Snow Bird (Schooner), 20 Aug 1891
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They Held Up The Cook - Robbers Aboard The Schooner SNOW BIRD - With a Knife at the Cook¹s Throat They Went Through the Cabin and Took Forty-Five Dollars - Thomas Fitzsimmons and Maurice Connors Charged With the Crime
A bold robbery occurred in the East Cove last night for which Thomas Fitzsimmons and Maurice Connors of the First Ward, are under arrest. Between seven and eight o¹clock last night Captain Andrew Baird and the crew of the little schooner SNOW BIRD, left their boat for a short stroll up town. Mrs. Ellen Baird, wife of the Captain, and also the cook, was the only person about. The vessel lay at McMurrick¹s trestle. Shortly after the crew had left the vessel, two young men boarded the boat and going to the cabin asked for something to eat.
Mrs. Baird gave them some bread and butter. After taking the bread Mrs. Baird says one of the men seized her and putting a knife to her throat, declared that if she made a noise h would kill her. Mrs. Baird was very much frightened, when the other fellow began hunting in a cupboard for anything of value he could find. Between the leaves of a book in the cupboard was a large envelope and in the envelope was fifty dollars in currency. When the men secured the envelope they were ready to depart with a parting warning to Mrs. Baird to make no outcry they jumped ashore.
After the men had gone Mrs. Baird was too much frightened to make an immediate outcry, but when she saw that they were away from the vessel she gave play to her lungs and her cries attracted the attention of men on the other vessels in the vicinity who promptly went to her assistance. To them she first told the story. The crew on the Hanlan saw the two men prowling
about the SNOW BIRD and their actions attracted attention. When they learned of the robber from Mrs. Baird they found her husband and at once reported the matter to the police.
Chief Doyle, Captain Richardson, Officers Gill, Hanley and McGraw started out. Mrs. Baird said that one of the men had a scar on the side of his face and the other one, the slim fellow, was the one who held her and placed the knife at her neck, threatened to kill her. A member of the
Hanlan's crew described one of the men whom he saw about the SNOW BIRD as a lumber shover, who lived on the west side.
The descriptions were meager enough and the police sent the fellow down West First street to see if he could identify the men who had been traced to the west side of the river. In front of the office of the late Captain Martin, two men were seated and they were identified. The police had taken another direction in the search and quickly as possible they were notified.
When they returned the two men were gone. They had taken the dock to it, a stranger informed the officers and the latter were quickly in pursuit. In front of the lumber office of E.W. Rathbun & Co., Fitzsimmons and Connors were found. They were pointed out as the men who were seen around the SNOW BIRD and taken to Police headquarters. They were both sober and both denied that they had assaulted Mrs. Baird or relieved her of any money. Both, however, admitted being aboard the Snow Bird and receiving the bread and butter.
That no injustice might be done, Mrs. Baird was sent for at 11 o'clock last night. She was very nervous when she arrived at police headquarters and said if the men under arrest were the ones to whom she gave the bread they were the ones who robbed the boat. Both men still insisted that she was mistaken. A careful search revealed nothing. They had no money about their clothing or person and the charge made against them last night was for begging.
This morning Mrs. Baird was at police headquarters and identified the men positively as the ones who robbed her. Fitzsimmons held her she said while Connors went through the cupboard where the money was kept. Fitzsimmons has figured in police court quite frequently. Connors has also been there before.
Robbery in the first degree was the charge upon which the men were arraigned and both pleaded not guilty. They asked that they be given time to procure counsel and the recorder decided to hold a private examination in the chief¹s private office this evening at half-past seven. It was found that the envelope contained forty-five dollars.
Thurs., August 20, 1891
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- William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes