Part 12:
Questions, questions, question ... there were a lot of them when Cassie Chadwick's scam was exposed and she was placed under arrest. The biggest questions were: How did she convince bankers to give her so many loans? How much money did she have? And where was she hiding it?

I think the first question was answered by bank president Charles T. Beckwith of Oberlin after he confessed his financial involvement with Mrs. Chadwick to his board of directors and echoed his mea culpa to any reporter willing to listen. Beckwith probably felt worse when he learned most bankers who met the woman had turned her down when she asked for loans.

No doubt, those men who agreed to give her huge amounts of money were swayed by the rather vague assurance of Iri Reynolds, a much respected and trusted Cleveland bank official, who, unfortunately for him, also was too trusting and respectful, believing the word of a woman who just happened to be married to a man who'd been Reynolds' friend most of his life. All Reynolds was actually telling other bankers is he was holding securities that Mrs. Chadwick claimed were worth several million dollars. He never said he'd made an attempt to verify Andrew Carnegie's signature on those documents.

When they were finally examined in mid-December, 1904, the results were shocking, humiliating, and, to some, amusing. There were two documents — one a note promising $5,000,000, the other a trust supposedly worth more than twice that amount — backed by a forged signature of Andrew Carnegie. Both documents, of course, were worthless, though I imagine they'd fetch a good price today among collectors of forged signatures. The only thing worth any money was a note for $1,800 from Emily and Daniel Pine, payable to Cassie L. Chadwick, and a mortgage to secure the same. Emily Pine was one of Cassie Chadwick's sisters; she and her husband also lived in Cleveland and had two sons, who appear in a wonderful photo at the bottom of this page that shows Mrs. Chadwick, her son, Emil, and her stepdaughter, Mary. The boys are in horse-drawn cart, Mary is on horseback, Mrs. Chadwick in a horse-drawn wagon, and Emil in an automobile. The good life on display in the early 1900s.

The discovery of the true value of Mrs. Chadwick's securities convinced Herbert D. Newton and the directors of Citizens' National Bank in Oberlin there was no chance they'd be repaid. (It was estimated that, at best, they'd receive 16 mills on the dollar, or less than two cents.)

Because Newton had met Mrs. Chadwick through the pastor of John D. Rockefeller's church, the Massachusetts financier had the silly idea Rockefeller would cough up $190,800 out of some weird sense of responsibility. As far as I know, Rockefeller wasn't moved by Newton's foolishness.

Carnegie did help certain depositors of the Oberlin bank, reimbursing college students and citizens who could ill afford to lose the money they had entrusted to the bank.

* * *

A Friend indeed
It wasn't until Cassie Chadwick's bubble had burst in early December, 1904, that it was revealed she had landed an even bigger fish in Pittsburgh, a businessman named James W. Friend. Of her "victims," Friend was the one who could most afford to lose a lot of money, and at the same time was the least likely to complain about it, especially given his motivation in loaning Mrs. Chadwick $800,000 — or $798,200 to be precise.

At first, Mrs. Chadwick denied any dealings with Friend, who simply refused to comment one way or the other. What was revealed — and speculated upon — over the next few years gave reason to believe Mrs. Chadwick may have borrowed $2,000,000 or more during her marriage to Dr. Leroy S. Chadwick, whose involvement in her scheme became more and more suspect. Iri Reynolds said the doctor knew everything about his wife's dealings, but Dr. Chadwick, like Sgt. Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes," kept repeating, "I know nothing! know nothing!" and when his wife was hauled off to jail, he and his daughter remained in Europe, traveling from Paris to Brussels to Berlin, before finally sailing for the United States in late December.

Of all Mrs. Chadwick's dealings, those with Friend may be the most interesting. It appears they were trying to outplay each other, and while I have to believe he was suspicious about her Carnegie-supported "securities," he was willing to take a chance they were genuine, because that might give him an opportunity to grab millions of Carnegie's dollars should his illegitimate daughter fail to repay her loans.

New York Press, February 7, 1905
PITTSBURGH, February 6 — A thrill of vindication ran up and down the spine of newspaper Pittsburgh this evening when news came from Cleveland that the official list of the creditors of Cassie L. Chadwick had been handed down and that among them appeared the name of James W. Friend of Pittsburgh. The amount was not made public, but it is believed to be about $800,000.

It was reported several months ago that James W. Friend of Pittsburgh was the man who had acted as banker for Mrs. Chadwick in Pittsburgh and that she had borrowed large amounts from him. This was investigated and found to be correct, so far as circumstantial evidence went, but there came a storm of denial, not from Mr. Friend, who until this day has refused to see a newspaper man, but from those in his employ and associated in business with him.

