Frank Kelly's Criminal Record
Monday July 4, 2005
By Dawna Curler
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Keeping detailed account records is good business practice and generally not newsworthy. But the records kept by a Medford, Oregon, man in 1913 were a bit odd and the activities that he documented got him notice in the local news paper…and into a lot of trouble.
After police caught twenty-three year-old Frank Kelly breaking into a grocery store, Kelly confessed to other burglaries and produced a set of books detailing what he'd taken. He'd inventoried all he'd stolen, along with its value and the place from where it was taken.
Kelly took 2 pairs of shoes worth $8 total and a 25 ˘ pair of ladies hose from Kidd's Shoe Store. From another grocery store Kelly had looted, among other things, 1 pound of salmon worth 15 ˘; 3 cans of clams, 45 ˘; 6 tamales, 75 ˘; and 1 box of Cubanala cigars priced at $2. He also had on his list several department stores, the public library, Big Pines Lumber Company and a number of orchard companies.
History doesn't tell us what Kelly's punishment was, or why he documented his crimes so well, but if he were in business today, one might suspect he'd video tape his deeds, or maybe use a cell phone camera.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
"Nervy Burglar Kept Books on What He Stole," Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1913.