The Autobiography of Captain Charles L. Albertson provides a glimpse into the life of retired Police Inspector Charles Albertson of New York City, who has ties to Orlando and the history of the Orange County Library System. His short piece entitled “Random Recollections of a Busy Life“, provides insight into his early years.
Captain Albertson, a self-avowed “lover of books,” for many years collected books at second hand bookstores in the New York City area during his time as an Inspector with the New York Police Department. He recounts some of his more memorable purchases in his “Musings on Collecting Books” from his autobiography. He eventually created a library at his home in Waverly, New York, that he generously shared with the people of his community. Captain Albertson wintered in Orlando and owned a home south of the city. In November 1921, Captain Albertson offered his extensive book collection to the City of Orlando on the condition that it furnish a suitable building to house it and that the library bore his name – The Albertson Public Library.
The introduction to the autobiography is as follows:
Many of the events described in these reminiscences occurred in the long ago, but left so vivid an impression upon my memory that it seems but yesterday they happened. Soon after being retired in 1905, I wrote out most of the following anecdotes, which I have recently rewritten.
I have also given a number of addresses or lectures on criminology, using my personal experiences as exhibits. This has helped me in this pleasant task. Many names have been forgotten, others have been changed or omitted, for many whom I came in contact with are now leading law abiding lives, or if they have passed on, their descendants should not be made to suffer for the faults of others. These recorded cases or events are but a few of the vast number that I took part in, but they will be sufficient I am sure.
I was in command as Captain at two separate times of the following precincts: McDugal Street, Mulberry Street, Eldridge Street, and Delaney Street, and as Inspector in the Harlem and Bronx Districts.
The hand typed and hand written autobiography recounts Captain Albertson’s time with the New York City Police Department and some of the criminals and judges he encountered walking his beat as a police officer, and later as Captain and Inspector. Read some of the more interesting cases below or the entire autobiography under documents below. He begins his story with how he came to be a police officer in New York.
I went to New York City to drive a milk delivery wagon which occupation I followed for three years then I studied lumber inspection which was quite an important trade at that time as nearly all of the lumber coming into the city was purchased subject to the measurement and classification of an uninterested inspector who was paid by the owner and purchaser.
In the summer of 1878, I was directed by one of the Supreme Court Judges to go to Staten Island and measure several carloads of oak which was in litigation. On the boat going over was Ebinezer Jones, a lumber dealer who was one of the litigants. His daughter had a short time before this married D. C. Wheeler one of the four Police Commissioners. He said in a joking manner, “Do you want to become a policeman?” I said “yes”. A short time after, Commissioner Wheeler sent for me and directed that I make application which I did.
Peruse each of the attached stories and view additional documents and photographs at the bottom under Attachments.
Three Black Beans – The attempted murder of Charles Albertson
The Orlando Bank Burglary – January 1922
A Mexican Event – October 1914
"The Autobiography of Captain Charles L. Albertson", a retired Police Inspector of New York City, and a winter resident of Orlando, who had for many years been collecting books at his home in Waverly, New York and in November 1920, offered his collection to the City of Orlando, on the condition that it furnish a suitable building to house it.
The contract between the city of Orlando and Captain Albertson provided that Orlando would accept the gift of the Albertson collection and furnish the library building; that the library should be known as the Albertson Public Library; that Captain Albertson should be Advisory Superintendent of the Library throughout his lifetime; and that Orlando should suitably maintain the Library.
Portrait of Captain Charles L. Albertson, whose personal library donation to the City of Orlando helped to create the Albertson Public Library, now the downtown Main Library of the Orange County Library System.
Article from Brooklyn Daily Eagle from the 26th of June 1904 states that Inspector Albertson was on scene "yesterday afternoon." This dates many of the photos attached to this topic as being from 25 June 1904. The article was transcribed by Mimi Stevens.
The Family Biography Entry of Captain Charles L. Albertson in the "History of Waverly, New York."
Front page story - Charles Albertson donating books to city to form library.
The article is featured on the front page along with accounts of the festive Veterans Day celebrations around town.
This is the masthead and articles above the fold.
This is a resolution passed by the Albertson Public Library Board honoring Captain Charles L. Albertson for his vast contributions to the Library. The resolution was passed soon after his death.
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