Shortly thereafter, many of the Eastland crew were arrested and questioned in response to a public outcry for an explanation. As Captain Pedersen and his first mate were escorted to headquarters at the city hall, an angry mob tried to attack the two men. One of the crowd members managed to punch the Captain in the face before the police were able to intervene. During the investigation that followed, it was determined that the crew of the Eastland did nothing criminal before or during the disaster, nor was the accident a result of their actions. The US District Court of Appeals also found that the Eastland’s owners— the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Company— were not liable for any of the deaths resulting from the Eastland disaster. While a flurry of civil actions continued afterward, no further criminal suits were filed.
GENERAL -- Work began on the development and manufacture of the Gray Battery Telephone, the Company's first venture in telephony ... Number of employees first reached 100 and weekly payroll first exceeded 1,000 ... W. R. Patterson, the Company's first cable expert (see GENERAL, 1879), as paymaster, helped the bookkeeper collect from customers, and did all the electrical and chemical lab work. Still, he used to complain he wasn't kept busy enough, although he admitted that pay day "was sometimes rather strenuous when I had to hustle around town collecting debts to make sure the payroll checks were good."