The Ariston Baths were located in the basement of the Ariston Hotel at the corner Broadway and 55th Street in New York City. It was in operation as early as 1897. In mid February of 1903, particularly by Valentines day, the police started infiltrating the establishment in secret. On February 21st a large number of police stood by while a half dozen undercover policemen spent several hours observing the inside and keeping track of the "crimes" taking place.
|Herman Hoefer||owner of the Ariston|
|George Caldwell alias George Galbert||architect, arrested Feb 1903|
|Walter Bennett||actor and waiter, arrested Feb 1903|
|"Moses Beck"||wealthy merchant, arrested Feb 1903|
|Hon. William Goff||Judge in the Bennett case|
|Chauncey S. Truax||counsel for Hoefer|
|Elbert Crandall||counsel for Hoefer|
|George Gordon Battle||counsel for Beck|
|Fred House||counsel for Beck|
|John Halligan||counsel for Beck|
|Asst. DA Ely|
|Asst. DA Nott|
|John G. Carlisle|
|Frank Beard||Stenographer in Caldwell trail|
|Gov. Odell||Governor of New York|
|Commissioner Greene||Police Commissioner of New York City|
|Acting Inspector Walsh|
|Patrolman Hibbard||arrested Hoefer|
The Minneapolis Journal (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - February 23, 1903
New York - The Russian and Turkish baths in the Ariston Hotel at Broadway and Fifty-fifth street, were cleaned out by the police. They found seventy-eight men there and arrested twenty-six for felony or disorderly conduct.
The raid on the Turkish bath in the basement of the Ariston at Fifty-fifth-st. and Broadway, on Sunday morning, was the source of satisfaction to Commissioner Greene, who said it was one of the biggest raids made. The evidence, he said, had been gained by Central Office men, and Acting Inspector Walsh.
The Sun (New York City, New York) - February 25, 1903
11 HELD FOR FELONY
Results So Far of the Raid on the Ariston Baths
Magistrate Pool spent all day yesterday in the West Side police court listening to the charges against fifteen of the men arrested in the Sunday morning raid on the Ariston baths, Fifty-fifth street and Broadway. He held eleven for felony, nine under $2,000 bail each, one under $1,700 and one under $3,500. Three cases were put over until this afternoon and decision was reserved in the other. Bail was furnished in but one case, that of "Moses Beck", George Gordon Battle, Fred House and John Halligan appeared as his counsel. So far he has managed to keep his right name to himself. His counsel say that he is a wealthy merchant.
New York Tribune (New York City, New York) - May 2, 1903
LILLIAN RUSSELL BUYS HOME
It Is in West Fifty-seventh-st., and Cost $60,000, It Is Said.
Miss Lillian Russell has bought No. 161 West Fifty-seventh-st., a four story and basement dwelling house, on a lot 18 by 100 feet. It is said that the purchase price was $60,000. Miss Russell has been living for a long time at the Ariston apartment house, No. 1730 Broadway.
According to a report. Miss Russell bought the house to give her daughter, Miss Solomon, who is expected to arrive in this city soon from Paris, where she has been studying.
The Sun (New York City, New York) - May 5, 1903
ARISTON BATHS HOEFER HELD
Arrested on a Charge of Keeping a Disorderly House
Herman Hoefer, a wall paper manufacturer, the owner of the Ariston apartment house, at the northeast corner of Broadway and Fifty-fifth street, in which were the Ariston Baths, raided last February, was taken from his bed at 2 o'clock yesterday morning by Inspector Walsh and Patrolman Hibbard of his staff, on a warrant issued on April 10 by Justice Wyatt of the Court of Special Sessions, charging him with keeping a disorderly house.
Hoefer left the city immediately after the raids and stayed at his country place in Connecticut. Some one told Patrolman Hibbard on Saturday that Hoefer had been seen at a Broadway theatre.
Inspector Walsh thought he would be most likely to find Hoefer at home in the small hours, and yesterday morning he called at the Ariston. Hoefer was taken to the West Forty-seventh street station, where he was detained for half an hour till he got bail.
