Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Morton Grove Before the Baby Boom: Life and Times at the Lincoln Tavern

The Lincoln Tavern is the third establishment we feature in this Morton Grove roadhouse series.

I grew up in Morton Grove in the 1950s and 1960s in a house on the corner Austin Avenue and Davis Street. From kindergarten through eighth grade, I attended Park View school. 

Most school days in seventh and eighth grade, I participated in after school intramural sports, and then detoured on the way home. I cut across Harrer Park or walked up Moody Street to Dempster Street, turning east on Dempster down to Austin. Along the way I sometimes stopped for a treat at Yadron's Deli (candy or a chocolate milk), Jean's Bakery (a chocolate eclair) or at the counter of a small diner style restaurant (a chocolate milkshake) whose name I have lost in the fog of time. That was my self indulgence. All the rest of the money I made caddying went into the bank for eventually funding college and starting a lifelong habit of saving and investing.

I did not understand it at the time, but my homeward route looped along Morton Grove's prohibition era roadhouse row. 

Previously we recounted the drama and contretemps surrounding fights for control of  the Lincoln Tavern's near neighbor, The Dells. We re-published contemporary reports on the deadly fire that consumed Club Rendezvous, one block further up Dempster Street. Now we feature the Lincoln Tavern. The Lincoln Tavern was notable among Morton Grove roadhouses for its huge capacity, sultry entertainment and the prominent performers who were featured therein. 

Introducing The Lincoln Tavern.  

Location, location and location were behind it. The roadhouse district along Dempster Street in Morton Grove was near enough to the Chicago Loop and the ritzy residences on the Gold Coast and up to the north shore suburbs to be accessible, but sufficiently distant and isolated to have an air of mystery and country cachet. Tavern offerings were illicit. Local and county police were complicit.

Roadhouses thrived during Prohibition (1920–1933) in rural areas near Chicago, where law enforcement often was inadequate. By 1929 there were nearly 175 in operation. The growing numbers of automobiles and new roads made these previously remote establishments readily accessible. Roadhouses varied from small, sleazy taverns to big, fancy nightclubs with name dance bands and floor shows. Many served food, but the big attraction was being able to drink illegal beer or liquor.
Outlaw gangs or syndicates distributed the illicit booze and controlled many roadhouses where recognized customers could get served. All roadhouses sold “set-ups,” ginger ale or soda with ice, to customers who brought their own liquor in hip flasks. The Dells and Lincoln Tavern in Morton Grove, Villa Venice near Glenview, the Purple Grackle east of Elgin, Le Chateau near Thornton, and the Triangle Café in Forest Park were among the biggest and best known.
Charles A. Sengstock, Jr.
Automobiles were a huge factor behind the roadhouse boom.
[A]s Ford's assembly line made cars more affordable and safer, the landscape changed. 
"The second wave of suburban development was around roads," said Ann Durkin Keating, a historian at North Central College in Naperville. "It's hugely liberating."
According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, "the marriage between suburb and automobile was consummated during the 1920s," when vehicle registration nationwide went from 8 million in 1920 to 26 million in 1929.
Motoring became a pleasant pastime, and roadhouses sprouted up around the area catering to travelers. Among the hotspots were the Purple Grackle, near Elgin, and the Lincoln Tavern in Morton Grove.
"Here one sees the leaders in business and the world of accomplishment," reads an Aug. 5, 1932, Herald review of Lincoln Tavern.
"Women dressed in the latest vogue, the air laden with the perfume of flowers. As you drive in, they take charge of your car and relieve you of all responsibilities."
Chicago Tribune, May 30, 1935
Per this Depression era Chicago Tribune depiction, we can see the Lincoln Tavern was on the south side of Dempster between Georgiana and School streets, approximately across the street from where American Legion Post 134 is located today.  The establishment grounds were spacious and wooded.

The pictorial record included in "Morton Grove, Images of America" published this 1926 Lincoln Tavern post card (see left). Before viral marketing, Facebook and Twitter, businesses would advertise and spread the word about their attractions and wares by printing and distributing glossy picture post cards that patrons could send to friends with "We were here," messages for the price of a stamp (a penny from 1928 to 1952). The authors of the pictorial history wrote:
This postcard of the Lincoln Tavern in Morton Grove represents the roadhouses and entertainers that made Morton Grove a popular destination during Prohibition. Guy Lombardo, Waring's Pennsylvanians, Duke Ellington, Ted Weems, Glenn Miller, Sophie Tucker, and Sally Rand are a few of the big names mentioned in the colorful accounts of the nightclubs attracting Chicago's elite, notorious gangsters, and college men and women in raccoon coats and flapper fashions out for some jazz and burlesque kicks.
Duke Ellington appeared at the Lincoln Tavern. He composed "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got that Swing)" during a four week run at the Lincoln Tavern during the summer of 1931.

Here is the full color version of the picture post card showing its lobby, wooded grounds, dining area and arched entrance set off the road.

TitleLincoln TavernJack HuffPropMorton GroveIL.
DescriptionThe Lincoln Tavern- Where Good Food and Good People Meet.- On Dempster St4 miwest of Evanston.
Chicago's Most Exclusive Country CafeOpen The Year AroundPhoneMorton Grove 1919-1920

Here is a video of Duke Ellington and his orchestra performing "It Don't Mean A Thing, If You Ain't Got That Swing" in later years.

History of the Lincoln Tavern.

Our chronicle starts, simply enough, with a couple of help wanted ads.

The Daily Herald, June 12, 1915
Chicago Tribune, September 12, 1915
Back in the day, the tavern's proprietor wanted a man and wife team because part of the deal was to occupy living quarters on site where the couple would have watchdog duty. 

These summer of 1915 classified ads were buried in the back of the paper. In October of the same year, news from the Lincoln Tavern burst onto the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

The Betty Benson Saga.

Betty Benson was a fetching young lady. She got around. Betty was an actress, dancer and dance instructor, and, as it would develop, a helluva a party girl. One night Betty motored with gentlemen friends from Chicago to the Lincoln Tavern, leading to her involvement in a court suit for alienation of affection. Readers can best translate the story of the night's report into modern vernacular by substituting "hook up" each time that "make a fuss" is mentioned. 

