Crow Wing County Historical Society (webpage header)

‘Soiled Doves’ Roost in the ‘City of Pines’

Brainerd, as many other towns, has a long history of ‘red light’ districts within the confines of the city. The ‘doves’ contributed a steady stream of revenue for the city coffers in the form of fines. An accurate portrayal of the seamier side of society is at least as important as the portrayal of other aspects of Brainerd’s history. The houses of ill-repute were called ‘female boarding houses’ on the Sanborn Map of 1892 and were primarily confined to west Laurel Street, South Second and South Third Streets south of Front Street.

Ann M. Nelson


ORDINANCE NO. 6.—An Ordinance to suppress Disorderly Houses, and Houses of Ill-fame, and to provide for the arrest and punishment of the keepers thereof, and to prevent prostitution.

The Common Council of the City of Brainerd do order as follows:

SECTION 1. Whoever shall keep a disorderly house, or an assignation house, or house of ill-fame, within the City of Brainerd, by permitting therein lewd and lascivious conduct, and prostitution, shall, upon conviction therefor, be punished by a fine of not less than Twenty-five dollars, nor more than Fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in the County Jail not more than sixty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SEC. 2. Any person who shall become an occupant of any such disorderly house, or house of ill-fame, or assignation house, as mentioned in the preceding section of this Ordinance, or who shall indulge in lewd and lascivious conduct, or prostitution, in said houses, or within the limits of said City of Brainerd, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding Fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in the County Jail not exceeding Thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SEC. 3. Whenever the owner of any house or building situated within the City of Brainerd, shall lease or rent the same to any person or persons, as and for an assignation house, or house of prostitution, or ill-fame, or knowingly permit the same to be carried on by any person or persons, on premises owned by him or them, within said city; or whoever shall act as agent for the owner of any such house or building or premises, and knowingly permits said house or building to be used and occupied for any of the purposes herein enumerated, shall, upon conviction therefor, be fined in a sum not exceeding One Hundred dollars, nor less than Twenty-five dollars.

Passed January 24, 1873.


President of Common Council City of Brainerd

EBER H. BLY, Mayor

T. P. TRUDELL, City Recorder.


(Brainerd Tribune, 08 February 1873, p. 4, c. 1)

PULLED.—A forty-second rate house, of not very excellent repute, was “pulled” by the police on Christmas night, the “pulling” amounting to three males and three females. They were “jugged,” and yesterday plead guilty in presence of Squire Stewart, and each paid fines for “getting up a corner” without a license. (Brainerd Tribune, 27 December 1873, p. 1, c. 7)


NASTINESS.—We are credibly informed by various persons acquainted with all the sickening circumstances, that there is a being in the shape of woman in this town who has for a long time been the keeper of a low brothel of infamy, which is frequented by the filthiest scum of low-lived humanity. The pasty den is said to be a blight on the worst of earthly hellholes, and its mistress, not content with plunging herself to the lowest strata of human depravity, has dragged her little children down with her; the oldest is but a child of twelve or thirteen years, and today she stands by the side of her mother, a shameless, brazen prostitute of the lowest order, whose diseased condition would be contamination to her own touch. Some persons, we believe, have offered to take her children, and raise them; but no, she haughtily refuses to let her children go, as she “has use for them as fast as they are big enough.” In our extended experience as a reporter in various portions of the country, a few cases similar to this have come to our knowledge; but they were in remote corners of large cities. This one, however, occurs under the very eyes of all the town, and is a case disgraceful to a sickening extreme. All the forms of “law” are looking down upon its existence—mutely, of course. The pretended Christians know of it. “Christ’s shepherds” have certainly long since heard of it, but in waiting till they “got a good ready,” a little soul has been lost—a life of infamy commenced. The church bell’s chime reaches into the filthy recesses of this place; the steeples’ glittering spires can be seen from its windows—and yet it exists. We say, damn laws that do not prevent such crime, and out on “mocking bird” religion that shrinks from the plainest duty it owes to Christianity, to God and humanity. The filthy fiend who is the mother should be whipped through the streets, and driven from civilization, and her helpless offspring cared for by the law, if there is such a thing, and provided for by Christians if, in fact, there is a Christian among us. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 February 1874, p. 1 c.’s 4 & 5)

WELL DONE.—Mr. John Gurrell, late Sheriff of this county, has adopted one of the little girls belonging to the woman (!) referred to in these columns last week, which he finally secured after considerable persuasion. The little thing, some five or six years old, has thus secured a good home, and guardians, in Mr. and Mrs. Gurrell, who will treat her as their own, and raise her as God intended little girls should be raised, we have no doubt. This is a most praiseworthy act, and commends them to the kindest regards of our CHRISTIAN community. (Brainerd Tribune, 28 February 1874, p. 1, c. 4)


Some of our good friends—the church folks and law folks—thought our remarks, on the extraordinary case of shame, in last week’s TRIBUNE, a leetle too severe—or a little something or another, they scarcely knew what; kind of raw, or pointed, or pungent; causing everyone to yell “ouch!” almost too simultaneously to be agreeable to the ear, like. Well, we may have jerked the coverlet off the affair rather rashly, and exposed to the gaze of all the monstrosity with too little warning to be strictly in the fashion; but then what is the use in beating the devil around the corner, or telling our readers that “if they are not careful we shall be compelled to hint, in some future issue, something about—well, you see, about—oh, we don’t like to say so, but it is about—yes, I guess so!” There has been too much of this timid, wishy-washy, non-effective policy already pursued by our paper for its own credit or the welfare of our young city and its good name at home and abroad. This hushing up, smoothing over business is well enough in its place, but when rottenness, or shamefulness become too apparent for civilized people to tolerate it right under the gaze of their own families, all through the neglect and general apathy of those whose business it is to look after such things, then we claim the right to come down on it like a thousand of brick, and without giving special and private notice.

The case in point is but one of a score of matters in this city which will bear immediate attention and thorough work on the part of both Christians and law officers. These things constitute no pleasant theme for us, we can assure all; and would that we had nothing but pleasant, godly subjects upon which to employ our feeble pen and imperfect and trifling talents as an editor. But, taking it for granted that we have “one Scriptural talent,” we feel it our duty, on “reckoning day,” to show that we have at least duplicated it while on earth among the million opportunities about us; if we do it awkwardly and inelegantly, it makes bad work with our comfort, and may jar the ease of others; but we crave their pardon, and offer as an apology, that we mean well, and are shooting at a sin away ahead, that we imagine at least we can see—if heads get up into the “sights” of our piece, and get hurt, it matters not so much, if we only hit the mark—it is the mark we are after.

We mentioned that there were a score of other cases that needed attention; or somethings. We are sure there is something wrong all about us, and that the EXECUTION of the laws by our law-officers, (accompanied by the pacification of Christian work, by our Christians) would be eminently in order. We say this only in the best feeling for them all, and not because we do not believe but they all think they are doing all they are expected or can do—for they doubtless MEAN TO DO their whole duty. But we think a little more study of the laws and a good deal more energy in their execution, on the part of all citizens (officers and church folks included) who desire to have Brainerd as GOOD a place as it is BEAUTIFUL, in which to rear and educate children, would be a grand thing. Our young city is already superb in its artificial aspect, only excelled by its God-given natural beauty, healthful, and all that heart could wish for as an abode for the young and the old, girl or boy, man or woman. But when our moral condition has become so that our little ones are liable to be poisoned on their way to our institutions of learning in a single day, more than years of education can counterbalance, we beg leave to say that something is wrong that MIGHT be righted. When prostitution and adultery abound upon every hand, a merely commonplace thing, UNCONFINED TO ANY PROPER CHANNEL IN ITS SWAY AND INFLUENCE, is it any wonder that we have scores of boys who attend our schools, and associate with our children, of necessity daily, who can and do make prostitution and kindred subjects their most prominent topics of conversation? while many of those who are on the streets at all hours, are blatant, loud-mouthed blackguards, who think that using language and referring to things most vile is the very point of brilliant wit. This state of things among the children is caused by what exists unlawfully, and is known of by all to exist, and the growing vice among the children is NOT confined altogether to the “lower classes,” BY ANY MEANS, and it is no wonder. Our city is the pride of all its citizens, in a general way, and the wonder of all visitors, because of its beauty and general good order; and if a little more vim and energy were used on the part of the law officers, the influence of Christians a little better directed in its work, and the whole supported by all good citizens, Brainerd could very soon be made a DESIRABLE PLACE TO LIVE IN AND RAISE UP FAMILIES. But as it NOW STANDS, and if our good citizens will kindly permit us to remark, we do not believe it to be a desirable town in which to rear and educate a family—NOT BY A LONG SHOT! although we have every faith that our citizens will soon cause such wise and proper regulations as will make it a grand little city in all particulars. (Brainerd Tribune, 28 February 1874, p. 1, c.’s 2 & 3)


NIGHT was made hideous, our citizens roused from their beds, and no little disturbance created, on Tuesday night last by a good deal of foul language, promiscuous shooting and drunken shouting of the feminine variety indulged in on our streets by a party of the demi-monde out on a “time.” They shot a number of lights of glass out of the O’Neil saloon [Last Turn], put a bullet through the window in Martin’s grocery store on Fifth street, and committed other depredations upon property and the “peace and dignity of the State of Minnesota.” The next day they received a call from Sheriff Whitney, and were informed that they had but twenty-four hours in which to get out of town, and they “got.” (Brainerd Tribune, 09 June 1877, p. 4, c. 2)


The report was received here by the noon train today that Fannie Clark a woman of the town, who first entered a house of ill-repute a few months since in this town, was fatally shot last evening at Moorhead, by a man named Flannigan, with whom she left this place some weeks since. The report states that she was still alive this morning but past recovery. Flannigan fired two shots both taking effect. She is a daughter of ______ Clark, formerly First Sergeant in Co. A. at Ft. Ripley. (Brainerd Tribune, 03 August 1878, p. 5, c. 1)

We were in error last week in stating that Flannigan was the name of the party who shot Fannie Clark, at Moorhead, on the 2nd. The name should have been Vandercar. Vandercar we understand resisted arrest violently, and pounded Sheriff Blanchard badly, when Flannigan knocked him down, he was then bound, and at this writing is in safe keeping. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 August 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

The Moorhead Advocate in speaking of the escape of the murderer Vandercar from the Moorhead jail says: “He has been seen in Brainerd, and it seems strange that he has not been arrested, as he is well known in that locality.” He would have been arrested had the sheriff of Clay county telegraphed our sheriff, instead of notifying him by postal card. A man was seen by two or three of our citizens to crawl out from the car trucks on the arrival of the train here, but he was so covered with dust that they could not recognize him, though, when three hours later Sheriff Whitney got the postal card, they recollected that the man they saw resembled Vandecar. He of course had made good his escape by that time, and though vigilant watch was kept up for twenty-four hours, day and night without cessation; and telegraph not postal card messages were sent out to intercept trains on the road, no tidings of him have since been received. It really does seem strange. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 September 1878, p. 1, c. 2)

