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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Eisenhuth Horseless Vehicle Company


The New York Times
June 29, 1900

Trouble in a Motor Vehicle Company Results in Arrests.

Mr. Eisenhuth Accuses Officers and Stockholders—Their Letter to Him as President.

Involved relations existing between different officers and stockholders of the Eisenhuth Horseless Vehicle Company, with offices in the Park Row Building, resulted yesterday in the arraignment of three of the interested parties in the Centre Street Court on a charge of blackmail preferred against them by John W. Eisenhuth, the President of the concern.

The prisoners were Daniel R. Hendricks, Secretary of the Company, who lives at 541 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, and and who is a broker with offices at 32 Broadway; Edward C. Talcott, who lives at the New York Athletic Club, and James Wilson of Larchmont, whose office is at 32 Broadway.  The last named are stockholders.  A warrant is also out for the Vice President of the company, Stuart H. Chisholm, who is also a Vice President of the American Steel and Wire Company, with offices in Cleveland.  He was not in court.  The hearing in the case was continued until July 6, the defendants being held in $1,000 bail each.

Mr. Eisenhuth himself was arrested about a month ago on a warrant sworn out by James Wilson, charging him with grand larceny, in having obtained $3,125 from him by alleged fraudulent representations.  Eisenhuth was held in the Yorkville Police Court in $5,000 bail.  The Grand Jury failed to indict.

According to Mr. Eisenhuth's story, Wilson owns $3,100 worth of stock, and Hendricks and Talcott $2,500 worth each.  He says that while very ill last March they came to his house at 10 West Ninety-fifth Street and told his wife, and niece, Mamie Reid, that unless he gave them $10,000 in cash and three-fourths of the capital stock of the company they would have him put in jail for some alleged offenses committed some years ago when he lived in San Francisco.  The following letter, however, was the principal basis for the present action:

New York, April 25, 1900.
Mr. John W. Eisenhuth, 10 East Ninety-fifth Street, City:

Dead Sir: As a committee appointed by the Board of Directors at their meeting held Wednesday, April 18, 1900, we have to inform you as a result of our investigations that you have in our judgement obtained money on false representations and have spent money for certain purposes inconsistent with your statements and promises, and, in fact, have converted a large portion to your personal use instead of to the building and completing of various motors and vehicles repeatedly asserted by you to be under construction, and for which said money was given to you.

And, whereas, you have not fulfilled to our satisfaction any of your promises and agreements, it becomes our duty to inform you that we require you to reimburse the company for all money spent by you other than for the benefit of the company as previously stated, or pay to the Treasurer of the company the sum of $10,000 in cash and transfer three-fourths of the stock held by yourself and family in this company to said company to be issued to other stockholders pro rata.  This is a measure of Justice and to endeavor to demonstrate the practicability of the company's patents.

Having been unable to see you since the appointment of this committee, we take this means of notifying you of our decision and request you let us have your reply on or before the first day of May, proximo.

In the event of your not complying with the above, action will be taken to force the issue.


None of the defendants seen yesterday would make any statement, but referred inquirers to their attorneys, Miller, Decker & Miller of 120 Broadway.  Mr. Decker would not outline the defense, but said that all his clients were in the dark as to what was meant by the reference to San Francisco troubles, but said he could not see that the letter was of a blackmailing character.

Nestor A. Alexander of 40 Cedar Street, who represents Mr. Eisenhuth, said that Mr. Eisenhuth had once been a successful engineer in San Francisco, and he also did not know to what such a reference could apply.  He said that he would apply for the extradition of Mr. Chisholm as soon as he knew to whom to apply, as Gov. Roosevelt has started for Oklahoma and Lieut. Gov. Woodruff is on his way to Europe.

The horseless vehicle company is organized under the laws of Maine with a capitalization of $1,000,000, an increase of which to $10,000,000 has been authorized.

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