Domestic "Plot" Hatched on Starlight Trip Involves Merchant.
Chicago Tribune, October 6, 1915
A blithe raven haired moving picture actress faced a battery of frowning lawyers in attorney Charles E. Selleck's office in the Marquette building yesterday and, between giggles and tears, got six unsuspecting citizens into a peck of trouble.
The lady in the case was Miss Betty E. Benson, sometime dancing instructor to tango patrons of the Broadway cafe, 6346 Broadway, but now under contract to help make film masterpieces in Los Angeles.
The "Cast" in Her Show.
The figures in her narrative, who probably will want to do a lot of explaining today, were:
Charles Rosch, wealthy Chicago wall paper dealer.
Dr. Arthur E. Price.
George Krapville and "one Hulburd, " officials of the Maryland Casualty company.
R. Monroe Ross of Baltimore Md., general superintendent of claims for the Maryland casualty company.
Another Ross -- of Chicago.
Miss Benson was summoned to give a deposition in behalf of Dr. Price who is suing Mr. Bosch for $15,000 on a charge of alienating Mrs. Price's affections. For seven hours she talked, flashing indignant or amused glances at her audience of ten men and an elderly stenographer, and unfolding a tale of plots, implied blackmail and such.
Gay Motorists at the Tavern.
Most of their testimony related to a rollicking automobile journey from the Broadway cafe to Morton Grove early in April, and a gay party which followed at the Lincoln tavern in the suburb, some twelve miles from town.
It was an elaboration -- reluctant, for the most part -- of an affidavit already filed in court charging, in brief, that Bosch on this occasion had told Miss Benson that Dr. Price had found him in a compromising position with Mrs. Price and that, consequently, it would be a gracious act if she [Miss Benson] would help him "get the doctor in wrong." 
She Finally Surrenders.
Before Miss Benson had finished she listened to a thousand questions regarding her past life and her relations with other men; she had been asked for names, and had given some and had refused to give others, and had been threatened with contempt of court for her refusal, and finally had surrendered.
"It was late on a Thursday afternoon and I was coming out of the Broadway cafe," Miss Benson began. "As I appeared at the door an auto drove up and Mr. Krapville and Dr. Price, whom I knew, got out and told me that they and the three other men in the machine, Mr. Bosch, whom I hadn't met before, and two out of town men -- were going down to the Lincoln tavern, at Morton Grove and wouldn't I come along? I joined them." 
Enter Mr. Ross.
After we had dinner in the tavern I was talking to Mr. Krapville and Dr. Price out in the lobby, when a Mr. Ross, a Chicagoan, to whom I had been introduced at the tavern that evening, called me aside.
"He asked me if I was going to stick with Mr. Krapville and I asked, 'What do you mean?'"
He said, 'Won't you make a fuss over Dr. Price? Don't you like him?' "
I said, 'Why, yes.'"
"He hadn't finish when Mr. Bosch joined us. Mr. Ross left Mr Bosch and me standing there."
Mr. Bosch said: 'Why don't you make a fuss over Dr. Price? Don't you like him?'"
"I said, 'Yes, but I don't see why I should make a fuss over him.'"
A Clubby Little Joke.
"He said, 'Why, we belong to the same club, and we want to get something on him.'" 
"I took it all as a joke and made a casual remark and walked away." 
"But just before we were going to leave, Mr. Bosch, who had been drinking, called me into another room and said: 'Never mind Krapville; just make a fuss over Dr. Price as well.'"
"I said 'What do you mean?'"
"He said 'Why, last summer at a weekend party in Dr. Price's cottage in Michigan he caught me with his wife -- and in case he should ever bring it up I should like to have something on him.'"
Weeps Her Homeward Way.
"I became very angry and said, 'I didn't come out here to go out with anyone or stay out with anyone, and I'm going home.' Then I began to cry."
" I walked over to Dr. Price and said, 'Doctor, be careful what you do, there's some one trying to get something on you.'"
" A little later we went back to town. When I read in the papers about Dr. Price's divorce trouble and his suit against Mr. Bosch, I called him up and told him what Mr. Bosch had said to me. I am leaving for Los Angeles on Wednesday to work for a moving picture company, so I won't be able to testify in court. That's why I'm making my deposition now."
"I was married in 1907 to Fred Remis Tryong and was divorced in 1912, in Troy. N. Y. I have lived in Chcago about a year, and am now living with my mother, Mrs Anna H. Benson, at 4737 Kenmore avenue."
Not a Free Lance.Attorney.
Charles Lederer, representing Bosch, began questioning Miss Benson about her visits to various cafes and saloons in the neighborhood of 5000 Broadway. She admitted having visited them, but said she never had gone into one of the saloons except when escorted by a man.
Attorney Selleck, Dr. Price's counsel began to read into the recocrd his objections to Mr. Lederer's questions, charging they were being put for the purpose of intimidating the witness.
His client Dr. Price, interrupted him."You big kike! ____***____**___!" he yelled at Mr. Lederer, " I'll punch your face you big kike!"
"I want to say here," declared Mr. Lederer, "but if Dr. Price addresses me any more in such language, I'll walk out of this room and allow the deposition to be taken without any representative of Mr Bosch present!"
Mum as to Married Men.
Who were the other two men besides Mr. Ross of Chicago, Mr. Krapville, Mr. Bosch, and Dr. Price?" asked Mr. Lederer.
"They were both married men and from out of town. I refuse to give their names."
"Was one of them R. Munro Ross of Baltimore, general superintendent of claims of the Maryland Casualty company?"
"I refuse to answer."
"Was the other one named Hulburd, also of the Marland Casualty company?"
"I refuse to answer."
"On the way from the Broadway cafe to the Lincoln tavern in Morton Grove -- twenty-two miles-- were you sitting on any one's lap?"
"I was sitting on Mr. Krapville's lap."
Sat on Unmarried Lap.
"Is Mr. Krapville married?"
"Were you sitting on the lap of Mr. Ross of Baltimore?"
"I wasn't sitting on the lap of any one of Baltimore."
"I may have to end this deposition to get an order for contempt for refusal to give those men's name. How did they look?"
"They were of Dr. Price's build -- about 5 feet 11 inches and sturdily set."
"Did any of the men caress you?"
"H-n-n-hh! There was no caressing!"
"On the way back to town, where did you sit?"
"I sat about the same place."
"Did you go to the Grand Pacific hotel that night with R. Munro Ross?"
"No, sir."
"Didn't you register with him under assumed names and occupy room 213 together?"
"No sir."
"Didn't Mr. Bosch call you up the next morning and ask you how you felt?"
"No sir."
"Where is Mr Krapville's office?"
"In the Insurance Exchange bulding."
"Was he working for the same compny that R. Munro Ross and Mr. Hulbrud are officials of?"
"I don't know."
Only in His Office.
"Did you call Mr. Bosch up during May and say: 'You know Dr. Price; I am Betty Benson; you remember the Lincoln tavern party? Dr. Price hasn't treated me right, and I want to give you something; you had better see me.' And didn't Mr Bosch say: 'If you want to see me, you must see me in my office'?"
"No, Sir; positively not."
"Did you ask Mr. Bosch at the tavern to dance with you, and didn't he refuse?"
"He said he didn't dance."
"Is there any objection," asked Mr. Lederer at this point. "is there any objection to having a gentleman stenographer take the rest of this testimony?"
Gray Haired Typist Inert.
The gray haired woman stenographer took down the question impassively, and Attorney Selleck said "She's taken it so far; let her take the rest of it."
"On the way back to town," Attorney Lederer continued, "weren't you sitting on the back seat with R. Munro Ross, and wasn't Mr. Ross hugging and kissing you?"
"No, sir!"
"Did Dr. Price ever call you up and ask about getting a girl to stay all night in his office at 175 West Jackson boulevard?"
"No, sir!"
"Did you at any time try to get any money from Charles Bosch after this suit was filed?"
"No, I did not!"
Chicago Tribune, October 6, 1915
Not a Cent of Tribute.
"Did you ever get any money in this case from any one?"
"I did not."
"Did Dr. Price ever tell you he could get a lot of money from Charles Bosch after the case came into public print?"
"No, sir."
"You tried your best to make to Bosch, didn't you"
"I did not. They all looked alike to me."
"Were you at Dr. Price's apartment at 4811 Lake Park avenue with another girl for five days since his wife sued for divorce?"
"I was not!"
"How many drinks did you have at the Broadway cafe and the Lincoln tavern?"
"I had about six. But I was neither stewed nor half stewed."
"Before dinner," she said in answer to a question, "I had one cocktail."
"You know a cocktail when you see it?"
"I hope so. You can't live in Chicago or any other city if you don't."
Now Come Real Tears.
Before Miss Benson had finished Attorney Lederer had forced her to admit that the "other two men" were a man named Hulburd and a man named Ross, both from out of town. She said she didn't know their first names.
Mr. Bosch is vice president of the Henry Bosch company, wall paper dealers at 525 South Wabash avenue. He lives at 1315 Fargo avenue and is married.
Dr. Price in his suit asserts Mr. Bosch's half million dollars was used by him in stealing Mrs. Price's love.
"You broke into tears, you said, at the Lincoln tavern." Attorney Lederer reminded. "Why?"
"Because I was asked to get something on Dr. Price, just as if I wasn't respectable."
And the tears -- real ones -- began to flow.
For all the trouble the night caused her, we hope that Betty Benson ultimately did get more than drinks and dinner out of it.

Her promised move to California move was no ruse. Betty moved on to Lala land, where side trips to a Morton Grove roadhouse were replaced by excursions to bodegas in Mexico. The drama of her life continued to be played out in the newspapers. Betty fell in with even a worse crowd of scoundrels out in the Golden State.
Chicago Tribune, December 1, 1916


"The Girl" in Supposed Bosch "Plot" Held as Opium Smuggler.



