May 15, 1907
Note: This is an encore post from 2006.
Curious neighbors noticed recently that a large number of well-dressed women have been taking the streetcar to the end of the line at 54th Street and South Central Avenue while still others are arriving in automobiles. Upon investigation, Patrolmen Walsh and Murphy discovered that the women are gambling on horse races at a bookie joint set up next to the Ascot Park billiard parlor in a vacant lot surrounded by a high board fence.
Owners J.W. Carr and W.J. Murphy restricted the clientele to women, so police had a difficult time obtaining evidence, but finally officers raided the place and found 50 stylishly dressed women playing the ponies.
“The proprietors of this little scheme were pretty foxy. If there were any drinks served—and you can bet there were a few—they were served by trusted employees. No men were found within the enclosure and none was allowed in with the exception of a few regular employees of the place. It made it hard for us to secure evidence,” one officer said.
The Times said: “The officers took occasion to tell the women present that they had no business to be wasting their husbands’ money and scored them roundly for frequenting such a place. Then they announced that they were not going to detain the women and there was a rush to get out of the place.”