Attempt at Jury-Bribing

The following article appeared on the front page of the April 20, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:


Charges of Attempt at Jury-Bribing End a Case in Judge Burke’s Court.

Inspector Shea and Attorneys Hardy, Thompson and Richardson were closeted in Judge Burke’s chambers this morning conferring on the alleged attempt at jury-bribing in Judge Burke’s court.

For several days there has been on trial the case of Justice A. R. Porter versus The Hyde Park Thompson-Houston Electric company for $6,000 damages, the plaintiff claiming that the smoke from the electric plant had damaged his premises to that amount.

At 9 o’clock Wednesday night, it is claimed, a woman who gave her name as Mrs. Cosgrove called at the Thompson-Houston company plant and asked to see the engineer. The latter, Mr. W. H. Beasley, stepped out and asked her what she wanted. She told him, it is claimed, that she represented three of the jurors in the case in which his company was defendant, and that they could be “fixed” either to disagree or return a verdict for the company. The jurors, she said, wanted $150 apiece. When she left the engineer went to the door with her and, he claims, he saw an ex-detective waiting for her with an umbrella. The lawyers were notified and they informed Judge Burke.

An order was entered this morning discharging the jury and quashing the case. Engineer Beasley was in the judge’s room with the attorneys and as soon as the case now on hearing can be concluded he will be put on the stand and examined.”

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