Miss Betty Benson, once a queenly breaker of hearts in the Quartier Medical that centers Harrison and Wood streets, and betimes a movie actress, is still a "queen," with smugglers for her subjects and a cell for her throne room in Los Angeles.
It was Miss Benson who had a half-dozen Chicago men skipping sidewise in October 1915, when she made oath that Charles Bosch, a wealthy wall paper dealer, offered her $1,000 to compromise Dr. Arthur E. Price so that Price would be compelled to drop his suit for divorce and also his suit against Bosch for $15,000 for alienation of affection.
Tells of Auto Party.
She told of an automobile party from the Broadway cafe, in which she was an entertainer, to Lincoln tavern in Morton Grove in which Bosch, Dr. Price, R. Monroe Ross, George Krapville, and one "Hulburd" were participants. Ross and Hurlburd were said to be connected with a Baltimore insurance company. She declared in a torrent of tears that she warned Dr. Price against Bosch and thus foiled a conspiracy.
Miss Benson was held in Chicago on a supoena, but permitted to go west to join a motion picture company after she made affidavit in the foregoing incidents.
Miss Benson's misfortune took place after her removal to Los Angeles. She fell in love with "Joe" Peppa. They went on an automobile honeymoon into Mexico and there the events in the life of Betty began to rival the incidents that made tragedy for Carmen.
Running Battle in Mexico.
They were on their way out of Mexico when a thrilling pursuit developed. Dashing, black haired Peppa was shot and Betty were arrested. In her room in Los Angeles there were found an opium pipe and two cards of opium. The possession of opium is prima facie evidence of smuggling in California, and Miss Benson was sentenced to serve 100 days in jail. She has just begun her term.
Betty made no denial of her identity, it is declared."I was born under an unlucky star," she said in Los Angeles last night. "Every one I have ever met or associated with has used me for a football. My first husband left me to shift for myself and married again. Then one thing after another occured, including the Bosch-Price affair."
Oakland Tribune, 
December 3, 1916
"Dr. Price won his alienation suit and won on my testimony. I would not have cared one way or another had it not been that the papers played me up as the central figure and insinuated that I had a financial interest as well as a heart interest in the case. 
"Ill fortune pursued me here. I met, loved and married Joe Peppa. We went to San Diego and Mexico on an automobile honeymoon trip, and on our return I and Peppa were arrested and Peppa was shot. In my rooms they found an opium pipe and two cards of opium."
Also it developed that Peppa has another wife and that the marriage ceremony with Miss Benson was a "frame-up." She rejected Peppa and now pays the penalty for her latest love affair with a sentence in a cells. 
Betty's exculpatory explanation was picked up by the Oakland Tribune as well, where she continued:
"The pipe was the gift to me from a very famous song writer, whose deposition I hope to secure. I had hung it on the wall ever since my arrival in California. The police say it has been smoked recently, and that is perhaps true. But it was a negress who acted as my maid -- I had been away for eight days when I was arrested. I supposed I am being held as a witness against Peppa; certainly they cannot convict me of crime where none was intended.
Miss Benson admits 26 years, but looks less than 20. She was arrested November 24 after police had captured Peppa in a gun battle, and both were accused of having smuggled opium from Mexico into the United States. The opium was not found, but the police did find the tools of opium smokers in the house.
Married to a bigamist and arrested for possessing opium not hers? Then jailed? But she had not yet hit bottom. Miss Benson's luck turned from bad to worse. Before her one hundred day jail term was complete Betty Benson died -- the cause of death shrouded in mystery.

Chicago Tribune, January 29, 1917

Relatives Find Wounds on Body Which Discount Natural Death.
Eleanor (Betty) Benson, Chicago movie actress and cabaret entertainer or various widely published adventures, wound up her career in Los Angeles several weeks ago as the victim of a mysterious tragedy.
Telegrams exchanged between California and Vermont authorities last night revealed for the first time that Betty did not die of pneumonia. Two bullet wounds in her head and one in a leg were discovered when her body reached Vermont relatives to whom it had been shipped.
Betty Benson died in a Los Angeles hospital in December. A few days previously she had been released from jail, where she had served a term of 100 days on the charge of smuggling opium. This trouble followed her elopement into Mexico with"Joe" Peppa. On their return they were pursued by Mexican police and when they tried to escape in their automobile they were fired upon and Peppa was shot and captured.
Found with Opium.
The woman returned to Los Angeles and there the authorities investigating reports that she was a smuggler of opium, raided her hotel apartment and found an opium pipe and two cards of opium. She was sent to jail. Peppa rejoined her and a few days after her release she died, it being announced that her imprisonment had brought on fatal pneumonia.
The body was shipped to Chicago and thence to an obscure town in Vermont, where her mother was awaiting it, and the story of the movie girl was almost forgotten. Last night the California authorities were informed that Betty had been shot three times. They immediately began an inquiry as to the girl's movements after her release from jail.
Betty Benson's mother pressed the claim of foul play. On the other side of the country a Vermont DA found probable cause to investigate. 

The Lincoln Star, January 29, 1917


Photograph of Girl With Bullet Wounds In Back May Lead to Investigation.


Miss Nora Benson Reported to Have Died of Ailment in Loss Angeles.


(Associated Press)
RUTLAND, Vt. Jan. 29 -- District Attorney C. V. Poulin said today that a photograph purporting to be of the body of Miss Nora (Betty) Benson, who is said to have died at the Pacific Coast hospital, in Los Angeles, Calif., January 3 and which seemed to show bullet wounds in the back, had been presented to him with a request to make an investigation. The photograph was presented by the girl's mother, Mrs. Chauncey Benson of Chicago, who was advised that the authorities could not proceed until they received definite information from the Los Angeles police. Mrs. Benson was told to write for information.
Miss Benson's body was shipped to Chicago and later brought here as the family formerly lived in this state. Mr. Benson told the district attorney the girl went to Loss Angeles a year ago to join a moving picture company. A telegram announcing her death was received in Chicago early this month.
A card on the casket marked, "pneumonia do not open" aroused Mrs. Benson's suspicion and she had the casket opened and a photograph made which convinced her that the young woman had been shot.

According to District Attorney Poulin, the cause of the death given in the death certificate was "yellow liver atrophy." No word, he said, had been heard from California authorities.
Back on the West coast the authorities responded. They said allegations of death by shooting were not true.
San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 1917
LOS ANGELES, January 29. -- Miss Betty Benson, the cause of whose death is being investigated by the District Attorney of Rutland Vt., died here January 3 at the Los Angeles County Hospital shortly after she had been released from the City Jail after serving part of a one-hundred day sentence for having opium in her possession.
Dr. C. H. Whiteman, superintendent of the hospital, investigated the case, he said, at the request of the family and found no basis for suspicion that the young woman had been shot. He said said her death was caused by yellow atrophy of the liver with complications. 
The office of the Chief of Police announced it had been found that two wounds on the side and on the leg of Miss Benson were made by the undertaker in embalming. The young woman's mother wrote that one leg also was broken. This, it was explained by the police report, probably was caused by dropping the casket, which was handled four times in shipping to Vermont.

So sadly, finally and definitively ended the saga of Miss Betty Benson.

Never on Sundays -- Lawlessness Before Prohibition.

In the pre-prohibition era, blue laws required that beer and liquor operations go dark on Sundays, but that restriction was viewed more as an opportunity than a burden by the operators of the the Lincoln Tavern.
Chicago Tribune, October 7, 1915
Ain't Such an Ill Wind," Asserts Roadhouse Servitor of Closing Law. 

While Chicago saloonkeepers and restaurateurs are trying to become reconciled to a lean, dry Sunday as a result of Mayor Thompson's enforcement of the Sunday closing law the roadhouses outside the city are busy.
"It ain't such an ill wind for us," observed a bartender in Cicero, just outside the city limits. "Wait until you see our Sunday business." 
A canvass of the nearby towns brought strong indication that these towns are strong for Sunday closing in Chicago strictly because it means more Sunday business for them. 
Mrs. Peach of Lincoln tavern, one of Morton Grove's caravanaries said there had been no reservations yet, but she was putting in a good stock of provisions.

The Lincoln Tavern flouted the law in more ways than one, emboldened by the cooperation of see no evil, hear no evil, town fathers. But not all the village folk were on board. 

Chicago Tribune, November 2, 1917
Village Officials Indicted After Wild Parade in Streets.
When a company of saloonkeepers in Morton Grove defied State's Attorney Hoyne's Sunday closing edict Morton Grove smiled and went about business as usual.
Some grogshop owners obeyed the mandate but many of the "prominent citizens" who preside behind the tap, felt no alarm. Why, weren't a grist of Morton Grovites bragging about their "pull" down at the County building? Why worry? This man Hoyne couldn't do anything. 
But when a squad of Lady Godivas held dismounted drill on the streets this or the other side of midnight, Morton Grove seismographically recorded a disturbance around the cardiac. Yes, the town was shocked, there was no doubt about it. Residents began to howl indignantly.
Inidictments Are Voted.
Their vocalized resentment reached the ears of the state's attorney, who had been writing notes to the village authorities to close the saloons and otherwise obey the law. Assistant State's Attorney Viterna made a pilgrimage to the place and brought back evidence supplementing that in the possession of Prosecutor Case. 
The result was that the jury voted indictments against the village president, August F. Poehlmann, a millionaire florist; Henry Loutsch, Louis Relmer, Joseph Hoss, trustees; Edward Niemah, Peter Heintz, saloonkeepers, on charges of conspiracy to permit the operation of saloons on Sunday, of gambling and disorder house and blind pigs.
Unless the jurors reconsider, the indictments will be returned today in open court. Poehlmann learned he had been a target when he presented himself to the state's attorney office and begged Mr. Case to give him a chance to square Morton Grove. There was a suggestion of tears in his eyes as he pleaded. Mr. Case replied that he had been warned too often.
Shocking Scene Enacted.
When the prosecutor finished his interview newspaper men asked how the squad of Lady Godivas looked racing through the streets.
August Poehlmann
Mr. Viterna, blushing furiously, told of the midnight merriment. It was a common occurence before the late biting weather, said he. The lasssies he went on, lived or spent their evenings at the Lincoln tavern run by May Peach.
"When they went on parade everyone could have had whatever seat for the performance was desired," Mr. Viterna said. "They were most shamelessly unattired. It was not uncommon for them to run races from the tavern to the town hall which they circled. The even went by the Evangelical Lutheran church; all over Morton Grove in fact." 
Heretofore the biggest controversy August Poehlmann had been involved in was whether his Mrs. Potter Palmer's hybrid was the fairest pink rose in the land. That was known as "The Battle of the Roses." Nothing beyond bragging rights was at stake.
The Inter Ocean, November 8, 1907
We assume that Mr. Poehlmann was not ultimately prosecuted or convicted for his lax oversight, for he continued his august career as a florist and remained a leading and respected member of the community for many years to come.

