Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Traveling from New York City to Travers Island for New York Athletic Club Events in the Club's Earliest Years


In the early years after the founding of the New York Athletic Club facility on Travers Island in 1888, whenever a major event was held on the island all of Pelham buzzed with activity.  Trains rolled into and out of the Pelhamville station on the New Haven Main Line and the Pelham Manor depot on the Branch Line.  Stage coaches, carriages, and single horses flooded the roadways moving club members, their guests, and spectators from New Rochelle, Pelhamville, the train stations, City Island, and other locations onto Travers Island.  People walked the various roadways that led to Travers Island and even took ferries to Glen Island from which they hailed a Club ferry from the boathouse across from "Little Germany" on Starin's Glen Island to pick them up and ferry them onto Travers Island.  People streamed across the small stone causeway that crossed the marsh and flats between the mainland and Pelham Manor.  In short, as hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- flooded onto Travers Island from New York City and the surrounding region for major events, all of Pelham became a bee hive of activity and excitement that, frankly, is difficult to imaging today!

I have written before about traveling to, from, and within Pelham over the last few centuries on a number of occasions.  See, e.g.:  

Tue., Jan. 10, 2017:  Stagecoach Lines Proliferated in Pelham in the 1870s, Part of Pelham's Old Stage Coach Days.

Tue., Dec. 27, 2016:  Stage Coach Days In Old Pelham.

Wed., Mar. 16, 2016:  Traveling by Rail from Grand Central Depot in New York City to Pelhamville in 1875.  

Fri., Mar. 11, 2016:  How Did Pelhamites Travel To and From Nearby New York City in 1857?

How did visitors get to Travers Island for special events in the early years after the Club's opening on Travers Island in 1888?  Actually, there were many ways.

First, visitors could travel in horse-drawn vehicles or on horseback from 59th Street through Kings Bridge, onto Southern Boulevard through the Village of Westchester (site of today's Westchester Square in the Bronx) across Pelham Bridge and onto today's Shore Road until they reached the causeway leading to Travers Island.  The trip typically took about an hour and a half from 59th Street in Manhattan.

Second, visitors could take the so-called "Harlem Branch" of the New-York & New-Haven Railroad (the Branch Line) from a depot located near the foot of each of the Second Avenue and Third Avenue Bridges on the mainland opposite Manhattan.  A club program published in 1891 noted that efforts were underway to connect the Branch Line across the Harlem River that separates Manhattan from the mainland in the Bronx.  It said "The New Haven Railroad Co. is now completing arrangements via Harlem Branch for rapid transit over Second Avenue Elevated, making close connection on same platform at 129th Street Station."  The branch line brought passengers to the Pelham Manor depot located a few hundred yards away from the entrance to Travers Island.  The New York Athletic Club maintained a stagecoach that met all principal trains at the Pelham Manor depot and shuttled members and their guests between the station and Travers Island.  Traveling from the Harlem Branch depot by train to Pelham Manor followed by the short stagecoach ride to Travers Island took about thirty minutes.  The rail excursion fare was twenty-five cents.

Third, some visitors traveled to Pelham on the main line of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad leaving from the old Grand Central Depot built before today's Grand Central Terminal to the Pelhamville train station.  The New York Athletic Club arranged for discount round trip tickets costing forty cents, although such tickets, of course, were limited to club members and could only be obtained at the club's facilities.  Stagecoaches ran between the Pelhamville station and Travers Island, meeting all trains.  A one-way fare on the stagecoach was fifteen cents.  Once again, club members could obtain a discounted round-trip ticket for the stagecoach costing 25 cents if they procured the tickets at the club's facilities.



Engraving of Grand Central Depot at 42nd Street Published in 1875.
(NY, NY: George L. Catlin, 1875). NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.

Fourth, some visitors chose to take the New Haven Main Line to New Rochelle and then connect with the Branch Line to head back to the Pelham Manor station where they were met by stagecoaches.  This trip took about fifty minutes.

Fifth, visitors took Starin's Glen Island ferry boats from the foot of East 32nd Street in New York City to Glen Island.  On that island was a dock near the "Little Germany" area of Glen Island.  From that dock, the visitors could shout across the narrow stretch of water to the New York Athletic Club boat-house float from which the club ferry would be sent to ferry the visitors across the water.  Once again, there was a special fare of twenty cents available only to members of the club who had to procure the tickets from the club facilities.  Getting to Travers Island in this way took about ninety minutes.



"STARIN'S FLEET OFF THE BATTERY, N. Y. HARBOR"
Trade Card Showing Fleet of Starin's Glen Island Steamboats
During the 1880s.  The Fleet Transported Visitors to Glen Island
from Which they Could Hail the N.Y.A.C. Ferry Boat to Pick
them Up from the Island.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.


Finally, of course, people throughout Pelham and the surrounding region rode horseback and walked local roads to get to Travers Island for special events.  This added to the buzz of activity throughout the Town when large Travers Island events were underway!





Cover of Program for New York Athletic Club's
Ladies' Day during the 46th Games of the New
York Athletic Club on Saturday, June 13, 1891.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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The program for "Ladies' Day" at Travers Island during the forty-sixth annual games of the New York Athletic Club on June 13, 1891 included a page with a list of ways to get to the Travers Island facilities.  The text of that page appears immediately below, followed by a citation and link to its source. 

LADIES' DAY -- FORTY-SIXTH GAMES OF THE NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 1868-1891, SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1891, TRAVERS ISLAND ON THE SOUND, p. 2 (NY, NY: New York Athletic Club, 1891).

