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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

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

FBI report on Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, listing charges against him and sentence he received. 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: 
July 20th 1940

Prison record of Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, which includes sentencing dates and terms and notes his conditional release 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 30th 1940

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

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.

Date: 
May 30th 1940

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.

Date: 
March 26th 1940

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

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.

Date: 
April 4th 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 Pendergast assigning his lawyers power of attorney to deal with his income tax liability with the Treasury Department, and lists Pendergast's visitor log, including attorneys and Treasury Department agents. The memo also notes that Pendergast has paid "a substantial portion" of his back taxes owed. Also included is a letter of introduction from Charles O'B.

Date: 
January 19th 1940

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 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.

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.