F. M. Edwards Investigative File, 1897

This is an investigative file on one F. M. Edwards who was a criminal and in the late 1800's. The file contains letters and telegrams and reveals how people where traced through the country in this time period.

The investigative file begins with a notice sent from the St. Louis Elks Lodge (Lew A. Clarke, Sec’y) on March 20, 1897. It is headlined “F. M. Edwards --- Look Out for Him” and goes on to tell of his notorious exploits. A week later, an article about Mr. Edwards appeared in the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat.
Fast forward to Sept 1898, when two telegrams (Pacific Postal Telegraph – Cable Co. & Western Union) are sent from St. Louis from Mr. John T. Gilmartin to C. H. Crocker confirming that Mr. Edwards “is a professional crook and pickpocket and served term.”

Then there is a most interesting letter on letterhead from “Detective Bureau Police Department of the City of New York” (NYPD) to the Captain of the San Francisco Police, again confirming the criminal behavior of Edwards. This is terrific stuff on great letterhead, envelop included.

A flurry of letters between Mr. Bushong and C. H. Crocker follow in October 1898. Bushong was apparently the manager of Crocker’s business in Portland, Oregon. One of the letters is on letterhead from the Hotel Belvedere in Portland. These two exchange telegrams in April 1898 with urgency about Mr. Edwards and some money transactions. The last telegram is from a Mr. Walter R. Dinmore, who I think is a detective or lawyer.

Great story, great letters, great history. Charles H. Crocker, of San Francisco, California, was the son of H. S. Crocker (of the H. S. Crocker Stationary & Printing Companies of San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles) and nephew of Charles Crocker (of the group that founded the Southern and Central Pacific Railroads, as well as the Crocker National Bank).

From The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
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