"HOW TO REACH TRAVERS ISLAND.
-----

The means of reaching Travers Island are as follows:

1.  By driving via Southern Boulevard through Westchester Village and over the old Boston Post Road [a reference to today's Shore Road] and Pelham Bridge.  Time from 59th Street, one and a half hours.

2.  By Harlem Branch of the N.Y. & N.H.R.R., from depot foot of the Second or Third Avenue Bridges on the other side of the Harlem River, to Pelham Manor.  Excursion fare, twenty-five cents.  Time, thirty minutes from the Bridge.  The Club stage meets all the principal trains at Pelham Manor.  The New Haven Railroad Co. is now completing arrangements via Harlem Branch for rapid transit over Second Avenue Elevated, making close connection on same platform at 129th Street Station.

3.  From the Grand Central Depot to Pelhamville, on New York, New Haven & Hartford R.R., at forty cents per round trip, tickets procurable only at the Club Houses, and restricted to Club members.  From Pelhamville to Travers Island and return, stages will be run, meeting trains, at twenty-five cents per round trip if tickets be procured at either Club House, otherwise at fifteen cents single fare.

4.  By N.Y. & N.H. Main Line to New Rochelle, thence by branch line to Pelham Manor, Fare, thirty-four cents.  Time, from Grand Central Depot, about fifty minutes.

5.  By Starin's Glen Island Boats to Glen Island, where (from the dock at 'Little Germany') our ferry can be called over from the boat-house float.  Special tickets for members of this Club can be had at the Club Houses.  Fare, twenty cents.  Time, from 32d Street, E. R., about one and a half hours.

Also special trains both ways this date.

Lady visitors are permitted to visit the Island each day, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays, between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M.  Wednesday in each week is specially designated as 'Laadies' Day,' from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M.  A Ladies' Room, in charge of a competent maid, has been provided."

Source:  LADIES' DAY -- FORTY-SIXTH GAMES OF THE NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB 1868-1891, SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1891, TRAVERS ISLAND ON THE SOUND, p. 2 (NY, NY:  New York Athletic Club, 1891).  


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Brief History of the Pelham Park and City Island Railway


The archives of the University of Michigan contain a bound typewritten manuscript entitled "Toonervilles of the Empire State" by Felix E. Reifschneider, prepared in 1947.  Among the fascinating summaries of tiny railroads and trolley lines that once crossed communities throughout the State of New York is a summary of the history of the Pelham Park and City Island Railway.  I have written extensively regarding this railway that began as a so-called horse railroad.  A bibliography of articles with links appears at the end of today's article.

Reifschneider's brief summary of the history of the railway stitches together various stories of the "Railway's" many iterations over the nearly forty years that some form of public transportation served the route between Bartow Station on the Branch Line and Belden Point on City Island.  The Reifschneider summary is only a page long and is well worth a read.  



"City Island Car"
Source: "Chapter XX: City Island" in History of Bronx Borough City Of
New York Compiled for The North Side News By Randall Comfort,
p. 62 (NY, NY: North Side News Press: 1906). NOTE: Click on Image
to Enlarge.

A 1.6 mile horse railroad named the "Pelham Park Railroad" opened between Bartow Station and Marhall's Corner near the Marshall Mansion on May 20, 1887.  According to Reifschneider, the line was built with thirty pound rail at three-feet-six-inch gauge.  Five days later a "companion enterprise" named the City Island Railroad "extended the operation another mile and a half to Brown's Hotel on City Island."  As I have written before, people in the Town of Pelham -- particularly those who lived on City Island -- were furious because two fares had to be paid to the two inter-related railroads to ride the single short line between Bartow Station and Brown's Hotel.



"No. 28 -- All Aboard for City Island"  An Undated Postcard
View of Passengers Boarding the Horse Railroad Heading
for City Island.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Within a few years, the City Island Railroad track was extended several times until it finally reached Belden's Point at the southern tip of City Island, a distance of 1.8 miles.  According to Reifschneider, "[c]ars made thru trips from Bartow to City Island over the single track, as the two roads were always operated jointly as one."

After the annexation of the Pelham Bay Park and City Island region by New York City in 1895, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company "[f]or some mysterious legal reason," bought the two horse car lines "so as to use their charters as the basis of its vast subway-elevated system."  A few years later, on July 9, 1914, the "Interborough disposed of them" to the Third Avenue Railway.

In 1910, the railway companies became involved with the Monorail Construction Company which led to a particularly famous (or, better said, infamous) chapter in the history of City Island.  Reifschneider says the Monorail Construction Company "was probably looking for a likely place to try its invention."  Clearly, the technology was unproven.  An article published in 1910 called it "The One Legged Railroad of Tomorrow."  

The monorail was constructed in early 1910 and began operation, according to Reifschneider, on July 15, 1910 from Bartow Station to the north end of the City Island Bridge near Marshall's Corners.  There passengers disembarked and either walked the rest of the way or had to board a horse railroad car.  



"THE MONORAIL IN PELHAM BAY PARK, BRON, N.Y., 1910-1914"
As Reifschneider noted and the image above confirms, the monorail car "was rather narrow with wedge shaped ends.  A single rail was supported on ties in the ballast in the usual manner, with a second rail supported by a steel overhead structure.  Wheels on the roof of the car pressed against the overhead rail which kept the car upright, a much more expensive scheme than using two rails on the ground."



"MONORAIL CAR, CITY ISLAND R.R."
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

On July 19, 1910, while loaded with passengers, the newly-opened monorail derailed.  The structure was badly damaged a number of passengers were seriously injured.  The monorail car and the superstructure were quickly rebuilt and service resumed on November 14, 1910 "with speed restricted to 15 miles per hour."

