Our Pinkerton Family History

Pinkertons, A Family History


Generation 1: Robert Pinkerton

Generation 2: Samuel Pinkerton

Generation 3: Robert R. Pinkerton

Generation 4: Arthur Robert Pinkerton

Generation 5: Ruth E. Pinkerton

Generation 4: Arthur Robert Pinkerton

Arthur Robert4 Pinkerton(Robert R.3, Samuel2, Robert1) was born 11 April 1886 in Waupaca, Wisconsin1, and died 16 April 1966 in Orlando, Orange County, Florida2. He is buried in Glen Haven Memorial Park, Orlando, Orange County, Florida2. Arthur married Almyra Pearl Sanders on 15 August 1917 in Chicago Illinois3. She was the daughter of Olaf Nils Sanders and Mary Cerena Hill4. She was born 15 January 1892 in Ashtabula, Barnes County, North Dakota5, and died 23 January 1961 in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida6. She is buried in the City of Largo Cemetery, Largo, Pinellas County, Florida. (See Sanders Genealogy for additional details).


                               Arthur Robert Pinkerton and Almyra Pearl Sanders Pinkerton

                                           Arthur Robert Pinkerton through his years

Arthur Robert Pinkerton graduated from Waupaca High School in 19047 and then attended Minnesota State University8. Sometime after college, Arthur left Wisconsin for the warmer climes of Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1909, his older sister, Jennie C. Pinkerton married William Wesley Holland, a native of Tampa8, and they had started their family in St. Petersburg. It is likely that Arthur visited her there and liked what he found. In any case, Arthur was living in St. Petersburg when he decided to become a lawyer and enrolled in the University of Florida's inaugural Law School Class in 19159.

Following his graduation from law school - and his marriage - Arthur set up what quickly became a successful law practice in Tampa, Florida. In 1919, he took on as a junion partner a man named August R. Blomgren10. Pinkerton and Blomgren were successful and both the firm and the Pinkerton family prospered over the next decade.

Unfortunately, the next decade did not follow suit - the Great Depression struck America with the power of a meteor. The depression seems to have had a very heavy impact on Arthur R. Pinkerton in virtually all aspects of his life. To make the story short, he lost everything in the collapse - his money, his property, and his law career all disappeared within a few short years. In 1920 he was the senior partner in an up and coming law firm in Tampa, Florida. By 1930, the practice was gone and he and his family were living in Louisville, Kentucky, where he earned their living selling advertising11.

Arthur Pinkerton never went back to the practice of law. Heavily affected by what happened to him and to nearly all Americans during the Depression, he seemed drawn to schemes intended to improve life in America. He became intensely interested in the Townsend Plan - a program designed by Dr. Francis Everett Townsend that was designed to help end the depression by providing a $200 monthly pension to poverty stricken Americans over 60 years of age. Since his plan would have required - by law - that each payment of the monthly pension be spent within 30 days of receipt, Doctor Townsend intended as both a safety net for the aged poor and an economic stimulus intended to help end the depression. Townsend's plan was popular with a wide part of the American populace, and there are many that claim that it pushed the government to implement Social Security. Arthur R. Pinkerton was one of the believers - he supported the plan with his time and his money. When the Townsend plan ended, Arthur became interested in programs to improve the lot of black people in America. The family story in later life was that Arthur became too much of dreamer - too interested in his dreams of a better world to properly support a career and a family. In the end, his frequent changes of employment and absence from home led to divorce and he spent the rest of his working life as a single man earning his living in various sales positions. In his last years, he went to live with the family of his daughter, Ruth E. Pinkerton Macfarlane, and he died in their home.

Children of Arthur Pinkerton and Almyra Sanders are:

  1. Ruth Elaine5 Pinkerton, was born 30 July 1918 in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida and died on and died 11 Apr 2004, in Ocala, Marion County, Florida.

  2. Marjorie Pearl Pinkerton was born 13 December 1921 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida.

  3. Arthur Robert Pinkerton Jr. was born 10 July 1927 in Tampa,Florida and died December 29, 1996 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.

  4. Sources:

    1. Arthur Robert Pinkerton World War I Draft Registration Card, Serial No. 2401, Hillsborough County, Florida; National Archives World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, microfilm publication M1509, roll 1556857.

    2. Orange County, Florida, death certificate no. Certificate 21157 (1966), Arthur Robert Pinkerton; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Jacksonville.

    3. Cook County, Illinois, marriage certificate no. 774548 (1917), Arthur R. Pinkerton-Pearl Sanders; Clerk of Court Cook County, Chicago.

    4. 1900 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Lyons, enumeration district (ED) 1169, sheet 45, p. 138-B, dwelling 712, family 791, Pearl Sanders; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Feb 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 293.

    5. Date of birth provided by her daughter, Ruth E. Pinkerton, during personal interview at 3810 Meadowbrook, Orlando, Florida (1991).

    6. City of Largo Cemetery (Largo, Pinellas County, Florida), Pearl S. McDermott tombstone; Photographed by Mike Smith, 1 January 2010.

    7. Waupaca Republican, "Waupaca High School Graduates To Date" issue of 13 June 1912. [The article listed, by year of graduation, all Waupaca High School graduates from the founding through the class of 1912.]

    8. Waupaca Republican, "Another Worthy Pioneer Passes the Ordeal to Another Life" issue of 29 June 1906. [Robert R. Pinkerton's obituary, wherein it reports that Arthur is a student at Minnesota State University.]

    9. University of Florida Catalog 1915-1916, "Roll of Students - College of Law," page 187.

    10. The History of Florida: Past and Present, 3 Volumes (Chicago and New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1923), vol 3: 101.

    11. 1930 U.S. census, Jefferson County, Kentucky, population schedule, Louisville, enumeration district (ED) 56-103, sheet 19-A, p. 93-A, dwelling 226, family 531, Arthur R. Pinkerton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Feb 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 756.