The United Wireless station in Portland, Oregon, assigned the call letters PE, was constructed at 107½ 6th Avenue. During its short life, its main use was to promote the sale of nearly worthless United stock, an effort led by the company's enegetic Western Sales Agent, George H. Parker. (Thanks to Craig Adams for providing these clippings).
Oregon Journal, August, 7, 1907, page 1:
WIRELESS TOWER ON CREST
United Telegraph Company Plans to Build Big Station In Portland, Connecting With Tacoma, Seattle, San Diego and Several Other Coast Cities.
Within the next 10 days the United Wireless Telegraph company will begin the construction of a wireless telegraph station in Portland. A. V. Ragsdale, the Portland manager of the company, is negotiating for a site for the plant, with the probability that a lot on Council Crest will be selected, although it may be found more desirable to install the plant on top of one of the tallest buildings in the downtown business district. C. B. Cooper, the chief engineer of the company, with headquarters in Denver, is in Portland for the purpose of constructing the plant and installing the delicate machinery. Mr. Cooper has just returned from Astoria, where a wireless station is under construction.
Sites for plants have been selected in both Seattle and Tacoma and the machinery is on the ground for installing both stations. Mr Cooper says that with the completion of the plants at Seattle, Portland and Astoria it will be possible to communicate by wireless telegraph from Seattle to San Diego. He further says that the United Wireless company has made arrangements to put in stations all the way from Nome, Alaska, to the city of Panama.
Sunday Morning Oregonian, June 19, 1910, Section 1, page 7:
WIRELESS AGENT BUSY
SEATTLE MAN SELLS THOUSANDS OF UNITED SHARES.
Success of Stock Flotation Now Being Probed as Fraud by Government, Due to Parker, in West.
SEATTLE, Wash., June 18.--(Special.)--The amazing success in the West of the United Wireless stock selling campaign is due chiefly to George H. Parker, of Seattle, fiscal agent for the territory on this side of the Mississippi River. As United Wireless pro-consul for the vast region under his control, Parker has pressed his campaign with Napoleonic vigor. In the State of Washington alone he disposed of hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock, intrinsically worth less than $2 a share, for $20 to $40 a share.
Above his own signature, Parker advertised:
"The United Wireless Telegraph Company is a consolidation of the American DeForest, English and American Marconi and other companies, and controls patents for long distance wireless telegraphy. They also own a controlling interest in the Canadian Marconi.
"The basis for transferring DeForest and Marconi stocks to the United Wireless Telegraph Company has been taken up by our attorneys and finally perfected. Those buying of brokers at cut-rate prices will lose their transfer, no matter what price the stock has been purchased at. We now are ready to take subscriptions for the United Wireless Telegraph Company's stock.
"For further information call at the office of United Wireless Telegraph Company, 202 Arcade building. Agents wanted."
Parker has not confined his activity to advertising in the newspapers. His circular letters have been a big feature of the stock-selling campaign that put him among Seattle's millionaires. These have been masterpieces of extravagant statements, of frenzied visions of the countless millions to be earned by his company.
In a circular letter dated October 21, 1907, Parker made the following statement, above his own signature:
"Our president, while here the first of the month, guaranteed that there would be a dividend declared in 1908, and paid. He also offered to deposit $10,000 in any bank in Seattle, the other party to deposit $10,000, if our monthly income during 1908 was not $50,000 per month, the second party to take the $20,000; if it was, Mr. Wilson to take it. Sign the enclosed application, mail same to me for whatever stock you wish, and you will have something that will take care of you in the future, even better than the investment in the Bell Telephone is taking care of those who bought stock in that company and have held onto it."
Thus Parker, in 1907, sent out the report that the stock would pay a dividend in 1908. It did not pay a dividend in 1908. It never has paid one, but Parker undoubtedly sold thousands of dollars worth of stock on this one circular letter alone.
Sixteen stations have been established in Washington by the United Wireless as an adjunct to its stock jobbing crusade in this state. Seattle has two of the stations. The 14 others are located one each at Bellingham, Friday Harbor, Port Townsend, Everett, Tacoma, Chehalis, Olympia, Kalama, Aberdeen, Westport, Walla Walla, Spokane, Wenatchee and North Yakima.
The Morning Oregonian, June 28, 1910, page 7:
SEATTLE WIRELESS AGENT ARRESTED
G. H. Parker, United Concern's Representative West of Mississippi Held.
PRISONER IS SURPRISED.
Postoffice Inspectors Charge Fiscal Agent With Misrepresenting Company's Affairs in Stock Transaction.
SEATTLE, Wash., June 27.--George H. Parker, fiscal agent for the United Wireless Telegraph Company for the territory west of the Mississippi River, was arrested late today on a Federal warrant charging the use of the mails to defraud.
