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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.

Date: 
November 21st 1939

U.S. Attorney's report on Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which records Higgins' defense attorneys, summarizes the charges, and notes the sentence imposed. The report records as aggravating circumstances obstruction of justice, suborning perjury, and evidence of income tax violation in other years, though "proof only goes back to 1927." Judge Merrill Otis and U.S. Attorney Maurice M. Milligan both recommend against parole.

Date: 
June 20th 1939

Report from Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Rudolph H. Hartmann submitted to the warden of the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The report describes Pendergast's charges, convictions, and sentencing, as well as detailing the circumstances of his income tax evasion. The report also mentions that Pendergast may be subject to additional charges stemming from the investigation into R.

Date: 
June 6th 1939

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.

Date: 
November 4th 1939

Application for parole made by Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, for which he became eligible on October 28, 1939. He states that his plans upon release will be to return to his home to reside with his wife and family, and to return to work as president of Ready Mixed Concrete Company. In support of his application, he notes that this conviction was his first offense, and also notes that he is "constantly in need of Medical Attention." He lists James Kemper and R. P. Lyons as his parole advisor and employer, respectively.

Date: 
June 28th 1939

Letter from Special Agent Rudolph H. Hartmann regarding his investigation into Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295.

Date: 
June 6th 1939

Letter from U.S. Marshal A. D. Fairbanks to James V. Bennett, Director of the Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Fairbanks inquires as to whether Frank Smith, a long-time friend of Pendergast, could receive permission to visit his friend at the penitentiary, after having been denied in the past due to Pendergast's poor health. 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.

Date: 
December 7th 1939

Fingerprints and physical description card of Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which includes information on sentencing and detailed physical descriptions and measurements. 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.

Date: 
May 29th 1939

Mugshots of Thomas J. Pendergast, Inmate #55295, contained in a folder noting his conditional release from prison on May 30, 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. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Date: 
May 29th 1939

Parole progress report for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which includes details about his physical and psychological health, plans for life after parole, and listing his parole adviser as James Kemper. 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.

Date: 
September 18th 1939

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.

Date: 
June 1st 1939

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.

Date: 
May 2nd 1939

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.

Date: 
October 24th 1939

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.

Date: 
July 13th 1939

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.

Date: 
June 3rd 1939

Agreement between R. P. Lyons, vice president of Ready Mixed Concrete Company, and the United States Board of Parole, stating that Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, will be employed "steadily in the occupation of President" of Ready Mixed Concrete upon his parole, and agreeing to report to U.S. Probation Officer Lewis Grout should Pendergast's work become unsatisfactory. 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.

Date: 
October 28th 1939

Record of court commitment for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which records his offense, sentence, and his ultimate early release in May, 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. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Date: 
May 29th 1939

Record of interviews and visits for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, including dates of visits by his family members and attorneys between June 5, 1939, and April 9, 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. Penitentiary at Leavenworth.

Date: 
June 5th 1939

Letter from Floy Smith to the United States Parole Board regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Smith writes to protest the parole of Pendergast, saying that Pendergast surely "considered himself getting off very easy with only a 15-months' sentence," and that it would be just for him to serve the full sentence. 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.

Date: 
September 29th 1939

Letter from Mattie Acock to Ruby Carr at the Justice Department regarding Tom Pendergast. Acock writes that Pendergast is a "good man" who gave her husband a job and has been "so good to the poor people," and she hopes he "will get to come home right away. She also writes at length about being poor and her other difficulties. 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.

Date: 
1939

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.