Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of William Jones, 1886 July 22.

Volume J, 91-105, 15 p.
Jones, William.
Detective, Chicago Police Department.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross-examination by Captain Black. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Police detective, among those who searched the Arbeiter-Zeitung offices on May 4. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.J 92), 1886 May 5 search of the Arbeiter-Zeitung office (vol.J 91), items confiscated from the Arbeiter-Zeitung office or the defendants' homes (vol.J 92), "Revenge" circular (vol.J 93), "Attention Workingmen" flier (vol.J 93), Lehr und Wehr Verein (vol.J 94.5), Spies, August (vol.J 93), Fischer, Adolph (vol.J 94).

Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents
[Image, Volume J, Page 91]

William Jones,

a witness called on behalf of the people, having been duly sworn, and examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell, testified as follows:

Q You are a police officer?

A Yes sir.

Q And you are located at the Central Station?

A Yes sir.

Q Belong to the detective department?

A Yes sir.

Q Under Lt. Shea?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you at the Arbiter Zeitung office on the 5th day of May last?

A I was.

Q What hour in the morning?

A About eight thirty, I think.

Q Did you make a search of the building?

A I did-- assisted in making a search.

Q Well, what did you find?

A I first searched the house, and I found a number of circulars, two different descriptions of circulars. I was also present when Officer Myers found this form. (Referring to type) that was on the table in one end of the room where the type-setters were working; after taking those circulars to the station, I went back and commenced to search again; a locksmith was present-- some person sent for a locksmith to open the different drawers in the different offices in the Arbeiter building. I called on the locksmith to open the drawer of the desk in

[Image, Volume J, Page 92]

the corner; he did so.

Q The desk in the corner of which room -- which floor?

A On the first floor; I think it is the first floor in the office, Spies' office.

Q You mean the floor above the saloon?

A Yes, sir.

Q That would be the second floor of the building?

A That would be the second floor of the building, yes.

Q Which part of the room was that?

A In the south west corner of the room.

Q Well, what did you find in that desk?

A On the desk I found a number of letters directed to Mr. Spies, and then I called the locksmith to open the desk to open the desk to see what was inside.

Q What did you find?

A. I found this fuse (indicating). This fuse and two bars of dynamite.

Q Let me see it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q Those are the two (Indicating)

A. Yes, sir.

Q What else did you find?

A Also a box.--- At least this box contained these fulminating caps (indicating) for the explosion of dynamite. There is about ten in that, I think, alongside of this fuse, nearly on top of all the paper in the desk I found those (indicating). Officer Flynn was with me searching the desk. We were both searching the same drawer.

Mr. FOSTER What are those?

[Image, Volume J, Page 93]

MR. GRINNELL --- They are fulminating caps.

THE WITNESS --- About ten.

Q Were they loose there in this paper?

A Wrapped up in that same piece of paper. This is the fuse. The circulars which we found we took to the station.

Q Which circular?

A One was the Revenge circular and another was the circular calling for the meeting on the Haymarket -- circulars.

Q So far as the English is concerned is that a copy? (Showing witness paper.) Is that similar to the Revenge circular which you found?

A Yes, sir; I found quite a bundle; I should think a stack about so high (indicating three or four inches). I brought them to the Central Station, and also the circular of the other kind.

Q Of the other kind? Some of one, that same kind?

A That is the one. I was going to say in regard to the desks -- I asked some clerks or some men there in charge I don't know who they were, which was Mr. Spies' desk afterward.

Objected to.

Mr. GRINNELL --- Well, that would not be admissible, what they said.


Mr. GRINNELL --- Were you in Court the other day when I asked James Bonfield a question in regard to a bunch of keys?

[Image, Volume J, Page 94]

A Yes, sir.

Q Well, is this the bunch of keys? (Showing witness keys.)

A That is the keys I got from him.

Q What did you do with regard to those keys?

A I took those keys over and tried them into the drawer, into the desk where I found the dynamite and fuse.

Q Which keys did you try in the drawer upon this?

A Those large keys. I also tried it around all different locks but it would not unlock any other only this one.

Q It unlocked that one?

A That one was all.

Q Did you go down to Fischer's house?

A I did.

Q What did you find down there?

A I went down with Mr. Bonfield and Mr. Furthman.

Q What did you find?