As for the tavern operator, May Peach, she came to be wife of Charles Huff, frequently noted as proprietor of the Lincoln Tavern, a relationship one would think it easy to ascertain. But in this case it took digging and incredible persistence by an intrepid reporter to confirm from the slippery proprietor, indeed, they were wed.

Chicago Tribune, January 7, 1921
Divorce Year Up, Reweds Woman Inn Owner.
Euclid would probably have loved to grapple with this mystery of 896,039, but he would have been baffled. For what mere many has ever bested Cupid? It's the number of the marriage license issued yesterday to --
Collett D. Huff. Evanston; May M. Karton, Evanston 37-28. 
Now the Evanston telephone directory for January discloses that there is a Collett D. Huff at 1017 Ridge avenue, in one of the most fashionable residential districts of the suburb. Further, the Chicago telephone directory discloses that Collett D. Huff is a boker at 209 South La Salle street. Also THE TRIBUNE files show that Collett D. Huff, "a young broker," was married on November 20, 1913 at Crown Point [Indiana], to Miss Ethel Jacobs, 1544 West Twelfth street.
On the Trail.
A reporter called the Evanston Huff's telephone number last night. A man anwered. The conversation:
"Is Collett D. Huff there?"
"There is no such party here."
"Who are you?"
"Why I am Charles Huff." 
"Did you just get married?" 
"Heavens no."
"Well a marriage license was issued in Chicago today for Collett D. Huff and May M. Karton."
"I have never heard of Collett D. Huff."
"Aren't you a broker?"
"I sell automobiles."
The mystery was becoming most opaque. You see, the reporter had previously learned of another marriage. Collett D. Huff and May M. Peach, the latter proprietor of the Lincoln Tavern in Morton Grove, were married in the city hall of Chicago in March, 1919. The reporter had an inspiration. He again telephoned the Evanston Huff.
"Maybe," he ventured, "your son ran away and was married. Have you got one and is his name Collett?"
"Yes, I've got one, but his name's not Collett. And he's only 15 years old and he's in the basement now playing with the maltese cat."
"This is a peculiar case, isn't it?"
"Yes, indeed' good night." 
Whereupon the reporter called Morton Grove 8 which is the Lincoln Tavern.
"Sure," said a man, "May Peach, that was her first husband's name you know; then she married A. J. Karton, but she calls herself Kartold, but she calls herself Karton May Peach and Collett D. Huff were married today. They were out here spending their honeymoon. Huff lives in Ridge avenue, Evanston, and he's a broker.
The Truth at Last.
Once more the reporter called Mr. Huff. He put the question blankly:
"Did you marry Mrs. Peach today?"
"Say," said Mr. Huff, "I've got to hand it to you for bulldog tenacity. Yes, I married Mrs. Peach, and I'm Collett D. Huff. Listen, I'll tell you the whole story."
"I was married and got a divorce in 1918, Mrs. Peach and I were married secretly in Crown Point. We were married there because the year had not elapsed since my decree was granted. Well, the year's elapsed now, and we decided to get married all over again, which we did. And I wish you would do me a favor."
"What is it?"
"Don't print much of an item."

There you have it.

Prohibiton Begins.

With the passage of the Volstead Act on October 29, 1919 and ratification of the 18th amendment to the United States Constitution on January 16, 1920, it was lights out -- at least for a brief interregnum. There was to be no booze, nor beer nor wine, except for sacramental stocks here and there.

Chicago Tribune,
November 1, 1919
Loop and Environs and Even Roadhouses Are Arid.
The drys have it.
The law, objected to by the president but passed by congress, is effective. There may be liquor but it can't be had by strangers. Last night the loop was quiet and dry. The outlying districts were quieter and drier. Perhaps a friend could get it from a friend, but hey had to be good friends.
A stranger toured the loop, the outlying districts and finally [in desperation] the roadhouses in search of bourbon. There was not to be had. The dance, the lemonade, the jazz music was plentiful, but liquor was not.
No even hard cider -- on Halloween too. The ghosts the goblins, Jack O'Lanterns and witches pranced over walls and ceilings as usual, but their activities were unaided by fermented apple juice.
Loop Goes Thirsty.
The loop, as seen in the College Inn, the Blue Fountain room, the Winter Garden, Friars Inn, and the North American, was as dry as a prune. 
To the territory referred to by loophounds as "Little Paris" -- i.e., the Wilson avenue district -- the stranger hurried. At the Green Mill the waiter shook his head and suggested a horse's neck. No amount of persuasion or money could change his mind. The band jazzed merrily.
Roadhouses Are Arid.
To the country ----
The Wayside Inn was dark. It was only 12:30 in the morning, but the head waiter had removed his tuxedo and had discontinued extending the glad hand to arrivals. In fact, he wouldn't even allow a thirsty motorist inside the veranda door.
The lights of the Lincoln tavern called from down the glistening road and eight motor cars were parked outside. But inside only three couples were discovered at the tables. A lone piano players did his best to entertain, but the bartender had departed and the cook refused even sandwiches. There was no liquor. There wouldn't be. It wasn't good for you anyway.
So there you are -- the drys have it.
The Sentinel, May 28, 1920
The response to the drys stomping on Lincoln Tavern gaiety in late season in 1919 was to reincarnate the operation as a "New Road House" in 1920, catering "to the respectable travelling public and to those who desire amusement as well as those who appreciate an excellent dinner." The proprietors promoted the Tavern as "an unusually attractive place." They continued, "The public will not be disappointed in their expectations, there nothing but the best will be offered them." The "best" what need not be mentioned, because everyone knew, local police paid off, and the constitutional amendment and federal prohibition be damned, the taps would flow and distilleries would find eager customers.

Business was better than ever at the Lincoln Tavern. Bids were solicited on a major rebuild and expansion.
The Economist, March 11, 1921
Paul F. Olsen, 127 North Dearborn, received bids on rebuilding and one and two-story additions to the Lincoln Tavern, Morton Grove, west of Evanston, Ill., for Mr. Huff. Improvements include one high story dining room, 81x58, on first floor, private dining rooms on second floor, considerably increasing seating capacity. Building will be of frame and stucco, with steam heat, plumbing.
The respected premier Jewish weekly, The Sentinel, published a laudatory puff piece.

The Sentinel, September 2, 1921
"To enjoy dinner even a hungry man should have silence, solitude and a subdued light."
It is not to be expected that the unusual distinction of the Lincoln Tavern as a half-way house could be judged by the ordinary standards of excellence. No finer spot has yet been discovered. It passes every test with the highest honor.
You may spy the arrived autoist loafing his soul and escaping from the bustle of a heated Chicago, leisurely strolling the beautiful gardens thrown open to your inspection like a materialized fairy land. A large space in these Rustic Gardens, for a variety of reasons, attract those lovers of quiet in quest of seclusion. It is a power for reconstruction to play hide and seek with solitude in these particularly enchanting gardens.
One of the pleasantest proofs of the masterly grasp which the Moonlight Terrace has on the finer souls to whom the human passion for enchantment appeals as a commendable craving, is found in the fragrant character of the joy expressed by all who patronize Lincoln Tavern Lincoln Tavern. There is a free expression of satisfaction experienced by the sojourners at this unsuspectedly romantic spot, which nature has so abundantly blessed. 
If you love to dine well; if you love to indulge in all the accompaniments of delicious dining, hie yourself with all your expectations wrought up this weekend to Lincoln Tavern. You will find there the spring of youth, the source of health, the home of innocent joy. It's a modern half-way house, this Lincoln Tavern, yet gorged with rustic beauty. 
Lincoln Tavern dining room.
One would be right, I think, in maintaining that Mr. C. D. Huff, the proprietor of Lincoln Tavern, has solved one of the vexing problems of the autoist. He has found a spot easily accessible, with a singularly beautiful background permitting the large variety of tastes to be sated, each in its own way.
Route to Lincoln Tavern. Sheridan road, to Dempster street, Evanston then west four miles, or Lincoln avenue through Niles Centre to Dempster street, Morton Grove. Or Milwaukee avenue through town of "Niles" to Dempster street and Milwaukee avenue, then east on Dempster street three miles to tavern. You will laugh at anyone that says it's a long dusty journey. There are no discomfitures to the ride.
You pass a stretch of scenic delight which for grandeur en-trances. It's restful scenery, a relief from the rugged rollicking country from which the weary wayfarers want to flee. Explore the beauties of Lincoln Tavern. Emerge from your shell of in-difference to the beauties of calling nature and plunge for the nonce into Morton Grove, fringed with pretty cottages and resplendent in all the glory of a perfect summer's day, lovable women, enchanting children, surpassing men of good breeding and rare manners. 
This is the life.
Here is the paid for full-page Sentinel ad.
The Sentinel, August 12, 1921
The Lincoln Tavern was the "Place De Luxe," 45 minutes from the loop and a venue where you could "Be Royally Entertained."
The Sentinel, October 13, 1922
Lincoln Tavern earned a reputation for serving large crowds in sumptuous facilities and offering first class entertainment.

