WHO OWNED THE MERRIE ISLE? GALVESTON How would you like to have a lease rental interest in an open saloon, a gambling joint, or a bawdy house in Galveston? Quite a number of substantial citizens residing across the state do, and right now most of them say they are not too happy with the contract. In. fact, most cf them deny having known their property was being used for such purposes. These are the people who, according to deed records and information gathered by Attorney General Will Wilson’s staff, actually own the buildings which house Galveston County’s famed redlight houses. They include such prominent personages as two members of the multi-millionaire Moody family, the oil-rich Mitchells of Houston, a Houston attorney who was formerly a candidate for county attorney in Galveston, a lesser official of Texas Prudential Insurance Company, and several others. There are even reports here that a Dallas minister is part owner of one of the buildings the Attorney General plans to padlock, but Assistant Attorney General Ed Homer said if the report is true it has not yet been proven. His men are still working at the massive job of tracing ownerships on the some 65 pieces of property in Galveston and on the mainland. In order to beef up his suits aimed at permanently closing Galveston County illegal operations, Horner has filed some 40 amended petitions in district courts here listing the owners of the property where illegal establishments were operating. The assistant AG explained that the owners weren’t being listed “just to embarass anyone, they are an indispensable element of the House Speaker Waggoner Carr has announced interim committee appointments that will have some effects on future legislation. His most conservative committee is the legislative budget board, made up of Reps. Max Smith, San Marcos, Frates Seeligson, San Antonio, William S. Wilson Rules Out New Building AUSTIN Section Seven of S.B. 222 of the 55th Legislaturethe State Insurance Actwhich would have appropriated funds for construction of an office building to house the Insurance Board has been found unconstitutional by A t t o r n e y General Will Wilson. The board, like its predecessor, the Insurance Commission, rents office space in the home office building of International Life Insurance Co. in downtown Austin. Wilson’s opinion, stated in reply to a request from Comptroller Robert S. Calvert, said the section was added to the bill on the last day of the last legislative session by a free conference committee which made “no material change” in the bill’s title. He said this “created an ideal .situation whereby members of the Legislature might be misled by the title of the act. The title to act contains nothing to indicate that the body of the act purported to appropriate money … for the purpose of purchasing a site and erecting a building … Section 7 is therefore unconstitutional.” case.” Before listing the property owners, Wilson and Horner contacted each person shown on the deed records by letter and informed them they would be made a party to the suit. In most cases, the owners came back with emphatic denials they were aware their property was being used for illegal purposers. A Key Owner One thing which the records quickly established is that Gulf Properties, Inc., the successor to the Maceo gambling syndicate, is a principal owner of properties being used for such purposes. Most popular of these include the Western Room, Pirate Club. Beach Club, Alamo Club, Rod and Gun Club, and the Chili Bowl at Kemah. The pier where the famed Balinese Room gambling club and nitery is located is owned by the City of Galveston and is under a 25-year lease to Gulf Properties, Inc. The amended petition in the suit to padlock the Famous Club, 2006 Market, claims the club was used for gambling and liquor by the drink, and that the building is owned by Shearn Moody, Jr., and Robert Lee Moody, heirs of W. L. Moody, Jr., who died in 1954 one of Texas’s richest men. Their attorney, R. Richard Thornton, brother of former State Highway Commission Chairman E. H. Thornton, Jr., said the Moody boys inherited so much land they don’t even know where it’s all located and that they had no idea the property in question was being used illegally, if it was. Another amended petition filed against the Sahara Club, 2208 Avenue Q, and the Beach Amusement Parlor, a bingo joint, maintains that the buildings are owned by Samuel S. Kay, general manager of the Heatley, Paducah, and J. T. Ellis, Jr., Weslaco. More balanced are the industrial and occupational safety commission appointments: Roy Harrington, Port Arthur, Joe Pool, Dallas, and Paul Pressler, Houston. The state tax study commission appointments are uniformly conservative. Its members from the House are Seeligson, Richard C. Slack, Pecos, and John A. Huebner, Sr., Bay City. The commission will decide whether to have the state tax research conducted by the Texas Research League. The Legislative Council designates number ten and include three or four liberals. Carr also named groups to study the House committee system, the needs of public schools, game and fish matters, the House rules, and the needs of old people, interstate cooperation, fiscal aspects of the state government, and sites for new state buildings. Wilbur Hess, Houston investment banker, told the three new securities commissioners as they were sworn in that $400 million worth of securities were sold without regulation in Texas during a three-year period. “It was not only a loss of $400 million, but it destroyed the confidence of the investing public,” Hess said. The board named Bill King its acting commissioner. Southwest American Fire and Houston went into receivership at its request. Its capital was impaired $64,160.43 on July 15. It Seinsheimer Insurance Agency. Jasper Tramonte, president of the High Grade Packing Company of Galveston, is listed in another petition as owner of the building housing the Playland, 6114 Broadway, a bingo parlor. I Deed records indicate that Julian Lerner, a Dallas attorney, is owner of the building which houses the Rainbow Club, 114 20th Street, which Chicago Joe Slemensky has operated as an open saloon for several years. A bawdy house operated upstairs but Slemensky said he didn’t run ithe said he rented the property to the bawdy house operator. Deed records also indicate that a former Galvestonian, Ben Bonart, now of New York City, owns the property at 2526 1,4 Market, where bawdy house madam Jesse Elliott operated the Cozy Rooms. Valuable Property In most cases there is no indication of what the property used for illegal purposes in Galveston is worth, but officials estimate its total value would run to mililons. However, the Attorney General’s suits are not aimed at making the property valuelessit will be free for use for legal purposes after an injunction is issued. One example of what the property is worth may be shown by the Imperial Club building