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Letter from James V. Bennett, Director of the Bureau of Prisons, to Robert Hudspeth, warden of the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Bennett writes regarding allegations made by Governor Lloyd Stark that Pendergast "was directing his political organization from Leavenworth," and his discussion about that issue with Elmer Irey, who works in Treasury Department law enforcement. Irey concluded that Stark was misinformed, and that Pendergast was not engaged in political activity from prison.

Date: 
January 25th 1940

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

Letter from Special Agent in Charge Charles O'B. Berry to W. H. Woolf, acting chief of the Intelligence Unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Berry addresses the concerns of Governor Lloyd C. Stark that Pendergast was engaged in his political machine while serving his sentence in the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, in violation of the terms of his conviction.

Date: 
January 17th 1940

Memorandum from Robert H. Hudspeth, warden of the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, to James V. Bennett, director of the Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. The memo discusses allegations that Pendergast was running his political organization during his imprisonment, and and investigation by the Intelligence Unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue into the matter.

Date: 
January 22nd 1940

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 from the Leavenworth Penitentiary's record clerk regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, communicating the order from the U.S. District Court to turn Pendergast over to his probation officer upon his discharge from the penitentiary 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 3rd 1940

List of relatives and requested correspondents for Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which includes the names and mailing addresses of his parents, wife, daughters, and other friends and family. 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.

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

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.

Date: 
April 17th 1940

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 N. R. Timmons, Chief Parole Officer at the Leavenworth Penitentiary, to the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds, requesting confirmation of the marital status of Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Recorder John P. Sherrod replies with confirmation that Pendergast married Carolyn "Carrie" E. Snider on February 3, 1911. 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 2nd 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.