No. 461
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 18, 2020

Had a High Old Time.

September 12, 2016
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(Thanks to Henry-Clement Sanson for the guest post. The former executioner — the last of his illustrious dynasty comprising six generations of bourreaux — was the grandson of that dread figure of the Paris Terror, Charles Henri Sanson. Henry-Clement’s Memoirs of the Sansons: From Private Notes and Documents (1688-1847) describes some famous or infamous executions […]
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Executed Today - 2/17/2020

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"Denver's Oldest Bar" matchbook cover outside cover - A (Click image to enlarge) new addition to my collection A matchbook cover from "Denver’s Oldest Bar" is a new acquisition to my private Soapy Smith collection. Though it is a "modern" item from the 1960s-70s, it has a direct link to Soapy Smith. "Denver’s Oldest Bar" was once controlled by Soapy, under the name, "Tivoli Club,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/7/2020

"Boston Globe," August 19, 1905, via Newspapers.com The true-crime writer F. Tennyson Jesse suggested that not only are some people "born murderers," others are "born murderees." It is when these two types of people happen to find each other that you get A Situation. It is an interesting theory, but one that tends to fall apart once you study murder cases. For example, it is hard to find
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Strange Company - 2/17/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Every day since Halloween 2007, the blog ExecutedToday.com has posted a story of an execution that took place on that date in history somewhere in the world. While this certainly says something about the human condition over time, it also says something about the determination and thoroughness of the blogger of ExecutedToday.com, who goes by the epithet Headsman. As someone who has scrambled to
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/15/2020

Wherever rich New Yorkers built their homes in the 19th century, they also built private stables for their expensive horses and carriages—with upstairs living quarters for a coachman or groom. So when Upper Fifth Avenue along Central Park became the city’s new Millionaire Mile during the Gilded Age, certain Upper East Side blocks to the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/17/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
A Triangular Fight. | September.

Had a High Old Time.

High Old Time

Dr. Wellington of Chicago, leaves her handsome home in charge of Frank Beaupre who proceeds to turn it into a disreputable resort. [more]

Frank Beaupre of St. Paul inhabits a detective’s room at the Central Station, Chicago. Beaupre is the son of a one time millionaire grocer of St. Paul He is only twenty-six years old, but the life he has led for the past five years has made him look much older than he really is. His father was the senior member or the wholesale firm of Beaupre, Keogh & Davis, which recently failed for a large amount. The Beaupres have always moved in the best social circles of St. Paul, and Frank, the only son, was a welcome guest at fashionable receptions and dancing parties. A few months ago he was cast adrift by his father. He went to Chicago, and the little money he had was soon spent.

One afternoon in May, when he rang the door bell at 726 Washington Boulevard, he was emaciated from want of proper nourishment. His clothes were the worse for wear, and no one would have recognized him as Frank Beaupre, who use to lead the German at the swell parties in St. Paul. At 726 Washington Boulevard lives Dr. Gertrude G. Wellington, the wife of Attorney Wellington, of the Great Northern road. The Wellingtons used to live in St. Paul, and were neighbors of the Beaupres. When young Beaupre was on the verge of starvation he supplied to Dr. Wellington for assistance. He was clothed and fed and supplied with pocket money for weeks. He has shown his gratitude by stealing articles from the house and pawning them. This is why he is being detained at the Central Station.

On Aug 3. Mrs. Wellington and her two daughters went to Spokane Falls, leaving the Washington Boulevard establishment in charge of Beaupre. He promised faithfully that he would take good care of the premises and would have no companions. Before Mrs. Wellington was twenty miles from Chicago Beaupre and two of his friends were making things exceedingly lively in the Washington Boulevard mansion. When the Wellingtons arrived home last Friday morning they found the house in a state of disorder. It looked more like a beer bottling establishment than anything else. Empty bottles labeled “Export” and “Select” were scattered all over the house from the garret to the basement. There was a stack of bottles in the kitchen that bore silent testimony to the high old time Beaupre and his friends had enjoined during the absence of Dr. Wellington. Every room in the house had its quota of empty bottles and in all there were nearly 1,000.

When Mrs. Wellington left Chicago she discharged her colored cook, as Beaupre said he could get his own meals. The day after her departure Beaupre hunted up the cook, and told her that Dr. Wellington had given him permission to re-engage her. During the five weeks that Dr. Wellington was absent the cook use to come to the home every day and get the meals for Beaupre and his friends. There would be women to dinner, and orgies would continue until the dawn of the next day. Soon the neighbors got to talking and Beaupres was plainly told that unless the going and coming of that class of woman ceased he would be reported to the police. But the scandal grew. A neighbor investigated and found fourteen girls in the house at one time. They sat in a circle in the double parlor, wore short dresses, and smoked cigarettes. They had complete possession of the large mansion occupied every one of the twenty odd rooms in it, danced on the piano and fine furniture, trampled the rich portieres and rugs, and ruined almost everything.

Beaupre has written to his father for money to pay his obligations to Mrs. Wellington, and he hears from St. Paul he will be kept at the Central Station.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, September 30, 1893.