The passengers injured during the monorail derailment, however, filed damage claims that forced the companies into receivership "from which emerged a consolidated Pelham Park and City Island Railway Co. on July 1, 1913."  Less than a year later, on March 16, 1914, the monorail was taken out of service.

The life of the little railway line between Bartow Station and Belden Point was coming to an end.  According to Reifschneider, after discontinuing monorail service:

"The company leased a gasoline bus and a horse drawn stage while new standard gauge track was being built.  On August 17, 1914 thru operation began with 12 leased single truck storage battery cars over a 3-mile route, as a part of the Third Avenue Railway System. The little battery cars were a familiar part of the scene on City Island, a favorite resort for fishermen and boat enthusiasts.  But rising expenses forced abandonment of the line on August 9, 1919."



"Bartow and City Island Stage Coach Line."
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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"PELHAM PARK AND CITY ISLAND RAILWAY

The Pelham Park RR was a 1.6 mile horse car line built with 30 lb. rail, at 3 ft. 6 in. gauge.  It ran from Bartow station on the NY New Haven & Hartford RR to Marshall's Corner, and started operation on May 20, 1887.  Five days later a companion enterprise, the City Island RR, extended the operation another mile and a half to Brown's Hotel on City Island.  Within the next few years, the track was extended several times for short distances until it reached Belden's Point, a total distance of 1.8 miles.  Cars made thru trips from Bartow to City Island over the single track, as the two roads were always operated jointly as one line.

For some mysterious legal reason the Interborough Rapid Transit Co. bought the two tiny horse car lines in 1903 so as to use their charters as the basis of its vast subway-elevated system.  The Interborough disposed of them to the Third Avenue Ry. on July 9, 1914.

In 1910, the companies became entangled with the Monorail Construction Co.  The latter was probably looking for a likely place to try its invention.  A single monorail car began operation on July 15, 1910 from Bartow to the north end of the City Island Bridge, where passengers had to transfer to a horse car to complete their trip.  The car was rather narrow with wedge shaped ends.  A single rail was supported on ties in the ballast in the usual manner, with a second rail supported by a steel overhead structure.  Wheels on the roof of the car pressed against the overhead rail which kept the car upright, a much more expensive scheme than using two rails on the ground.  On July 19th, the monorail car was derailed, damaging the structure and seriously injuring a number of passengers.

After reconstruction, operation was resumed on November 14, 1910 with speed restricted to 15 miles per hour.  Damage claims from the accident had forced the companies into receivership, from which emerged a consolidated Pelham Park and City Island Railway Co. on July 1, 1913.  

The monorail system was discontinued on March 16, 1914.  The company leased a gasoline bus and a horse drawn stage while new standard gauge track was being built.  On August 17, 1914 thru operation began with 12 leased single truck storage battery cars over a 3-mile route, as a part of the Third Avenue Railway System.

The little battery cars were a familiar part of the scene on City Island, a favorite resort for fishermen and boat enthusiasts.  But rising expenses forced abandonment of the line on August 9, 1919."

Source:  Reifschneider, Felix E. Toonvervilles of the Empire State, p. 26 (Orlando, FL:  Sep, 1947) (typewritten manuscript).

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I have written about the City Island Horse Railroad more than thirty times.  For examples, see:

Thu., Jan. 22, 2015:  Lawsuit in 1884 Cleared the Way for Construction of Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to Lower Part of City Island in Pelham.  

Mon., Sep. 22, 2014:  New York City Sport Fishermen Travel the Horse Railroad in 1886 to Fish in Pelham.

Mon., Jul. 18, 2011:  City Island Horse Railroad Temporarily Shut Down in 1892 Over Cruelty Concerns.

Thu., May 13, 2010:  More on the Early History of the Pelham and City Island Railroad.

Tue., May 4, 2010:  Questions Regarding the Trolley Franchise from Bartow Station to the Tip of City Island Arose in 1915.

Mon., May 3, 2010:  Efforts To Reorganize the Operators of the City Island Horse Railroad and Monorail in 1914.

Fri., April 30, 2010:  "Truly, An Illuminating Little Passage in the History of New-York!" - Efforts to Develop Shore Road Trolley Line in 1897.

Thu., April 29, 2010:  City Islanders Complain and Force the Operators of Their Horse Railroad to Agree to Replace Antiquated Cars in 1908.

Wed., April 28, 2010:  Efforts by the Pelham Park Horse Railroad to Expand and Develop a Trolley Car Line on Shore Road in 1897.

Tue., April 27, 2010:  New York City's Interborough Rapid Transit Company Sued to Foreclose a Mortgage on the Horse Railroad in 1911.

Mon., April 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.

Fri., March 5, 2010:  Construction of the City Island Horse Railroad in 1887.

Thu., March 4, 2010:  Beginnings of Horse Railroad - News from Pelham and City Island Published in 1884.

Wed., March 3, 2010: 1879 Advertisement for Robert J. Vickery's City Island Stage Line, A Predecessor to the City Island Horse Railroad.

Tue., March 2, 2010:  1901 Report Indicated that The Flynn Syndicate Planned to Buy the Pelham Bay Park & City Island Horse Car Line.

Mon., March 1, 2010:  Flynn Syndicate Buys the City Island Horse Car Line in 1907 to Incorporate It Into Electric Trolley Line.

Fri., February 26, 2010:  1913 Decision of Public Service Commission to Allow Reorganization of City Island Horse Railroad for Electrification.

Thu., February 25, 2010:  Photograph of Patrick Byrnes and Article About His Retirement of the City Island Horse Car in 1914.

