Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884) was the world's first private detective. Emigrating to Chicago from Glasgow, Scotland, he discovered a gang of counterfeiters and assisted in their capture. He became deputy sheriff of Kane County, then Cook County, resigning from the police to form the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1852. The Pinkerton logo, the All-Seeing Eye, inspired the phrase "Private Eye".
In 1861 Pinkerton uncovered a plot to assassinate President Lincoln. At Lincoln's request, Pinkerton began the U.S. Secret Service and served as its head. Through the use of a double agent, Pinkerton's secret service defeated a Confederate plot to free the 8000 prisoners of war at the South Side's Camp Douglas.
Pinkerton guards were employed by large manufacturing companies to put down strikes. In 1886, a riot broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works. The police, aided by Pinkerton's men, fired into the crowd, killing several. A rally was held days later in Haymarket square in which a bomb was thrown at police. The Haymarket affair resulted in several unjust convictions and executions.
Pinkerton is surrounded by his family and several Pinkerton employees. Timothy Webster, a bodyguard for Lincoln, was hanged as a Union spy during the Civil War. Also buried here are the first woman detective, Kate Warn, and Joseph Whicher, killed in pursuit of Jesse James.
Graphics courtesy of Pinkertons Inc.