Shelling Out for the Girls At the End of LaMARQUE Galveston County Commisconfirmed to the Observer that he had county workers build a shell road to a bawdy house a mile south of here and explained, “It was just another dedicated road as far as I was concerned.” The shell road stretches a quarter mile across a lonely prairie to a neat, ranch-style house that was recently closed down because of prostitution activities there. It cost the taxpayers more than $1,000. County Engineer D. V. de the Road, a Brothel Pasqujale estimates that at the current $1.30 per yard price on mudshell, the materials alone cost $1,000. That doesn’t figure in the county labor and machinery costs on the job. After Sheriff Paul Hopkins closed down the establishment and filed charges against Mrs. Grace Cooper for operating a bawdy house, Palmer said he “didn’t know what the house was going to be used for when I built the road.” He explained that the roadway had been dedicated in a plat for Causeway Park addition more than 40 years ago. The Investigators RAYBURN RULES IN D.C. Cities Pause on Integration 5 Dice Tables Their work day started around 8 p.m. and would usually run until 2 a.m., sometimes much later. “They put in more than 30 such nights and yet carried their regular work loads at their company jobs. It was a tremendous physical effort aside from the nervous strain,” Simpson declared. The primary target, Simpson said, was the Maceo operations, which are the “principal syndicate” both on the island and the mainland. Givens and Yaws visited the Turf Grill and Western Room headquarters of the syndicate within two weeks after they started their work. “The Western Room was the key to the Balinese Room,” said Yaws. “We became acquainted with the receptionist there and one night after gambling at the Western Room we told her that we and our wives would like to go out to the Balinese Room for dinner. It was,” Givens grinned, “Yaws’s birthday and me and my wife’s wedding anniversary. That was the truth. It really was.” The receptionist phoned the Balinese Room and made reservations for them, and they were in the heart of the Maceo gambling empire. “The service was excellent and the food was fine,” Yaws said. He also noted that the gambling room had five dice tables, four of which were operating, three roulette tables, two blackjack tables, half a dozen slot machines and room for 150 players. They tried them all, conservatively; and on that score Yaws had a complaint. “I put $5 in a quarter slot machine before I finally won two quarters,” he said. “That’s a pretty rough return on your money, or I should say the state’s money.” He had put $5 in the machine because he had instructions to play it until it paid off so he could complete slot machine evidence. The meals and gambling for the two couple ran $62. The investigators soon learned that a good way to get into the joints was to flash money. They carried clips with $100 or $50 bills on the outside of the roll and would sometimes pay for drinks with large bills. This frequently prompted the bartender to inquire if they “didn’t want to try a hot crap game tonight?” The system got them into plenty of gambling halls, but it I almost led to their identity being discovered. They had flashed a big bill in a club at Kemah, and the bartender invited them to a “big game.” They quickly accepted. The bartender climbed in his car, told them to follow, and roared off with tires screeching. Givens recalled: “We had to keep up so we started up and followed. The only hitch was we had our leather notebooks with all information on our investigations in the glove compartment of the car. It was unlocked and we couldn’t lock it because the key was in the ignition switch. When we arrived at the gambling house a Negro attendant and guard approached the car, told us to walk on in and they would park our car. We had to leave the notes unlocked in the car glove compartment,” recalled Givens. Yaws said, “You can be sure we made our bets there in a hurry and left as quick as we could. I just knew that attendant was going to take a peek in that glove compartment just to see what he could find. My old heart boomed every time the telephone rang or someone came in the door. But nothing happended and we got out without question.” Ah-Ha! Aside from the gruelling hours of night life and day work, both investigators said the worst part was embarassing incidents growing out of their frequenting the places. Both had been known by close friends as staunch opponents of gambling and vice operations. For them to start frequenting such places overnight was bound to cause talk. One time Givens attending a political meeting, was seated next to a minister who was a very close friend. “A bout halfway through the session I discovered that I had been lighting one cigarette after another with a book of matches I’d picked up at the Balinese Room,” he said. “I’m sure he thought it quite strange.” Givens recalled another night he and his family went to a neighbor’s for dinner. He had to duck out early with the explanation he was’ going home to get some sleep “for a hard day tomorrow.” Actually he went home, crept out the side gate, and met Yaws for an evening of investigation. His eight-year-old youngster and the neighbors’ child went to the house for something, discovered he was gone, and went back and told the folks at the party that he “rushed off someplace.” Givens’ wife was still at the party and tried to explain that he probably had been called out to some political meeting. He still hasn’t had the chance to apologize. They inadvertently flashed big rolls of money where they worked or around people who didn’t expect them to have $100 bills. Several times they were seen going over their evening’s notes over a cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning. Once a fellow plant employee of Yaws was headed fishing about 4 a.m. and spread word around the plant Yaws was out running around all night long. Both of the state’s citizen investigators breathed deep with relief when the job was over. “I’m sure glad it’s finished but I’d do it again if I thought it would help knock out organized crime in the county,” Givens declared. Yaws said he would “do it all over again if necessary. But I’d wanta get a little rest before we started.” ions coerced and subjected the German people.” This would be “vicious and evil,” he said. Dowdy said the Declaration of Independence contained an indictment against the English King for “depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.” “The civil rights issue is merely a conflict between those who believe in forcing all citizens to conform to the dictates of a minority group in such matters as personal associates and employees, and those who believe in free choice by the individual in those matters,” Dowdy