They denied loudly and often that Mr. Friend had lent any money to Mrs. Chadwick, and they got her to send out an interview from her cell in Cleveland in which she said she had not borrowed any money from Mr. Friend.

This evening there comes out what appears to be the real story of grab as practiced by Cassie Chadwick on the careful Pittsburgh banker.

In the spring of 1902, Mrs. Chadwick came to Pittsburgh with her box of paper and did what no business man has ever been able to do. She borrowed $300,000 from James W. Friend. The time was one year and the interest was to be paid quarterly.
This was done and so promptly that Mrs. Chadwick soon had a good credit with the Pittsburgh banker, and when, at the end of the year, she said she needed the $300,000 and would like to have it another year at the same rate, she was informed she could have it, and the papers were drawn up for another year.

Not long after that, Mrs. Chadwick found she needed $500,000 more and promptly wired Mr. Friend. For years, Friend had been looking for a chance at his old enemy, [Andrew] Carnegie, and here he had it. His name, or what was passing as his signature, was at the foot of the securities held by the woman. So she got the $500,000,, which made a grand total of $800,000.

Mrs. Chadwick did not take any paper on the last trip, either. It is said by those who know of the deal that she took nice new bills — great stacks of them — in a new satchel and carried them in her lap to Cleveland where she dumped the $500,000 into a bank there on the same day. She had set forth from Cleveland at daybreak and in nine hours she returned there with $500,000 she got from Mr. Friend.

It wasn't quite that simple. Actually, there were six different loans over a year that totaled $798,200, and while the stories about the dealings between Mrs. Chadwick and Friend said the man had been duped, I believe he was simply gambling that she might have been telling the truth about her securities, but that she'd be unable to repay the loans, and he'd come into possession of all the millions promised by Carnegie.

Friend and his partner, Frank N. Hoffstot, had operated in similar fashion earlier with William C. Jutte, a millionaire coal operator who needed loans along the way, and when Jutte couldn't repay one of them on time, Friend and Hoffstot seized the man's estate estimated to be worth several million dollars. Jutte responded by killing himself in an Atlantic City hotel on May 25, 1905. He'd tried once before, in 1901, and even though he shot himself in the head that time, he survived. The second time he shot himself in the chest. His widow would involve Cassie Chadwick in an unsuccessful attempt to recover what was left of her husband's fortune.

* * *

The great escape
But that was two years down the road. Let's return to Cassie Chadwick's last days in New York, and what became known as her wild ride. It came six days after an equally wild — and successful — attempt to ditch reporters and obnoxiously curious people who had followed her to a lawyer's Wall Street office.

New York Evening World, December 2, 1904
While a throng of more than a thousand bankers and brokers, clerks and messenger boys surged about the Central Trust Company Building at 54 Wall Street, struggling and pushing in the hope of getting a glimpse of Mrs. Cassie L. Chadwick, the heroine of high finance, who had gone to the law offices of Butler, Notman, Joline & Mynderse, this remarkable woman made her escape by a rear window.

That window was on the seventh floor and gave her access to a fire-escape to an extension roof. Then she crossed the roof and walked along what the newspaper described as "a perilous ledge" until she reached a rear window of the adjoining building at 56 Wall Street. This building had a passage that let Mrs. Chadwick exit a block away on Pine Street, where she had arranged for a cab to pick her up. She escaped unseen and returned to the Holland House. (Two years later Evelyn Nesbit Thaw would make a similar escape from the press when she visited her lawyer the day after her husband shot and killed Stanford White.)

A few days later, Mrs. Chadwick once more tried to escape reporters and the Secret Service agents who had been assigned to watch her.

New York Tribune, December 8, 1904
Mrs. Chadwick left the New Amsterdam Hotel at 2:15 p.m. Before she went downstairs, a coach had been drive to the side entrance. She hurried into the carriage, accompanied by her son, Emil, and maid, Freda. Word that she was going had been spread among the newspaper men, and they were in carriages waiting for her departure, to follow and learn whither she went. Mrs. Chadwick evidently saw the carriages. There were eight of them.

“Drive fast,” she told her driver, “and if we are arrested for speeding, I will pay the fine.”

As she had at least one block start from the cab of her foremost pursuer, it was not long before her horse showed a clean pair of heels to every pursuing vehicle, and for close on half an hour things went very much her own way.

At a furious pace her carriage was driven up Fourth Avenue to Twenty-Seventh Street, west in the cross street to Madison Avenue, up to Twenty-Ninth Street, and then clear past the Hotel Breslin, at Twenty-Ninth Street and Broadway. Without even slacking speed, her carriage went west to Sixth Avenue, and south in that thoroughfare to Twenty-Sixth Street. It then turned east again to Broadway, and up Broadway to Twenty-Ninth Street, where it was turned to the side entrance of the Breslin.

