McAbee fired by Mayor Quick


Publication: Muncie Post Democrat

Muncie, IN, United States
vol. 2, no. 27, p. 1, col. 1-2



Jack Collins, Democratic Member of Safety

Board Slammed a Monkey Wrench in

Machinery of the Gang

Fisher Strings with McAbee, but

Conspiracy to Remove Officers, Moles

Curran, Rees and Simes Fails

Philip W. McAbee, republican, president of the board of safety was summarily fired Saturday afternoon by Mayor Quick, after the latter had caught him in the act of trying to effect the removal of Captain Moles, Detectives Jerry Curran and Albert Rees and Patrolman Sims, four officers high in the regard of the mayor.

A secret meeting of the board was held, the night before and charges were read against the four officers, Mayor Quick heard of the meeting and while the charges were being read he entered the room. McAbee informed the mayor that the meeting was secret and the mayor left the room.

The reading of the charges was then completed and McAbee, president of the board, enjoined secrecy on his fellow board members. Jack Collins, the democratic member, promptly informed the mayor what had been done and that a plot had been hatched for the board to meet Saturday afternoon for the purpose of trying and discharging the four officers.

The mayor attended the meeting and stopped the proceedings when the first witness, Jack Ferris, a Star reporter, had been called to testify against Captain Moles, McAbee attempted to bluff the mayor and the democratic member, but the mayor ended the argument by firing McAbee. Later he announced that he would appoint E. E. Rosenthal to the position.

It will be recalled that the Post-Democrat published a story three weeks ago to the effect that McAbee and Fisher were conspiring to removing Officers Moles, Rees and Sims, and that the Ku Klux Klan had also declared war against these men.

Several weeks ago at a meeting of the klan, held in the Young block on Jackson street, Klansmen Wilbur Ryma, Clarence Benadum and Bill Cahill made vicious verbal attacks against these men and demanded of the mayor, who was invited to attend the meeting, that these men be removed.

Mayor Quick has confidence in the devotion, honesty and efficiency of the four men attacked by the klan, and he knew that there was a vicious purpose behind the attack. Instead of complying with the impudent demand of the lawless crew, he defied them and made it cleair that the Ku Klux Klan is not to be permitted to rule Muncie.

Judge Anderson was apprised of the fact Third Assistant District Attorney Wilbur Ryman was a member of the Muncie Ku Klux Klan, and of his activities in trying to remove police officers, the information being given by a man high in official circles. Judge Anderson immediately phoned for United States District Attorney Homer Elliott to come to his office. Elliot answered the summons and in the presence of the Muncie man edge Anderson informed Elliott that Ryman was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and that he should be removed.

Taking orders from the Muncie stand pat gang and their Washington supporters, Elliott not only kept Ryman in office, but assigned to him the job of "prosecuting" Bill Cahill, the boss klicker of the Muncie shirt tail gang, when the latter was arrested on the charge of impersonating an officer.

Cahill was allowed to go scot free through the crookedness of the district attorney's office. Many witnesses who could have cinched the case against Cahill were never summoned to appear as witnesses and Ryman permitted the defense to have things its own way in the so-called trial of the case. It was a dismal force and constitutes an infamous blot on the office of the district attorney.

The impudent assumption of authority by the Ku Klux Klan, the mock trial of Cahill and the attempt on the part of Fisher and McAbee to remove Officers Moles, Rees, Curran and Simms, are all closely connected.

The written charges filed against the four men were ridiculous in the extreme. It was declared that Bert Morgan, prohibition agent, was not favorably impressed with the night shift and that Detective Rees and Curran had been seen asleep in the Hotel Roberts. Sims was charged with some trivial offense and Jack Ferris, reporter on the Star, was said to have been out with a smelling committee one night and caught a scent of sour mash which was not properly looked after by Captain Moles.

One terrific charge made against Captain Moles was that he hall been seen several times at police headquarters in close conference with the editor of the Post-Democrat!

The truth of the matter is that the klan knew that Moles, Rees and Curran were working energetically on the case of the assault by masked men upon the editor of the Post-Democrat, and that unless they were "knocked off" the scoundrels who participated in theoutrage would be brought to justice.

The four officers attacked by the klan also secured practically all the evidence against Cahill, which was later sidetracked in the district attorney's office. The fact that Fisher and McAbee of the board of safety preferred charges against the four men whose removal was asked by the Ku Klux Klan, ought to convince the most skeptical that they were working under orders from that outlaw Organization, rather than from the people of Muncie.

It is hoped that the board of safety will now be reorganized with the idea in view of securing an efficient, harmonious police force. Those who belong to the klan should be fired.

Researcher notes:Philip McAbee was president of the Hemingray Glass Co. from 1920 to 1933.
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:September 30, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;