Yesterday morning he was arraigned before Justice Wyatt in the private chambers of the Court of Special Sessions. He pleaded not guilty and was held in $1,500 bail for examination next Saturday.
The police arrested thirty-seven men in their raid on the Ariston. A number of the prisoners, charged with gross immorality, were convicted and sentenced.
The Sun (New York City, New York) - October 17, 1903
ARISTON'S OWNER BANKRUPT
Raid on the Baths There, Which He Did Not Control, Hurt His Property
A petition in bankruptcy was filed yesterday against Herman Hoefer, who until recently was the owner of the Ariston apartments at 1730 Broadway, by Lawyers Chauncey S. Truax and Elbert Crandall. The Ariston baths, which are in the basement of the house, but of which Hoefer did not have control, were raided by the police last spring, and a number of men were arrested. That didn't help the prosperity of the house.
The petitioners are creditors for $1,840 for legal services. They obtained a judgment against Hoefer on Sept. 30. They allege that he is insolvent and that on Sept. 9 he transferred the Ariston, which, it is said, he valued at $800,000, for a nominal consideration to his wife to the detriment of his creditors.
Hoeer is president of the Hoefer Wall Paper Mills.
The Sun (New York City, New York) - November 19, 1903
PARDON'S ARISTON BATH MAN
Gov. Odell Acts Without Consulting Prosecutor
Seven Years' Sentence of Caldwell, Alias Galbert, Cut Down to 3 Months - This Was Done on Oct. 28 - District Attorney's Office Heard of It Only Yesterday.
Gov. Odell has pardoned George "Galbert," who is said to be a grandson of a Kentucky Governor, who was convicted last summer before Recorder Goff in the General Sessions after his arrest in the Ariston Baths raid, on evidence such that he was sentenced to State prison, along with Walter Bennett, for seven years and two months.
The usual course of procedures was not followed and although the sentence was commuted on Oct. 28, no announcement was made of it. The District Attorney did not hear of it until last night, when a Sun reporter informed Assistant District Attorney Ely, the prosecutor.
Although "Galbert" on the witness stand told what his real name was, he went to trial under the name of Galbert and was sentenced under that name.
"I had him give his real name," said Mr. Ely last night, "because I thought that the fact that he had given an assumed name upon his arrest and had stuck to it throughout subsequent proceedings, indicated that he was a guilty man. Prominent New Yorkers called on me to intercede for him. One man connected with a downtown law firm of prominence asked me to let up on him. I replied that it was a wrong thing for him to ask."
"It is said that John G. Carlisle came to inquire about the case."
"I saw him in the corridors. When he learned that Galbert's companion had pleaded guilty, I guess he abandoned any idea of interceding. I shall not tell you Galbert's name, even though it is of court record. I understand that he is a grandson of a Kentucky Governor."
Stenographer Frank Beard, who reported the Galbert trial, said last night that Galbert said in court that his name was George Caldwell.
The news of the commutation of the sentence reached New York through a member of the law firm of Sullivan, Goldsmith & Engel, who heard it at Sing Sing while visiting a client. When, Assistant District Attorney Nott was informed of it he said:
"I understand that Gov. Odell is also determined to pardon Frank S. Weller, secretary and treasurer of the Horse Shoe Copper Mining Company. That is the concern with which Larry Summerfield was connected, and in connection with which he was convicted recently before Justice Davis in the Criminal Branch of the Supreme Court and was sent to Sing Sing. Weller was the guiltiest man of the whole crew. He was convicted months ago, and is now out of jail on a certificate of reasonable doubt. Mr. Buchanan, one of the victims of the Horse Shoe Copper Mining Company swindle, says that he learned form the Governor the other day that Weller is to be pardoned if the Appeliate Division affirms his conviction. The rumor that Gov. Odell intended to pardon Weller reached this office last spring about the time that we were also informed that he would not commute the sentence of Syndicate Miller, whose testimony enabled us to convict the long-immune Col. Bob Ammon. Assistant District Attorney Train went to Buffalo and met Gov. Odell there, and represented the Weller case to him in its true colors. Gov. Odell didn't say what he would do. Subsequently, Weller got out on a certificate of reasonable doubt issued by Supreme Court Justice Blanchard. His counsel had agreed not to apply for such a certificate while his case was pending before the Appeliate Division, providing that we agreed not to prosecute him on two indictments we have up our sleeves. Then they sprung an application on us and would not consent to an adjournment. Justice Blanchard granted the certificate, and Weller is at liberty. I think we'll try him on the indictments yet untried"
"Galbert" reached Sing Sing on July 31, and therefore had served about three months when he was released on Oct. 28.