Wed., February 24, 2010:  Attempted Suicide of City Island's Long-Time Horse Car Driver

Wed., February 3, 2010:  Early Information Published in 1885 About the Organization of the "City Island Railroad", a Horse Railroad from Bartow Station to City Island

Tue., February 2, 2010:  Information About the Pelham Park Railroad at its Outset

Fri., January 22, 2010:  1884 Account of Early Origins of Horse Railroad Between Bartow Station and City Island.

Mon., January 4, 2010: 1888 Local News Account Describes Altercation on the Horse Railroad Running from Bartow Station to City Island.


Wed., December 2, 2009:  Accident on Horse-Car of the Pelham Park Railroad Line in 1889.

Thu., December 31, 2009:  1887 Election of the Board of Directors of The City Island and Pelham Park Horse Railroad Company.

Tue., September 1, 2009:  Pelham News on February 29, 1884 Including Talk of Constructing a New Horse Railroad from Bartow to City Island.

Wed., Jan. 04, 2006:  Another Post Card Image of the Horse Car That Ran Between Bartow and City Island.

Fri., Dec. 30, 2005:  Subdivision Development Map Created in 1873 for Bartow Village in the Town of Pelham.

Mon. Dec. 12, 2005:  19th Century Subdivision Map of Planned Bartow Village.

Thu. Jul. 21, 2005:  Today's Remnants of the Bartow Station on the Branch Line Near City Island.


Thu., June 23, 2005:  Horse Cars Come To City Island in the Town of Pelham in the 1880s.

Thu. Mar. 24, 2005:  The Bartow Area of Pelham in the 19th Century: Where Was It?

Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The June 10, 1882 "Outrage" that Enraged the Pelham Manor Protective Club


On Saturday, June 10, 1882, a German woman named Kate Folz was walking along the tracks of the New Haven Branch Line on her way, by foot, from Connecticut to New York City.  She worked as a servant in Stamford and in Greenwich.  She carried a carpet bag filled with clothing.  

That day Kate Folz finally reached a rather desolate and unpopulated area known as Pelham Woods near Pelham's border with New Rochelle between the New Haven Branch Line and the Pelham border.  There, where the railroad tracks crossed Boston Post Road, she encountered a local gang of five young ruffians from New Rochelle, some of whom already had criminal records and had served jail time.  The brutal encounter that followed became fodder for a host of newspaper reports throughout the region and a massive manhunt to track down the ruffians.  

The gang robbed Ms. Folz of her earrings.  They tore up her carpet bag as they searched for valuables and destroyed the clothing within.  They demanded money and forced the poor woman to beg for her life.  They stole nearly all the money she had, a little more than seven dollars.  The thugs next assaulted her repeatedly.  

Given the sensibilities of the time, no newspaper reported that the thugs raped their victim. Yet, the brutal attack became widely known, euphemistically, as the "Outrage."  A local newspaper warned, ominously, as follows:  "had the scamps come across any other woman, a wife, daughter or sister of some of the better known citizens might have been as grossly outraged."  In short, most reports made clear that Kate Folz had been raped repeatedly.  

The brutal repeated assaults of Kate Folz ended only when a man named Peter Berger, a New Rochelle trustee, approached the area driving his wagon on Boston Post Road and heard the woman's screams and cries.  The thugs fled the scene.  As one report put it:  "They only desisted from their brutal outrageous assaults when they saw Peter Berger, one of the village trustees, approaching.  Mr. Berger kindly put the woman in his wagon and brought her to the village.'"  Peter Berger saw the fleeing ruffians and recognized them as a gang of no-goods from New Rochelle.  Mr. Berger helped the poor woman into his wagon and returned to New Rochelle to get her help.  I have written before about the brutal crimes committed against Kate Folz.  See Tue., Mar. 01, 2005:  The "Outrage" of June 10, 1882 -- A Sad Mystery Solved.  

Residents of both Pelham and New Rochelle were outraged by the robbery and assault. The Pelham Manor Protective Club was willing to pledge a $100 reward for the arrest and conviction of the robbers – a considerable sum.  In addition, the citizens of New Rochelle participated in a crowded town meeting to address the situation and even decided to organize a “Citizens’ Protective Association,” much like the nearby Pelham Manor Protective Club, as a result of the attack. 

Indeed, the Pelham Manor Protective Club had been organized only the year before to help guard against precisely such violations of the law.  During the early 1880s, a decade before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated in 1891, local residents founded the Pelham Manor Protective Club as a "vigilance committee" intended, principally, to deal with crimes committed by so-called "tramps" who roamed the region hopping on and off the New Haven Branch Line trains.  The founders, however, had broader foresight and organized the "Club" as a means of working together for the good of their community.  Nearly the entire adult male population of the area – 52 local residents – subscribed as members.  Only one household chose not to subscribe to the organization.

Within two days the Executive Committee of the Pelham Manor Protective Club met to address what the minutes of the meeting described as "a reported outrage committed on June 10th at or near the town line of Pelham."  At the time, the Executive Committee consisted of Robert C. Black, William E. Barnett, Hamlin Q. French, and Thomas D. De Witt (who served as Secretary and kept the minutes).  The minutes of the June 12, 1882 special meeting of the Executive Committee of the Pelham Manor Protective Club included the following entry:

"Mr. French moved, that Mr. T. D. De Witt, be appointed a committee of one to ascertain the truth of a reported outrage committed on June 10th at or near the town line of Pelham, and to offer, if he considers it necessary, to the proper persons of New Rochelle, our assistance in the amount of One Hundred Dollars provisional on the conviction of one or more of the ruffians, and he is instructed to report progress as soon as possible.  Carried."