Judge Stearns, of Duluth, passed through Brainerd Tuesday on his way home from holding a term of court just closed at Moorhead, Clay county. He reports very little civil business transacted during the term, but of criminal proceedings there was no end. The grand jury brought in 22 indictments, as follows: Sodomy, 1; horse stealing, 1; murder, 1; willful neglect of official duty, (Sheriff), 1; negligent escape of a prisoner, (Dep. Sheriff), 1; assault with a dangerous weapon, 2; pettit larceny, 3; keeping house of ill-fame, 5; selling liquor on Sunday, 7. Of these two were convicted on trial, 11 plead guilty, 7 were continued and 4 were not arrested when court adjourned. Among the indicted were the clerk of the court Hendricks for stabbing Bodkin; deputy sheriff for permitting escape of Vandecar; Vandecar for murder of Fannie Clark and for shooting at J. B. Blanchard, and Mrs. Sloggy, proprietress of the Bramble House, with all liquor dealers in the town, for selling liquor on Sunday. The judge thought when his clerk, sheriff, deputy sheriff and landlady were indicted it was time for him to adjourn court before it went further, or it is hard to tell where the grand jury might have ended. Judgement was temporarily suspended by the court in the liquor cases, and will depend largely upon the future conduct of the dealers, who are now on probation, and will receive light penalties if they obey the law, otherwise Judge Stearns says he will give them the full benefit of the heaviest penalty the law provides. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 November 1878, p. 1, c. 1)


A disgraceful affair took place one evening this week at a disreputable house, a squaw bagnio, on Fourth street, attributable chiefly to whiskey and general cussedness. Some of the participants were in great dread of arrest for several days thereafter, and the sheriff and county attorney improved the opportunity to give them a good scare. It is hoped the lesson will not be lost on them and that this cesspool of infamy may be removed. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 January 1879, p. 4, c. 1)


"One more importunate,

Weakly unfortunate,

Gone to his death."

Wm. Cook, a lumberman, about 32 years of age, died in "Mother Vinton's" place, a low den on Front street, this city, last Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, from an overdose, of morphine. He came to Brainerd several days ago and commenced to wrestle with tangle foot and got into a fight. Striking his opponent in the mouth he received a severe cut on the hand from the teeth of the man he struck, and was poisoned. Last Saturday night he lodged at "Mother Vinton's," and his hand paining him badly got up in the morning, took morphine—an overdose. Medical assistance was soon called in, but it was too late to be of any avail, and the soul of the poor, weak Wm. Cook, from a sinful couch in a brothel, took its weary flight.

"Has he a mother? Has he a father?

Brother or sister? Whence was his home?"

"No further seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode.

There they abide in trembling hope repose,

The bosom of his Father and his God."

(Brainerd Tribune, 31 January 1880, p. 1, c. 2)





BRAINERD, April 2.—Our quiet village was thrown into a state of excitement last evening by the report that a man had been shot three times at a house of ill-repute, kept by one “Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George” in the western part of our city. The TRIBUNE reporter at once proceeded to to investigate the matter and procured the following particulars: It appears that one Harry Burgess and wife have been stopping with Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George, and during the evening Burgess entered the house and began to beat his wife. Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George’s wife, came into the room and told him to stop, whereupon he turned and began beating her. Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George then put in an appearance and upon perceiving the situation, drew a revolver and fired three shots at Burgess but none of them took effect. Two of the balls passed through Burgess’s hat, one of them grazing his head. Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George then pounded him on the head with his revolver, inflicting a severe wound. Dr. Rosser was summoned and dressed the wounded man’s head. Burgess was unconscious at the time. Quaker [sic] [Fakir] George was arrested and lodged in jail but the necessary bail being furnished he was released and is again as free as the birds of the air. (Minneapolis Tribune, 04 April 1881, p. 5)

There was the time Jack O'Neill shot ‘Fakir' George [1881]. I was standing on the sidewalk, right beside Jake Payne [sic] [Paine] and saw that myself. O'Neill grabbed a big .45 and shot ‘Fakir' George right through the back. Then he yelled, "There now, heal yourself, you faker!" (Biography: March 1936; Joseph Kiebler, born 06 April 1860; Crow Wing County Historical Society)

Jack O'Neill, who shoots ‘Fakir' George in 1877 [sic] [1881], keeps the bar at the Last Turn Saloon in November 1873 [sic]. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1922)

Jack O'Neill, a saloon keeper of Brainerd, shot and killed a notorious and quarrelsome character named [‘Fakir'] Geo. Smith on Friday. Public sympathy is with O'Neill. (Minneapolis Tribune, 29 May 1881, p. 1)


BRAINERD, Minn., May 30.—The preliminary examination of Jack O'Neill for the murder of [‘Fakir'] George Smith took place today. Judge Sleeper reserves his decision until tomorrow at 9 o'clock. (Minneapolis Tribune, 31 May 1881, p. 2)

SEE: Last Turn Saloon in the Buildings & Parks of Brainerd page.

SEE: 1881 Jack O’Neill Shoots “Fakir George” at the Last Turn Saloon in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

CRIME and iniquity, degradation and pollution, all hold high and almost unrestrained carnival in many towns. Houses of ill-fame, where weak and sinful man may gorge his lustful appetite, and frail women, like so many greedy devouring vultures, feed off the carcasses of throttled morals and untoward characters. Many happy households are blighted, many a patient and loving wife has had ample cause to overflow her cup of bitter tears at the waywardness of her husband, who probably entertains the cherished idea that no dreams of his frailty ever disturb his bosom companion; carrying a viper more venomous than the deadly asp in his bosom, and permitting it to eat out the very vitals of conjugal love, domestic felicity and marital happiness; a spirit of meek forbearance may pervade his home, and to him assume the habiliments of an unruffled and undisturbed quietude, and evident happiness, but many are the bitter tears that the wife of his bosom, heart and soul pours forth in her terrible sorrow when she be left alone to her meditations. Do husbands consider this? (Brainerd Tribune, 04 June 1881, p. 1, c. 2)


Warning is hereby given that I have given special notice to all houses of ill-fame (the Tifft’s house especially included), located on Front street, in the town of Brainerd, State of Minnesota, that they are required to remove from their present location on said street within ten days from the date of this order, and that unless the tenor and substance of this notice be carried into effect within and during that period, the specific requirements of the statutes to abate nuisances, in such cases made and provided, shall be carried into rigid execution, and a refusal to obey the command hereby given, shall subject the persons so refusing to obey, to a prompt and forcible ejection from such premises. My reasons for giving this order are evident. Front street is the principal thoroughfare of traffic in Brainerd, and a general pleasure route to the river as well, and respectable people are loth to travel thereon. Patience and lenience are no longer virtues to be entertained in this matter, and I propose to fulfill and enforce this, my official order, to the word and letter. “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

P. MERTZ, Sheriff,

Crow Wing County.

(Brainerd Tribune, 25 June 1881, p. 5, c. 5)

Lo, the festive cyprian mourneth as the whangdoodle for its first born, as she getteth herself off Front Street, as per official notice. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 July 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

Sheriff Mertz is enforcing his orders relative to closing houses of prostitution on Front street. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 July 1881, p. 5, c. 1)

Yesterday morning, by virtue of an order issued previously by him, Sheriff Mertz proceeded to inaugurate more stringent measures relative to certain houses of ill-fame on Front street. All but J. S. Burkhardt, Sarah Vinton, Kittie O’Hara, Pat Clifford and Tiny Clifford had obeyed the official mandate and vacated the above named street. These five, however, concluded to stand fire, and await developments which, probably contrary to their anticipations, came sooner than expected. They were all brought before a justice of the peace, and bound over until Monday morning, in their own recognizance of one hundred dollars each. The sheriff further desires to say to this class of humanity in general, that should his attention be called to their loose conduct on the street in the future as in the past, matters will be made interesting for all offenders. Driving, promenading, etc. as these pleasures have been indulged in is hereby prohibited in the future, and it will be to the advantage of all concerned to heed the timely admonition. “A word to the wise is sufficient.” (Brainerd Tribune, 23 July 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

Eyes Right!

To Alex Hardwick and Kittie Nixon, Brainerd, Minn.:

You are hereby warned that it is an express and unreserved order, by virtue of my official duties as Sheriff of Crow Wing county, that if you desire to keep and maintain a house of prostitution within the limit of this community, you remove to the banks of the river, or across into Cass county, as a further toleration will not be allowed at your present location. You are hereby allowed the period of ten days to obey the tenor and command of this, my official mandate.

P. MERTZ, Sheriff.

(Brainerd Tribune, 30 July 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

Nellie Heathcote and another cyprian, the latter from St. Paul, were arrested in a disreputable locality in St. Paul, a few days since, in company with two of the male persuasion, one of the latter white, the other black. The girls were fined $10 each and costs, while the balance of the outfit were sent up for an appropriate length of time. (Brainerd Tribune, 20 August 1881, p. 5, c. 3)

Grand jury brought in an indictment against Ole Erickson for assault with intent to commit a rape, and also indicted Sarah Clark for keeping a house of ill-fame.

Court then adjourned until the 21st.

State of Minnesota vs. Sarah Clark. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest, and she was accordingly brought into court.

