Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of Patrick Burns, 1886 Aug. 10.

Volume N, 247-254, 8 p.
Burns, Patrick.
City Deputy Marshall of Des Moines.

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

Testified as to Harry Gilmer's general reputation for truth and veracity. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Gilmer, Harry (vol.N 247).

Go to Next Witness | Return to Previous Witness | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents
[Image, Volume N, Page 247]


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

Q Where do you reside?

A DesMoined, Iowa.

Q How long have you lived at DesMoined?

A Eighteen years.

Q What is your business there?

A I am city deputy marshal.

Q What has been your business there?

A Oh, I have been engaged in different businesses.

Q Do you know Harry L. Gilmer?

A Yes sir.

Q You knew him when he lived at DesMoines?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you know his reputation for truth and veracity among his associates and acquaintances at Des Moines?

A I do.

Q Was it good or bad?

A Good.

Q Would you believe him under oath?

A I would, yes sir.

Mr. Foster.

Q What did you say your business was, deputy somewhere?

A Deputy city marshall.

Q How long have you been in that business?

A I have been on the police force in the city of DesMoines for over six years.

Q On the detective force or is there any branch of the detective force from the police in Des Moines?

A I have not been on any detective force.

[Image, Volume N, Page 248]

Q There is no detective force?

A No sir.

Q Are the police of Des Moines uniformed?

A Yes sir.

Q Was Mr. Gilmer a member of the force?

A He was on the special force in 1876.

Q What do you mean by special force?

A That is it was a large day there and he was one of the parties called in to do service on that occasion--special duty.

Q A large day?

A It was quite a crowd of people in Des Moines on that occasion----a celebration there.

Q Centennial year?

A Centennial, yes sir.

Q A centennial celebration?

A Yes sir.

Q He at that time performed special service?

A Special policeman, yes sir.

Q Did you ever know him to be in the police force before that?

A I don't think I have.

Q Were you on the police force at that time?

A I was on at that time specially myself.

Q Were you a regular member of the police force?

A Not at that time, no sir.

Q When did you become such?

A In 1879.

Q Have you been ever since on the police force?

A Yes sir.

Q Mr. Gilmer never wore uniform that you know of as a policeman?

A Not to my recollection.

Q Where do you live in DesMoines--where did you live then

[Image, Volume N, Page 249]

in 1876?

A In 1876 I lived in East DesMoines.

Q How far was that from where Gilmer lived or did you know where he lived at that time?

A It was somewhere near where I lived; and where he lived was about a quarter of a mile probably.

Q You say you lived in East DesMoines?

A Yes sir.

Q You know where Judge Cole's residence is?

A Yes sir.

Q That is in West DesMoines?

A Yes.

Q Tenth street is considerably west of Judge Cole's place.?

A It is about six blocks west.

Q Still further west?

A Yes sir.

Q Was this at the time you knew Gilmer---he didn't live on the west side?

A At the time I knew him.

Q Yes sir.

A I could not say where he lived,? I never was at his house.

Q How far is it from DesMoines river, the nearest point over to tenth street on the west side--is it over a mile?

A It is ten blocks.

Q You lived on the east side?

A Yes sir.

Q How far is ten blocks in DesMoines---it is a mile pretty near is not it?

A No.

Q It is pretty near, ain't it?

A No, it is not near it.

Q How near is it?

A It may be probably half a mile, or probably a little more.

[Image, Volume N, Page 250]

Q You lived whereabouts in East DesMoines?

A I lived on East 2nd Street.

Q What other street?

A Second and DesMoines.

Q Which is DesMoines Street?

A The street north of Sycamore.

Q With reference to Walnut street, where is it?

A It is three blocks north of Walnut, Locust, Sycamore and then DesMoines----three blocks.

Q How do you fix it in regard to living within a quarter of a mile of you--if you lived on 2nd street on the East side and he lived on Tenth street on the west side?

A I judge it was that distance probably a little more---I would not swear positively.

Q It was nearer a mile than a quarter of a mile?

A I couldn't say positively---I don't know how many blocks it takes to make a mile.

