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The Princeton union. [volume] (Princeton, Minn.) 1876-1976, June 27, 1907, Image 2

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Sums,the BrainySleuth
Nemesis of Counterfeiters Never Procrastinates and Does
Not Waste Any Time In BluffingHas No Use For
False Whiskers and Is Credited With
Having a Sixth Sense.
Tvlth a corpuscle of the
real crimson In his blood likes
a good detective story. The
sleuth is the favorite hero of
fiction. Once given a scent of the
citement vre must follow the trail un
til we track the redhanded villain to
his lair and hear the click of the hand
cuffs. But It is not the villain we care
for nor the beautiful blond heroine.
It is the sleuth. The thin man with the
steely blue eyes is the picture that we
hang on memory's wall. Sometimes
the detective story that really hap
pens is worthy of being labeled "just
as good," though the actual detective
is quite different from his fictional
One of these sleuth tales in real life
has just reached the handcuff climax
in San Francisco. "William J. Burns is
the sleuth and therefore the hero of
the story. He is the man who hasmakeup
brought the municipal grafters to bay.
He has run Abe Ruef to his ultimate
lair and rounded up along with him
the mayor, nearly all the members of
the board of supervisors and a select
assortment of millionaires who have
been profiting in a worldly sense by
bribing the city officials.
Far From a Conventional Sleuth.
Mr. Burns is not the conventional
sleuth of fiction. Far from it. He is a
rotund person, with a fine color in his
face and a curly mustache, with a
twinkle in his eye and no indication
anywhere about his anatomy that he
carries the Sherlock Holmes dope syr
inge in his pocket. Burns is just an
other name for brains. This detective
resorts to no psychological d,ope
dreams. He simply uses human intelli
gence to the best advantage He
studied the detective business as an
other man studies law or medicine or
journalism, and he knows how.
Burns began his San Francisco work
about six months ago. The world
knows what has happened since. For
half a dozen years everybody of intel
ligence who was familiar with the con
ditions in San Francisco knew very
well that deep dyed graft was going on
all the time, that the city was in
hands of a highly organized gang of
bribers and plunderers and that things
municipal were going headlong to the
dogs. But how are you going to prove
it? That was the question. How are
you going to fasten the crimes upon
the criminals? That was Burns' task.
Many San Franciscans laughed at him
when he set about the job.
Burns knew his business. For eight
een years he had been an agent of the
United States secret service. Prior to
that he had done notable detective
work. He had served a long appren
ticeship. Such a man was needed to
run down the San Francisco grafters.
The district attorney, William H. Lang
don, appointed Francis J. Heney to do
the prosecuting, but before this dis
tinguished prosecutor could proceed
there must be somebody to prosecute.
Indictments must be found. There
must be evidence upon which to base
Indictments. Heney stipulated that if
he took the job of prosecuting the
grafters he must have Burns to do the
detective work, to get the evidence and
to run the grafters to the end of their
Heney knew Burns. Two years aeo
'Burns had worked with him in Oregon
and Washington as a secret service
'".wJ /hifc',,,- ^ZJ^^I^J^^
agent in getting evidence against the
land thieves. The remarkable success
of hijj)tvork there is a matter of recent
record. But the United States gov
ernment could not assign one of its
to do detective work in a case
wherein the government was not offi
cially concerned. Accordingly Mr.
Burns found it necessary to resign
from the secret service in order to take
up the work in San Francisco. It is
understood that President Roosevelt
was glad to concur in Burns' resigna
tion because he felt that the man would
do valuable public work in California.
The government could afford to lend
one of its best sleuths to a suffering
city for a year or so. That is how
Burns got into the game at the Golden
Boss of the Battle at All Points.
There are no false whiskers in the
room of William J. Burns. He
is not that sort of sleuth. Such popu
lar disguises would not serve in the
San Francisco case anyhow. Burns
was aware that the banded brigands
of the city would employ their own de
tectives to shadow him. He therefore
planned his campaign as commander
in chief rather than as a fighter in the
ranks. Wearing his customary clothes,
which are somewhat more fashionable
than those of the average professional
man, he went about the city in his au
tomobile, openly and freely, just like
any well groomed man of affairs. Un
der his direction he had a small army
of trusted men who did the concrete
detective work, while the master mind
guided their movements and was the
boss of the battle at all points.