Jack Huff operated the Lincoln Tavern in a large white frame building set back about a hundred feet south of Dempster Road. The place was built to accommodate big crowds, and its large semicircular parking lot could handle a hundred cars. The focal point of the Lincoln Tavern, however, was its two dining rooms; the larger of them measured two hundred feet by seventy-five feet and had a polished dance floor in the middle. Huff hired the Coon-Sanders band from Kansas City to play during the summer of 1924 at the Lincoln Tavern. It was the first major out-of-town name band to play at the roadhouse. As an employer, Huff could circumvent the Chicago musician rules, which forbade agents from"importing" out-of-town bands. Huff gets an "A" for his initiative in boarding a train to Kansas City to convince the co-leaders of the Nighthawks that Chicago offered them greater opportunity.
The new upstairs dining rooms hosted "gay little parties" where the liquor flowed, and more "serious parties" where gambling instruments were spun, leading to raids by agents of the federal government.

Chicago Tribune, July 2, 1922

Revelers in Roadhouses Are Nabbed

Federal prohibition agents last night raided the Green Mill garden, Broadway at Lawrence avenue, the Lincoln Tavern and Dell's, two well known road houses on the Dempster road west of Evanston.
In addition to seizing gallons of liquor the raiders gathered in upwards of a hundred violators, including several prominent Chicago personages who happened to be guests.
The raid at the Lincoln Tavern was the most thrilling. This establishment lately has become popular with motorists, and it was crowded with gay little parties in the dining rooms, when the raiders closed in. More serious parties, deeply concerned in two roulette wheels, were disturbed when the dry squads arrived. 
Load Up All Inmates.
After seizing much contraband, the federal agents rounded up owners, waiters, and guests indiscriminately, and prepared to bring them to the city. This caused much confusion, and a rush for telephones against the possibility of remaining over the Fourth under lock and key. Early this morning several automobile loads were on their way into the city, with more to come.
The proprietors of all three places are under arrest.

Though there is no recorded instance of revelers visiting Lincoln Tavern by air, the Lincoln Tavern/Sonne airfield operated across the street. 

The Daily Herald, May 27, 1921

Robbers Target the Tavern.

Isolated, not well policed and attracting well healed crowds, the Lincoln Tavern was a rich and easy target for robbers.

Chicago Tribune, June 8, 1921
Thugs Terrorize Roads Northwest of City.
Two bands of robbers operated in suburbs northwest of the city last night, terrorizing motorists and tavern customers.
A hundred patrons of the Lincoln Tavern in Morton Grove late in the night were robbed by six auto robbers, who, after cutting the telephone wires, at the point of revolvers forced men and women to hand over their money and jewelry. The Evanston police report the total loot might reach $16,000.
While four of the robbers stood guard the other two went through their victims. Jack Huff, owner of the tavern, was lined up against the wall with his patrons.
Carry Away Cash Register.
The robber leader, finding he could not open the cash register, said to have contained $3,500, carried it to the car. The others backed out and sped away.
Mrs. Huff ran to the telephone exchange and called for the Evanston police, who notified the detective bureau. Squads from the bureau and patron wagaon from the north side station were sent out in the hope of capturing the robbers.
Four Other Robberies.
Nine armed men in an automobile, believed to have been stolen, robbed auto parties on the road south of Wheeling during the night. They are known to have committed four robberies. The first man to make a report said he was from Chicago, but gave no name. He said he had been robbed of $40. 
In the other robberies several women were forced to removed their diamond rings and men were compelled to hand over their money.
The Daily Herald added some color to the robbery report.

The Daily Herald, June 10, 1921

Four youthful robbers entered the Lincoln Tavern late Tuesday evening and lined up 75 dancing couples against the wall, relieving them of about $10,000 in jewelry and $5,000 cash. Also $2,500 from the cash register. It is said one lady with especially valuable diamonds, dropped them in a cup of coffee and later recovered them. The dancing was in full swing, when the robbers entered and it is said the dancers at first though a joke was being played, but the hold up men soon let them know that they meant business. Mrs. Jack Huff, the proprietress, got into a phone booth to call the police, but was detected by one of the men, pulled out and the wires cut.
Earlier, the same evening, the same crowd held up eight autos near the viaduct. It is rumored that the robbers had been tipped off that a woman wearing $40.000 worth of jewels was a nightly visitor at the Tavern, but she left about 20 minutes before the holdup
Later that year, the police tracked down the robbery suspects, and got into a high speed chase and a deadly gun fight.

Chicago Tribune, December 9, 1921
Police Riddle Robbers' Stolen Auto.

In a desperately fought battle between gunmen and detectives, one supposed robber was killed, another is dying and a third wounded, as the climax to a two mile automobile chase last night.
The driver of the pursued car, a stolen machine, was shot through the heart. The automobile was fairly riddled with plugs from the shotguns used by detectives. During the chase more than fifty shots were exchanged. 
The dead man is John Jancik, 26 years old, 1154 West 48th street. He is said to have been leader of the quartet, believe to have figured in many of the recent holdups. Two men identified two of his pals as the robbers who had held them up.
Fire at Policemen.
The trail of the alleged bandits was picked up at Archer and Fransisco avenues by Detective Sergeant Egan and his squad, composed of Sergeants McCarthy, McFadden, Kennelly, and Murphy. The detectives were looking for a car of the description of the one driven by the man. 
As the large touring car whizzed past the bureau automobile Sergt. Egan gave the word, "There they are boys." The chauffeur put on more speed and the detective car crawled up on the other. The men in the pursued machine opened fire.
Fires Double Barreled Volley.
The detectives crouching in the tonness, replied with revolvers and shotguns. At 40th street and Francisco avenue the detective drew alongside the other car and Detective Sergeant McCarthy let go a double barreled volley into the other machine. The driver pitched forward over the wheel and the car crashed into the curb.
The police believe they may be able to connect the gang with the holdup of the Lincoln tavern at Morton Grove, Tuesday night, when dancers were stripped of money and jewelry totaling $16,000.
Linked With The Dells.

The Daily Herald, August 4, 1922
Proprietors of the Lincoln Tavern like the operators of near neighbor, The Dells, were prominent in the community and active socially. Properietor Jack Huff, attended one of the biggest weddings of the summer in August, 1922.
Mrs. Anna Nieman of Morton Grove was the happy bride and she was attended by Mrs. Elsie Koelper and Mr. Homer Byrd. The bride was attired in a beaded Canton crepe gown, with white satin stripes, and the brides-maid wore a Georgette crepe gown orchid color, and both were adored with wonderful bouquets. The wedding took place at 8 p. m., and at 10 p. m. a wedding dinner was served at Mrs. Behm's in Wheeling, to 150 guests, among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Jack Huff, Mrs. Fresel, Mrs. Pein, Mr. Rachbauer, Mrs. Ruhnke and Mr. A. H. Weber. The wedding march was played by Mr. Weber and later on several violin solos rendered by Miss Hazel Guelzow of the Lincoln Tavern Orchestra accompanied by Mr. Webber, also the Anvil chorus was wonderfully and musically presented by Mr. Charles Peschke, the village blacksmith of Morton Grove.
Readers of this blog may recall that May Pearle Pein and Felix Rachbauer operated The Dells. We assume that C. D./Collett/Charles Huff at some point decided to go by the name of Jack. Six weeks after the Schuler, Neiman wedding, Mr. Rachbauer would be dead, shot by Mrs. Pein's sister, allegedly in self defense, purportedly after Rachbauer became enraged when his girlfriend, Mrs. Pein, went riding with other gentlemen for the night. 

The Daily Herald, September 15, 1922

Mrs. Fred Pein, had come into her share of The Dells ownership tragically and accidentally -- so at least it was claimed.
Mrs. Fred Pein, name was Pearle Mae Pein, had become part owner of The Dells when her husband, during a celebration of the end of World War I, having been given a glass of whiskey, raised it, made the toast “here’s to peace forever,” drank it down and dropped dead. A buddy who drank with him also dropped dead. In a tragic accident, the friend who gave them the drink had pulled out an old whiskey bottle which many years before had been emptied and refilled with undiluted insect poison.
Rachbauer's slaying occured, conveniently enough, when he was slated to be a witness for the government in a case against a crooked federal revenue agent. Indictments were thrown out when Rachbauer's testimony was no longer available. 

