Thiel Detective Service Company

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The Thiel Detective Service Company was a private detective agency formed by George H. Thiel, a former Civil War spy and Pinkerton employee.

The Thiel Detective Service Company headquarters were in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was formed to be a direct competitor to the Pinkerton Detective Agency, but never achieved this status. The Burns Detective Agency was Pinkerton's largest competitor.[1]

The Thiel Agency was involved in infiltrating and breaking a number of labor union strikes in the United States and Canada, much as the Pinkerton agency was. After the Homestead Strike, the Thiel Detective Agency, along with the Illinois Detective Agency, U.S. Detective Agency, and Mooney and Boland's Detective Agency were investigated by both chambers of the United States Congress.[2][3]

One of the company's first employees was John F. Farley, a former United States Cavalry trooper. In 1885, Farley was appointed manager of Thiel's Denver office. Farley later served as Chief of Police in Denver for two spells: 1889-1893, 1897-1901.[4] By 1914 Farley was assistant general manager of the Thiel Detective Service Company. From his office in San Francisco he had jurisdiction over the offices in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Morn, The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, 1982.
  2. ^ Norwood, Strikebreaking and Intimidation: Mercenaries and Masculinity in Twentieth-Century America, 2002.
  3. ^ Weiss, "Private Detective Agencies and Labour Discipline in the United States, 1855-1946," Historical Journal, March 1986.
  4. ^ See: http://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org
  5. ^ See: Salt Lake Telegram, Utah, February 19, 1914.

References[edit]

  • Dorich, Thomas J. "This Is a Tough Place to Work: Industrial Relations in the Jerome Mines, 1900-1922." Journal of Arizona History. 38 (Autumn 1997).
  • Morn, Frank. The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1982. ISBN 0-253-32086-0
  • Weiss, Robert P. "Private Detective Agencies and Labour Discipline in the United States, 1855-1946." Historical Journal. 29:1 (March 1986).