took the word of F. Emory Lyon,
of the United Charities, that
Oram was a paroled convict. De
spite the demand of Oram that
he be given a chance to prove he
was not on parole, Judge Gemmill
made no investigation.
Oram is not a paroled convict.
He was granted a full pardon by
Governor Richard E. Yates in
1905. F. Emory Lyon ought to
have known this. He is paid by
the United Charities to look out
for paroled convicts.
Oram was one of the old Trilby
gang of crooks, which operated
in Chicago in 1895-6, and of
which Tom Barry was the leader.
In '96 Barry, who had a strong
pull with the higher-ups of that
day, turned state's evidence, and
the gang was rounded up, among
those taken being Oram.
Oram was found guilty on Bar
ry's evidence and sentenced to 15
years in Joliet for assault to mur
der. He was pardoned in 1905 by
During all those nine years
when Oram was in the peniten
tiary, Mrs. Oram, who was a
bride of a few weeks and only 19
years old when Oram was arrest
ed, waited for her husband.
"Of course I waited," she said
today. "I was just a girl then, but
I loved my husband. I would
have waited longer than that for
"It was hard at times during
those nine years. I got so lonely
and hopeless at times. And some
times I was broke and did not
know where my next meal was
"They broke down my health
those nine years of waiting. They
changed me from a laughing,
careless girl to a broken woman.
And I suffered as few women
have to suffer.
"But through all the suffering
and all the hardship I kept my
self clean and good and true for
my husband. I lived just for the
day when the prison doors would
open to let him out. And the day
they did I was there, waiting for
him. And it was worth all the
suffernig and all the pain and all
the waiting to see the look on his
When Oram was released in
1905 he decided that he had had
about enough of the penitentiary
and that in the future he would
He rented the little flat on the
second floor of a frame house at
111 East Delaware place, and
went to live there with his wife.
One year and a half later the twin
boys were born'.
Oram provided for his wife and
children, but he gradually drifted
back to his old vice drinking.
Last summer he was-drinking
heavily, and then a change came
over him. No one seems to know
just what happened. Perhaps
Mrs. Oram's way of putting it is
as good as any.
"John got religion, ' she said
Whatever it was that John got,
he quit drinking and straightened
up. He did more. He did his best
to get his old pals to stop drink
ing and to live more decently. He
spent much of his spare time at
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