Chicago Tribune,
December 2, 1922
Federal officials made it known last night that new indictments probably will be voted today or Monday against Harry W. Mager, former collector of internal revenue; Benjamin Mitchell, thirty years a member of the Illinois legislature; Thomas C. O'Brien, former chief field agent under Mager, and August Bruchman, all of whom were charged with violation of liquor laws until Judge Wilkerson threw their cases out of court Wednesday.
The jurist's action followed an attack on the indictments made by Attorney Benjamin P. Epstein, representing Mager, and Henry W. Freeman, who appeared for Mitchell. Six counts against each of the men were dismissed when Judge Wilkerson sustained the contentions of the attorneys were based upon technical flaws in the true bills.
According to government agents, the action of the court is not considered adverse to the prosecution's case inasmuch as Felix Rachbauer, who was to have been principal witness for the government, has died since the indictments were voted. Since the slaying of Rachbauer by a woman at his roadhouse several months ago, the government has felt a need for shifting of its offense, it is said.
Charles Kremp, former owner of the Bridge roadhouse and C. G. Huff, proprietor of Lincoln tavern, were named in the original indictments with Rachbauer as individuals involved in specific charges of extortion.
Huff's and Kremp's continued good health no doubt had much to do with refusing to turn state's evidence.

Poehlmann Day at Lincoln Tavern.

The American Florist, December 2, 1922
Our friend, former village president, nursery man and millionaire August Poehlmann, five years after his tussle with the state's attorney over streaking ladies, reserved the Lincoln Tavern to host an industry shindig promoting his flowers and greenhouses. August Poehlman promised to host Poehlmann Day at the Lincoln Tavern on behalf of the Chicago Florists' Club on Thursday afternoon and evening, December 7, 1922. Events included an inspection trip to the Poehlmann greenhouses (largely on the grounds of present day Harrer Park and Park View school), a flower show, a welcoming address and refreshments, the commercial Flower Growers' Association meeting, and dancing. Special invitations were extended to the ladies and out-of-town florists. Growers of novelties were encourage to make an exhibit. The sponsor promised "[t]he place will be in its prime at that time."

The Chicago Florists' Club announced the event.

The American Florist, December 2, 1922
Chicago Florists' Club.
The December 7 meeting and field day of the Florists' Club has been designated Poehlmann Day and will be held at Morton Grove, with headquarters at Lincoln tavern on Dempster street, that city.  
The Commercial Flowers Growers will meet jointly with the club at 7 p. m. and has arranged to present the cups awarded at the Uptown Chicago flower show, held last October, during the festivities at Lincoln tavern. The contemplated flower show in Chicago will be discussed by the two organizations. Growers of novelties are invited to make exhibits, which are to be sent care of Poehlmann Bros. Co., Morton Grove, Ill. Dancing will be a pleasing feature of the occasion, the Poehlmann brothers having engaged an orchestra. Tripping of the light fantastic will commence at 7 o'clock.
By all accounts, Poehlmann Day, encouraged by the distribution of "Say it With Flowers" cigars and lubricated by liberal provisioning of refreshments, was a resounding success.
The American Florist, December 16, 1922

Poehlmann Day.
The monthly outing of the Chicago Florists Club was held at the establishment of Poehlmann Bros. Co. Morton Grove, December 7 with probably the largest gathering in the history of the organization, some 700 persons being in attendance. From early morning until late at night the crowd kept coming by auto, bus and rail. The local trade was well represented and outside points made a strong showing. Wisconsin, especially Milwaukee, sent a large delegation and the visitors included members of the trade from Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri and California. Some of those who met on this occasion at Morton Grove had not seen each other for many years, one local man stating he had talked with two other Chicago men who worked together as boys and had not met for 25 years.  
There can be no doubt of the great value of these outings which bring members of the trade closer together and help very materially in extending the outlook of those who participate. A visit to the huge Poehlmann ranges is inspiring at any time but at this particular season a general inspection of the stock is a liberal education in floriculture. The enormous quantities of roses in many leading kinds timed to a nicety for the holiday business; the carnations, the palms, ferns and orchids, the bulbous stock lily of the valley, and a great variety of holiday plants including poinsettias, azaleas, begonias, primulas, etc., all at their best, the construction, heating and ventilation of the houses, the culture, manipulation and marketing of such a large variety of stock affords such opportunity for practical discussion as can be rarely, if ever, found on the same place.  
The firm had everything arranged for the greatest possible convenience and comfort of the visitors, and deserve the warmest thanks of those in attendance for the instruction and entertainment of the occasion. The principals and a large force of assistants were kept busy during the day answering questions of visitors as to the stock culture and appliances. In the evening, after a delightful repast at the Lincoln tavern, there was music and dancing. Minor refreshments and Say It With Flowers cigars had been freely distributed during the day.  
After the evening meal August Poehlmann, on behalf of the company, addressed the assembled throng welcoming the visitors to the establishment and expressing their appreciation of such generous attendance on this Red Letter day in their history. Poehlmann told of starting the business in a humble way 32 years before with his brothers John and Adolph and of its gradual passing to the younger members of the family, who may well feel proud of the heritage the place now being the most extensive and thorough known to the world of floriculture.

The Lincoln Tavern is the Go Place For Morton Grovers.

During the 1920s the Lincoln Tavern would shut down for the winter.
The Daily Herald, November 9, 1923
The Daily Herald, October 15, 1929
But in the off season, and in season during daylight hours, the Lincoln Tavern hosted many local social, civic and fraternal functions. Following is a sampling of events.

The Daily Herald, September 1, 1922

The Daily Herald, October 27, 1922

The Daily Herald, January 15, 1926

The Daily Herald, December 25, 1925

The Daily Herald, January 1, 1926

The Daily Herald
November 12, 1926

The Daily Herald, January 21, 1927

The Daily Herald, January 27, 1927

The Daily Herald, February 18, 1927

The Daily Herald, May 25, 1928

The Daily Herald, February 25, 1927

The Daily Herald, June 22, 1928

The Daily Herald, April 11, 1930

The Daily Herald, April 18, 1930

The Daily Herald, April 3, 1931

The Wine Bath Girl Appears at the Lincoln Tavern.

When the good people of Morton Grove were not in attendance at the Lincoln Tavern they still well understood was going on therein. They let their standards for the same be known when Joyce Hawley, the "winebath" girl, was hired to appear at Lincoln Tavern. The village president hat had been passed from August Poehlmann to Herbert Dilg, who, that time at least, was more aggressive upholding societal mores.

The Indiana (Penn.) Gazette, May 14, 1926
CHICAGO, July 14, -- (INS) -- Joyce Hawley, the winebath girl, was notified that her contract as a dancer at the Lincoln Tavern has been cancelled. Residents of Morton Grove, where the roadhouse is located, complained to Mayor Herbert A. Dilg that Miss Hawley's appearance in the neighborhood was causing too much notoriety. The Mayor last night ordered the chief of police to stop her act. He did, much to the chagrin of Miss Hawley.
The mayor was lauded for his action, for "such a drawing card casts the most undesirable reflection on any self respecting community."
The Daily Herald, July 16, 1926
The young lady who bared all responded dramatically and publicly to her banishment.
The Bridgeport Telegram
July 26, 1926

"Tired of Everything" Wine Bath Girl Takes Sleeping Potion -- Saved.
CHICAGO, July 25. -- (AP) Joyce Hawley, principal in Earl Caroll's wine bath party in New York, tonight was recovering at the county hospital from the effects of an overdose of sleeping potion, taken at her hotel. She was found hysterical in her room by hotel attendants.
Her action followed, it was stated, her being being discharged from a cabaret review. She took 35 grains of the sleeping powder and was discovered in agony by two friends. 
A physician was called who administered a hypodermic and pumped her stomach. "I wanted to sleep and end it all," she is reported to have said when she recovered sufficiently to talk coherently. At first she repeated "sleep, sleep," over and over again. 

She was employed in Lincoln tavern after a period of idleness. Her position lasted for six nights. On the seventh she was arrested for a traffic violation. Then she was jobless again.
Of course, it is not quite as simple as that. Joyce's dad was on to her ways. 

Denies Suicide.
CHICAGO, July 25. -- (AP) Recovering from an overdose of a sleeping potion in the County hospital tonight, Joyce Hawley, "the bathtub girl," protested vehemently that she had no intention of committing suicide when she took the medicine last night in her hotel room. 
She was discharged a week ago from cabaret job in Morton Grove, suburb, when village officials protested to the tavern keeper, and tonight Joyce admitted she was flat broke but "scared to die." Her dismissal resulted from publicity over her recent arrest for disregarding traffic signals and "sassing" the police. 
Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Daugelas, went to the hospital to see her, but her father declared Joyces' present predicament seemed to him "another advertising stunt."

