Meet the Real Officer McNulty
Digging through The Baltimore Sun archives, we came across something awesome … another policeman named McNulty! Much like the famed Ghosts of DC hero, Officer Sprinkle, Officer McNulty was a local micro-celebrity.
Unlike the alcoholic, womanizing, tragic character of the HBO show, this McNulty was well respected in the city of Baltimore. He was born around 1859 and served as Sheriff of Baltimore from 1913 to 1923. He also served as a heavy political operative for the Democratic Party in the late 19th century working on the campaigns for Grover Cleveland and William Jennings Bryan.
The man was quite well known in the city, not only for his politics, but for his singing. He was quite the accomplished singer (and his wife was a respected pianist).
Below is a great article about McNulty, printed in The Baltimore Sun on August 13th, 1911.
In every great centre there is always one man of whom it is popularly said that he knows a greater number of his fellow citizens than does any other. Invariably this individual does not merely have a wide acquaintance, but he has a vast number of true friends and well-wishers, because he has a vast number of true friends and well-wishers, because he is of such a broad and winning nature that both acquaintances and friends have flocked to his atmosphere.
Thomas F. McNulty, the sweet singer, can doubtless claim the friendship and acquaintance of as many, if not more, men, women and children in Baltimore and Maryland than anybody else within the confines of the whole State, and of those who have not enjoyed the grasp of his hand nor basked in his pleasant and honest smile, the name of those who know him by sight or by reputation is legion.
Think this guy was popular? What a puff piece. It continues to mention his upbringing in Baltimore.
His parents being far from well-to-do, the only school education he ever got was at St. John’s Parochial School, which he left at age 12 years to earn a living. At that period, along in the beginning of the seventies, the Sunday-school of St. John’s Catholic Church, on Eager street, was celebrated for its annual exhibitions, which were held at the Maryland Institute.
Stay tuned for more stories about this McNulty down the road.
Also, in case you were curious, according to the 1920 U.S. Census, the Sheriff and his family were living at 1405 Caroline St.