckoned as one of the best-posted
men on the art in the city.

THE compiler and author of this sketch presents it as a fairly
comprehensive story of police protection of Hartford from
its earliest days. Necessarily many things have been omitted, but
enough is told to give an outline of the growth of the system, of

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11

Online LibraryUnknownHistorical sketch of the police service of Hartford, from 1636 to 1901, from authoritative sources. Illustrating and describing the economy, equipment and effectiveness of the police force of to-day. With reminiscences of the past, including some notes of important cases → online text (page 8 of 11)