True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 154
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154 'TRUE STORIES OF OLD
sure would have the right to mourn over the degeneracy of modern
Houston. In "the good old days" gambling was wide open,
and while enough deference was paid to appearances to keep
the halls on the second floors of the buildings, everybody knew
what was going on and access was very easy and unobstructed.
It is true that every time the grand jury met the keepers of
the places were indicted, pleaded guilty and paid a fixed fine,
which was looked upon as a kind of tax and therefore was considered
perfectly proper, even by the proprietors themselves.
Occasionally a grand jury would get too inquisitive and get
after a bunch of the players and then there was sure enough
trouble. I remember an occasion of that kind when a number
of very prominent lawyers, doctors and business men were
indicted for indulging in poker. Of course they did not want
to appear in court and at the same time they did not want to
pay a heavy fine. They clubbed together and employed Colonel
Manley to defend them and, selecting the man in whose room
they had played, they placed him on trial, all agreeing to abide
by the decision in his case. I forget the details of the trial, but
I remember that Colonel Manley won the case, on the ground
that there was a bed in the room and that a bedroom was not a
public place in the meaning of the law, which he read.
I just happened to think of that case and jotted it down here,
for I did not intend to write about the moral or legal aspect
of gambling. Perhaps the best known gambling saloon in Houston
was the old "Iron Clad," so named because its second story
was covered with sheet iron, which was above Gregory's saloon
on the corner of Congress and Main, where Krupp
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/154/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .