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
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
The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
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