at 2319 Avenue E. It had for many years operated as an open saloon upstairs and a beer joint downstairs. The saloon drew good crowds with a strip show, which was by most standards uninhibited to say the least. Deed records reflect that the property belongs to the estate of the late Frank P. Malloy and is currently being managed by the Moody National Bank as trustee. The somewhat barnlike structure rents for $375 a month, records indicate. Raymond F. Treaccar, whom was in the red $114,160 when it closed business. It was organized in 1954. Penn Jackson, insurance board chairman, said in Houston there “remain a smaller number \(of ground, and may or may not be able to survive.” The Attorney General’s investigation of three Houston credit insurance companies and many loan shark operations continued preparatory to the Insurance Board’s Oct. 1 hearing on credit insurance rates. A reform program was begun when the Board of Pardons and Paroles appointed Vincent 0′ L eary of San Francisco, a sociology graduate of West Coast universities, the state’s director of parole supervision. He will put together a team of 40 more parole officers. He has been director of probation and parole for Washington state for the last five and a half years. Two doctors had their licenses suspended by the State Bbard of Medical Examiners. One, James Elmer Reed of Madisonville, pled guilty to falsifying a $400 bill to an insurance company for medical services to a man who was dead when he said he treated him. The other, Dr. Harriet Nystrom of Canutillo, El Paso County, was charged with allowing her husband to use her license to practice medicine. An osteopath, Dr. John Furby of Silverton, had his license cancelled when he was found guilty of intemperance and drug addiction. the city directory lists as assistant secretary of the Texas Prudential Insurance Company, owns the building which houses the Mint Club, 1821 45th Street, a petition indicates. Wetherill Smith, president of Smith and Joyce, commercial printers, owns the building where the Moulin Rouge operates. Deed records reflect that Charles W. Gill, attorney who now resides in Houston, is an owner of the Gill Building where the Lucky Club was located. Gill was a candidate for county attorney here in 1954. Prominent oil men George and Johnny Mitchell of Houston are shown in. deed records as part owners of the Omar Khayyam, an open saloon, along with their brother, Christie, of Galveston. Amended petitions show that Antonio Gambini, isle liquor store operator, owns the building at 2709 1/2 Market, where male madam Jo Jo Balch allegedly operated a bawdy house. B. Clark and N. Fradkin, 2201 33rd, are owners of the Ace Room building, 2600 Market, which was another bawdy house operation. The court battles over whether Wilson will be able to keep the places closed for at least another year are scheduled to start .in the fall term of court. BOB BRAY Smvrl Hearing To Be Closed SAN ANTONIO Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas has been asked to open the Lackland Air Force Base board of inquiry into the service fate of Col. James A. Smyrl to the press and the public. Smyrl is the former commanding officer of the recruit training unit at Lackland who was suspended from duty \(Observer, cause, he charged, he refused to obey orders to “pressure” trainees into patronizing civilian concessions on the base. The hearing is set for Sept. 4. Smyrl must show cause why he should be retained in the service. The “open-door” request was made of Douglas by James F. Gardner, Smyrl’s civilian attorney, by letter. The letter said, in part: “We have just recently been advised that the promotions and separations branch has refused \(a request that the hearings be hearing at which no spectators and no members of the press are allowed to be present. “The public information officer at Lackland AFB has been issuing press releases on this case as the case has developed and has been presenting the Lackland AFB side of the picture .. .” Specifically, Gardner said, Major General H. L. Grills, the Lackland base commander, had authorized the appearance on a San Antonio television station of Col. Phil Cage, to “tell the Lackland side.” Gardner said Air Force regulations providing for boards of inquiry make no prohibition of open hearings and noted that a guidance manual on the regulations provides that “because of the personal nature of the hearing, spectators usually will not be allowed to be present,” but added: “This provision was obviously placed in the guidance manual for the protection of the officer cited to appear before the board. Skelton, Randolph Back Party Purity AUSTIN Secretary Clyde Johnson of the Young Democratic Clubs of Texas reports he has received favorable replies to the YD call for backing of a party registration bill in the next legislative session from Mrs. R. D. Randolph and Byron Skelton, Texas’s members on the Democratic National Committee. But he has received no reply, Johnson said, from Gov. Price Daniel, State Democratic Executive Committee chairman Jim Lindsey, or Thad Hutcheson, State Republican chairman. The YD’s called for backing in a resolution noting that such a bill passed out of both Senate and House committees of the 55th Legislature and said: tf . repeated and cynical infiltration of Democratic primaries and conventions by Dixiecrats, Republicans, Independents, know nothings and other assorted mugwumps in recent years has made it urgent that an effective party registration bill be passed …” Elkins Loses Bank Ruling AUSTIN District Judge D. B. Wood has in effect, ruled that Attorney General Willson and State Treasurer Jesse James, as members of the State Banking Board, acted, on Aug. 2, in an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” manner. A temporary injunction was issued by Wood prohibiting the issuance of a bank charter by the board to a Houston banking group led by James Elkins. The suit was brought by a rival banking group headed by Harris McAshan, after Wilson and James in a board meeting called by Wilan earlier board action giving charters to both groups and voted to give one only to the Elkins group. Both groups want to open a bank in the same area. The effect of the court order was to restore the status of the conflict to the’ point where it stood at the plose of the Aug. 1 meeting at which both were granted charters. But a second suit, filed by McAshan’s attorney immediately after the temporary injunction was granted, forestalls this. The second suit asks that the action of the Aug. 1 meeting also be enjoined. “In this particular instance Smyrl has in writing openly waived that provision, and has requested a public hearing, and he is here and now reiterating to you his request for a full, open and public hearing in order that all of the facts may be fully and openly ventilated … “A situation has prevailed at Lackland AFB which needs to be openly and thoroughly aired and debated.