New Rochelle was just as outraged as its neighbor, Pelham Manor.  Town Supervisor Henry D. Phelps issued a call for a mass meeting to address the outrageous crime.  On Thursday, June 15, New Rochelle residents crowded into Town Hall for the meeting.  Col. Richard Lathers who owned land in New Rochelle and Pelham (including the area known today as Pelhamwood) was chosen Chairman of the meeting.  After rousing speeches, a motion to raise $500 by subscription to serve as a reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of one or more of the thugs was passed.  The money was raised immediately, with one person giving $100 and several others giving $50 each.  Additionally, a motion to organize a "Citizens’ Protective Association" like the Pelham Manor Protective Club was also adopted unanimously.

Within a short time, Thomas De Witt of the Pelham Manor Protective Club approached New Rochelle officials to offer an additional $100 toward the proposed reward.  The approach was not successful, though.  According to the minutes of the August 22, 1882 meeting of the Executive Committee of the organization, Thomas De Witt issued the following report:

"In regard to the Outrage committed in New Rochelle, I have failed to learn anything from the authorities in New Rochelle, and therefore I have not deemed it my duty to take any steps in the matter or offer them any assistance.  Therefore I ask to be discharged as a committee."

In the meantime, Peter Berger was able to help New Rochelle police identify the five thugs who fled New Rochelle as the police closed in.  They were:  Floyd Fowler, John Cody, William McRedmond, James Killeen, and William Brennan.  

Floyd Fowler, one of the five, was the first to be caught.  On Tuesday, July 4, 1882, he was arrested and, the following day, was taken before Police Justice C. E. Keene.  He was committed to the County Jail to await the action of the Grand Jury.  He promptly was indicted and agreed to become an informant and turn State's evidence against his co-conspirators, whom he identified to the authorities.  

John Cody and William McRedmond were the next to be captured.  On the morning of Wednesday, August 23, 1882, the two men were riding downtown on a Second Avenue elevated train.  Also on the train were two New York City police officers as well as a New Rochelle resident named Charles E. Van Beuschaatten.  Van Beuschaatten recognized the two thugs and alerted the two patrolmen on the train, pointing out that they were wanted for the brutal assault in Westchester County.  The officers approached and questioned the young men who admitted that they were from New Rochelle.  The police arrested the pair and took them to the Police Central Office.  

With James Killeen and William Brennan still on the run, criminal proceedings went forward against John Cody.  At a criminal trial in the fall of 1882, Kate Folz was unable to identify Cody as one of the men who assaulted her.  Based on the testimony of Fowler (who had agreed to turn State's evidence), Cody was found guilty in a jury trial and was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment at hard labor in the Albany Penitentiary.  McRedmond, it appears, was tried shortly thereafter and was similarly convicted and sentenced.  

James Killeen was the next to be caught.  After the crime he had fled from New Rochelle to escape capture.  He took a job in the blacksmith shop of the West Shore Railroad Company at the Wilbur Tunnel in Kingston, Ulster County.  On Thursday, December 28, police who had tracked him to Kingston arrested Killeen in the blacksmith shop without incident.  Killeen was quickly tried and convicted in a jury trial that ended on Wednesday, February 21, 1883.  According to one news report, once again Kate Folz was unable to identify her attacker during the trial.  But, "the evidence of Fowler, who turned State's evidence, proved sufficient to convict, the jury being absent but fifteen minutes."  

Killeen's lawyers filed a motion for a new trial.  In early April, the motion was denied, and the Court sentenced Killeen to seven years imprisonment in Sing Sing Prison.

William Brennan was the last remaining fugitive.  He apparently was never caught.  According to one report published in 1884, he fled the country.

The story was not over, however.  On January 1, 1883, future U.S. President Grover Cleveland took office as Governor of the State of New York.  During his brief two-year term as governor, Cleveland was a Democrat who portrayed himself as a progressive reformer.  Soon, the citizens of Pelham Manor and New Rochelle were outraged to learn that on Thursday, September 18, 1884, Governor Cleveland pardoned William Cody, one of the five thugs who assaulted Kate Folz.  Local newspapers expressed the outrage of the local citizenry.  One newspaper fumed:

"Governor Cleveland in exercising executive clemency in behalf of this man Cody invites from every law abiding citizen of New Rochelle and the whole country, the most scathing criticism.  While we have observed with alarm the great number during the last few weeks pardoned by our reform executive, we did not expect this demoralizing blow to strike so near to the homes and legal government of this community.  It is for the people to say if they approve of the course pursued by the man who poses before the world as a reformer."

Though the end may have been unsatisfying, the Outrage of 1882 thereafter faded into obscurity.  Its impact, however, did not.  The Pelham Manor Protective Club and its inspirational spinoff, the Citizens' Protective Association of New Rochelle, redoubled their efforts as "vigilance committees."  Indeed, the Pelham Manor Protective Club hired security personnel to patrol the region, clocking in on punch clocks throughout the night as they worked to keep Pelham Manor safe in the years before the settlement existed as a village and had a police department.



Detail of 1881 Bromley Map Showing Boston Post Road Where
It Crossed Pelham's Border with New Rochelle Through the Jessup
Estate Where the Assault on Kate Folz (also Foltz) on June 10, 1882.
Source:  "Town of Pelhham.  [with]  Pelham Manor" in G. W. Bromley
& Co., Atlas of Westchester County, New York.  From Actual Surveys
and Official Records by G. W. Bromley & Co., Civil Engineers, pp.
56-57 (Philadelphia, PA:  G. W. Bromley & Co., 1881).  NOTE:  Click
on Image to Enlarge.

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Below is the text of a number of items that relate to the Outrage committed against Kate Folz in Pelham Woods on Saturday, June 10, 1882 and its aftermath.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.

"At a special meeting of the Executive Committee of the Pelham Manor Protective Club, held at the residence of T. D. De Witt, Jun 12th 1882.  Messrs. Black, Barnett, French and De Witt were present.