San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - November 20, 1903
Political Pull Saves a Felon
NEW YORK, Nov. 19 - A man sentenced to serve seven years in Sing Sing under the name of George Galbert, but who is said to be the grandson of a former Governor of Kentucky, is reported to have been pardoned after having served three months. Galbert was captured with several others in a police raid on the Ariston baths in this city. He pleaded guilty to a serious charge and was given the extreme penalty under the law.
The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) - November 20, 1903
SON OF A FORMER KENTUCKY GOVERNOR SENT TO SING SING
New York, Nov. 20 - A man sentenced to serve seven years in Sing Sing under the name of "George Galbart," but who is said to be the grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, is reported to have been pardoned after having served three months. "Galbart" was captured with several others in a police raid on the Aristion baths in this city. He pleaded guilty to a serious charge and was given the extreme penalty.
Saint Paul Globe (St. Paul, Minnesota) - December 1, 1903
HELPS CONVICT TO LIBERTY
Miss Alice Roosevelt Secures the Pardon of George Caldwell
NEW YORK, Nov. 30 - In obtaining the pardon of "George Galbert," a convict who in reality is George Caldwell, a member of a prominent Kentucky family, President Roosevelt for the fourth time has used his influence to aid the Caldwell family. His friendship for the Caldwells and their relatives is said to be due to the influence of his daughter Alice, who is a friend of Katherine Caldwell, sister of George.
George Caldwell once regarded as one of the best architects in Kentucky, began drinking and went from bad to worse. His sister Margaret brought him to New York and got him a position in an architect's office. He had stopped drinking, rose to an excellent position and for the first time since their parents' death the Caldwell girls were in comfort.
George was supporting these sisters and they believed him all that he represented himself to be when he was arrested last July and sent to Sing Sing to serve seven years for immoral practices. President Roosevelt met the Caldwell children's father when he was in Louisville to consult John Mason Brown about a book he was writing.
The Nebraska Advertiser (Nemaha City, Nebraska) - December 4, 1903
Pardoned Through Alice Roosevelt
New York, Dec. 1.— In obtaining the pardon of "George Galbert," a convict, who in reality is George Caldwell, a member of a prominent Kentucky family, President Roosevelt for the fourth time has used his influence to aid the Caldwell family. His friendship for the Caldwells and their relatives is said to be due to the influence of his daughter Alice, who is a friend of Katherine Caldwell, sister of George.
The Sun (New York City, New York) - February 14, 1904
FLAT FULL OF MEN RAIDED
Twelve Prisoners Taken in a Case Like the Ariston Bath Case
Capt. McGlynn of the West 125th street station, with three of his detectives, O'Leary, Fitzsimmons and Zimmerman, raided a flat at 418 West 124th street last night and arrested twelve men. The evidence was obtained by Detective Fitzsimmons, who was one of the Ariston Bath raiders.
According to the Capt. McGlynn, former District Attorney Philbin told him about the flat a few days ago. Mr. Philbin interested himself in the case because a young man connected with a family he knew in Harlem had been going there. A man, who said he was Harry Gelwichs, was held by the police as the proprietor of the place. The other prisoners were charged with disorderly conduct.