A Searched the house, and in a kind of shed in front of the house we found a piece of gas pipe. I took it out and looked at it.

Q How big a piece was it. Describe it.

A A piece of gas pipe somewhat larger than those dynamite cartridges there I showed.

Q Larger in diameter?

A I should think about three feet in length.

Q Well did you look the house all over?

A Yes, sir; searched the house thoroughly.

Q Any gas there in that house?

A Yes, sir.

Q Any gas in there?

A No, sir. We had to light a

[Image, Volume J, Page 94 1/2]

lamp. In the drawer we found a box of cartridges, 44 calibre cartridges.

Q Mr. FOSTER --- Found what? Box of cartridges?

A Yes, 44 calibre cartridges.

Mr. FOSTER --- You have such things as that in your house, too, don't you?

A Yes, but these just fitted the gun, Fischer's gun.

Q Yours fit your gun, don't they -- your cartridges fit yours?

A Yes, sir.

Mr. GRINNELL --- You may describe any particular clothing, uniform clothing, if any, that you found down at Fischer's house?

A A blouse.

Q Describe that now as to color and cut and everything as near as you can?

A A blouse the same as the armed-- the same as I have seen the armed men wear when they used to march.

Q Lehr and Vehr verein?

A Yes, sir; with a single stripe on the shoulder.

Q What is the color of that?

A Blue, light blue. Kind of jean, I think.

Q Somewheres near navy blue -- lighter?

A Yes, sir

Q Kind of cadet blue?

A I don't know whether you call it cadet or not; it is a light blue.

Mr. GRINNELL --- I will offer in evidence the bunch of keys and these articles here. (Indicating dynamite, caps, etc.)

[Image, Volume J, Page 95]

Thursday, 2 P.M., July 22, 1886.

on the stand.

By Mr. Black.

Q Mr. Jones, how long have you been connected with the police department of Chicago?

A About thirteen years.

Q You are now in connection with the detective branch of the service, are you?

A Yes, sir.

Q For how long have you been connected with that branch?

A For about two and a half years.

Q How many times did you visit the Arbeiter Zeitung Building on May 5th?

A I made several trips; probably five or six.

Q When was it that you visited Fischer's house?

A That was some days after, in the night time.

Q Can you fix the time definitely?

A I cannot. But I was with Furthman and Bonfield; that is all I know, I don't know what day.

Q There were five of you?

A Yes, sir. I visited a great many places and I can't say.

Q Fischer was where at that time?

A Fischer was in custody at the time.

Q Where is Fischer's house located, the house that you

[Image, Volume J, Page 96]


A It was dark; it was on North Wood Street; I cannot say the number; I think it is North Wood Street.

Q At what hour in the night did you go there?

A It must have been nine or ten o'clock, I think.

Q When you reached there?

A Yes, sir.

Q Nine, or ten which?

A I think it must have been from nine to ten, I could not say exactly; it was after night anyway, probably nine o'clock. I think ten would be a little too late.

Q You made a thorough search of the house at that time

A Yes, sir.

Q How long were you occupied at that?

A How long were we searching the house?

Q Yes, sir.

A O, probably half an hour.

Q How did you get into the house?

A I first knocked at the front door, there was no response; I then went to the rear of the building and knocked at the door and some man not connected with Mrs. Fischer, but lived in the rear of the rooms on the same floor answered me. He then went and knocked at the door between his room and Mrs. Fischer and then Mrs. Fischer came to the front door and let us in.

Q You had no search warrant at that time?

A No, sir, no warrant, I had none. I don't know whether Mr. Furthman and Mr. Bonfield had a warrant or not. I asked

[Image, Volume J, Page 97]

Mrs. Fischer permission to search the house when she opened the door and she said yes.

Q You found a blouse there, you say?

A Yes, sir, a blouse.

Q And you described that blouse, I believe as such a one as was customary to be worn by members of the Lehr and Vehr Verein in their parades?

Yes, some years ago when I used to see them. Later I did not see them.

Q You had seen them upon the street, hadn't you?

A Yes, sir.

Q Have you within the last few years seen them on any occasion when they have visited parks for the purposes of diversion or shooting? anything of that kind?

A No, sir

Q Have not seen them?

A No, sir.

Q But you recognized the blouse as one you were familiar with?

A Yes, sir.

Q What did you do with the blouse?