Defendant Sarah Clark was also arraigned, and entered a similar [not guilty] plea. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 September 1881, p. 5, c. 4)

Sheriff Mertz, this morning about ten o’clock, arrested a woman back of Glass’ place asleep or drunk, at least in a disgraceful condition. Such things are a disgrace to the town and community, and the sheriff gives notice that he will close all places harboring such parties, or that in any way are connected with such proceedings. (Brainerd Tribune, 01 October 1881, p. 5, c. 3)


Another bagnio was unearthed by Chief Mertz yesterday. It is located on Fifth street, and three girls in consequence paid the usual amount into the city treasury. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 February 1882, p. 5, c. 2)

Yesterday Sheriff Mertz served an execution on the property on Front street formerly owned by Sarah Vinton. The execution was made in the interest of Isaac Buber. The property, which consists of a house and lot, will be advertised for sale in the WEEKLY TRIBUNE of tomorrow, and will be sold six weeks from Saturday. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 April 1882, p. 5, c. 2)


It will be remembered that Dora Brown, one of the “frail” ones was confined in the county jail last summer for thirty days on account of misdemeanor, after which she went to Duluth, at which place she died, so it was reported. Strange to say she was up before Justice Douglas on Tuesday and made a very lively appearance for a corpse. Too much liquid lightning was the charge and she got five days and slim rations in consequence. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

Another house of ill-fame has been started across the river, near the bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1883, p. 3, c. 1)


1892 Sanborn Fire Map showing the houses of ill-fame located on South 2nd Street, 1892.
Source: Sanborn Fire Map

The mayor [James S. Gardner] is bound to put a stop to the demi-monde being on the streets after 9 o’clock in the evening and before 6 o’clock in the morning, and the police has authority to put them in durance vile if they disregard the order, and hereafter they will have to seek their haunts at an early hour. Truly the way of the transgresser is hard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The houses of prostitution will undoubtedly all be removed to the west side of the river. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Mayor Gardner has issued an order for all houses of ill-fame in the city to be closed by Saturday, May 17th. Any person found keeping or frequenting such a place after that date, will be prosecuted according to the provisions of Ordinance No. 2, which is as follows:

SECTION 1. No person or persons shall keep within the limits of the city of Brainerd a disorderly or ill-governed house or place, or a house of ill-fame, or place resorted to for the purpose of prostitution, assignation, fornication, or for the resort of persons of ill-name, ill-fame or dishonest conversation, or common prostitutes, and no person shall procure or suffer to come together at such house or place any of the above described persons; nor commit nor suffer to be committed in such house or place any immoral, lewd, lascivious, immodest or other improper conduct or behavior, or any reveling, rioting or disturbance. Any person violating the provisions or any provision of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof before the city justice, be punished by a fine not exceeding $100, and not less than $25, and the cost of prosecution, or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SEC. 2. Any person who shall within the limits of the city of Brainerd visit, resort to, or frequent or be found in a disorderly house or place, or a house of ill-fame, or place resorted to for purposes of prostitution, assignation, fornication, or for the resort of persons of ill-name, or ill-fame, or dishonest conversation or common prostitutes, shall, upon conviction thereof before the city justice of said city, be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than ten dollars and the costs of prosecution, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

SEC. 3. No person or persons shall knowingly let, hire, lease or demise any room, house, building or premises within the limits of the city of Brainerd to any person or person of ill-name or ill-fame, or who are known by common reputation to be common prostitutes, or the keepers or proprietors of houses of ill-fame, or places resorted to for purposes of immodest or immoral conduct or behavior. Any person or persons violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof before the city justice of said city, be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars nor less than fifty dollars and the cost of prosecution, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

Complaint was entered on Monday by Officer Banker, against Mrs. Nettie Ham, for keeping a house of ill-fame between June 1st to 15th, and she was arrested. The trial was set for Thursday morning but the defendant wanted more time to get witnesses from Crow Wing, and the case was postponed until Monday at 2 p. m. She will have a jury trial. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The trial of Mrs. Nettie Ham on Monday before Judge Douglas, created quite a little interest, if one could judge by the crowd that blocked the doorway to the court room. The case was called at 2 o’clock, and lasted until 6, when it was given to the jury who found that the defendant was not guilty, as charged in the complaint. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Fifteen females of careless virtue were before Judge Douglas Tuesday, and paid monthly fines amounting to about $125. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Warrants are out for the arrest of P. H. Clifford, Jack Burns, Fred Summerfield and Frank Tilley, charged with frequenting disorderly houses. They are to appear for trial Saturday at 10 o’clock. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Jack Burns and Pat Clifford, were brought before Judge Douglas, on Saturday morning, on a charge of frequenting disorderly houses. The charge could not be proven and the city Attorney dismissed them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

The Frail Doves.

A general raid was made by the Police on the houses of ill-repute on Thursday morning, and the result was, eleven females of easy virtue and two male companions being brought to the cooler. They were up before His Honor, Judge Douglas, at 9 A. M., and were very loud in their denunciation of the Mayor and the Police officers. The names of the first batch were Mary Collins, Jennie Covington, Frankie Cook, Fannie Bennett and Nellie Stuart, who were found in Jennie Clark’s house on Third street, and who all refused to plead guilty. But after being taken to jail they relented and three or four paid their fine, which was $12.85 in each case with the exception of the land-lady, whose fine was fixed at $27.40, and who deserves a trial which will be had Saturday at 10 A. M. Jennie Gray, the cook, was brought up and told such a straight story about being the widowed mother of three small children, and that she did not know the reputation of the house when she hired out to do the culinary work for the proprietor, that she was dismissed without fine.

In Annie Ball’s house were found Lou Peterson, Nellie St. Claire and Mate Baldwin, who all plead guilty, with an emphasis that meant business. Their ardor cooled down a little when the Judge says, “$10 and costs” amounting to $12.40 to each of the inmates, and $27.40 for the mistress of the ranch, making $64.60 for the four, which she paid, and the girls departed to their haunts of iniquity and sin. Among the last batch was found two specimens of male sex, giving their names as T. Summers and Andie Henderson, and were fined $7.40 each. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

One or two of the bagnios have removed to the other side of the river. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Jennie Clark-Burns plead guilty to keeping a house of ill-fame on Friday, rather than stand a trial, and was fined $25 and costs amounting to $29. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Mrs. O'Neill administratrix of the estate of the late Jack O'Neill has been removed by the court from that position, P. Mertz being appointed in her place. The cause was on account of crooked business being done in the shape of ten barrels of prime goods being shipped to Wisconsin by Mrs. O'Neill in her maiden name and which belonged to the estate. The goods have been recalled and the matter will be fixed up the first of the week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Police Court Notes.

There is another warrant out for the arrest of Nettie Ham for keeping a house of prostitution. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Mrs. J. O'Neill has leased the Tilley saloon on Fourth street, and opened up in good style. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 August 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

It is reported that the demi-monde who left Brainerd some weeks ago are returning preparatory to settling down for the winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 September 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Mrs. J. O'Neill was arrested and brought before Judge Douglas On Monday last on the charge of keeping a house of ill-fame. The case was continued for one week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 October 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Mrs. Jack O'Neill is on trial this afternoon before an intelligent jury of twelve men for keeping a house resorted to for prostitution. Whether this will be a double of the Ham case or not remains to be see. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 October 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Miss Peterson, an inmate of Mrs. J. O’Neil’s house has been arrested for frequenting the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October, p. 3, c. 1)

Mrs. O'Neill was found guilty of keeping a house of prostitution and fined $50 and costs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

On Thursday the second trial of Mrs. J. O'Neill for keeping a house of ill-fame came up before Judge Douglas. A jury was subpoenaed and were out only 20 minutes when they brought in a verdict of guilty. The defendants made no defense whatever. The fine is one hundred dollars but the judge only imposed $50 and costs. The case has been appealed to the district court. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Some very ludicrous and ludicrous things transpire inside of Brainerd jury rooms, but the best joke we have yet been called to chronicle, happened on Saturday evening last. The jury had been sent to the room to deliberate upon the guilt or innocence of Mrs. J. O’Neill, and seeing an all night’s job ahead of them and also feeling somewhat hungry, Harry Totten and C. E. Smith slipped out and proceeded to get a lunch for themselves and their companions. And now comes the joke; for as the hungry jurors were climbing the back ladder to the jury room thinking to themselves what a feast they were to have a policeman spied them and forthwith ordered a countermarch, and also was cruel enough to take the “staff of life” which they had procured under such trying circumstances from them. Judge Douglas was very mild with them and only demanded $5 fine from each. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October 1884, p. 3, c. 2)


The “frail ones” paid their monthly fines to Judge Douglas, on Friday. There are three institutions of this kind running in the city, and they contribute some $90 per month into the coffers of the city treasury. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

The soiled doves to the number of twenty paid their fines on Wednesday, replenishing the city treasury to the amount of $125. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

The demi-monde are replenishing the city treasury to-day. There are twenty of them listed, the amount to be paid in being $130. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

...The [city] council objects to the females of easy virtue being on the street between the hours of 11 p. m. and 5 a. m. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 May 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Chief Shontell says that these days, or nights rather, are seeing dire proceedings going on in the city park, but that he is using every effort to put a stop to it. No less than three working girls have been escorted to their abode by the police during the past week with the admonition that if found there again under such circumstances that they would be locked up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Mrs. Gelena [sic] O'Neill runs a disreputable house at the corner of Front and Fourth streets. On Tuesday last she was arrested for selling liquor. As she had no license His Honor very naturally imposed a fine on the female beauty, which will undoubtedly be more severe the next time she is caught in the act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The soiled doves to the number of eighteen reimbursed the city treasury to the amount of $151 on Wednesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Attempted Murder.


On Sunday morning last a brute by the name of Elias Flynn, but who has gone by the name of Ed Kennedy in Brainerd, entered the room of Maggie Steel, which is located in a house of ill-fame at the corner of Third and Laurel streets, by means of a ladder, and when inside the room he picked up a piece of an iron bar and commenced hammering the woman over the head with it. She was asleep at the time and he pounded her until he thought she was dead and then skipped out the same way he came in. She aroused enough to call for help and the inmates of the house broke open the door, Flynn having locked it on the inside when he went in, and they immediately called a policeman and sent for a physician. Her injuries were very severe, the head having been terribly cut up, but she will recover although it was at first thought that she could not survive the terrible attack. The officers failed to find the man until Tuesday when they found him hiding at J. J. Howe & Co.’s saw mill and immediately arrested him. When caught he was in his stocking feet, having taken his shoes off when he entered the room so as not to awaken the woman, and when he ran away he did not have time to get them. It is said that he told the officers that the reason that he did not jump the town after committing the dastardly act was because he heard she was not dead and that he intended to remain and kill her. He was brought up Wednesday and his case continued until July 9th, in order to let him employ a lawyer and get money to defray expenses. This is not the only charge against him for since his arrest it has come to light that he had been passing forged checks on a lumber firm of Minneapolis, several having been taken around town, among the men having them are W. A. Smith and George Gardner. It is said on good authority that he has a brother in the Canadian parliament. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

Two of Brainerd's depraved women had a fist fight on Saturday last, and on Tuesday they figured in the police court as culprits. Galena O'Neill paid $5 and costs for the fun of getting a black eye, while Georgia Owens concluded she would be in jail twenty days rather than pay her fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Sixteen of [the] “frail ones” paid their monthly fine to the municipal judge on Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 September 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Rosa St. Claire, [age 19] a woman of ill-repute, and who has been stopping at a certain bawdy house in the west end of the town for some time, died on Thursday morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1885, p. 3, c. 3) 

The sum total of the “females of easy virtue” inhabiting the dens in the outskirts of this city is nineteen. Their fines amounted to $158.25 for December, the landladies being taxed $11.75 each, and the inmates $6.75 each. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Brainerd’s Pall Mall Gazette Story.

