No. 522
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 17, 2021

Love in a Railroad Car.

September 16, 2012
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The following tale comes from that classic collection of mostly first-hand accounts of supernatural encounters, "Lord Halifax's Ghost Book."  It was related to Lord Halifax in 1920 by his nephew, Charles Dundas.  Dundas had recently heard the tale from a renowned Royal Air Force pilot named Edward Villiers.  (Later Sir Edward Villiers.)  It is one of the briefest stories in the "Ghost Book," but
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Strange Company - 5/17/2021

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LOOK OUT FOR "SOAPY" SMITHSt. Louis DispatchSeptember 23, 1897(Click image to enlarge) e reported himself in good health and money."   New information showing that Soapy Smith did go to St. Louis to check up on his ailing wife, Mary, after leaving Skagway.  Below is the transcription of the article from the St. Louis Dispatch, September 23, 1897. LOOK OUT FOR “SOAPY” SMITH ― The Smooth Man
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/11/2021

Born in 1870 and completed 13 years later (at a cost of $15 million and with more than 20 worker deaths), the Brooklyn Bridge is marking its 138th birthday this week. What better way to honor an icon than with a brilliant lithograph produced by a Pearl Street publisher depicting the fireworks, ship parade, and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/17/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
The crack of gunfire startled the residents of 88 Merrimack Street, a boarding house in Lowell, Massachusetts, around 10:00, the night of  August 31, 1876. The boarders rushed to Lulu Martin’s room on the third floor, where the shot was fired. The door was locked; they heard a man inside shouting, “Go for the police! She has shot me! I will hold her! Break open the door!”A group of men broke in
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/15/2021

Along with Bertie Whitehead, Abby’s half-sister, May 13th was also the birthday of Helen Craig, famous stage actress best-remembered for Johnny Belinda. Helen Craig, who played Abby in The Legend of Lizzie Borden was born May 13, 1912, a month after Titanic sank. Helen Craig was not a great beauty by Hollywood standards, but a very fine actress. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185871/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Her portrayal of Abby Borden as a mean, greedy glutton, more than any other thing, has affected the way most people think of Abby Borden. Sadly it was not an accurate portrayal. Helen did some television in her later career, most notably The Waltons. She died in New York City in 1986. She was married to stage and film actor John Beal who played Dr. Bowen in Legend of Lizzie Borden. They are seen together in the publicity photo below.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/13/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
"Four Aces." | A One Legged Baseball Club.

Love in a Railroad Car.

Love in railroad car

Mrs. Flo Smith, a young and handsome Newport, KY., Woman, caught in a compromising position with her paramour in an empty passenger car. [more]

“If you give me away I’ll kill you!”

The speaker was a handsome Newport, Ky., woman stylishly attired, and the party addressed was the night watchman at the Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railroad yards. The woman’s wild talk and dramatic gesticulations attracted the attention of a large crowd. Naturally the guardian of the peace was somewhat awed at the startling admonition, but contrary to her expectations, he was not cowed down even a little bit by her wild and maddened theatrics. He simply told her to close her mouth and go on about her business, lest she get in to further trouble. The cause of the woman’s threats toward the officer naturally was inquired into, and it is briefly given below:

On the previous night, about 11 o’clock, the watchman in making his rounds through the C. L. and N. yard heard a rustling sound in one of the vacant passenger cars which was standing on the side track. He proceeded to investigate and cautiously open the door of the coach. He could discover noting until the rays of his lamp were cast between two seats in the middle of the car. Here he beheld a man and a woman in a compromising position.

The woman’s companion hastily arose and jumping over the seats managed to escape from the car. The woman, however, was not so fortunate and was caught by the watchman, who recognized her as Mrs. Flo Smith of Fourth and Monmouth Streets, Newport, Ky. She pleaded pitifully to be allowed to go home, and her request was finally granted. Her companion, who got away, was recognized by the watchman was recognized as a fellow who hangs around the vicinity of the C. L. and N. depot.

The mission of Mrs. Smith to the above-named locality was to put a quietus on the tongue of the watchman.

 

From The National Police Gazette, October 7, 1893