Q If the blocks are three hundred feet long, it takes thirteen, and that is the size of them I presume, going from your house you had to go three blocks south to cross the bridge didn't you?

A In those days I did, yes sir.

Q Where did Mr. Gilmer reside as a matter of fact?

A He resided somewhere on the west side up on the hill---I couldn't say exactly.

Q Were you ever at his house?

A Was never at his house.

Q Do you know who his neighbors were?

A Not exactly---

[Image, Volume N, Page 251]

I couldn't tell you.

Q You don't know who his neighbors were, at that time. Did you at that time know what his neighbors---that is those who lived in that vicinity and neighborhood where Gilmer lived and who associated with him from day to day---do you know what they said in regard to his reputation for truth and veracity?

A What those that lived in his immediate neighborhood said----no sir.

Q You don't know what they said?

A No sir, Merely what was said about town.

Q Des Moines is divided into two towns practically, East Des Moines and West Des Moines, with a post office in each one?

A The Des Moines River divides the city, yes sir.

Q Into what is called East and West DesMoines?

A Yes sir.

Q And a post office in each of the cities?

A Yes sir.

Q You lived in east DesMoines, the side on which the capitol is, and he lived over on the hill on the west side somewhere?

A Yes sir.

Q What was his reputation on the west side among the neighbors where he resided upon the question of truth and veracity, do you know?

A I couldn't say as to that. I never made inquiries around his neighborhood--never had any occasion to.

Q What was your business at that time?

A In 1876 I was in the restaurant business.

Q Where was your restaurant?

A It was on fifth street,

[Image, Volume N, Page 252]

East DesMoines.

Q Did Mr. Gilmer ever board with you?

A No sir.

Q Did he ever visit in your family?

A He never did, no sir.

Q Did you ever visit in his?

A No sir.

Q Did you ever have anything in common with him?

A No sir.

Q You don't know who his associates were?

A I couldn't tell now---it has been so long.

Q You know when they had their centennial celebration? in DesMoines in 1876?

A Yes sir.

Q That you were a special policeman?

A Yes sir.

Q And you know Mr. Gilmer was---was that the first time you ever made his acquaintance?

A No sir.

Q Where have you seen him from time to time?

A I seen him around sometimes two or three times a week, sometimes perhaps every day, engaged in his business.

Q Was he a kind of a man around town?

A He was a painter first at one place and then another.

Q Was he always occupied in painting or a man that was a good deal around town?

A I couldn't say as to that. I didn't keep track of what he was doing. Most of the time I saw him he appeared to be working there.

Q Did he ever work for you?

A No sir.

Q Do you know who he worked for?

A I have seen him around

[Image, Volume N, Page 253]

on different jobs, didn't pay any attention to whose houses they were.

Q You never had any particular conversation with him, did you? when he was on the jobs?

A No sir.

Q Did you ever have any particular conversation with him at all at any place?

A Simply saluted him as I would any other member of the city.

Q You remembered him of course, you never saw him but what you remembered him?

A He was remarkable in that way.

Q He was from Virginia as he expressed it? There was no particular interview between him and you that you can remember now?

A No sir.

Q And never was?

A Not to my recollection.

Q You simply knew him as a painter around town---you were with him at that celebration as special police?

A Yes.

Q You don't know where he lived and who his associates were?

A I don't know anything about his associates.

Q You never inquired into his reputation for truth and veracity?

A I say that I know about where he lived.

Q Yes, a general idea.?

A Yes sir.

Q You didn't know who his associates were?

A No sir.

Q Never inquired into his reputation for truth and veracity and don't know now, and didn't know then what that reputation was among the people that he associated with and in the neighborhood in which he lived?

A I knew what his reputation

[Image, Volume N, Page 254]

was in the neighborhood I resided and those I associated with.

Q I will ask you in regard to where he lived in West Des-Moines---did you know what his reputation was?

A I didn't visit any in that neighborhood---I couldn't say.

Q And you didn't invite him to visit you?

A No sir.

MR. FOSTER: That is all.

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