said. Alger, the only Republican from Texas, said the bill wasn’t racial but political; noted he had not signed the Southern Manifesto; and speculated, “So I probably am a misfit on both sides of the aisle to some degree.” He said the bill “looks more like a violation of civil rights than it does a soluton to the civil-rghts problem.” Obviously, he said, the federal civil rights commission the bill would establish would have “God-like wisdom.” He warned it could accept and use services of voluntary a n d uncompensated personnel. “When a man is in jail and has not had a jury trial, what about his civil liberties?” Alger asked. Defenders of the bill said that Southern juries will not convict whites guilty of offenses against Negroes. SPEAKER S A M RAYBURN was the focus of a heated argument over a Southern point of order against the bill. Rep. Howard Smith of Virginia AUSTIN Statehouse news, tapering off drastically, came to little more this week than the routine signature of interesting bills by Gov. Daniel. He added his signature to Nov. 5, 1957 constitutional amendments for the $100 million state bond program for local dams and increase of old age pension maximum to $60 a month and the state welfare ceiling from $42 to $47 million. He also signed the Nov., 1958, public ballot issues for annual sessions and salaries for legislators and medical payments for state welfare recipients. By the Wednesday night deadline he had also signed bills expanding bribery statutes to include government employees and agents, creating a state tax study commission, doubling the tuition for Texas college students, creating a Texas council on migratory labor, increasing workmen’s compensation maximum payments from $25 to $35 a week, and relieving the Texas Electric Co. of $250,000 in state taxes next year. He vetoed $4 million for repayment of old state bonds; seconds later Comptroller Robert Calvert certified the $399-a-year teacher pay raise bill, and he signed it into law. \(In Austin the figure will be about $375 unless local funds are added because of the higher proportion of special Calvert also certified, as covered by available state funds, $148,600 for the Texas Water Development Board, $185,500 for the State Building Commission’s building, $20,000 for the migratory labor council, and $400,000 for teachers for mentally retarded children in public schools. argued the judiciary committee had sent the measure to the House with a ‘report that did not cover all the contemplated changes in present law. He said the report did not specifically explain how the bill modified present statutes. The question, or parallel questions, has been raised many times. The rulings of the Chair have been uniform,” Rayburn said. Hayburn then read the rule in question. He reviewed earlier precedents which had held that the rule does not apply unless a bill repeals or amends the statute “in terms.” “General reference to the subject treated in a statute without proposing specific amendment is not sufficient,” held one precedent. “The chair … must hold that the committee did comply in substance and in fact with the rule,” Rayburn ruled. Had the Smith motion prevailed, the bill would have been sent back to the committee and would there have perished for the session. As it was, the House then resolved itself into a committee of the whole to consider the bill MOODY HEIR SELLS SHARE GALVESTON In the largest court-approved settlement lawyers here could recall. Mrs. Libbie Moody Thompson, wife of U. S. Rep. Clark W. Thompson, and her two children $1 his daddy left him to several million is still pending. Under terms of the agreement, Mrs. Thompson sold her interest and the interests of her children, Mrs. Libbie Thompson Walker and Clark W. Thompson Jr., to the W. L. Moody, Jr., estate for $5.1 million. She received $2.3 million, her daughter $1.4 million and her son $1.3 million. In addition the Thompson family received 300,000 shares of American National Insurance Co. stock which has a current value of around $10 per share. JOHNSTON BOOSTS OBSERVER SCOPE HOUSTON Dean Johnston, former University o f Houston faculty member and a leader of the Harris County Democrats, has been named circulation and advertising manager of the Texas Observer, Mrs. R. D. Randolph announced in Houston. Johnston’s first step in an intensive circulation campaign is the designation of agents to represent the Observer in each of the major Texas cities on a commission b a s i s. He also plans to make Houston a test area for several new subscription-getting procedures. Johnston will be touring the state during the summer working on Observer business. Persons interested in helping with the drive can contact him at 2501 Crawford St., Houston. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 June 14, 1957 Daniel Sig . ns received $8.5 million from the estate of her father. The money was paid her in set tlement of her $30 million claim New Legis l ation . filed hbays her bearing o n l t l h i e a m s t . Moody III. His suit to boost the AUSTIN Galveston, Houston, and Austin school boards are slowing down on, integration. In Galveston, the school board president said the state law requiring local option elections on integration has to be ruled on before the board goes ahead with its plans for integration of firstgrade students in September. In federal court in Houston, lawyers charged the Houston school board with deliberately failing to outp ine a program for integration. In Austin, school authorities decided not to integrate junior high schools on schedule because of the I fire which destroyed Allan Jun; ior High, creating serious over’ crowding. \(Austin high schools The Texas Conference of the Methodist Church in annual conference in Houston approved a provision to allow conferences within white jurisdictions to accept Negro congregations as member units. The board of directors of the Lakeview Assembly Methodist encampment near Palestine recommended to the annual conference that a committee be appointed to study racial integration of the camp. IN WASHINGTON, Texas Congressmen Bruce Alger, John Dowdy, and Martin Dies joined Southern Democrats and a scattering of Republicans in opposing the Eisenhower civil rights bill in the House. Dies challenged supporters to name any place where a citizen had been denied the right to vote. He said the bill was a pitch to Negro voters. He accused Rep. Emanuel C el 1 e r, D., N.Y., a House floor leader for the bill, of favoring trial by jury in labor cases 30 years ago but now opposing it in civil rights cases. Dowdy held the floor for about half an hour castigating the bill. He said it would “deprive the American people of the trial by jury,” prostituting them “to the whims of a politically appointed
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.