A I don't know, but I think Mr. Furthman took it. The last time I saw it Mr. Furthman had it.

Q Would it fit him, do you think?

A I don't think it was large enough for him.

Q You found a box of cartridges there?

A Yes, sir.

Q What was done with them?

A They were taken to the Central Station.

[Image, Volume J, Page 98]

Q Those cartridges fitted the pistol which was found there, purposely, didn't they?

A Yes, sir, short 44 -- what they called short 44 caliber

Q And did you count the number of the cartridges?

A Slayton and I counted them together.

Q How many were there?

A There were six or eight short of fifty. It is a fifty cartridge box; it is a box that would contain fifty, and I think it was about six or eight short.

Q Now, whose make of cartridges were they, or did you observe?

A I think they were made by the Winchester Arm Company; I am not quite sure; but I took Fischer's gun there, and they were the same size, fitted his gun.

Q What part of the house did you find the gas pipe in?

A It was outside the front door, under a little shed. It may be under the steps going up to another story; I am not quite sure; it was dark; but we found it in an outhouse in front of the front entry.

Q Somewhere then around about the premises and outside the door you found a piece of gas pipe?

A Outside of the main door of the house, yes, sir.

Q What was the composition of that gas pipe as to material, was it iron or lead?

A A piece of iron gas pipe, ordinary gas pipe and rusty

Q About how long?

A I should think it was two or

[Image, Volume J, Page 99]

three feet long. I kicked it over, looked through it, and saw there was nothing inside and threw it back again.

Q Was it rusty at the time?

A There was some rust on it, slightly rusty.

Q What you found there in that respect then was a rusty piece of iron gas-pipe, two or three feet long, not loaded?

A A piece of old gas-pipe; it was not new.

Q Lying outside of the building?

A Not outside -- outside in the shed.

Q I mean outside of the door?

A Of the main building, yes.

Q Can you tell me just where you did find that gas pipe

A Yes, sir; it was right way back -- I think it must be a porch, or rather a shed built under the stairs going up to the next story, because I had to reach way back to get it; it run back into the ceiling from the floor; it run back in an angle, I recollect.

Q Do you remember how many stories there were to that building?

A No, sir, I did not look.

Q Were there outside stairs?

A I could not say. It was dark when we got there so I could not tell much about the outside.

Q On what floor of the building did you find Mrs. Fischer's rooms?

A On the first floor.

Q Was there a stair leading up from there under

[Image, Volume J, Page 100]

which you say you found this gas pipe?

A There was no inside stairs, but there was the outside stairs; I am not quite sure about the outside stairs.

Q And do you remember how you came to make a search there, specially?

A I went there with Mr. Furthman and Mr. Bonfield for that purpose.

Q Yes, but I mean at the particular place where the gas-pipe was found?

A It was a part of the premises and I thought I would look in and see what was there.

Q Did you know that other people lived in that house besides?

A I don't know anything about it except this family in the rear, some man in the rear.

Q You do know about them?

A Yes, sir.

Q You found it in that way at that time?

A Yes, sir.

Q How many of the circulars did you find of which you have spoken, in the Arbeiter Zeitung office?

A Of which kind do you mean.

Q Well, of either or both kinds?

A O, one pile I should think was about that high (indicating).

Q That is about four or five inches?

A Four or five inches; and probably the other was a little lower; probably not so much; probably three or four inches.

Q Which circular was the larger pile?

A The larger pile was the larger circular.

[Image, Volume J, Page 101]

Q That has been called here the "Revenge Circular", hasn't it?

A Yes, sir; they were called the "Revenge".

Q The smaller pile was the circular calling for the Haymarket meeting, was it?

A Yes, sir.

Q Have you any copies of that circular that you found there?

A I had two in my hands, one of each kind.

Q Will you produce them please, or have them produced. (The States Attorney hands Mr. Black circulars, which are shown witness)

A I was looking at that one.

Q You were looking at this one yesterday?

A Just now.

Q Will you tell me whether or not this which I now have and show to you, and which is marked "People's Exhibit 1" (also marked People's Ex. 5 in Vol. of Exhibits hereto annexed) is one of the circulars that you found at the Arbeiter Zeitung office?

A The German I can't read, but the English is just the same reading.

Q Well, do you know whether or not that is one of the identical pieces of paper?

A I do not, sir.

Q Don't know as to that?