Mrs. Chadwick then alighted and hurried to her rooms, having secretly engaged a suite in advance. Instead of five minutes, the journey occupied more than half an hour.

About three hours later, Mrs. Chadwick was arrested, charged by the government with aiding and abetting a bank official in misapplying $12,500 from the Citizens' National Bank of Oberlin, Ohio. By the time she went to trial in March, she would face 16 separate charges.

New York Tribune, December 8, 1904
A dramatic scene occurred in the woman's room when officials announced to Mrs. Chadwick that she was under arrest. It was about 6:15 p.m. when United States Marshall William A. Henkel, his deputies and Secret Service Agent William J. Flynn arrived at the hotel, ascending at once to the woman's apartments.

Mrs. Chadwick occupies a suite of four rooms on the seventh floor, overlooking a corner at Broadway and Twenty-Nine Street. Marshal Henkel entered without knocking, and found the woman in bed. Politely doffing his hat, he advanced to her bedside and said:

"Madam, I am United States Marshal Henkel, and have an unpleasant duty to perform. I am obliged to serve a warrant for your arrest, issue by the United States Commissioner [John A.] Shields at the instance of the federal authorities of Ohio."

Scarcely had he uttered the words than Mrs. Chadwick's maid, who, with her son, Emil, was in the room, lapsed into hysterics, sobbing and calling her mistress repeatedly by name. Although palpably nervous, Mrs. Chadwick continued, after a fashion, to maintain her composure.

"I am very nervous and ill," she objected. "What shall I do? I certainly am unable to get up."

"In that case," replied the marshal, "I shall be obliged to remain here and keep you under surveillance. You will realize that, unpleasant as this is for both of us, you are a prisoner, and I have no right to leave you here alone. I will do everything I can," he added, "to relieve you of annoyance."

Contrary to what some have written, Cassie Chadwick wasn't wearing a money belt containing $100,000 in cash when she was arrested. The whereabouts of her money remained an unsolved mystery, though it was suspected she may have used her son, Emil Hoover, then about 19 years old, to transport cash and jewels to Ohio before her arrest, but that was never proven.

Mrs. Chadwick spent her first night as a prisoner at the Hotel Breslin, then was arraigned the next morning before U. S. Commissioner John A. Shields, then taken to the Tombs, where she remained until the evening of December 13 when she boarded a train for Cleveland, arriving there shortly after 11 a.m. the next day.

One of the strange things Mrs. Chadwick did when she was booked at the Tombs was to say she was 51 years old, adding four years to her actual age at the time. No one seemed to notice what this did to her claim about being Andrew Carnegie's daughter. If she really were 51 years old in 1904, that would have made Carnegie 17 years old when she was conceived. Possible, of course, but even more unlikely than before.

She may have realized the problem during her trip back to Cleveland, because when she was being booked at the Cuyahoga County jail, she claimed she was 38 years old.

When she went to prison the first time (as Lydia Devere), she subtracted six years from her real age and told penitentiary officials she was 28 years old. Zsa Zsa Gabor had nothing on Cassie Chadwick.

* * *

One in jail, the other at sea
Cassie Chadwick chose to remain in the Tombs for five days. “Let me make it plain why I do no seek bail," she told reporters. "It is not because I cannot get it, for only today I received a special delivery letter from one of the wealthiest men in the country, who has known me since I was twelve years old. In this letter he assured me that despite the penalty of publicity, he would sign my bail bonds for any amount. I shall refuse his kind offer, for while I am in jail I am free from the annoyance of curious people.”

Near her, in a cell in the same corridor of the jail, was 21-year-old actress-dancer Nan Patterson, whose trial for the murder of bookmaker Caesar Young was sharing headlines with the Cassie Chadwick scandal. Ms. Patterson was a newlywed, but that didn't prevent her from having an affair with Young, who also was married — until he took a carriage ride with the performer and wound up dead of a gunshot.

After one hung jury, Patterson was found not guilty in her second trial, but while she regained her freedom, she failed too cash in on her notoriety, and had a lackluster career. Young's killer was never caught; well, most observers thought the killer had been caught, but was let go by a jury perhaps swayed by the defendant's good looks.

Meanwhile, attention shifted momentarily from Cassie Chadwick to her doctor-husband, who remained vague about when he and his daughter would return from Europe.

