|Neighborhood Patrolmen of Yesteryear
(These profiles orginally appeared in the Dayton's Bluff District Forum, May 19, 1984)
|MARGARET STREET CAPTAIN SETTLES ON BLUFF
Charles Gates was born in New York in 1861, then moved to the Midwest as a young man and worked in several professions before he was appointed as a patrolman and assigned to duty at the Margaret Street Substation in 1894. Gates liked his work and the Dayton's Bluff area.
In 1911 he contracted Will L. Linder to build a new home for his family at 565 Mendota. The Gate's home was a fine, comfortable home and one of the first homes built with electricity in that area. The power line was brought in from E. 7th Street especially for their house.
The Gates family attended St. John's Catholic Church and the four children went to St. John's School. Mrs. Gates was active in church groups and worked for the Red Cross.
Captain Gates was a very sincere, dignified, upstanding police officer. He tried to help wayward children change their ways through talking with them and showing them other kindness.
Capt. Gates spent the majority of his career at Margaret
the exception of a few years at the Dugas Substation and a short time
Captain in charge of the city jail at the Public Safety Building. Capt.
Gates suffered a heart attack while on duty in December of 1930 and
in Ancker Hospital about two weeks later.
|PATROLMAN TO CHIEF
Michael Gebhardt was born in Germany and came to St. Paul as a youth. At seventeen he worked for the Standard Oil Co. as a teamster, then went to work at the Ramsey County Poor Farm. In 1883 he was appointed a policeman and when the Margaret Street substation opened he worked out there as driver of the patrol wagon. In 1896 he was promoted to sergeant, a lieutenant in 1900, and a Captain in 1912. He served as Chief of the St. Paul Police Department three times during his police career. It was said in the force that "whenever they're shy a chief, they call on Gebhardt, and he always fills the bill".
From 1924 until his retirement, he was senior captain of the force, in charge of all uniformed patrolmen and for a time in charge of the jail at police headquarters.
Capt. Gebhardt was a long time area resident and respected community leader.
Despite the fact that over the years he made hundreds of arrests, he preferred to settle the difficulties in the districts where he was stationed "out of court". In these districts he was known as a strict, but fair dictator, acting as unofficial judge and jury and never taking a man to jail unless absolutely necessary.
The Gebhardt family lived at 1148 E. 4th Street for nearly
There were seven children in the family and one of them also went into