Mr. Parker was released under $10,000 bond. The preliminary hearing was set for August 1.
The warrant upon which Parker was arrested was based on a letter written by B. B. Shepard, of Des Moines, Ia., April 8, in which Parker, it is alleged, misrepresented the affairs of the company for the purpose of selling stock.
Parker Taken by Surprise.
The arrest was made by two postoffice inspectors and a United States Marshal. Parker was taken completely by surprise and had difficulty finding his attorney.
He was taken before the United States Commissioner W. D. Totten, who fixed the bail at $10,000. Parker's attorney protested that this was too high, but United States District Attorney Elmer E. Todd insisted that it was the proper amount, calling attention to the fact that this was the minimum bail allowed in similar arrests recently made in New York.
Friends Gone Home.
Owing to the lateness of the hour, Parker was unable to find any of his friends down town, and after some delay offered to put up a certificate of deposit issued by a local bank for $10,000. Commissioner Totten agreed to this, and Parker and the Marshal went in an automobile to a safe-deposit vault, where Parker got the certificate.
Parker is said to be a millionaire, and is said to have come into his fortune within the last few years, since he has been connected in a high capacity with the United Wireless Company.
New York Bearing, Held.
This arrest of Parker has direct bearing on the arrests in New York of President Wilson and Vice-President Bogart, of the United Wireless Company, and W. W. Tompkins, of the New York Selling Agency.
The local inspectors and the District Attorney have been in frequent consultation with the Federal officers leading the case in New York and have been working in harmony with them.
Parker Not Afraid.
Counsel for Mr. Parker issued the following statement in his behalf tonight:
"There is no merit in this prosecution punctuated by brokers, discharged employees and holders of stock who secured same without consideration. Mr. Parker is one of the largest stockholders in the United Wireless Company, having now over 50,000 shares. He has at the present moment $33,000 issued to stockholders and has the stock as his only security. Nine-tenths of his wealth is in United Wireless stock. Mr. Parker has no fear of the outcome of the prosecution."
Oregon Journal, August, 4, 1910, page 1:
"WIRELESS" STOCK NOW UNDER FIRE OF U. S. SECRET SERVICE MEN
(Special Dispatch to the Journal.)
New York, Aug. 4.--Seven officers of the United Wireless Telegraph company, which has "planted" stock in nearly every gullible community in the United States, were indicted yesterday on two counts by the federal grand jury. Secret service men charge that the wireless grafters used the United States mails to sell worthless stock and to induce investors to buy paper at a price many hundreds of per cent higher than the value as an ordinary commodity.
One of the indicted men bears the suggestive name of "Christopher Columbus" Wilson, the others are Samuel Bogart, W. W. Tompkins, George H. Parker, C. C. Gailbraith, W. A. [Diboll] and Francis Butler.
All except [Parker] were arraigned before Judge Hough in the United States court and pleaded not guilty.
The company has outstanding $20,000,000 in preferred and common stock, much of which has been sold in western cities, including Portland, Or., San Francisco, Cal., Los Angeles, Cal., and Seattle, Wash.
For several years these men have been selling "wireless" stock and have maintained stations in cities, and these stations seldom if ever got any information and have not money other than by stock selling, to purchase first class telegraph sounders. The graft has been so pronounced and so far-reaching that the government has taken a hand in its suppression.
Portland Oregonian, August 22, 1911, page 4:
WIRELESS AGENTS START FOR PRISON
George S. Parker Will Serve One-Year Term in Cell at McNeil's Island.
OTHER CHARGES ARE MADE
Smuggling of Diamonds From Vancouver, B. C., Said to Have Been Traced to Salesman of United Wireless Securities.
NEW YORK, Aug. 21--Christopher Columbus Wilson, Francis X. Butler and William W. Tompkins will start tomorrow for jails where they will serve sentences for misusing the mails in defrauding investors in stock of the United Wireless Company.
Wilson and Butler will start for Atlanta, Ga., where they will serve three and two-year terms respectively in the Federal prison. Tompkins will go to Blackwells Island for a year.
The mandate of the United States Circuit Court confirming the judgment of the trial court was recorded today.
After the filing of the mandate, United States Marshall Henkel was advised by the court that Tompkins' sentence had been changed to imprisonment for a year and a day at Atlanta. Under the Federal parole law, Tompkins is eligible for release after serving a third of his term.
George S. Parker, the fourth of the Wireless men sentenced to prison terms, has decided to begin his term at McNeil Island, in Washington state, rather than await the appeal pending in his case. He will be taken to the Pacific Coast Friday.
Parker was sales agent of the stock of the United Wireless Company. He is reputed to be wealthy. When he serves the year's term at McNeil Island he may be confronted with an indictment now pending charging smuggling of diamonds and jewelry into this country from Vancouver.