The Duluth Herald, a paper which is ever on the alert and which sometimes catches on where there is nothing to cling to, in its Sunday issue of this week says that “the keeper of a Brainerd brothel, Florence Moore, is a Spanish woman known far and wide for her beauty. Florence is the mother of an eleven year old daughter who shares the many personal charms of her mother. This young girl up to a short time ago has resided with her mother at Brainerd, and the pity of it has been frequently asserted by the citizens of that place. A remedy for this evil was finally suggested in that the girl be taken from her mother’s house and sent to the state reformatory, and the chief of police notified Florence that such a course would be followed, which she agreed to, and the girl was soon sent from Brainerd, as the authorities supposed, to the reform school. It appears however, that the mother simply concealed her daughter for a time, and after she supposed the matter had blown over, brought her back to the house. The chief for a second time ordered her sent away and he was told that a place had been provided for her in a respectable Duluth family where the child would be reared to womanhood ignorant of her mother’s character. The girl accordingly came to Duluth and was supposed to be living with a family of eminent respectability. Chief of Police Shontell, of Brainerd, came to Duluth Friday on a visit to some old friends, and while the opportunity was offered thought he would make some inquiries about young Miss Moore. Everyone here, questioned regarding the people with whom she was stopping ventured the assertion that they were notoriously unclean, and that the woman to whose tender care the girl had been entrusted was a well known prostitute who had recently made some pretenses of reformation.”

Chief of Police Shontell, on being interviewed by a DISPATCH scribe as to the above says that in substance it is correct although the woman’s name is Patterson and who claims to have been married to a man of high social standing in St. Paul. He further states that he thinks the girl is in good hands at Duluth, much better than with her mother who is an inmate of a notorious Third street dive. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1885, p. 3, c. 6)


The police raided the houses of ill-fame on Tuesday night, and succeeded in capturing five male bums, who were brought up before His Honor, Judge Fleming, on Wednesday morning. One man paid his fine, another proved himself to be the knight of the culinary department of one of the houses, and the other three agreed to leave the city before six o’clock. The authorities are hard at work trying to rid the city of the large number of thieves and bums, and it is to be hoped their efforts will not be in vain. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Wednesday morning a female of the frail order had a warrant issued for the arrest of one Ed. Burns on complaint of his having stolen her stocking which contained a pocket book and $13 in currency, and a note for $800 against an eastern party. Burns was accordingly arrested and the trial came off in the afternoon. When the officer examined the culprit he found in his coat pocket a garter, and this was the only thing found that would tend to incriminate him. At the examination the facts were elicited that Burns in company with two boon companions had been taking in the town and had wound up at Mrs. O’Neil’s, at which place they stayed no longer than ten minutes, but had been the only parties that had been near the room from which the money had been stolen, and the woman swears she saw Burns come out of her room while she was in the hall. No account could be given of the garter found in his possession, and as the female identified it as her property by exhibiting the mate to it, which she was wearing at the time, and testified that a garter was on the stocking which was stolen, the judge fined him $10 and costs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 February 1886, p. 3, c. 4)

We are informed by the chief of police that the keepers of the houses of ill-fame have been notified not to dispose of any liquors on Sunday. The question now arises do these houses have license to dispose of liquors on any day of the week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 1886, p. 3, c. 4)

Twenty-four of the demi-monde paid their fines Tuesday, replenishing the city treasury to the amount of $330. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

Sixteen prostitutes paid their monthly fines to the city on Thursday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 July 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

Bell Wagner and Matilda Gilbert, two of the frail ones, were caught fighting on Third street on Monday. They were brought up and a fine levied against them of $20 each or 30 days in the city jail. They paid the fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Sadie Swanson, a member of the “frail fraternity” died of consumption on Thursday. She will be buried at the county’s expense. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 September 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

The soiled doves made their monthly pilgrimage to the municipal court on Monday and reimbursed the city treasury to the extent of over two hundred dollars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 December 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

On Wednesday John Coakley was up before the municipal court on a charge of threatening to inflict great bodily harm on Cora Bruder, a soiled dove. He was placed under $2.00 bonds to keep the peace for three months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 December 1886, p. 4, c. 4)


Mary Shaurette was arrested Saturday on a charge of fornication. She plead guilty to the charge and was assessed $22 and costs for her frolic. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Maud Fleming, soiled female well known in this city, has sued the Northern Pacific road for $10,000 damages caused by falling through a defective platform at Crow Wing. Chief of Police Shontell went to St. Paul last night to appear as a witness for the company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

A Sad Case.

One of the most cruel and inhuman cases that has come to our notice is the death of Mrs. Clara McDonald and the cause which let to it, occurring last Friday afternoon. It seems the woman was the supposed wife of one John McDonald and they had been staying at a house of ill-repute in this city. Mrs. McDonald was in a delicate condition and had been saving up what little money she could get hold of for use when the time came for her sickness. Her brute of a husband found out she had this money and endeavored to take it away from her and in the melee that followed he kicked and pounded her until she was forced to give up. This brought on a premature birth and the woman was taken to the rear of the old Last Turn building and left without proper care, and where there was no fire or comforts. The woman died there from exposure. Her father arrived from Clitherall, this state, and took the remains to that place for burial. It was an extremely sad case and the father seemed bowed down with grief, but he expressed himself as glad that his daughter was dead and out of her sin and troubles. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

James Malloy was arrested Wednesday for keeping a house of ill-fame on Laurel street. He plead guilty and donated $10 and costs to the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Georgie Southerland, an auburn [sic] haired female of 35 summers and as many winters was brought up before the court Wednesday morning charged with keeping a place resorted to for immoral conduct, and Chas. Vanasse and Peter Clounard [sic] [Chouinard] for frequenting her place, having been caught occupying the same apartments with the giddy blonde [sic] on Tuesday night. The fair Georgie, who by the way is the mother of six small children, couldn’t see anything so very naughty about the transaction and admitted having been caught at it, therefore begged the mercy of the court, and in consideration that she agreed to go and sin no more she was dismissed—the children are surely subjects of pity. The lads who were caught with her were fined $10 and costs each, and in default thereof are boarding it out at the city’s expense. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

On Monday Wm. Cassion was arrested on a charge of assaulting Mabel Smith an inmate of Jennie Clark’s house of ill-fame, and was placed under bonds of $300 to appear in court Wednesday afternoon for trial. He plead guilty and was fined $15 and costs by his honor, which was promptly paid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

A Gold Watch Stolen.

On Monday a lumberman by the name of John Agnew came down out of the woods and by evening he had become somewhat intoxicated. He was in Ort’s saloon late in the evening, and while there he made the remark that he had $500 in his pocket and that he knew enough to take care of it. This remark was heard by some of the sharks that are infesting the city at the present time, and it is supposed they determined to make him their victim. After he had left Ort’s a party of the light fingered gentry gathered around him and induced him to go with them to visit the houses of ill-repute on Third street. He showed up a few hours later with his watch chain dangling from his vest, his fine gold watch worth from $20 to $100, having been stolen, he knew not where. It was then found that he did not have any such amount of money as he claimed, so they relieved him of his watch. The case was given to Chief Mertz, who on Tuesday arrested a man by the name of O'Brien as the guilty party, but he was subsequently released as it was discovered that he was not guilty. By threatening to arrest the whole party who went with Agnew to Third street, a compromise was effected, the authorities agreeing to drop the matter if the watch should be returned, which was done, and Agnew again has possession of his time piece.

Chief Mertz stated in conversation with a DISPATCH scribe while speaking of the above affair, that the city authorities proposed to rid the city of these sharks and gamblers, and that if they did not leave after proper notice was given they would be arrested and lodged in jail. It is to be hoped that this course will be pursued and the city cleared of these disreputable characters who have, for the last three months, lived in luxury within her borders by stealing and swindling. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The soiled doves were up before the Municipal Court on Monday and paid their monthly fines, 14 paying $10 each and six $25 apiece. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Trouble with the Women.

Jennie Sawyer, an old offender, and who was the cause of trouble at the Malloy saloon some time ago, was up before the court Monday morning charged with assault and breaking the peace. The trouble occurred at the Last Turn saloon, and the victim was Cole Younger, a one-eyed siren whose hair was originally black but which has been turned yellow by use of acids. Cole has got a record and she was not at all backward about her pedigree in the court room. After letting the women run out the length of their rope Judge Fleming announced that the matinee would close with one more act, that of the frail Jennie paying $8.00 into the city treasury. Producing a large gold watch and a 38-calibre self-cocking revolver she asked the court to allow an officer to escort her to some three-ball [pawn shop] institution where she could "put them up" and keep out of jail.

Mabel Smith was arrested for indecent language and dancing the can can on the street, Wednesday. When brought up before the court she denied the latter charge and demanded that the chief bring up Jennie Clark who was as much of an offender as she. From the facts it was thought best by the court to dismiss the case unless both parties had a chance to be tried. As long as the city is in partnership with these people who make Rome howl in the vicinity of Third street, they must expect people to be insulted and to have those vile creatures before the courts daily. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

The city treasury received from the fast females $372 as their monthly fines. There are at present twenty-four of them in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Doings and Sayings of People.

A naughty News reporter would like to see some movement inaugurated that would increase the number of doves, “soiled” ones, in Brainerd so that the city could build sewers from the revenue obtained. There are people in the city who would willingly go down in their own pockets for sewerage if the whole gang of them could be forever ousted instead of increased. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Emma Clifford had her cook, Pauline Bell, arrested for stealing $110 from her on the 5th inst. Emma runs a bawdy house on Laurel street and claims that she put the money into her stocking in the presence of Pauline and that when she woke up it was gone. There was nothing to prove the woman took the money and the judge discharged her much to the disgust of an anxious crowd of curious spectators, who expected some sensational proceedings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Nellie Gordon and Jack Connors Lan-

guish in Durance Vile.