Joyce said she was starting out for a walk last night from her hotel with an army officer, when she was affronted by the remark of a man in front of the hotel and she returned to her room. Unable to go to sleep, she took three doses of sleeping powder, which, instead of quieting her, brought on hysteria. County hospital physicians said her condition was not serious.
Hawley had been stopped and cited for traffic violations in Chicago, at which time invited a night in jail with her sharp lip.

Corsicana Daily, July 20, 1926
By Associated Press.
Chicago, July 10. -- Joyce Hawley, whose ablutions in wine brought to Earl Caroll, New York theatrical producer, a sentence for perjury, was fined $50 here today for ignoring two stop lights as she motored up Congress street.
"And I guess you'll pay up," remarked the court, "because there's no bath with wine in it at the Birdewell."
She posed for photographs while the obligation was discharge by a cabaret publicity agent. She had spent a night in a cell after "sassing" arresting officers.
Mom and dad took Joyce in.
The Evening News, July 27, 1926
Prior to appearing in Morton Grove, Joyce Hawley had absented New York for a "restful life." Joyce vowed to "quit tub life."

Reading Times, July 6, 1926
CHICAGO, July 5. -- Joyce Hawley bathed in"ginger ale" at Earl Caroll's famous party, is leaving New York. In a letter receive by her parents here today she said:
"I am tired of the bright lights and want to get away to a quiet spot. I am not going to stay in New York any more. I am leaving for Ohio with a theatrical company, where I'll lead a restful life."
The Huntington Press, May 30, 1926
Joyce Hawley's engagement in New York ended when she testified in the perjury trial of her Gotham wine bath producer.

Shamokin New Dispatch, May 26, 1926
Manager for Earl Carroll Says This Was His Personal Grading of Model in Testimony at Perjury Trail.
NEW YORK, May 26 -- Both sides rested their case this afternoon in the perjury trail of Earl Carroll, theatrical producer, after the defense had registered a savage attack upon the character of Miss Joyce Hawley, beautiful show girl, who testified to bathing undressed during the defendant's Broadway birthday party.
James W. Cody, Carroll's stage manager, testified that Miss Hawley was born in Madison, Wis., and 20 years old, according to her application card which was filled out when she applied for a position as a "nude model." She had testified that she was 17. Cody explained a notation of "D. D." on Miss Hawley's index card as his "personal grade." "D. D." stands for 'Dumb Dora'" he stated.
The witness said that "when Miss Hawley applied for a position she told me she had a number one figure and began disrobing."
"I stopped that and told her I'd see her in a bathing suit," said Cody.
Motions were made by defense counsel for dismissal of the perjury charge and for quashing of certain counts in the indictment. Federal Judge Henry W. Goddard denied the motion.
NEW YORK May 26 -- A Broadway atmosphere was added today to the "wine bath" trial of Earl Carroll, theatrical producer charged with perjury when Augustus Thomas, playwright, and Al Jolson, comedian, were summoned as defense witnesses while eight pretty chorus girls from Carroll's musical revue rooted silently from a front row bench for their employer.
Thomas testified he was not a guest at the midnight-to-morn party given by Carroll at which it is alleged Miss Joyce Hawley, beautiful 17-year-old girl bather ala nude in a bath tub of champagne.
The playwright said he had known Carroll for some years and testified as to his reputation for veracity and general good character.
After a few months in Morton Grove and Chicago, with more publicity in hand, it was back to New York for the wine bath beauty.

Reading Times, July 28, 1926

Reading Times, July 28, 1926

Raids Continue.

When government agents got to looking, the Lincoln Tavern and the other roadhouses up and down the Morton Grove strip were twofers, for they housed illicit gambling in addition to serving prohibited beverages.
By 1926, slot machines became prevalent in many of the roadhouses and taverns in the undeveloped 'boonies' of suburban Chicago. While places like Cicero, Calumet City, and Forest Park were particular hot spots, the hottest place around here was the "Little Bohemia" strip in Morton Grove, on Dempster Street near Austin. While prohibition was in effect, law enforcement was especially scarce and easily controlled in sparsely populated and rural unincorporated Cook County. Roadhouses there included Club Rendezvous, Lincoln Tavern, Wayside Inn, Club Morton, Walton Club, and most notoriously, The Dells, a roadhouse with a small casino on the second floor, stocked with slot machines, roulette wheels, and other games.
Raids were launched off and on throughout the 20s including in 1927 at Lincoln Tavern.

Chicago Tribune, October 14, 1927

The Lincoln tavern and the Stumble Inn, Morton Grove roadhouses, were raided yesterday by prohibition agents, who arrested three men and made liquor seizures at both places.
E. J. Hallis was arrested when a raiding squad seized a wildcat brewery in the Lemont concrete products company plant in Lemont. A warrant was obtained for the arrest of George Dillman, alleged to own the plant.
The Stumble Inn was a next door neighbor to the Lincoln Tavern, housed in what became Val's Tavern (operated by Valentino Hoffman) in the 1950s and 1960s.

Entertainment at the Lincoln Tavern.

When it imported the Coon Sanders, Kansas City Night Hawks in 1924, the Lincoln Tavern moved beyond the house band concept and amped up its entertainment portfolio.
The Sentinel, July 5, 1924
The Lincoln Tavern broke new ground in directly contracting with big bands to bring them to the Chicago area.

That Toddlin' Town, Chicago's White Dance
 Bands and Orchestras, 1900-1950

Several roadhouses in particular are of interest in this study of dance bands and are representative of the higher-class venues: the Lincoln Tavern and the Dells in Morton Grove, the Villa Venice near Glenview and Le Chateau in Thornton. The Purple Grackle, just east of Elgin, also drew large crowds from the Chicago area. The two best known of the Chicago area's many 1920s roadhouses were the Lincoln Tavern and the Dells, sometimes called the New Dells; they were practically neighbors at about 6000 West Dempster Road in Morton Grove, near the intersection of present-day Austin Avenue.
Jack Huff operated the Lincoln tavern, a large white frame building set back about a hundred feet south of Dempster Road. The place was built to accommodate big crowds, and its large, semicircular parking lot could handle a hundred cars. The focal point of the Lincoln Tavern, however, was it two dining rooms; the larger of them measured two hundred feet by seventy-five feet and had a polished dance floor in the middle. Huff hired the Coon-Sanders band from Kansas City to play during the summer of 1924 at the Lincoln Tavern. It was the first major out-of-town name band to play at a roadhouse. As am employer, Huff could circumvent the Chicago musicians union rules, which forbade agents from"importing" out-of-town bans. Huff gets an "A" for his initiative in boarding a train to Kansas city to convince the co-leaders of the Nighthawks that Chicago offered them greater opportunity.
Coon Sanders was highly successful in Kansas City and in subsequent years would be a headliner at The Dells.
The Orchestra was a pioneer in broadcasting their music over WDAF Radio from the Muehlbach Hotel at 1213 Wyandotte Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The broadcasts were in the early morning and the Nighthawks Club was formed for fans of the great music being broadcast. Fans were encouraged to send in requests for songs by letter, telephone or telegram. That move became so popular that Western Union set up a ticker tape between Sanders' piano and Coon's drums so the telegrams could be acknowledged during the broadcasts.
The group left Kansas City for the first time in 1924 for a three month engagement in a roadhouse [the Lincoln Tavern] in Chicago. They moved into the Blackhawk Hotel (139 North Wabash) in Chicago in 1926. The members of the Orchestra at that time were Joe Richolson and Bob Pope, trumpets; Rex Downing, trombone; Harold Thiell, Joe Thiell and Floyd Estep, saxophones; Joe Sanders, piano; Russ Stout, banjo and guitar; "Pop" Estep, tuba; Carelton Coon, drums. In the following years, the Nighthawks performed at the Blackhawk every winter, broadcasting over the powerful WGN Radio station. Their reputation spread from coast to coast through the broadcasts and the many records they made for Victor. They undertook very successful road tours.

At their peak, each member of the Orchestra owned identical Cord Automobiles, each in a different color with the name of the Orchestra and the owner embossed on the rear. The Orchestra's popularity showed no signs of abating and their contract with MCA had another 15 years to run in the spring of 1932 when disaster struck. Carelton Coon came down with a jaw infection and, on May 4, 1932, at 38 years of age, he passed away.
Here is a swinging rendition of "Yes Sir, That's my Baby," by the Coon-Sanders Nighthawk Orchestra. It's worth listening.
Charley Straight and "His Brunswick Recording Orchestra" were headliners at the Lincoln Tavern.

