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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Days of Four Quart Bobby Helmets Worn by the Pelham Manor Police

There was a time, more than a century ago, when the police of the Village of Pelham Manor wore uniforms inspired by English Bobbies.  Their uniforms included the well-known "four quart" Bobby hats.  

In 1927, Pelham's local newspaper published an early photograph of two of the most notable members of the early Pelham Manor Police Department wearing their four quarts shortly after each of the pair joined the department more than twenty years earlier:  Philip Gargan and James Butler.  The photograph, which was published by The Pelham Sun repeatedly over the years, appears immediately below, followed by a citation and link to its source.

Chief of Police Philip Gargan and Desk Officer
James Butler as they looked when they first joined
the Pelham Manor police department in 1907.
Imagine wearing that four quart helmet on a hot day.
Source:  TWENTY YEARS AGO, The Pelham Sun,
Jul. 22, 1927, Vol. 18, No. 22, p. 1, cols. 4-5.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

I have written before of these early heroes of the Pelham Manor Police Department.  See:

Wed., May 04, 2005:  Philip Gargan, Chief of Police of Pelham Manor, New York.  

Wed., Sep. 10, 2014:  An Account [by James Butler] of the Pelham Manor Police Department in 1906.

Philip Gargan rose from the ranks of rookie officer to Chief of Police of the Pelham Manor Police Department.  His name appears in hundreds of local articles about his police exploits.  Many such articles appeared during the years he had to enforce Prohibition when those laws were so unpopular and Pelham was a hotbed of illegal stills and illicit bootlegging.  
James Butler became an unofficial historian of the police force who served for more than thirty years.  According to one account, the day Jim Butler joined the Pelham Manor Police Department:  

"the police headquarters was in a small shack at Pelhamdale and Black street, and therein lies an amusing incident, for a few days later Jim reported for duty and found the shack missing. After a frantic search, Jim finally located 'Headquarters.'  The officials had decided to move to the present site on Penfield Place and Jim came across the shack, mounted on planks, moving slowly towards the new location.  The village was divided into 5 posts.  One man patrolled each post and the fifth officer remained at headquarters to receive complaints.  The patrolman stationed at headquarters slept there during the day-time.  That was the 24-hour police protection."

Source:  Jim Butler Recalls Pelham Manor Police Dept. In 1906, The Pelham Sun, Nov. 13, 1936, Vol. 27, No. 32, Second Section, p. 9, cols. 2-3.

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I have written about the early days of the Pelham Manor Police Department as well as a few of the police officers who served the Village and its citizens. Seee.g.

Wed., May 13, 2015:  Accounts of Village Police Departments of Pelham Manor and Pelham Published in 1925.

Wed., Sep. 10, 2014:  An Account of the Pelham Manor Police Department in 1906.

Wed., Apr. 30, 2014:  Gun Battle on Witherbee Avenue in 1904 Results in Wounded Pelham Manor Police Officer.

Mon., Apr. 21, 2014:  Early History of the First Years of the Pelham Manor Police Department.

Thu., Jan. 07, 2010:  Pelham Manor Police Establish Speed Traps on Shore Road in 1910 to Catch Those Traveling Faster than Fifteen Miles Per Hour

Wed., Aug. 09, 2006:  The Saddest Day in the History of Pelham Manor's "Toonerville Trolley".

Wed., May 04, 2005:  Philip Gargan, Chief of Police of Pelham Manor, New York

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