Wednesday afternoon before Judge Fleming there appeared a trio of “hard nuts” charged with stealing a watch and chain of the value of $100 from Bertie Wagner, the proprietress of a house of ill-fame at No. 9 Fourth street. It seems that on Tuesday afternoon Bertie Wagner and Lillie Wheeler left the house in charge of Nellie Gordon, and that Jack Connors was an occupant of a room. Returning sooner that they anticipated Nellie was caught in the act of coming out of Miss Wagner’s room, and the gold watch was immediately thought of and missed. The girl was accused of taking it, which she denied; Jack Connors was questioned but said he knew nothing about it, but his actions were suspicious and he was followed up by an officer to Jack Burns’ barn, not soon enough, however, to find the watch in his possession, as he had given it to Fred Miller, the driver of Burns’ fast horses, who had taken it to the hay loft and secreted it, but the officer succeeded in getting him to give it up. When brought on for trial Miss Gordon plead “guilty” with as much ease as Connors plead “not guilty.” Connors’ story was that the girl came to his room and woke him up and asked him to keep the watch for her, and that he did not know it was stolen, although he admitted that before he had the watch “planted” he was asked by Bertie Wagner to let her search him for a watch that this same girl was accused of stealing. Connors and Nellie were each bound over in the sum of $200 to appear before the grand jury in September, and in default of which they took rooms at Barstow’s stone hotel. Fred Miller who took the watch from Connors and put it up in the hay, furnished $100 bonds to appear as a witness. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

The police collected $310 from the soiled doves Wednesday as their regular monthly fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 September 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

A judgment has been entered against Jennie Clark for $21.75 which was for money due an inmate of her house and she refused to turn it over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The usual “permits” were collected of the frail ones Monday, the sum amounting to $351.75. It is customary in this city on the last day of each month for these women to walk up to the city clerk’s office and pay their little “tax” and leave the court room without a whisper more than to acknowledge that they are either inmates or keepers and are guilty of certain licensed crimes carried on in institutions of wickedness, the monthly divide with the city being to keep them from arrest for the next thirty days. Nevertheless, Brainerd is no worse than other cities of her size all over the state. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 November 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Wm. Kennedy was sent up by hizzoner, Judge Fleming, Monday morning for assaulting a Third street female. He will spend his holiday jubilee in solitary confinement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 December 1887, p. 4, c. 3)


The police were notified Tuesday that there was a girl fifteen years of age in one of the bawdy houses on Third street, and they proceeded to the place and took the deluded creature out and sent her away on the morning train to her people. She claimed that she went there to see a friend and was induced to stay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The frail creatures paid $348 into the city treasury Tuesday as their monthly fines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1888, p. 4, c. 3)


This is the question of all others which the people of this city seem at the present time interested in. Personally, we would rather see the coming municipal election pass off quietly, but when the Journal editor undertakes to mislead the public in his vain efforts to bolster up the present mayor by misrepresenting and distorting the facts we must take issue with him. The editor of that paper well knows that the great majority of the people of this city have had quite enough of Mr. Douglas and his loose and disgraceful administration and are bound to speak out and repudiate him next Tuesday by electing a better man to the office which he has so poorly filled the past year in a moral sense. The moral rottenness of certain portions of the city has become a matter of common notoriety, and it is today a stench in the nostrils of all decent people. And yet the Journal says Mr. Douglas has carefully guarded the interests of the city. In only one sense is this true. He has most assiduously guarded the lowest and most demoralizing interests of virtue and decency. He has been as oblivious as his “friends” would have him be. There is no doubt about this. Drunkenness, gambling and prostitution have been and are today the interests that the Journal probably refers to, and to say that they have not been by the mayor, with the aid of the “court,” carefully guarded is saying what is not true. And the lame and limping excuse given that they have always been allowed to exist and therefore should be continued is an insult to decency and honesty. The Journal says there has been an improvement in these matters. To this we answer that it is false, for never in the history of Brainerd were there so many miserable sneaks, gamblers and prostitutes in the city. We say that when any man attempts to smooth down, cover up or misrepresent the facts with regard to these things, that the public should be informed.

What the people want is, not a close shut, highly moral administration, but an administration tinctured with at least a grain of regard for the sanctity of the Sabbath, the feelings of others and the general welfare and best interests of the city. We believe that Dr. Hemstead can and will, if elected, give us such an administration as will be a credit rather than a disgrace upon the community. We do not expect, nor do we want a complete reformation, it would be impossible, but we ought to have certain lawless and disgraceful practices stopped, and believing that Dr. Hemstead will take such a practical, conservative course, we most heartily support him for mayor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 March 1888, p. 1, c. 4)

The New Regulations.

The police have instructed the gamblers that their places must be closed as no gambling will be allowed. The saloon keepers will be allowed to run their places during the week days but must close them up promptly at 12 o’clock Saturday night and keep them closed until Sunday night at 12 o’clock. The demi-monde will be allowed to remain in the city as long as they keep off the streets and out of the way of respectable people, the monthly fine system being continued. Male habitués of the houses will be obliged to leave or take the consequences. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

A New Order of Things.

Wednesday afternoon the police, under instructions from the Chief, served notice upon the houses of ill-fame that frequenters of these places would be arrested and summarily dealt with. The places were visited during the night by the officers and Pat Clifford and Frank Gray were found there and were placed under arrest. This somewhat surprised the leaders in that class of society and considerable indignation was manifested by them, notwithstanding the fact that they had been given fair warning. The cases came up before the court this morning with Judge Douglas as counsel for Gray, and E. N. Donaldson for Clifford. In the latter’s case the counsel proved that Clifford owned the property and was in his own house but it did not avail, and after some skirmishing about the validity of the ordinance under which they were arrested, the case was submitted without argument. The court found Clifford guilty and fixed a fine of $7.40, or ten days in the city jail. The attorney gave notice of an appeal and bail was fixed at $100.

In the case of Gray nearly the same procedure was gone through with and it resulted in finding him guilty and a fine of $7 was imposed. This case also will be appealed.

A piano player by the name of Smith was brought up on the same charge, that of frequenting a house of ill-fame, but he plead guilty and the judge fined him $5. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

Patsy Clifford concluded that it was better to pay his fine than to appeal his case. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Jack Keefe was arrested at a house of ill-fame last night and brought up before the court this morning. The charge against him is assault, and is preferred by Malcolm McLaren. When Keefe left town recently he promised never to show up here again if McLaren would not prosecute him, but he appears to have forgotten the pledge and has to take the consequences as a matter of course. McLaren being absent the case was continued until Monday morning at ten o’clock, bail being fixed at $50, in default of which he is in the cooler. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Kate Lassell, a lost female, was arrested by the police last night in an intoxicated condition and put in the cooler. This morning she told a pitiful tale before the court and begged to be allowed to go to Duluth where she claims to have a mother who needed her assistance. The woman has been hanging around the outskirts of Brainerd for a couple of weeks and is evidently a hard one. She was allowed to go. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Nearly $390 was collected from the demi-monde yesterday. It was for the June assessment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The department was called out Tuesday evening to put out a blaze in one of the dens of iniquity on Laurel street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Several of the frail ones were up before the court yesterday morning paying fines which they failed to liquidate at the proper time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Cole Younger, one of the tough demi-monde, undertook to climb the golden stairs by the morphine route Tuesday, but is in a fair way to recover. Trouble with her “lover” is ascribed as the cause. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 August 1888, p. 4, c. 3)


On Monday sixteen frail creatures paid $281 into the city treasury, their monthly tax for occupying houses of prostitution. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Pauline Bell is boarding at the city's expense five days for being captured in a bawdy house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

There was quite a little row at Cora Carey’s place on Laurel street last night, and in the fracas a brakeman, whose name we could not learn, was shot though not dangerously. It seems that the fellow went to the resort and attempted to run the house, and when he pulled down the chandelier Cora thought it was time he was quieted, and she whipped out a gun and fired, but the ball struck a rib and glanced off. There have been no arrests. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 February 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Nellie Haywood, an inmate of the house of prostitution at the corner of Third and Laurel streets, died last night, and was buried at 3 p. m. today, in Evergreen cemetery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 March 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Jennie Clark was before the municipal court on Tuesday on a charge of keeping a house of ill-fame. The complaint was made by the negro cook employed at this house, out of spite, because her salary as cook was not forth-coming. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The females of smokey reputation placed $285 to the city’s credit on Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Suicide of a Siren.

On Tuesday a lumberman found the body of a female floating in the river some four miles below the city among the logs. He tied a rope around the body and made it fast to a tree and came back to Brainerd and notified Deputy Coroner Bain who went to the place with Chief Caffery and Undertaker Dean, to bring the remains to this city. Upon view of the body it was recognized to be that of Pauline Bell, so-called, a prostitute known to Brainerd police circles for many years. The body was brought to Brainerd and Deputy Bain held an inquest, a verdict of suicide being returned. A link which corroborates the suicide theory is the finding of a note on the west side of the river by some boys about the 18th of April, signed "Bell Nelson" the woman's right name, which read as follows, and which is still in existence:

"To friends I have known in earlier days: I have led a fast and sinful life, have tried hard to reform, but its of no use. Seems hard to die so young. To those who find this I wish to say, search for my body below the Brainerd dam. Good-bye."

The woman had lived with Dave Bell, a saloon hanger-on, for some time and when told of the circumstances he broke down and cried like a baby. He said she had been gone for four weeks and he supposed she was with her boy in Wisconsin. The county buried her. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Commissioners Proceedings.



The following bills were allowed:

Losey & Dean, coffins and burial of Pauline Bell and J. Brissette—$30.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

The women of unsavory reputation were notified on Tuesday to keep out of the saloons hereafter, but two of them disobeyed the orders and were run in by Officer Deroch [sic] [DeRocher]. They settled by paying a fine of $23.50 in the municipal court yesterday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council Goes On Record.


Alderman Koop then introduced the following resolution relating to gambling houses and houses of ill-fame, which was adopted and ordered spread upon the minutes:

WHEREAS, It is a cause of common and earnest complaint on the part of citizens and taxpayers of the City of Brainerd that no effort is being made by the Police Department, or other proper City authority to suppress the practice of gambling within the City, or to enforce the laws of the State and the ordinances of the City relating thereto, and the charge is freely made that said practice is carried on in open violation of said laws and with full knowledge on the part of the Police Department.

AND WHEREAS, Further complaint has been made that houses of ill-fame are suffered to exist in certain localities within said City to the great annoyance and scandal of said neighborhoods, and that the laws relating thereto are not properly enforced.

AND WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Council that such practices and violations of law are without warrant and bring disgrace upon the City and its authorities.

AND WHEREAS, The Council has exhausted its power in the passage of of proper ordinances, intended, in conjunction with the laws of the State, to check and suppress these vices, and the enforcement thereof remains with the Mayor [Dr. Werner Hemstead] and Police Department.

NOW THEREFORE, Be it resolved by this Council that the Mayor [Dr. Werner Hemstead] be and he is hereby earnestly urged to see to it that the laws in relation to gambling are strictly enforced and that no person indulging therein be permitted to remain within the City without vigorous prosecution; that the laws relating to houses of ill-fame be enforced fully, uniformly and without favor and that the residents in the localities before referred to receive the protection which is their due by the removal of all such houses therefrom.

RESOLVED FURTHER, That this resolution be spread upon the minutes of this meeting and that the City Clerk be and he is hereby instructed to hand a copy thereof to the Mayor [Dr. Werner Hemstead] at the earliest practicable opportunity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

His Veto Didn’t Work.


After Ald. Gardner explained to the council that Mayor Hemstead had told a certain member of the demi-monde that it would be all right for her to open a house here as he was “running the city,” a vote was taken on the passage of Ordinance 82 over the mayor’s veto, there being six votes in favor of so doing and one against, and the measure was ordered.... [Cut off.] (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: The Mayor said he vetoed Ordinance 82 because the present police force was almost inadequate to fill the wants of the city and a reduction would not be advisable. The Council disagreed.]

The city treasury was replenished on Saturday by the women of ill-repute who paid fines amounting to $457. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Police Court Notes.


