13 April 2008

Millionaire crime fighter

From the Sunday, August 11, 1907, edition of The New York Times:
RICHEST POLICEMAN RESTORED TO FORCE; Inspector Hunt of Chicago, Worth $1,000,000, Welcomed by Citizens. ANTAGONIZED UNION LABOR Stopped Succession of Battles with the Police at the Stockyards in the Strike of 1904.

CHICAGO, Aug. 10. -- Inspector Nicholas Hunt, reputed millionaire, and the richest policeman in the world, was reinstated on the police force by Chief Shippy last night and placed in charge of his old headquarters in Hyde Park.

The Inspector was met at his old station by hundreds of friends. His return was the occasion for an impromptu love feast, in which prominent citizens of Hyde Park and the police under his command took part.
For some reason inflation calculators don’t go back further than 1913, but $1,000,000 in 1907 would be more than $21,000,000 today. According to the Biographical History Of The American Irish In Chicago:
Among the notable murder cases with which Inspector Hunt has been connected may be recalled the capture in 1875 of Jim Allen, a desperate criminal; three years later the running down of George Purdy for the killing of Samuel Reninger; then followed the Nicole Cena, the Jennie McGarvery, the Eva Mitchell, and the recent Hiawatha flats horror, all of which were tracked out and unraveled by this indefatigable western Vidocq. Fie [sic] also took a prominent part in the great strike of 1894, where he was in command of the First and Second Regiments, with Colonels Wheeler and Moulton and General Russell, the Brigade Commander, and in connection therewith was able to do some splendid work in crushing the lawlessness then prevalent in the southern portion of the city.
Hunt was eventually promoted to Captain. I’m not sure where his money came from, he must have married into it.

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