Minutes of last meeting read and adopted.

Mr. French moved, that Mr. T. D. De Witt, be appointed a committee of one to ascertain the truth of a reported outrage committed on June 10th at or near the town line of Pelham, and to offer, if he considers it necessary, to the proper persons of New Rochelle, our assistance in the amount of One Hundred Dollars provisional on the conviction of one or more of the ruffians, and he is instructed to report progress as soon as possible.  Carried.

On motion Committee adjourned.

Thos D. De Witt
Secretary. . . . 

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Pelham Manor Protective Club, held at the residence of Mr. Geo. H. Reynolds, Aug. 22nd 1882.  Messrs. Reynolds, French, Barnett, and De Witt, were present. . . .

The following report of Thos. D. De Witt in regard to the Outrage committed in New Rochelle, read and adopted.

'In regard to the Outrage committed in New Rochelle, I have failed to learn anything from the authorities in New Rochelle, and therefore I have not deemed it my duty to take any steps in the matter or offer them any assistance.  Therefore I ask to be discharged as a committee.' . . ."

Source:  RECORDS OF THE PELHAM MANOR PROTECTIVE CLUB OF PELHAM MANOR, N.Y. pp. 23, 24, 27, 28 (Handwritten records in leather-bound volume in the collections of The Westchester County Historical Society, Elmsford, NY).

HIGHWAY ROBBERY IN WESTCHESTER. 

The New-Rochelle policemen are looking for five young highwaymen, residents of that place, who on Saturday last stopped a woman named Kate Folz on the Boston turnpike, robbed her of her earrings, a little over $7, leaving her only 25 cents, and then rifled her carpet-bag and nearly destroyed it, tearing up the clothing that was in it. She said yesterday that they demanded her money or they would kill her. She begged for her life and gave them her money. They then outrageously assaulted her, and only desisted when they saw Mr. P. Berger, one of the village Trustees, approaching. They then fled, and Mr. Berger brought the unfortunate woman to New-Rochelle.” 

Source:  Highway Robbery in Westchester, N.Y. Times, Jun. 14, 1882, Vol. XXXI, No. 9600, p. 8, col. 5 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link). 

NEW-ROCHELLE RESIDENTS AROUSED. 

The robbery and assault upon Kate Folz, on the Boston turnpike in New-Rochelle, last Saturday, has created wide-spread indignation in the town.  The Police have the names of the five desperadoes who did the deed, but they are not yet revealed to the public.  Town Supervisor Henry D. Phelps issued a call for a mass-meeting, and last evening the Town Hall was crowded with citizens anxious to punish the perpetrators.  Richard Lathers was chosen Chairman of the meeting, and Mr. Phelps was Secretary. Earnest speeches were made by the Chairman and by Messrs. J. F. Harrison, Charles Roosevelt, George W. Lloyd, J. Q. Underhill, George Ferguson, and L. M. Ferguson. Mr. Harrison moved that the meeting subscribe $500 as a reward for the capture of the offenders, and the motion, being seconded by George Ferguson, was unanimously adopted.  A motion to organize a ‘Citizens’ Protective Association’ was also adopted unanimously.” 

Source:  New-Rochelle Residents Aroused, N.Y. Times, Jun. 16, 1882, Vol. XXXI, No. 9602, p. 5, col. 3.

"Outrageous Assault. -- Who Next.
-----

Kate Foltz, a German woman was grossly assaulted by some ruffians, Saturday week.  An exchange says:

'She was directed to a lady in Pelham Manor who wanted help, and about eleven that morning crossed the bridge over the Harlem Branch R. R., near the Ronald's place, when she was seized by two young ruffians -- who were assisted by five others -- hurried their victim into the woods where she was treated in a shocking and revolting manner.  Her stiffled [sic] cries attracted Mr. Berger who immediately repaired to the spot.  The ruffians disappeared but not soon enough, Mr. Berger recognizing five of them.  Warrants for the arrest of the five recognized were issued.  The ruffians also stole a pocket book containing over $7 from their victim.  Miss Foltz is about forty years of age.'

The New Rochelle authorities offer $500 reward for the arrest of the young scoundrels, and the people of the vicinity are intensely excited over the affair, and well they may be, for had the scamps come across any other woman, a wife, daughter or sister of some of the better known citizens might have been as grossly outraged.  It is time that some united action is taken by the men folk of the vicinity, and arrest and punishment made prompt and sure!"

Source:  Outrageous Assault. -- Who Next, The Port Chester Journal [Portchester, NY], Jun. 29, 1882, Vol. XIV, No. 710, p. 1, col. 6.  

"COUNTY NEWS IN A LUMP. . . . 

The town and village authorities of New Rochelle, have offered a reward of $500 for the arrest and conviction of the persons who committed an outrage upon Miss Kate Foltz and robbed her on Saturday afternoon, June 10. . . ."

Source:  COUNTY NEWS IN A LUMP, The Greenburgh Register [Dobbs Ferry, NY], Jul. 1, 1882, Vol. 2, No. 47, p. 2, col. 4.

"WESTCHESTER COUNTY. . . . 

NEW-ROCHELLE.  --  Floyd Fowler, one of the young men who about ten days ago committed a felonious assault upon the person of Kate Folz, was arrested on Tuesday night, and yesterday was taken before Police Justice C. E. Keene.  He was committed to the County Jail to await the action of the Grand Jury.  The complainant, Kate Folz, was detained as a witness. . . ."

Source:  WESTCHESTER COUNTY, New-York Tribune, Jul. 6, 1882, Vol. XLII, No. 13017, p. 8, col. 4 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).  