Cole Younger got on a tear Saturday evening and smashed up the glass and mirror in the Last Turn. She paid ten and costs on Monday morning and immediately swore out a warrant against Wm. Crummit [sic] [Crommett] for threatening to kill her, but her heart softened to William and she failed to show up and prosecute after having had the warrant served. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The females in the city jail amuse themselves by making night hideous with their howls. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

The houses of ill-fame in this city have not been in a state of innocuous desuetude this week owning to the fact that the inmates have all been requested to leave the city by August 1st. In addition thereto they were requested to step up and deposit their regular monthly fine before bidding the city farewell, to which proposition several of the gay girls objected. Twelve of them were arrested and placed in the city jail but later on the majority concluded it would be better to pay up and so were released from custody. There are a few of them who linger in durance vile, however. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Wm. Crommet [sic], the keeper of the Last Turn saloon, has been having a lively time of it this week in municipal court. May Crommet [sic], or Cole Younger as she is known, had him arrested on Tuesday for assault and on this charge he was convicted and assessed $10 and costs, but his attorney will appeal the case. On Wednesday Crommet [sic] was again arraigned on charge of robbery by the same female who claims that he forcibly took from her person $50, and at the trial enough evidence was produced to hold him to the grand jury in the sum of $300. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

David Sucey [sic], better known, as "Dave Bell," died yesterday morning at his room over Kellehan's saloon, as a result of hard drinking. He was 32 [sic] years of age, and had been around Brainerd for some years, coming here from Faribault where his folks now live. The county has charge of the remains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

In Special Session.


Immediately after the result was announced Ald. Koop endeavored to adjourn the meeting by making a motion to that effect but failed, as Ald. O’Brien stated that when the meeting was called it was understood, or expected at least, that some action regarding the prostitutes and their removal would be taken, and he favored a consideration of the question. The motion to adjourn was put, however, and lost, Ald. Crawford, Brown and Koop voting in the affirmation. In the meantime Ald Gardner and President Spaulding came in and took their seats and the matter was explained to them and a general discussion took place, during which it leaked out that a resolution satisfactory to the mayor [Dr. Werner Hemstead] had been prepared, which, if adopted, would remove the houses of prostitution off from Laurel street. The resolution was called for and the clerk read as follows:


Resolved, That it is the sense of this council that it will tend to promote good order within the city and facilitate the enforcement of the laws if, in the granting of licenses to saloons the location thereof in the First and Fifth wards be confined to the following limits, to-wit: All of blocks 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 71, 73, 65, 67 and 69, lots 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 in block 59, lots 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in block 61, and lots 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 in block 63, and the mayor is hereby requested to report to the council any attempt to evade the spirit of this resolution by the saloons now licensed and to instruct his police officers to give special attention to the enforcement of the laws within the territory aforesaid. The mayor is further requested to use his best endeavor to remove from said limits all houses of prostitution which may now be located therein and to keep the same free from houses of that character in future. This resolution is in line with the policy heretofore adopted by the council in its suggestions to the many looking to the suppression of vice and dissipation within the city, and is passed as amendatory of the resolutions and motions heretofore adopted in connection with this general subject.

Ald. O’Brien was of the opinion that the resolution should be adopted, but objection was raised because the resolution would not confine the houses to the locality but City Attorney McClenahan explained that prostitution was a crime and the city council could not very well say that certain parties could commit a crime within a specified limit. After thoroughly discussing the matter the resolution was passed, every member voting for it excepting Ald. Cullen, who objected to interfering with them at all, and Ald. Wheatley, who was absent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Transacted Business.

The city fathers met in regular session on Monday evening with President Spaulding and Ald. Walters absent. Vice President Wheatley presided over the deliberations of the city solons in the absence of the president. The minutes of the regular and one special meeting were read and adopted except that part relating to locating the houses of ill-fame in certain localities which the council evidently thought would not redound to their glory and it was stricken off and will not show up in the archives in time to come. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Robbed While Drunk.

Phillip O'Neil came into town last Saturday and got paralyzed drunk and when Officer Derooch [sic] found him in the alley back of the Last Turn saloon he was almost in a state of unconsciousness. When he regained his senses he found he had been robbed of $90, the largest portion of which belonged to the school district of which he is treasurer. Cole Younger was arrested on suspicion of having had a hand in the "rolling" and part of the money was found on her person, and at the examination Monday she was bound over to the grand jury in the sum of $300, and she lies in jail in default of bail. We understand that this notorious female claims that she only got her share of the money and that it was divided among the gang at the Last Turn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

If we remember rightly the gilded palaces of sin were allowed to remain in this city if they would move off Laurel street to a certain locality. They haven’t moved to any great extent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1889, p. 1, c. 2)

The District Court.


Wm. Crummet [sic] [Crommett] came into court Monday afternoon and withdrew the plea of not guilty to the charge of robbery, and on consent of the county attorney plead guilty to the charge of grand larceny in the second degree. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

They Were Sentenced.

Judge Holland yesterday at 2 o’clock sentenced ... Crummet [sic] [Crommett] ... who had plead guilty to grand larceny in the second degree.... Crummet [sic] [Crommett] was sentenced to pay a fine of $200 or be confined 100 days in the county jail; he paid the fine and was released. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

The City Law Makers.


The chief of police made a report in which it was shown that 36 arrests were made in September, twenty-four for frequenting houses of ill-fame and six for being proprietors of same, the amounts of fines being $447.10. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

The soiled doves yesterday contributed about $350 for the support of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1889, p. 4, c. 4)


Ten Dollars for a Broken Head.

Jack Smith, a barber formerly employed by Smith & Cochran, but who has for some time been living at a house of ill-fame, received a severe shaking up at Carey’s place on Sunday night last, and had to be taken home on a shutter, as it were. He went into Carey’s resort and got into a quarrel with one of the inmates and finally knocked her down, when Cora Carey came to the rescue armed with a beer bottle, which she handled dexterously, and managed to crack his skull, break his nose, cut six gashes in the back of his head and lay his cheek open. In fact, he got all he wanted. Smith’s wife had the Carey woman arrested for assault and she was fined $10 in the court this morning. Mrs. Carey is lucky in not getting a term in the penitentiary and Smith can thank his stars that she did not kill him, so both parties ought to be satisfied. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 March 1890, p. 4, c. 5)


Jennie Clark, a woman who for the past ten years has figured in police circles in this city on "fine day," died on Monday afternoon. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 09 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

1892 Sanborn Fire Map showing the houses of ill-fame located on South 3rd Street, 1892.
Source: Sanborn Fire Map

The police raided a bawdy house on Fourth street south on Saturday, and as a consequence Mrs. Winters, Miss Tifft and Miss Hicks were brought before the court. The first named individual, who by the way has a very unsavory record, was fined $25. The girls were fined $10 and costs, sentence being suspended pending good behavior. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 February 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The department was called to Second street about 6:30 last evening to extinguish a blaze in one of the several houses of prostitution which infest that part of the city. The fire caught from the kitchen stove, and the damage was more from water than fire. Several hundred dollars worth of furniture was ruined which was fully covered by insurance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 February 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

Chief of Police Wm. Barron, of Brainerd, arrived in this city this morning with warrants for the women who were arrested on the east bound Northern Pacific train yesterday afternoon as stated in the Times. It appears that in Brainerd inmates of houses of ill-fame are fined each month, but the parties in question endeavored to escape this punishment, as they contemplated a removal to Pipestone. Lizzie Wing, the proprietress, was fined $26.75, and each of the four girls $11.75. This, together with the costs amounted to $100. They spent last night at the county jail, and upon the arrival of the officer this morning, paid their fines and were allowed to go.—St. Cloud Times. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

A Midnight Fire.

The fire bell called attention to a blaze raging in a house of ill-fame on Third street this morning about 1 o’clock. The place is one of two run by Frankie Smith, who seems to have a corner on the business, and while the “girls” were at lunch the house took fire and was completely gutted, supposedly the work of a lamp explosion. The furniture, including a fine piano, was ruined. We understand that the place was fully insured. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

Jack Burns was arrested on Wednesday morning on the charge of having inveigled an unmarried female under 25 years of age into a house for the purpose of prostitution, she being of previous chaste character, the girl being Jennie Winters whose age is 15 years. The preliminary examination took place yesterday and resulted in the dismissal of the defendant, after quite a lengthy argument. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Cora Carey and Allie Corlett, of Duluth, and Annie Burton, colored, were up before the court Thursday morning and contributed $12.40 each for disturbing the peace and dignity of the city in the vicinity of the demi-monde quarters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

On Wednesday night about 11 o’clock the old frame building on West Front street, at the end of the railroad bridge, was discovered to be on fire. The department was called out in short order, but as the force of water was not sufficient to do any good for some time, the fire gained such headway that the building, which was practically worthless, was entirely destroyed. The building was vacant at the time, although it has been used more or less lately by the chocolate-colored demi-monde. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Third Street Row.

On Monday night Claude Crowley, the mistress of one of the houses of ill-fame on Third street, became intoxicated, and while in that condition got into a quarrel with Fannie Grant, an inmate of her house, which resulted in the Crowley woman striking her opponent over the head with a stove poker with such force as to fracture the skull and inflict a dangerous scalp wound. Dr. Groves was called, who sewed up the scalp wound, not however, until the woman was very weak from the loss of blood. She will probably recover from the effects of the blow. Her assailant was up before his honor, Judge Chiperfield, on Tuesday, charged with assault. On being found guilty, she was sentenced to pay a fine of $30, or lay in jail 40 days. Having the necessary cash she deposited $30 and went on her way rejoicing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

The fines of the past month in the police court amounted to $684, and of that amount $550 was paid in by the creatures of easy virtue who inhabit that part of the city near the bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The Unfortunates.

Pat Sullivan was up before the police court Wednesday morning, charged with stealing a silver watch, valued at $8, and as he was unable to make the court believe that it was a put up job on him he was sent over to the city jail for a term of days in default of the required $25 fine.

Mrs. Mattie Winters was one of the unfortunate human beings which the police swooped down upon on Tuesday night, and she occupied a reserved seat in the police court on Wednesday morning. The charge against her was for keeping a house of ill-fame, and her fine was fixed at $25 and costs or forty days in jail. Her bank account being overdrawn she was committed and will celebrate her 4th of July behind the bars.

Flossie Eldridge, a member of the frail sisterhood from Hillsboro, N. Dakota, was fined $10 and costs yesterday afternoon for being a frequenter. The woman managed to get roaring drunk during the night by means of whiskey passed in through the grates and her case could not be considered until afternoon on account of her condition.

Billy McGlory, on the charge of being a vagrant, was given twenty days in the city jail.

John Kinney, for paying a visit to the red-curtain dives on Tuesday night, was fined $11.75 on Wednesday morning.

John Flynn, better known as “Blinky,” was given a sentence of 40 days in jail or a $50 fine for assaulting a man on Wednesday. Owing to a deficiency in his savings bank account he lies in jail.

J. McHenry, John Smith and Frank Hurdy are three more who will celebrate the national holiday behind the bars, the two former for looking upon the wine in its roseate hue, and the latter for frequenting a house of ill-fame. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

District Court.



