Tom Pendergast Inmate File

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Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Conditional release statement for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, detailing his intention to return to living with his wife and family, and return to his work at Ready-Mixed Concrete, upon his release from prison. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Admission summary for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which records his family background, health and economic status, and note he "is now confined as a patient in the Hospital" due to ongoing health issues. Recommendations include a note that Pendergast should receive close supervision to "avoid his becoming prey for institutional connivers." Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Memorandum written by Justin K. Fuller, Medical Director of the United States Bureau of Prisons, regarding a medical report on Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The memo discusses Pendergast's health, and notes that a "heart such as this is a very serious thing indeed," and that it is hard to predict how long he might live. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Transcriptions

Transcript of minutes from Tom Pendergast's parole hearing before Arthur D. Wood, chairman of the United States Board of Parole. Pendergast notes his health problems, including a bad heart and colostomy, and lack of prior convictions, as reasons he should be released from the penitentiary. He also discusses his family, his role at Ready Mixed Concrete Company, and a pending indictment in state court.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Conduct record and work report for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which documents his lack of prison violations and work in the hospital x-ray department during his imprisonment. The report describes him as a "good" worker, with "trustworthy," "friendly," and "pleasant character. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Correspondence

Letter from James V. Bennett, Director of the Bureau of Prisons, to U.S. Marshal A. D. Fairbanks regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. In it, Bennett writes that he does not believe they should depart from regulations to allow "special visits" from a Mr. Smith to Pendergast while in custody, and notes that Pendergast "has less than a month and a half yet to serve" and therefore will soon be free to have visitors at any time.

Genre: 
Correspondence

Memorandum from W. Harold Lane, Internal Revenue Service Special Agent, to the Special Agent in Charge (elsewhere identified as Charles O'B. Berry), regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The memo reports that, in a discussion with Governor Lloyd Stark about the conviction of Charles Gargotta for assault of Sheriff Thomas Bash, Stark stated that he suspected that Pendergast was "directing his political organization" while in prison.

Genre: 
Correspondence

Letter from Franklin Miller, Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis, to Carl Zarter, Record Clerk for the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The letter discusses the grand jury investigation into R. Emmet O'Malley, former State Superintendent of Insurance, and the charge of bribery with which he is being charged, and addresses the possible further investigation into Pendergast's role in that crime.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Certificate of Conditional Release for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, stating that Pendergast is receiving a reduction of 90 days from his original sentence on the condition that a fine of $10,000 and past due income taxes are paid. The document also lists Lewis J. Grout as Pendergast's probation officer, and includes a receipt noting the $10,000 fine was paid on April 29, 1940. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S.

Genre: 
Correspondence

Letter from U.S. Marshal A. D. Fairbanks to James V. Bennett, Director of the Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Fairbanks writes that "our friend, Frank Smith, is very anxious to visit" Pendergast before his release from prison, just one month in the future, and inquiring as to whether this would be possible. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Correspondence

Letter from C. H. Waring, Chief Medical Officer of the United States Public Health Service, to Justin K. Fuller, Medical Director of the United States Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The letter summarizes Pendergast's health problems, including heart disease, and treatments. Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Press release announcing that, after a hearing at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth and further consideration in Washington, D.C., the United States Board of Parole concluded that "parole issuance in the case of Thomas J. Pendergast would be unjustifiable and incompatible with the public interest," and thus is denied.

Pages

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.