An army commander's business is to
discover and attack the weak point in
enemy's line. Burns watched for
the weak spot and found it. Two men,
Wyman and Steffens, had been sent to
the penitentiary two years before for
election frauds. Another, Frank Mae
stretti, had barely escaped conviction.
Maestretti was one of the chief lieu
tenants of Abe Ruef, the boss boodler,
the go-between in all the bribery trans
actions. Wyman and Steffens were in
the pententiary, miffed at Maestretti
he had escaped their fate.
Burns' agents visited them and found
that they would tell all they knew
about Maestretti if they were par
doned out. The governor pardoned
them. They told.
Many Indictments Secured.
Maestretti had a grievance against
Ruef, feeling that he had been slighted
in political preferment. With the reve
lations of the pardoned convicts Burns
brought Maestretti to bay. The lat
ter told Burns that one G. M. Roy,credits
closely In confidence with Mayor
Schmitz, was in reality Morris Golden,
a fugitive from justice in Oklahoma,
a forger and embezzler. With his past
record flashed before him by Burns
this man was glad to assist the sleuth.
He it was who obligingly bribed Su
pervisors Lonergan and Boston, hand
ing them marked money in exchange
for the promise of their votes on a cer
tain ordinance. Burns emerged from
behind the screen, and Lonergan wilt
ed, confessed everything he knew and
made the way clear. Fourteen other
supervisors fell over each other in their
eagerness to confess, hoping for im
munity, and Heney had evidence
enough for scores of indictments.
Detective Burns had used his brains.
Ban Francisco ceased to laugh at him.
Those who were not cowed by fear
gave him applause.
Burns was born in Columbus, O., for
ty-six years ago. His father was a
tailor. The young man learned to cut
suits. He was twenty-six years old
when he made the discovery that he
was cut out for something else. He
ran down a forgery in a local election
case with such success that he went
Into the sleuth line for life. Not long
afterward Burns went to St. Louis,
where his first big triumph in his new
profession was won. A gang had been
renting houses, furnishing them, insur
ing the furniture and burning the
houses to get the insurance. Many
thousands of dollars had been secured
in this way. Burns went on the job
and landed the miscreants.
The young man was called to the
government secret service. He became
the Nemesis of counterfeiters. Burns
broke up some of the most successful
counterfeiting gangs ever known in
this country. There was, for instance,
the Taylor-Briddell crowd of Pennsyl
vania. These men spent $100,000 in
producing a paper like that used in
printing United States money. They
had made $260,000 in counterfeiting
cigar revenue stamps. Then they man
ufactured a hundred dollar bill which
was accepted by bank tellers and even
by subtreasury men.
Burns was assigned to the case. He
intercepted a letter from Kendig &
Jacobs, cigarmakers of Lancaster, Pa.,
to Taylor and Briddell, engravers, in
Philadelphia. Burns opened the letter,
found therein three of the bills, mark
ed them, resealed the envelope and
sent it along in the mails. In relating
the story of this case he says:
"Later when Chief Wilkie and I went
to search Taylor and Briddell's place
and arrest them I pried open a drawer
in their desk. I found two of the three
bills I had marked. I said to Wilkie,
loud enough for the men under arrest
to hear:
'That's funny. Jacobs told us there
were three of these bills.'
"Briddell bit 'Burns,' he said, 'how
many men have you got under arrest
in this case?' I named every man who
was connected with the case, none of
whom was under arrest at the time.
'That's enough for me,' said Briddell.
'We don't make any more trouble for
you.' He confessed everything on the
spot. It was the opening of the letter
that did the trick."
Prevented a Revolution.
One of Burns' best counterfeiting
catches was that of two Costa Ricans
who had been making in New York
city spurious notes of the 100 peso de
nomination. The United States gov
ernment was requested by the govern
ment of Costa Rica to aid in capturing
the counterfeiters. When Burns went
to work on the case, after others had
failed, he had only a sofa containing
$3,000,000 in the Costa Rican counter
feit wrapped in burlap and ready for
shipment to the country where the
money could be used. The burlap was
marked "XX 1634." That was all,
but that lettering gave Burns the clew
which led him through an overall fac
tory at Newburg, N. Y., to the home
of a widow in Long Island City who
had a son-in-law with a Central Amer
ican name. This young man, Ricardo
de Requisens, and his confederate,
General Frederico Mora, are now serv
ing a term for counterfeiting, their
plates having been confiscated. By
these arrests Burns prevented a revo
lution in Costa Rico, the spurious mon
ey being intended to defray the ex
penses of a revolt.