Bessie Baker, keeping house of ill-fame, dismissed.

Mattie Winters, same charge, dismissed.

Nettie Mills, frequenting house of ill-fame, dismissed

(Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The municipal court fines for the month of November were $538.40, of which amount the women of ill-repute contributed $452.25. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The municipal court was a very busy place on Tuesday morning. Jennie Winters was fined $12.40 for being drunk and disorderly, while her companion in sin, Mary Tifft, was given $15 for frequenting a house of ill-fame. Both were sent to jail in default of the fine. John McCormick and A. H. Reid each went up for thirty days for being found in a house of ill-fame. Frank Willis, P. Smith and Ike Mullen were each found guilty of vagrancy and will spend the holidays in close confinement. Claude Crowley, for keeping a tough joint, was given ninety days, which she took rather than put up 100 silver dollars, Alfred Rusk, a plain drunk, got off with seven days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 December 1891, p. 4, c. 5)


On Sunday morning a house on Second street occupied by Frankie Smith as a house of ill-fame, burned to the ground with all the contents, the only thing saved being the piano. The blaze was well under way before an alarm was turned in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The forty-two members of the demi-monde paid $1140.75 into the city treasury in March. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Three soiled doves were arrested Saturday night for disorderly conduct and lodged in the city lock-up, where they assisted in the concert led by the Salvation Army captain. On Monday they were brought before the municipal court and fined $7.40 which which they paid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Having a Good Time.

A satchel belonging to Deputy United States Marshal Robert Beaulieu was found on the vacant lot at the corner of Third and Laurel streets yesterday containing a revolver, handcuffs and a number of warrants for people in this section of the country. The satchel had been cut open with a knife and the contents pawed over. A little farther was found his pocket-book containing passes on every railroad in the state. It looked for a time as though Mr. Beaulieu had met with foul play and the articles were taken to the county attorney’s office, but later in the day the gentleman’s whereabouts were located, and it was ascertained that the articles were stolen from him while he was enjoying the sociability's of the city. It would seem that he is not a very safe man to be retained in the position which he occupies, as he has been in a state of insensibility at the Stratton house the greater part of the time since he arrived in the city, produced by over indulgence. It is probably his last trip in an official capacity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The women who occupy the houses of ill-fame paid $862 into the city treasury yesterday in monthly fines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)


Arnold Kohnen, a deputy sheriff of Becker county, was in the city on Tuesday and swore out a warrant for the arrest of Maggie Wallen, a keeper of a disreputable house on Third street, charging her with harboring and concealing one Ed. Shoman, who is wanted by Kohnen for stealing a horse last December from Wm. Brayson, at Frazee city. The Wallen woman plead not guilty and her trial was set for next Monday, she being released in the meantime on a bond of $200. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 April 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The City Fines.

The fines collected by the city for April make quite a showing for the municipal court. There were 156 arrests and 76 fines paid; 45 were committed to jail and nine were discharged, while cases of fourteen of the prisoners were continued. The fines collected amounted to $952.95, of which something like $700 was paid in by the houses of ill-fame. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

A keeper of a house of ill-fame, Cora Carey, was fined $25 for maintaining a disorderly house, yesterday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The fines paid into the city treasury on Tuesday by the inmates of the houses of ill-fame amounted to $227. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

In the police court on Tuesday Geo. Richardson and Mrs. Annie Lamson were fined $15 each and Geo. Duffany and Mary Tifft $10 each. The former were charged with adultery and the latter fornication. The whole outfit plead guilty to disorderly conduct. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The department was called out Sunday night to a blaze in a house of ill-fame on second street. The damage was light. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Thursday morning fire broke out in a house owned by Cora Carey, on Second street south, the department responding promptly to the call, but the fire had gained such headway before it was discovered that the building was practically ruined. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mike Fitzpatrick, the pugilist, is spending 60 days in the city jail. The charge was frequenting a house of ill-fame. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)


A house at the corner of Second and Laurel streets, owned by Patsy Clifford and occupied by Stella Brown as a house of ill-fame, took fire at 1:40 this afternoon from a defective chimney in the second story and was completely wrecked. Most of the furniture was removed from the building. The water pressure was not exactly what could be desired and the department, though early at the scene, labored at a disadvantage. It is understood that the lack of pressure was due to a misunderstanding of the alarm sent in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 4, c. 7)

Found in a Dive.

Tuesday afternoon Mrs. Albert Zievertowski went to Brainerd to get her two daughters who have been there for some time. She found them at Cora Carey’s house of ill-fame, and after considerable urging, they promised to return to their home with her. This afternoon she boarded the train at Brainerd, expecting the girls to join her. They failed to come and she left the train and went back for the girls. The girls are named Augusta, aged 18 years, and Stella aged 16 years. One has been in Brainerd about seven months, and the other three months. Albert Zievertowski and family live about ten miles from Little Falls, in the town of Swan River, having moved there from Winona over two years ago. The father was at the depot here to-day to meet his wife and daughters, but received word that they would be down in the morning. They do not desire to return home, but the mother thinks she can induce them to. The girls were formerly employed as domestics in Little Falls.—Transcript.

The girls and their mother returned to Little Falls on Wednesday night. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Lured to Ruin.

Mention was made in this paper last week of the fact that the mother of two girls named Augusta and Stella Zievertowski came to this city from Little Falls and induced her daughters to turn from the life of shame they were leading here and return to their home with her. It now appears that two young men of that city, James [sic] Lemieux and Charles Baldi, have been arrested charged with the seduction of the girls.

The Little Falls Transcript says: The girls have gained considerable notoriety during the past few weeks by being found in Cora Carey’s house at Brainerd. After considerable persuasion their mother induced them to return home and then they entered their complaints.

Lemieux is a familiar character in this city and for a long time has been what is known as a “tin-horn” gambler. During the palmy days of gamblers he ran a game over Baldi’s place. By his actions in the past he has brought disgrace upon his parents who are honest and respectable people.

Charles Baldi runs a confectionary store in the Vasaly building on Broadway. He is a sort of chum of Lemieux and generally has a crowd of the “crap” element around him. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

On Wednesday Jack Burns was fined $20 at which time he was up before the court on the charge of being a frequenter of a house of ill-fame. Burns has appealed to the district court. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

In the trial of Joe [sic] Lemieux at Little Falls for enticing Stella Zievertowski into an assignation house, Peter Wilicyk testified to carnal knowledge of her while under 16. He was arrested by the state’s attorney. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Jennie Stolz and Flora Erickson, married women of the Fourth and First wards respectively, were pulled [in] by the police on Monday and brought before the municipal court charged with immoral conduct and fined $10 and $15 in default of which they laid in jail some days. The prisoners were very demonstrative and threatened to make public certain things which would make Rome howl as soon as they gained their liberty. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Joseph Tifft was convicted of keeping a disorderly house on Wednesday morning but as the man said he would leave the city sentence was suspended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Mrs. Thos. King was arrested on Wednesday night by Officer Hurley on the charge of being found in a house of ill-fame. In the absence of $10 with which to pay her fine she was sent to jail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Matilda Peterson, a member of the demi-monde, was arraigned in the municipal court this morning on complaint of P. Wicklund, charged with stealing $43 in currency from the said Wicklund while he was asleep. She plead not guilty, and her examination was continued until tomorrow. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The preliminary examination of Matilda Peterson, arrested for stealing $43 from P. Wicklund, a lumberman from one of the camps up on the new road, was conducted in the municipal court on Saturday. After hearing the testimony Judge Alderman decided that there was not sufficient evidence to hold the defendant, consequently she was discharged. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1894, p. 4, c. 3)


The police rounded up a gang of young East Brainerd toughs in a house of ill-fame last night, and they were fined $10 in the municipal court this morning, or given 10 days in jail. We refrain from publishing their names because of their families, who are highly respected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Rev. Rowe, it is reported, appeared before the grand jury, and stated that houses of ill-fame were running in the city without restraint except a monthly fine, which was equivalent to a license, and wanted the matter investigated, with a view of ridding the city of them. However, no action was taken by the grand jury on the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

We are afraid that Rev. Rowe is not properly endowed with gratitude. In return for Bro. Halstead’s assurances of protection for all members of his flock while visiting the tenderloin districts, he called Bro. Halstead a devil. This is hardly Christian like, is it, Rev. Rowe? (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

Jennie Winters and Mary Tifft were arrested on Wednesday, on complaint of David Pomerleau a lumberman, charged with grand larceny. Pomerleau says he was spending the night at the house in which the girls hold forth, when the Winters girl induced him to entrust her with $75 of cold cash, which she refuses to return, hence he charges her with stealing that amount. The case came on for a hearing this morning and the girls were discharged. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Police Court Notes.


Lizzie Lyons was brought down from Lothrop on Monday, charged with running a house of ill-fame. The case was dropped and Lizzie agreed to leave the country.

Flora Erickson was up before the court on Tuesday for keeping a disorderly house. The case was put over until the next morning, and in the meantime the woman left the city, taking her children with her. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

Hannah Paulson [sic], an inmate of Stella Brown’s Third street resort, committed suicide on Friday night by taking a dose of carbolic acid. Before she died she made the statement that her “lover” had gone back on her and she did not care to live longer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1895, p. 4, c. 4)


The police arrested Jessie Harris, a woman of color, and a man named James McCaffrey, on Wednesday morning early. They were brought up before Judge Alderman charged with keeping and frequenting a house of ill-fame respectively, and after an animated trial were convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $25 or spend 30 days in jail. The case has been appealed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

Stole a Fur Cape.

Lena Smith, a colored female who runs a house of ill-fame at the corner of Third and Laurel street was arrested in this city on Saturday last by Inspector John Hoy, of Minneapolis, charged with grand larceny, and was taken to that city, the specific charge being the theft of a fur cape valued at $250, the property of Mrs. Henry Sidle. The story is that Mr. Sidle and his wife attended the theater one evening recently, and that upon arriving at the play house Mrs. Sidle left a valuable fur cape in the coach. The coachman, John Joyce, was ordered to return to the barn with the horses, and remain until the close of the theater. When he appeared for Mr. and Mrs. Sidle the cape was missing. On being questioned about it he denied all knowledge of the article and said he had taken the horses home, but it was ascertained that the driver, instead of having driven home had spent the intervening time in the southern portion of that city, where he is alleged to have passed away the hours driving around two colored women. When the women left the coach, the Smith woman is alleged to have taken the cape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Lena Smith, charged with stealing a cloak from Mrs. Henry K. Sidle, will escape prosecution. The crime is alleged to have been committed in 1893, and the indictment has expired or become outlawed. Hence, her case was dismissed this morning in the municipal court, and Lena is at liberty to return to Brainerd.—Minneapolis Journal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The time of the municipal court was occupied on Monday in hearing the preliminary examination of Mrs. Viola Vanderwerker, of Daggett Brook, charged by her husband with adultery with Edward Laughton, who was arrested at the same time but escaped from the officers. Mrs. Vanderwerker was tried in the district court last spring on a charge of keeping a disorderly house, but was not convicted. She was bound over to the grand jury, and in default of bail went to jail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.