"NABBED ON AN ELEVATED TRAIN.
TWO YOUNG VILLAINS FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY CAPTURED.

While Patrolmen Leonard and Cox, of the steam-boat squad, were riding down town on a Second-avenue elevated train early yesterday morning, Mr. Charles E. Van Beuschaatten, a resident of New-Rochelle, pointed out to them two rough young men, who, he said, were being sought for by the authorities of Westchester County to answer charges of rape and robbery.  The officers spoke to the young men, who admitted that they were from New-Rochelle, and they were thereupon arrested and taken to the Police Central Office.  They gave their names as John Cody and William McCudden as two of a gang of five young men who had assaulted and robbed a German woman named Kate Foltz.  The crime was committed on the 10th of June.  The woman had been in service at Greenwich, Conn. and at Stamford, and on the day in question was making her way on foot to this City.  She was walking along the railroad track between New-Rochelle and Pelham Manor when she was met by Cody, McCudden, James Killeen, William Brennan, and Floyd Fowler, all residents of New Rochelle, who dragged her into the woods.  After assaulting her they robbed her of $9.  She was found some hours later in the woods.  An iceman who was driving along the road saw the five young ruffians coming out of the woods and he gave information to the authorities.  They fled the county, and a reward of $500 was offered by the Trustees of the village of New-Rochelle for their apprehension.  Fowler surrendered himself and gave testimony against his companions.  Killeen and Brennan are still at large.  Cody and McCudden were taken to New-Rochelle by Chief Molloy last evening.  The Chief said that Cody, McCudden, Killeen, and Brennan were members of a gang of young ruffians who have long been the terror of the respectable residents of New-Rochelle and the neighboring villages."

Source:  NABBED ON AN ELEVATED TRAIN -- TWO YOUNG VILLAINS FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY CAPTURED, N.Y. Times, Vol. XXXI, No. 9661, Aug. 24, 1882, p. 8, col. 2.  

"CAPTURED AND IN JAIL.

John Cody and William McRedmond, two of the New Rochelle ruffians who committed the assault upon and afterwards robbed Kat Folz, in the Pelham woods, near the railroad track, on the 10th of June last (as reported in the JOURNAL at that time), were arrested in New York city on Wednesday of last week, and are now in the County Jail, to await the action of the Grand Jury.  The offense for which these young ruffians are now held is one that, if convviction follows, will undoubtedly doom them to the prison walls of Sing Sing for years to come.  Fowler, one of the gang, it will be remembered, surrendered himself and gave testimony against his companions.  Killeen and Brennan, the other two of the gang, are still at large."

Source:  CAPTURED AND IN JAIL, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Sep. 1, 1882, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 21, p. 3, col. 2.  

"CODY SENTENCED. -- John Cody, one of the scoundrels who committed the assault upon Kate Folz, at New Rochelle, on the 10th of July last, was on Wednesday last week sentenced by Judge Gifford to seven years' imprisonment at hard labor in the Albany Penitentiary.  Cody's accomplice, McRedmond, will be tried at the next term of the Court."

Source:  CODY SENTENCED, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Oct. 13, 1882, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 27, p. 3, col. 4.  

"WESTCHESTER COUNTY.

James Killeen, the fourth of the New Rochelle roughs who assaulted Kate Foltz, on the highway last Spring, has been captured at Kingston, N.Y. . . ."

Source:  WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. Times, Dec. 23, 1882, Vol. XXXII, No. 9765, p. 10, col. 4.  

"A SCOUNDREL CAUGHT. -- On Thursday Jas. Caleen [sic], one of a gang of ruffians who criminally assaulted Kate Folz, a German woman, near New Rochelle last June, was arrested in the blacksmith shop of the West Shore Railroad Company at the Wilbur Tunnel, Kingston, Ulster County, where he had secured work when he fled from New Rochelle to escape the consequences of his crime."

Source:  A SCOUNDREL CAUGHT, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Dec. 29, 1882, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 38, p. 3, col. 3.  

"One More Convicted.

James Killeen, one of the scoundrels who committed the assault upon Kate Folz in the Pelham woods, last summer, as fully reported in the PIONEER of that time, was on Wednesday tried and convicted before County Judge Gifford and a jury, of the said offence.  Mr. Keogh appeared in behalf of the people against the accused, and Francis Larkin defended Killeen.  Kate Folz could not identify Killeen as one of the parties who assaulted her, but the evidence of Fowler, who turned State's evidence, proved sufficient to convict, the jury being absent but fifteen minutes.  Judge Gifford will pass sentence next Wednesday."

Source:  One More Convicted, The New Rochelle Pioneer, Feb. 24, 1883, Vol. XIII, No. 46, p. 3, col. 1.  

"THE INFORMER
-----

IN our last week's issue, in an article captioned 'One More Convicted,' which referred to the conviction of Jas. Killeen, one of the scoundrels who assaulted Kate Folz, in the Pelham woods, last summer, we stated that the corroborated evidence of Fowler, who turned States' evidence, proved sufficient to convict.  On the same day, the article in question was shown Fowler by one Cashin, who asked him to read it, and then told him that he would kill him.  Fowler immediately made complaint before a magistrate, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Cashin.  It is indeed difficult for casuists and pluralists to classify the informer.  Those against whom the informer informs are inclined to place him in the category of the condemned; while those who are interested in the triumph of truth and justice regard him as a minister of judgment, but they do not welcome him as an angel of light.  Much depends, however, upon the relation which the informer bears to the criminals upon whom he informs.  The testimony of Tompkins, who testified upon the preliminary examination of Charles H. Clark, recently committed by Justice Kene to the County Jail, is entirely of a different nature.  Tompkins in no way was shown to be implicated, although a daily companion of the accused.  On the other hand, Fowler is one of the parties accused of crime, and told all he knew about it, to mitigate his own punishment, to the discomfiture of his partners in vice, and their friends.  Cordial's statement about his companion in crime, McCabe, concerning Miss Moulton's watch, is another instance of a treacherous informer.

