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Indictment for Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this indictment, the defendant is charged with income tax fraud for the calendar years 1935 and 1936. Pendergast reported $117,378.41 in gross income in 1936 while the true figure was $356,365.33. His reported gross income figured to only $25,481.11 in income tax due; his actual earnings required him to pay $195,682.15.

Date: 
April 7th 1939

Order for capias and bond in Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this document, Judge Merrill E. Otis orders the arrest of Thomas J. Pendergast for income tax fraud. His bond for appearance is $10,000.

Date: 
April 7th 1939

Capias for Thomas J. Pendergast in Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. This capias commands H. L. Dillingham, U.S. Marshal, to arrest Thomas J. Pendergast for income tax fraud. His bond for appearance is $10,000.

Date: 
May 9th 1939

Recognizance for appearance in court for Criminal Case No. 14458: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this document, Thomas J. Pendergast asserts that he will appear before court on May 7, 1936 to answer for charges of income tax fraud.

Date: 
April 7th 1939

Considerations for the decision of sentence for Criminal Case No. 14459: United States vs. Robert Emmet O'Malley, Defendant. In this document, Judge Merrill E. Otis reviews the sentence that he imposed upon T. J. Pendergast in Criminal Case No. 14458, so that Otis may more accurately sentence Robert Emmet O'Malley in the present case.

Date: 
May 1939

Recognizance for appearance in court for Criminal Case No. 14567: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. In this document, Thomas J. Pendergast asserts that he will appear before court on May 7, 1936 to answer for charges of income tax fraud.

Date: 
May 2nd 1939

Judgment and commitment for Criminal Case No. 14567: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant. After his plea of guilty, Pendergast is sentenced to a total of one year and three months in a federal penitentiary, followed by five years of probation. Pendergast is also fined $10,000.00. The document then lists the details of the defendant's probation.

Date: 
May 22nd 1939

Memorandum for Criminal Cases No. 14567: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Defendant, and No. 14,459: United States vs. Robert Emmet O'Malley, Defendant. In this memorandum, Judge Merrill E. Otis provides insightful, detailed documentation for both cases "for the express purpose of submitting it for publication in the Federal Supplement" as these cases attracted an overwhelming amount of publicity and attracted outrage from machine supporters and from proponents who thought the sentence too lenient.

Date: 
August 19th 1939

Letter from Kansas City resident David C. Bagby which claims that, despite some reforms, the Pendergast machine still controls the city, particularly the jobs.

Date: 
June 11th 1939

Letter alerting the Governor to the illegal activities of Roy Fulton, president of the union democratic club in Kansas City and operator of a brewery.

Date: 
July 2nd 1939

Letter from J. R. Morgan to Governor Lloyd C. Stark regarding Stark's work cleaning up Kansas City and its police department. He describes Captain Dougherty at Station #4 as "crooked as any man that ever walked the face of the earth."

Date: 
June 3rd 1939

Letter from Olive Turner to Governor Lloyd C. Stark saying "it seems a shame that law abiding, tax-paying citizens have to get under cover and write to their Governor in order to live in this town." She expresses concerns about corruption, particularly at the state cosmetology board and the County Home for the Aged.

Date: 
March 25th 1939

Letter from Grover Childers to Governor Lloyd C. Stark reporting on current activities of the Pendergast machine, and opinions about Stark's efforts to clean up the police department. Childers also reports that President Roosevelt "is not in sympathy with political machines that defeat the public in elections."

Date: 
March 30th 1939

Letter from Dorman H. O'Leary to Governor Lloyd C. Stark discussing actions taken against Jackson County politicians including County Prosecutor W. W. Graves and Sheriff James Williams. O'Leary is opposed to the sheriff's ouster and argues that "a grave injustice is being done to the only elected official in the court house who has conducted his office in a proper manner."

Date: 
May 9th 1939

Letter from Ashton Keith to Governor Lloyd C. Stark. Keith writes that Stark has a great deal of work remaining if he wishes to root out corruption and graft in Kansas City, as "all the splendid work that has been done by yourself and others positively has not yet even scratched the prime source of control of machine politics." He suggests that graft money can be traced to "two certain banks" and "can furnish some strong indications as to deep interest in ... the 'machine.'"

Date: 
December 1st 1939

Letter from Ashton Keith to Maurice M. Milligan suggesting that if Milligan should run for governor instead of Senate if he wishes to continue working against the Pendergast machine. He also writes that Pendergast "WAS NOT AND IS NOT THE REAL BOSS," and that "the Machine is far more strongly entrenched in Kansas City ... than most people realize."

Date: 
December 1st 1939

Newspaper article reporting on a speech given by Frederick E. Whitten in which he rails against the corruption of the Pendergast organization.

Date: 
July 27th 1939

Letter from William E. Kemp to Governor Lloyd Stark, providing a confidential assessment of William Kirby, Chairlan of the Missouri Employment Commission.

Date: 
November 27th 1939

Letter from Malcolm D. Grimes to Jesse Barrett urging him to run again for Governor of Missouri "now that Gov. Stark has about finished off 'Uncle Tom.'"

Date: 
June 17th 1939

Letter from I. N. Watson to Jesse Barrett describing his attempts to counteract and prosecute voting fraud during the 1936 election in Kansas City.

Date: 
November 29th 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.