Chicago Tribune, July 22, 1928
Here is the scoop on Straight. Like all too many in his era, his life came to a sudden and tragic end.
Charles Theodore Straight (January 16, 1891 – September 22, 1940), better known as Charley Straightwas an American pianist, bandleader and composer. He started his career in 1909 accompanying singer Gene Greene in Vaudeville. In 1916, he began working at the Imperial Piano Roll Company in Chicago where he recorded dozens of piano rolls. He became a popular band leader in Chicago during the 1920s.. His band, the Charley Straight Orchestra, had a long term engagement at the Rendezvous Café from 1922 to 1925 and recorded for Paramount Records and Brunswick Records in the 1920s.
During the 1920s Straight worked with Roy Bargy on the latter's eight Piano Syncopations. In describing "Rufenreddy", the fifth in the series, the ragtime historian "Perfessor" Bill Edwards stated:
The actual parentage of this piece will likely remain obscured to some degree, since Bargy's collaborator, Charley Straight, more or less may have let Bargy take credit when the piano rolls of the Eight Piano Syncopations were transcribed into sheet music form. It is likely that Straight wrote the bulk of the composition in 1918, and Bargy added many of his individual touches to it in the performance, the end result being that there is some of each of them within.
Straight died in Chicago on the evening of September 22, 1940, after being struck by a car. At the time, Straight was working as a sanitary inspector for the city of Chicago, and was emerging from a manhole in the street.
The most renowned musician who performed at the Lincoln Tavern was Duke Ellington. The Duke appeared from July 14 though August 13, 1931.
August, 1931
As we noted at the outset, Duke Ellington used downtime productively during his stay at the Lincoln Tavern.  
"It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a jazz standard. The music was written and arranged by Ellington in August 1931 during intermissions at Chicago's Lincoln Tavern and was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records (Br 6265) on February 2, 1932. Ivie Anderson sang the vocal and trombonist Joe Nanton and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges played the instrumental solos. The title was based on the oft stated credo of Ellington's former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis. The song became famous, Ellington wrote, "as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time." Probably the first song to use the phrase "swing" in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the Swing Era by three years. The Ellington band played the song continuously over the years and recorded it numerous times, most often with trumpeter Ray Nance as vocalist.
Ellington's late summer 1931 Lincoln Tavern successor, Earl Burnett, opened the summer season in 1932 at the roadhouse as well.
Chicago Tribune, May 22, 1932
Earl Burtnett and his orchestra, made famous in the middle west last year by WGN, will return next Thursday to open the summer season at the Lincoln Tavern on Dempster road and will again be heard exclusively from THE TRIBUNE station . . . . Burnett and his band are know as the "Toast of the Coast," being the outstanding favorites of movie folk . . . . His band was featured in such talking pictures as "The Broadway Melody," " Viennese Nights," "Coquette," "Reaching for the Moon" and "Puttin' on the Ritz," . . . .  Earl will feature a former WGN star who has made good in talking pictures on the Pacific coasts -- Vernon Rickard -- who was discovered by Quin Ryan after graduating from Notre Dame university in 1924 and who acted as Quin's assistant and WGN"s first staff soloist during 1925 . . . . He left WGN to become leading man with the Duncan sister in "Topay and Eva." . . . . He also appeared in the "Fox Movietone Follies," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "The Shanghair Lady" and "The Spirit of Notre Dam." . . . . Burnett will feature also the soloists who became such favorites with the WGN audience last summer -- Gene Conklin and Jess Kirkpatrick, former half baqk at the University of Illinois.
Here is Earl Burnett performing "Puttin' on the Ritz."
Then the Duke returned. 
The Pittsburgh Courier, June 4, 1932

Ted Weems and "His Internationally Famous Orchestra" finished the 1932 summer season.
The Daily Herald, August 5, 1932

Famous For Food and Fun
Music by Ted Weems and His Internationally Famous Orchestra.
Located just 3 miles from Evanston on Dempster Road, phone Morton Grove 1919 and 1920. Featuring the finest foods, dancing and entertainment, with entire new shows. Broadcasting nightly over WGN. There is no cover charge at the Lincoln Tavern. Jack Huff is manager.
Every age produces something new in life and one of the novelties of this part of the state is the Lincoln Tavern of Morton Grove.
Variety and novelty in menu in furnishing both the best of cooking and the rare dishes make this a pleasant place to stop. When you do not know what you want just think of this place and you will solve the problem.
The rapid strides of business, its speed and complexity demands recreation for those who are engaged in its daily grind and at this social center one is transplanted into a wonderland of entertainment. This beautiful place is tastily furnished and everything sets in perfect harmony so that there is no jar to the senses but, on the contrary, those who admire the beautiful are at home here.
Music adds charm and everything for the enjoyment of the perfect meal, as Delmonico in his day said was necessary, is here.
The excellent music furnishes exotic syncopation, while the dance floor is perfect. Here one sees the leaders in business and the world of accomplishment. Women dressed in the latest vogue, the air laden with the perfume of flowers. There is no sorrow and there are no tears.  
The service is perfection. As you drive in they take charge of your car and relieve you of all responsibility. You are ushered inside where attendants take care of your every wish. The minute you arrive here a servant for every purpose looks after you and anticipates your next desire.
In this review we are pleased to compliment the Lincoln Tavern upon the position it holds in the entertainment life of the people and to suggest that an evening spent here will leave only pleasant memories.
Prohibition Ends.

As prohibition faded away and the Depression persisted, Jack Huff of the Lincoln Tavern stayed involved in the community. For Morton Grove Day, 1932 he bought the most raffle chances and won the coveted grand prize.
The Daily Herald, August 19, 1932

Without the draw of illegal booze, the Lincoln Tavern turned to casino gambling to draw its patronage, but also attracted the unwelcome attention of the state's attorney.

Chicago Tribune, July 20, 1936

Two policemen from the state's attorney's office were back on duty last night at the Lincoln tavern, No. 1 gambling house of the Chicago area, and as a result, dining and drinking were the only amusements available at the roadhouse on Dempster road in Morton Grove. The rear rooms, where roulette, blackjack, chuck-a-luck, dice and keno games were operating Saturday night, were closed.
The two policement were first stationed at the tavern Friday evening after the place had been raided by policemen led by Capt. Daniel Gilbert, chief investigator for the state's attorney. The guardians of the law were on duty all day Saturday, but in the evening they discreetly withdrew, permitting the tavern to do a good Saturday night's business.
Capt. Gilbert, who issued stern warnings Friday night that he would not tolerate gambling in the roadhouse, could not be reached last night for an explanation of the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of his guards.
The Lincoln Tavern would not go quickly or quietly.

Chicago Tribune, July 31, 1936

Village President Herbert A. Dilg of Morton Grove announced last night that the village liquor commision of which he is chariman, will meet tonight to consider the revocationof the license of the Lincoln Tavern on Dempster street. The place was formerly operated as a luxurious gambling resort, but was raided by the state's attorney's police on July 19. It has since been conducted as an eating and drinking resort, with highway policemen on duty to halt gambling. The state's attorney has written to the Morton Grove officials suggesting that the liquor license for the place be revoked.
Initially, at least, Village President Dilg seemed disinterested in shutting down the commercial powerhouse.

Chicago Tribune, August 11, 1936
Village President Herbert A. Dilg of Morton Grove announced Thursday night that a meeting of the village liquor commission would be held last night to consider the revocation of the license of the Lincoln tavern, a notorious gambling resort that was recently raided by the state's attorney police but is still operating as a dining and drinking place. A meeting of the village council was held last night but Dilg was absent. Trustee Peter F. Gebel said that Dilg was chairman of the liquor commission, but had not appointed any members and that if anything was done about the license Dilg was the only one who could do it. The Lincoln tavern still has its papers.
Gambling operations ebbed and then flowed again.

Chicago Tribune, December 16, 1936
Business was brisk again last night at the gaming tables in the Lincoln tavern, luxurious road house on the Dempster road, in Morton Grove, which was ordered closed permanently last summer by State's Attorney Courtney.
Without fanfare of a formal announcement, the tavern resumed its gambling operations about three weeks ago, according to visitors. The same old faces, which disappeared after the raiders closed the place last July, are back at their stands behind the dice, roulette, poker, keeno, blackjack and cluck-a-luck tables. Last night more than 500 persons, nearly half of them women, were guests in the tavern's casino.
At last, the state's attorney and county sheriff joined forces to ensure the Lincoln Tavern would shut down for good.
Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1936
Everything was closed at the Lincoln tavern, the Morton Grove road house that has quietly reopened its gambling facilities in the last few weeks, when a special squad from the office of Capt. Canie Gilbert, chief investigator for the state's attorney, arrived there yesterday. However, Capt. Gilbert announced that squads from his office as well as that of Sheriff John Toman would make daily visits to the place from now on.
Chicago Tribune, August 16, 1951

Eventually, all that was left were the trees, the most notable of which was felled by lightening in 1951.

Several others remain to this day.


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