Iri Reynolds and Charles T. Beckwith both insisted Dr. Chadwick was well aware of his wife's con game, but the doctor continued to make denials, though on December 22 a Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted him along with his wife on a forgery charge. By then Dr. Chadwick was headed home on the steamer Pretoria, expected to reach New York City on New Year's Eve.

The Pretoria made it to New York on schedule; Dr. Chadwick, accompanied by the Cuyahoga County sheriff, got on a train to Cleveland, and Mary Chadwick, the doctor's daughter, headed for Florida to live indefinitely with her uncle, Bingham Chadwick.

Dr. Chadwick arrived in Cleveland the next morning, on New Year's Day, and spent 90 minutes at the county jail visiting his wife:

New York Times, January 2, 1905
CLEVELAND, January 1 — “Trust me! Trust me!” cried Mrs. Chadwick to her husband today as she clung to him in the woman’s ward of the Cuyahoga Jail and wept convulsively. “Don’t believe these stories which the newspapers have been printing about me,” she said. “They are lies, every one of them. I have done nothing wrong. Believe me; trust me; everything will come out all right in the end, and it will be seen that I have been guilty of none of these things the public charge me with. Don’t think I deceive you; I will tell you the truth, and I tell you that all these reports are lies — lies.”

“I can only hope so,” was the husband’s answer. “I have trusted you, and it is hard to believe anything; my mind is so confused. This has all been such a terrible shock, and I don’t understand any of it. I want time to think of it. I do not say I won’t trust you; only give me time to collect my thoughts. I am not the judge. I can only hope that everything will come out all right, as you say.”

The meeting of Dr. Leroy S. Chadwick and his imprisoned wife, the first they they have had since the woman’s troubles began, took place a few hours after Dr. Chadwick’s arrival from New York.

Sheriff Barry, in whose company Dr. Chadwick was on the trip, chose to come to Cleveland over the Pennsylvania Road. The train arrived in Cleveland at 7:30 this morning. The sheriff and Dr. Chadwick were quickly driven to the county jail, where Dr. Chadwick was registered as a man against whom the law has suspicion, but this was not made a part of the records at once. A bond provided Saturday evening by Attorney Virgil P. Kline and Attorney Dawley was ready at the jail on the arrival of Dr. Chadwick, and he was soon released.

After the preliminaries in the sheriff’s office, Dr. Chadwick was escorted by Sheriff Barry to the fourth floor of the woman’s ward, where his wife is held a prisoner. The meeting between the two was pathetic in the extreme. Mrs. Chadwick arose when she heard the steps in the corridor, and fell into her husband’s arms when she recognized him. Both broke down and wept convulsively for several minutes, while clinging to each other, the sheriff attempting meanwhile to console them.

The two then sat down for a talk that continued for an hour and a half. There were pleadings and partial responses. Dr. Chadwick has lost his all in the operations of his wife, and the large independent fortune of his only child has been swept away — sufficient reason, it would seem, for some show of hardness on his part. Mrs. Chadwick tried to imbue him with the thought of her innocence of any wrongdoing.

His only response to these pleas was, “I hope so.”

The wife told her story, interspersed by violent fits of weeping, in which at times Dr. Chadwick joined. There were no apparent evasions, but there was the constant cry of “Trust me, trust me,” on the part of the woman.

Later, Dr. Chadwick said, “All this trouble has come upon me with such suddenness that I am almost crushed. Of course, I am not guilty of any wrongdoing. For thirty-five years I have made Cleveland my home, and this is the first time there has been any taint on my name. It is too terrible. Even my home has been taken from me, and, if all reports are true, I am a penniless pauper.”

For the doctor there was some good news mixed with the bad. While his house had indeed been taken possession of for the benefit of Mrs. Chadwick’s creditors, lawyers decided Dr. Chadwick cannot be barred from its use. For a little while, anyway.


Happy days in Cleveland (though no one is smiling). Left-to-right: The two sons of Emily and Daniel Pine; the boys were Cassie Chadwick's nephews. That's Mary Chadwick on horseback; the daughter of Dr. Leroy S. Chadwick was about 18 when this photo was taken, the same age as Emil Hoover, Cassie Chadwick's son, who's in the automobile at the right. Between the two teenagers is Cassie Chadwick, aka Lydia Devere and many other aliases, who was born Elizabeth Bigley.


1. A multiple choice biography
2. Have card, will swindle
3. My, what big eyes she has
4. Temporarily transgender
5. Kindness is costly
6. Lydia had a little lamb
7. She finds a perfect husband

8. Mansion makeover
9. Time for her big scene
10. Deep pocket fishing
11. He's never heard of her
12. A friend in Pittsburgh
13. Back behind bars
14. Her spirit lives on