Police Log: 1885 – 1887

Fleecing in the 19 th Century, tramps, and lewdness highlight this week’s police log.

June 19, 1885 – The following from last week’s Westboro paper may not be amiss in this town:
Swindlers of all kinds are fleecing the unwary, and our readers should be on their guard for
them. The latest swindle is that by a young man who goes through a street leaving packages of
picture cards at the house addressed “to the lady of the house.” Inside is a card on which is written
the story of the young man’s trying to get an honest living, and it is stated that the cards are five
cents each; that he hopes a selection will be made, and that he will return in a short time and get the
cards. When he does come back, if no purchase is made, the poverty stricken young man looks at
the package, and at once asserts that some of the cards are missing, and that as he counted them
before he left them he knows they have been taken there, and demands the sum of five cents each or
he will make trouble. It is supposed that the game works easily in some cases where the women do
not care to have trouble.

April 8, 1887 – At a special meeting of the Selectmen J.M. Hart was made lock-up keeper, with full
powers as a constable. The price of care for tramps will this year be twelve cents against twenty-five
cents paid last year.

J.M. Hart has been re-appointed landlord, he says, of the only hotel in town — the lockup.
Terms reasonable. Apply on the premises.

April 15, 1887 – Special Policeman Wilson has made himself quite numerous this week in looking
after disorderly persons. Constable Baker also had one scalp.

Officer H. Sullivan, during the past six months, has performed the following official duties: Made 5
liquor seizures, arrested 17 for drunkenness, 10 for lewdness, 2 for assault, 4 for disturbing the peace, 6 for selling liquor, and two for keeping a disorderly house.

April 20, 1888 – As we sat by the window the other night we saw four tramps leaned up against the
common fence, evidently awaiting the arrival of Lock-up Keeper Tom Carroll. Pretty soon Tom
came along and passed right by the tramps, they not knowing him, and after he had left them some
distance in the rear, he called them, and the way those tramps braced up was a humorous sight.

April 27, 1888 – There was a case of target shooting from the rear of the American House with a
pistol Wednesday. It is claimed to have been done by a lady who deemed herself insulted by persons
opposite. Nobody hurt.

Paul Saulnier

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