The case of Carey, the Irish informer, who claims to have been led into connection with the recent assassinations in Ireland, believing the cause of Ireland justified assassination and murder, is one of a peculiar nature.  Speaking of Irish treachery, the New York 'Times,' in alluding to Carey's recent dramatic confession, says:  'But the truth of history compels us to say that there has never been an Irish conspiracy that has not been betrayed by an Irish informer.'

No man admires an informer.  There is in the human breast implanted a sentiment of fairness and justice, which reprobates the action of the man who tells against those who have been partners in his guilt.  It was passed to the lasting credit of a certain Prince, who will some day be a King, that when confronted in the witness box with a lady in the case, 'he perjured himself like a gentleman,' rather than cast one filament of a web of scandal on a lady's name.

The foregoing is strong -- too much so, doubtless, for many.  Perjuring one's self 'like a gentleman' is a decidedly questionable quotation.

The discussion of the subject of informers invariably recalls the oft-quoted saying of a thoughtless, yet brilliant, genius -- Aaron Burr -- who, on coming into church as the services were about to close, was greeted from the pulpit by the rough old clergyman of that day, who at that moment had but ended a tirade against coming into church after the beginning of services, with, 'The old belated sinner now coming down the aisle.  I hope to be in heaven on that great day to bear witness against him!'  Burr's ready repartee was equal to the emergency.  Straightening himself to his full height, and looking his accuser full in the face, he said, 'I have mangled much in vice, and practised criminal law among the hardest villains of this or any other land for more than a quarter of a century, and of all the rascals I ever met or knew, it was the men who turned State's evidence.'"

Source:  THE INFORMER, The New Rochelle Pioneer, Mar. 3, 1883, Vol. XXIII, No. 47, p. 2, col. 1.  

"NEWS AND NOTES. . . . 

On Wednesday last week a motion was argued in the County Court before Judge Gifford and Justices Howe and Baxter, for a new trial for James Killeen, of New Rochelle, who was recently convicted for committing an atrocious assault upon Miss Kate Folz, which occurred a few months ago in this village.  The motion was denied, and the Court sentenced Killeen to seven years imprisonment in Sing Sing Prison."

Source:  NEWS AND NOTES, Eastern State Journal [White Plains, NY], Apr. 6, 1883, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 52, p. 3, col. 1.  

"Cody Pardoned.

Governor Cleveland on Thursday pardoned Cody, one of the parties accused and convicted of a criminal assault upon Kate Folz, near the Pelham Woods over two years ago.  The following is taken from the PIONEER of June 17, 1882:  'On Saturday last five desperadoes, well known to the authorities of this village and the county jail and some of them but recently from the State Prison at Sing Sing, by the names of McCredmond, Cody, Brennan, Fowler and Killeen, stopped a woman named Kate Folz near the Pelham Woods, and under the pretext of conducting her to some house she inquired for in Pelham Manor, one of the number led her a short distance from the line of the road, where he and his companions committed a brutal outrage upon the helpless woman, and robbed her of all the money she had, amounting to a little over seven dollars, leaving her only twenty-five cents.  They then rifled her carpet bag, nearly destroying it, and tore up the clothing that was in it.  The woman says they demanded her money or the would kill her.  She says she begged for her life and gave them money.  They only desisted from their brutal outrageous assaults when they saw Peter Berger, one of the village trustees, approaching.  Mr. Berger kindly put the woman in his wagon and brought her to the village.'  Fowler pleaded guilty, and Brennan left the country.  The people of New Rochelle were at the time thoroughly aroused, a public meeting was called in the Town Hall by Supervisor Phelps.  Col. Lathers presided.  Mr. Harrison moved that $500 reward be offered for the capture of the guilty offenders.  The motion on being seconded by Mr. George Ferguson was unanimously adopted.  A subscription list the very same evening was circulated and liberally subscribed to.  Mr. Ferguson put his name down for $100.  Mr. Phelps, $50.  Col. Lathers, $50, Mr. Harrison, $50, Mr. C. O. Iselin $50, and many others gave liberally.  Cody and McCredmond were captured through the instrumentality of Chas. E. Van Benschoten, while they were riding down town on the morning of August 23, 1882, near Chatham Square, New York city, on the elevated road.  The prisoners, where brought to New Rochelle before a Justice and sent to the County Jail.  They were subsequently indicted, and Cody was found guilty on the 26th of Sept. Miss Folz upon trial could not fully identify Cody, but the evidence of Fowler, who turned States' evidence, with admissions made to the officers at the time of the arrest, together with the testimony of Supervisor Phelps, Messrs. Lambden, Traphagen, and Justice LeCount as to the general bad character of the accused was sufficient for the jury.  On October 4th, 1882, Judge Gifford sentenced Cody to seven year's imprisonment at hard labor in the Albany Penitentiary.  Governor Cleveland in exercising executive clemency in behalf of this man Cody invites from every law abiding citizen of New Rochelle and the whole country, the most scathing criticism.  While we have observed with alarm the great number during the last few weeks pardoned by our reform executive, we did not expect this demoralizing blow to strike so near to the homes and legal government of this community.  It is for the people to say if they approve of the course pursued by the man who poses before the world as a reformer."

Source:  Cody Pardoned, The New Rochelle Pioneer, Sep. 20, 1884, Vol. XXV, No. 25, p. 3, col. 5.  

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