Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

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Order detailing O'Malley's probation for Criminal Case No. 14459: United States vs. Robert Emmet O'Malley, Defendant. In this document, Judge Merrill E. Otis outlines the details of O'Malley's probation followed by a memorandum that clarifies custody and parole conditions of the defendant.

Date: 
February 16th 1940

Indictment for Criminal Case No. 14742: United States vs. John J. Pryor, Defendant. In this indictment, the defendant is charged with income tax fraud for the calendar years 1934 through 1937. Pryor, co-owner of Boyle-Pryor Construction Company, reported $12,000 in gross income in 1934 while the true figure was $206,487.05. His reported gross income figured to only $403 in income tax due; his actual earnings required him to pay $81,751.08.

Date: 
December 1st 1939

Verdict and Commitment for Criminal Case No. 14742: United States vs. John J. Pryor, Defendant. Upon plea of guilty for three counts of income tax fraud, Pryor is sentenced to federal penitentiary for a total of two years with five years probation following. Pryor is also fined a total of $20,000.

Date: 
1940

Mugshot for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 19th 1940

Record of court commitment for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, which includes the charges against him and sentence he received, lists his wife as his emergency contact, and records his parole in February 1941. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 19th 1940

Preliminary social abstract for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, which records his family background, childhood, educational and economic status, and post-parole plans. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 19th 1940

List of relatives and requested correspondents for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, which includes the names and mailing addresses of his parents, wife, and other friends and family. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 25th 1940

Treasury Department parole report for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, forwarded by W. H. Woolf, the Intelligence Unit acting chief. The report summarizes the case against Pryor and discusses ways in which he was or was not cooperative in the investigation. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 26th 1940

Admission summary for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, which includes his family background, health and economic status, and makes custodial, educational, and work duty recommendations. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
January 26th 1940

Parole progress report for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309, which includes his prior employment, mental and physical health, visitors, and post-parole plans. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Date: 
June 26th 1940

Authorization for Disposition of Mail and Property for John J. Pryor, Inmate #56309. Pryor was sentenced to two years in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth for tax evasion.

Letter from J. T. Montgomery to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing machine candidates in an upcoming election. He writes, "If I were in your place, I would tell these gentlemen that their ticket was not a Democratic ticket, but was a machine ticket in order to get control again of Kansas City, and rob its people."

Date: 
March 7th 1940

Correspondence from Thomas Pendergast Jr. to Margaret Truman Daniel, likely dated after the 1973 publication of her biography about her father, Harry S. Truman. It is unclear if the note was ever delivered or if it remained in Pendergast Jr.'s possession. In it, Pendergast Jr. accuses Harry Truman and James M. Pendergast of betraying his father.

Letter from Thomas McGee to Harry S. Truman in which McGee discloses his efforts to get Pendergast and James P. Aylward to help re-appoint his son-in-law, John Lillis, to the Federal Housing Administration. McGee says that Pendergast may seek the help of Truman and Bennett C. Clark in this matter. He also informs Truman of his meeting with William Boyle and J. J. Pryor of Boyle-Pryor Construction Company.

Date: 
April 16th 1936

Indictment in Criminal Case No. 14652: United States vs. Matthew S. Murray, defendant. Murray was the Director of Public Works for Kansas City, Missouri, and Missouri Administrator of the Works Progress Administration, and was charged in five counts with income tax evasion for the years 1934-1938. The indictment catalogs his sources of income and taxes paid for those years, as well as the outstanding tax amounts. Income sources include John J. Pryor, a Pendergast-affiliated contractor.

Date: 
October 26th 1939

U.S. Attorney Maurice M. Milligan's opening statement in Criminal Case No. 14652: United States vs. Matthew S. Murray, defendant. Milligan notes that Murray filed tax returns in each of those years, for considerably less than his actual income, i.e. reporting net income of $3,500.85 in 1935, but actually receiving $14,576.88, and that he defrauded the government out of $6,577.29 in total over those five years.

Date: 
1940

Judgment in Criminal Case No. 14652: United States vs. Matthew S. Murray, defendant. Judge Albert L. Reeves' statement addresses the issue of whether certain payments are to be considered gifts, as the defendant claims, or compensation, which would be taxable, says that the deciding factor between the two is the intention of the parties involved, and suggests further inquiry into that question is required. Those payments were made by John J. Pryor, E. L. Schneider, and T. J.

Date: 
March 13th 1940

Letter from Lewis J. Grout, Chief U.S. Probation Officer, to Isaac Sway, Chief Parole Officer at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, regarding Otto P. Higgins', Inmate #55996-L, release from the penitentiary and the requirement that he report to the probation officer in Kansas City upon his release. Higgins, the former director of the Kansas City Police Department, was sentenced to two years in the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth on charges of income tax evasion.

Date: 
June 6th 1941
KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.