Burns also caused the capture of
Bill Brockway, who, with James Court
ney and Dr. Bradford, had manufac
tured $2,000,000 in spurious gold cer
Burns is businesslike and method
ical. The sleuth of fiction is different.
One of the attorneys associated with
the prosecution in San Francisco said
the other day:
"Burns, never misses a meal. I never
saw him in too much of a hurry to
take bis hour for dinner at the regular
time. It is all in a day's work with
Burns, and when he turns in at night
he sleeps like a top."
Never Delays.
District Attorney Langdon then
spoke up: "And he never procrasti
nates. I asked him the other night if
he thought he could get a man we
wanted and bring him to the office In
the morning.
'What's the matter with getting
him now?' said Burns. He took down
the telephone receiver and called up a
saloon. His man was there. Burns no
tified him that it would be better for
his health if he came around at once.
He came."
Mr. Langdon then proceeded to re
mark that Detective Burns never
wastes any time in bluffing. "Every
one here in town," said the district at
torney, "knows his automobile. But do
you think if he wanted you tonight he
would stop a block away and send his
machine back? No, sir he would go
straight to your doortoot, toot!and
ring the bell."
Chief Wilkie of the secret service
Burns with having a sixth
sense, so that he can tell by instinct
when a man is lying or when he has
told all he knows about a certain sub
ject. In the Oregon land cases Mr.
Heney once thought a witness was
holding something back.
"He has told all he knows," said
Burns. It turned out that Burns was
right. Heney thought another witness
had made a complete confession and
was about to let him go.
"Keep at him," urged Burns.
The witness told the most incriminat
ing part of his story afterward.
Detective Burns is said to be very
popular with the men he has run to
ground In San Francisco. He has a
faculty of getting his victims to like
him. Abe Ruef, It Is stated, Is quite
fond of Burnsin a way.
A Victor
Prices of ($10, $17, $22, $30,
nachines f$40, $50, $60,$100.
Records 35c, 60c and $1.00.
All Supplies and Latest Records.
Only Authorized Agent for Princeton.
Has Bargains
all the time
And carries continu
ally a large stock of
the very best
General Merchandise i
Bottom Price Cash Store.
Is by Far the Best Blood Purifier
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People suffering with RHEUMA-
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The Rural
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Lines to Dalbo, Cambridge, Santi
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Good Service in Princeton and to all
adjoining points. We connect with the
Northwestern Long Distance Telephone.
Patronize a Home Concern.
Service Day and Night.
T. J. KALIHER, Proprietor,
Princeton, Minn.
Single and Double Rigs
at a floments' Notice.
Commercial Travelers' Trade a Specialty.
Expert Accountant,
Over 30 Tears Experience.
1011 First Ave. North,
Health Insurance
at little cost
Main Street,
Solid Satisfaction 1
awaits the carpenter and builder who gets his 3
lumber from the Princeton Lumber Company. 3
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GEO. A. COATES, Manager. 1
anyone for any sub- ^^Bnnnniiliffl
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Parity is a prime essential in food.
Calumet is made onlyof pure, wholesome
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I Calumet Baking Powder may be
freely used with the certainty that food
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First National Bank
of Princeton, Minnesota.
Paid up Capital, $30,000
A General Banking Busi
ness Transacted.
Loans Made on Approved
Interest Paid on Time De
Foreign and Domestic Ex
S. S. PETTERSON, President.
T. H. CALEY, Vice Pres.
J. F. PETTERSON, Cashier.
Security State Bank
of Princeton, Minnesota.
Capital and Surplus, $33,000.
Buys and Sells Foreign Exchange.
Steamship Tickets to and from Europe.
Insurance and Real Estate Loans.
Transacts a General Banking Business.
JOHN W. GOULDING, President. G. A. EATON, Cashier.
J. J. SKAHEN, Cashier and
BankinManager. Business
Collecting and Farm and
Insurance. Village Loans.
W Make
A Specia
Farm Loans/0ytl
Odd Fellows Buildin g,
Princeton, Minn.
r^**"^"^ 1 1 "-11- 1. -mi, ~L 'H I ~I^_I 1
Dealer in
Prime Meats of Every Variety,
Poultry, Fish, Etc.
Highest market prices paid tor Cattle and Hogs.
^^M^MMAr^Nl^i^t^^^ a

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