This article is believed to be from the Lyons Republican January 1, 1934
"DECEMBER 31ST, 1933"
Jerry Collins, today completes fifty-one years of service in the Wayne County Sheriff Office. He started with Sheriff V. R. Howell, January 4, 1883, at the age of 27 years as Criminal Deputy, serving down through with Sheriff R. J. Parshall, Charles E. Reed, Geo. W. Knowles, Walter Thornton, C. H. Ford, George M. Sweezey, C. D. Wheeler, George R. Miles, Albert Yeomans, Orin H. Sherman, B. E. Valentine, John L. Newman, Frank C. Rich, Sheriffs, Knowles and Ford being Democrat. Jerry served three terms as Sheriff in 1907, 1913, he was unopposed in 1931 being endorsed by both the republicans and the democrats.
The little old Jail in Wayne, while Jerry has been there, has held some of the Countries most desperate criminals. Nineteen men and one woman have been convicted of Murder. One of which was electrocuted in Sing Sing. Seven received sentences of life at Auburn, two received life sentences at Matteawan, the rest received lighter sentences at Auburn. Of the hundred and seventy-five men sent to Auburn in his time, the total number years for them to serve was nine hundred and forty-five years. Matteawan received nine. Of the Younger men sixty-six went to Elmira, the minors went to Randall Island, Hudson, Western House of Refuge, etc.
A brief history of some of the important Criminals:
His first important assignment was to look after Sam Williams, who with Jasper Newport were awaiting trial for the Murder of Jim Hall of Sodus Point. Williams was found guilty at his first trial but was discharged Dec. 22, 1888 on his second trial. Newport received five years at Auburn for his part in the Crime, and William Courtwright, received two years and three months for Perjury.
John Johnson, colored, was one of the most desperate criminals ever to be confined in this Jail, he received ten years for Burglary in 1885, on his receiving sentence he tried to throw an ink well at the Judge, on his release from Auburn Prison, Jerry met him at the gate and he was brought back to Lyons, and given eight more years at Auburn in 1892, he never finished this term, having killed a fellow convict and wounding three others, Johnson was first convict to ever be electrocuted in Auburn Prison.
On Sunday, February 21, 1892, the most nationally known Train Robber Oliver Curtis Perry, was lodged in the Jail and it was he too that received the longest sentence, forty nine years and three months May 21, 1892 to Auburn Prison, he afterwards was transferred to Matteawan where he escaped, was recaptured and transferred to Dannemora where he died last year.
Wilbur F. Hubbard, who ranks first among the forgers, confined here, was sent to Auburn for seven years in 1892.
In 1894, Cyrus Foster, who was the dean of the Blackmailers long before the Black Hand, "La Mano Nora," was introduced by Guiseppi DeLorenza alias Joseph Ross, and Tony Pullman."
In 1895, Christopher King, Burglar and fire bug was sent to Matteawan for life, having received Auburn sentences from Wayne County three times.
Patrick Henry Davis, alias Red Austin, Notorious Bunco Steerer, whose picture adorned every rogues gallery in the country at the time, was the best tin box man of the age, who gave Kelsey of Clyde a gold brick for $5500.00.
James K. P. Ditton, was the King pin of the Counterfeiters going for ten years in 1897.
John W. Donnelley, and Henry C. Hay, received the heaviest sentences for assault and intent to rob. They were sent to Auburn for sixteen and fifteen years respectively.
Eugene Day, alias James Howard, a pay roll robber and freight car burglar, who was with Clarence Tear, Clyde's notorious Criminal when he engineered Monroe County Jail break. Day was sent from Lyons to do ten years in Auburn in 1904.
In the year 1906 Boston Ed Kelly, bank robber with his gang of "Peterman" received life at Auburn, after being transferred to Sing Sing Kelly, escaped and is still at large. Fred Shultz, receiving life sentences to Auburn with him, was transferred to Dannemora where he and John Murphy, known as "Canada Blacke" made a desperate attempt to escape by dynamiting the Prison.
William Seibel, "Wingie," took the stiffest sentence for Grand Larceny, ten years to Auburn in 1913, and Phillip Valentine alias Phillip Powers alias Phillip Winn, a clever burglar always looking for jewelry was sent ten year to Auburn the same year.
Probably the most desperate battle put up against Robbers, was by Peter and Guiseppi DiSantes of Arcadia before they were killed in 1911 by Ross Sergi alias Nicolas Scotta and Santo DeCarla alias James Call. Each received life at Auburn for Murder.
The Beau Brummell was John I Fletcher, International Swindler who registered from Clydesdale, Scotland, at fashionable Hotels. "The Duke," had baggage for a world tour, packed with ten fine suits all English made including tuxedos, evening suits, fancy waist coats, expensive shirts, several fancy canes, he always drove a Packard or Pierce Arrow Car, had all the appearance of being a Prince of the Blood. He was sent to Auburn for five years in 1925.
Ray Healey for Sodomy in 1926 and Dennis Brown for Rape in 1929 each took a twenty year term at Auburn.
Of the "Kids," George DeLue, Burglar was the "Hardest," when captured, fire arms were always found on him. Having taken four trips from here, his last was in 1927, Auburn for ten years.
Burglary ranks first in the kind of Crime committed in the County and many a man and boy have mended their way by being kept from going behind the prison wall by being placed on parole, many a Criminal owes his start in a new life to Jerry, many attempts to escape were made though none were successful as he never lost a man from the Jail. Being associated with all types of Criminals has never changed or hardened the heart of Jerry Collins.
January 1, 1934.