A. No, sir.

Q What did you do with the circulars that you found there?

A Brought them to the Central Station, Lieutenant' Shea's office.

Q And delivered it to who?

A Lieutenant Shea.

Q From that time then they passed out of your possession?

A Yes, sir.

[Image, Volume J, Page 102]

Q You say, however, that this is an exact duplicate of the circulars calling the meeting?

A Yes, sir, calling the mass meeting.

Q Which you found there?

A Yes, sir.

Q And that is the smaller of the two circulars as to size, is it?

A Yes, sir.

Q And the pile that you found of those circulars, how high do you think? Say by way of inches?

A Probably three inches; probably three or four inches, I can't say.

Q Probably three or four inches?

A Yes, sir. It may be a little more or less, I didn't take much notice of it.

Q The "Revenge" circular, however, was the larger pile?

A Yes, sir.

Q In height as well as in other dimensions.

A Yes, sir.

Q That is the circular which I now show you, is it?

A That is one of the same kind. I don't know whether it is one of the identical circulars or not.

Q Who was with you when you found these two piles of circulars?

A The officers. There were officer Duffy -- I think was one of the officers with me that helped me to bring them to the station; maybe officer Marks; I am not quite sure.

[Image, Volume J, Page 103]

Q On what visit to the Arbeiter Zeitung office did you find those circulars?

A The second visit, after coming to the station with Mr. Spies and his brother and Mr. Schwab.

Q You were with the party of officers then who arrested Mr. Spies and his brother and Mr. Schwab?

A Yes, sir.

Q You had no warrant for their arrest, had you, at that time?

A No, sir.

Q And you had no search warrants afterwards in going to the building, had you?

A I had none.

Q When you returned on your second visit I understand that you found the building locked up?

A No, sir.

Q You found, however the drawers in the various desks were locked?

A yes, sir, they were locked.

Q Sent for the locksmith and had them opened?

A Yes, sir, some one sent for a locksmith; a locksmith was there for that purpose -- sent for.

Q In addition to the circulars did you find the dynamite and the caps on that second visit?

A No, sir. That was another visit, I made three or four visits.

Q Now, what visit was it when you found the dynamite and the caps?

A I think it was maybe the last visit.

Q What hour of the day was that?

A Well, that must have been noon, or probably after.

[Image, Volume J, Page 104]

Q Probably afternoon?

A Yes, sir.

Q Who was with you when you found the dynamite and the caps?

A Officer Flynn. We were both searching that drawer at the same time; both found it in fact.

Q Was it at that visit or at an earlier visit that you sent for a locksmith?

A I did not send for a locksmith.

Q Well, that the locksmith was sent for; or put in an appearance?

A I could not say. He was there when I came back, after I took some things to the station.

Q You found him there?

A Yes, sir, I found him there with his tools ready to work.

Q Did you have Spies' keys at that time?

A No, sir.

Q When did you get his keys?

A Afterwards.

Q Well, how long after?

A After getting the dynamite I begun to think the matter over and I went to Bonfield and asked him for the keys, so as to try them in the lock to see if they would unlock the desk; I wanted to get the connection.

Q Do you know personally whether those keys were Spies' keys, or whether they were keys simply that Bonfield gave to you?

A Mr. Bonfield gave them to me.

Q That is all you know?

A Yes, sir.

Q One of those keys that Bonfield gave you, you tried

[Image, Volume J, Page 105]

in the desk and found that it fitted?

A Yes, sir.

Q And there you found the two bars of dynamite?

A Yes, sir.

Q In which drawer were they?

A They were on the top of the cylinder part of the desk.

Q Where were the caps?

A They were close to the dynamite. The fuse was wrapped up in a newspaper, and the caps were lying close by them -- these caps in the paper, but the further caps were further down in the papers.

Q But in the same drawer?

A Yes, sir, in the same drawer.

Q Found all these things in this drawer?

A Yes, sir.

Q What else was there in that drawer, if you remember?

A There was a number of letters directed to Mr. Spies.

I see his name on them, and circulars -- I saw one or two -- not circulars, but newspapers, folded up and directed to him. The other officers took charge of those papers, I believe.

Q Did you afterwards count the circulars or participate in the counting of the circulars which were recovered there?

A No, sir.

Q So that you do not know how many there were?

A I do not know.

Return to Top of this Witness
Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents