My ancestor Richard Toner almost certainly knew of the existence of the younger, and seemingly rougher and scarier Richard Toner across the river in Manhattan; Dick the Rat was written up in NY and Brooklyn papers for any number of things, and even appears to have been the subject of an early silent film short by Edison's studios, Rat Killing (1894) (now lost).
Dick the Rat made the newspapers for such diverse accomplishments as:
(1) Taking over his father-in-law's business
|The New York Times, 2 Jan 1871|
(2) Explaining his trade to the New York Times
|The New York Times, 30 Jan 1876|
(3) Being arrested on suspicion of shooting John Casey in the thigh
|The New York Times, 17 Feb 1876|
(4) Handling a dog who could kill 7 rats a minute
|The New York Times, 18 Feb 1878|
(5) Shooting himself in a drunken stupor
|The New York Times, 3 July 1880|
(6) Being inappropriately intimate with a married woman
|The Sun, 4 Dec 1887|
*My ancestor Richard Toner died before consolidation in 1898, so he wasn't ever really a Richard Toner in NYC. He was a Richard Toner in Brooklyn, and Dick the Rat was a Richard Toner in Manhattan. But even before Brooklyn became a part of New York City, the two cities were geographically and culturally close, a connection that increased dramatically with the building of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.