Ordinance No. 134, an ordinance to restrain and punish prostitutes had its final reading and was adopted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1896, p. 4, c. 5)


Ordinance No. 135, an ordinance to restrain and punish prostitutes, had its first and second readings and was declared adopted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

District Court.

Viola Vanderwerker plead not guilty to the indictment returned against her and the case was continued, she being released on her own recognizance, the grand jury having recommended that she be allowed to go if she would leave this vicinity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 November 1896, p. 4, c. 6)


Mary Tifft a Third street resident, was up before Judge Alderman on Wednesday, charged with being found in a saloon, contrary to a city ordinance. She was found guilty and a fine of $10 imposed. The case has been appealed to the district court, and the defendant is out on $50 bail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

The girls of easy virtue are on a strike. They objected to the amount of fines imposed by the municipal court, and wanted them reduced one-half. The judge refused to be dictated to as to what fines he should impose, and gave them the usual $11.40. This the women refused to pay and their houses have been closed. One house has put up a large sign “Furnished Rooms to Rent.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

State of Minnesota vs. Mary Tifft. Appeal from municipal court; charged with violating ordinance 134, restraining prostitutes, jury trial. Verdict guilty, and sentence $10 or 10 days in jail imposed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 March 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Jessie Harris, a sporting lady of ebony hue, was before the court on Monday, charged with keeping a house of ill-fame. She admitted the charge and was fined $100 or 90 days in jail, and in default of the hundred she is stopping at the jail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 March 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Stella Brown and Nellie Tyson, were before the municipal court on Monday for keeping houses of ill-fame. The arrest was made under the state law which makes the offense a felony. They waived examination and were bound over to await the action of the grand jury, bail being fixed at $250. They were arrested on complaint of Ella Conners, a lady of ebony hue, who has been forbidden by the police to open a house of this character, and she doesn’t intend to allow white women to run a house if she cannot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 March 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

William Bacon was before the municipal court yesterday charged with frequenting a house of ill-fame. He was adjudged guilty and fined $10 or 10 days in jail. The sentence was suspended on condition that he get out of town. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Municipal Court Notes.

Cora Carey was arraigned in the municipal court on Monday under the state law charged with keeping a house of ill-fame. She waived examination and was held to await the action of the grand jury in the sum of $250. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Martha Williams, a colored lady of easy virtue was before the municipal court on Tuesday, charged with vagrancy. She plead guilty and was discharged on condition she leaves the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 April 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

Viola Vanderwerker was found guilty of forgery by a St. Cloud jury, and sentenced to six months in the state penitentiary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)


The grand jury finished its labors yesterday afternoon, having returned six indictments, one each against Cora Carey, Nell Tyson and Stella Brown, for keeping houses of ill-fame....

In the cases of the women charged with keeping houses of ill-fame, they were arraigned and plead guilty, a fine of $25 in each case being imposed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 September 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

On Tuesday Bessie Winters was arrested on complaint of Jessie Harris for assault, and the colored woman’s face was in evidence that an assault had been committed. The Winters girl plead guilty on Wednesday morning and was fined $10. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 October 1897, p. 1, c. 2)


Grand Jury Report.

The grand jury would call the attention of the court to the fact that certain information has come to the notice of this jury which leads us to believe that there is at least in one instance a den run in connection with a saloon to which young girls are enticed for the purpose of drinking which leads to their ruin, and at the present time there are two of those girls, 16 and 18 years of age, now confined in the city jail who were arrested in this place. The grand jury would recommend that the attention of the mayor of this city be called to this matter, and he be requested to investigate and take action in the matter tending to the revocation of the license of the parties operating the saloon and inflicting such other punishment upon the offenders of the law as may be deemed just in this case.



(Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1898, p. 1, c. 2)

The City Fathers.

The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with all members present excepting Aldermen McGinn and Wicklund.

The mayor presented the following communication.

Brainerd, March 5, 1898.

To the president and members of the City Council:

GENTLEMEN:—I am satisfied that the saloon on the corner of Fifth and Laurel streets, better known as Little Fred’s Place, is not being conducted in conformity to law, in fact I am convinced things are happening in the saloon that is a disgrace to our city and reflect discredit to our municipal government and therefore I earnestly request that you take immediate action to revoke the license of said saloon. Respectfully,



The council went into executive session and summoned Bert Sisley, one of the proprietors of the saloon above referred to, to appear before them. When the doors were opened a motion was made that a sufficient number of copies of ordinance No. 135 be printed and to furnish one to each saloon keeper and that a statement be printed beneath the ordinance calling attention to the fact that the ordinance be strictly enforced in the future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 1898, p. 1, c. 2)

Complaint has been made by Chief Stratton against Bert. Sisley for selling liquor to a minor, and the case will be tried by jury next Saturday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

The case of the state vs. Bert Sisley for selling liquor to minors, two young girls, Ella Kalland and Nellie Cromwell, was tried in the municipal court Thursday morning. The defense introduced no evidence. Mr. Sisley was found guilty and fined $25 which was paid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March 1898, p. 8, c. 5)

Peter Gustafson is now proprietor of the Brinkman & Sisley saloon having taken possession on Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 April 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Bert Sisley left yesterday for Bemidji. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 April 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

A Horrible Death.

On Tuesday morning, about 1:30 a. m., Susan Deiter, an inmate of Mollie O’Neil’s house of ill-repute on Third street met with an accident that cost her her life. The woman in question, who is about 40 years of age, during the early part of the evening had an epileptic fit, and was placed on a bed in her room, where she partially recovered and went to sleep. A lamp was left in the room on a sewing machine standing by the door. It is supposed she awakened partially at that time and tried to leave the room, and in doing so knocked the lamp off the machine on the floor. It broke and threw oil all over her clothes, which was ignited by the flame of the lamp, and when first seen by other inmates, she was a mass of flames. Mrs. O’Neill attempted to assist the unfortunate woman, and her clothes also caught fire, but were extinguished, not, however, without serious burns about the hands and arms. Mrs. O’Neill then directed that a large rug be thrown around the burning woman and the flames were extinguished, but practically every stitch of clothing about her had been consumed except her shoes. Dr. Groves was called and gave medical aid, but nothing could be done for her except administer opiates to relieve the pain. She was burned to a crisp from the top of head to the tops of her shoes. She died about 5 o'clock. The house caught fire and the department was called out, but the flames were easily extinguished. The unfortunate woman was buried on Wednesday. She has been an inmate of houses of ill-fame in this city for more than 20 years, and familiarly known by the sporting fraternity as “Pie-Faced Kate.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1898, p. 5, c. 3)

The police this afternoon arrested Mrs. Ida Wheeler for keeping a disorderly house and before Judge Alderman she plead guilty and was fined $26.75 or thirty days in jail. Marie Foote and Gracie Westlake were charged with being frequenters to which they plead guilty and were assessed $11.75 each or ten days in jail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1898, p. 1, c. 4)




Russel [sic] Ward, a two month's old son of Mabel Ward, an inmate of Mollie O'Neill's place, died on Monday and was buried Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1899, p. 8, c. 6)

Mrs. Mollie O'Neill, for many years one of the best known denizens of the shady West End resorts, died at her place on Third street on Saturday last, of cancer, aged 59 years. The funeral took place on Monday, the interment being in Evergreen cemetery. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 March 1899)

Mrs. Flora Erickson was before the municipal court yesterday charged with conducting a disorderly house. She denies the charge and has retained Lawyer Warner to conduct her defense. The trial will occur tomorrow. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 June 1899, p. 8, c. 1)


A lumberjack complained yesterday to the police that he had been robbed of his watch and chain and $60 in money in a Third street resort. The police investigated and found the watch which the inmates claimed he had left there, but denied taking any money, although they said he spent $18 there during the previous evening. As the fellow had also spent considerable at the saloons about town, the police concluded that he had not been robbed, and he was refused a warrant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1900, p. 8, c. 3)



Andrew Paulson, a Lumberman, With

a Jag and Gun Does the


On Monday afternoon, a husky Norwegian giving the name of Andrew Paulson, made things lively at the corner of 5th and Laurel streets for a short time. Andrew evidently had taken aboard too much fire-water of a fighting brand, and he longed for rich, red gore, consequently he bought a revolver of Ed White and started down the street prepared to do the Bloody Bridles Waite act. Quite a number of men were on the street, but when they saw Andrew flourishing his gun they had business elsewhere, and disappeared like magic. After turning the corner at 5th and Laurel he encountered John Tifft’s horse tied to a post, which he proceeded to use as a target, putting a ball through the horse’s neck. M. A. Davie’s dog at this point advanced to the attack, which was a snap for Andrew, and he sent a .32 calibre ball spinning after the audacious animal, who retired with howls of pain. He then proceeded to a house of ill-repute on Third street, and was taking a deliberate aim through the window at one of the girls, his revolver cocked ready for use, when Officer Brockway, who had followed him, lit on him like a lynx, pinning his arms to his side, and by the force of the jump forcing him to the ground, where he was speedily disarmed and hand cuffed. Brockway’s timely jump undoubtedly saved the girl’s life, as she stood directly in front of the window, not three feet distant from the muzzle of the revolver.

He was brought before the municipal court on Monday, by which time he had recovered from his desire for blood, and plead guilty to a charge of discharging fire arms in the city limits, and his honor gave him 15 days in jail or a fine of $25. A civil action was brought against him for injury to the horse by Mr. Tifft, which was settled, we understand, by the payment of $18. Having paid for the horse. Paulson had no money to pay his fine, hence he is boarding at the city’s expense. He said he lived in Anoka and had brothers living in Seattle. He worked in the woods during the winter for J. M. Gray. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

Information of insanity has been filed against Mrs. Ed. Kief and she has been taken into custody by Sheriff Erickson. The woman was an inmate of a house of ill-repute on Third street, and becoming very sick was taken to the Lumbermen’s Hospital for treatment. She recovered from her illness, but has become violently insane. As she has lived in town only a month, and is a non-resident of the state, Crow Wing county officials have not the authority to take charge of her, hence Judge McFadden has written to the secretary of the state board of correction for authority to send her to the asylum. She will be held in jail until the state board is heard from. The woman claims her home is Topeka, Kansas. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

The police on Saturday evening arrested two women, Mrs. Kirkpatrick and Tina English, for visiting immoral houses. They plead guilty to the charge in the municipal court on Monday and were fined $35 each, or given 30 days confinement in the city jail. Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s sister, Mrs. Morrison, interfered with Officer Hurley while making the arrest, and she was arrested for the offense and plead guilty and was given seven days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Tina English, in jail for visiting immoral houses, was released on Monday, an Aitkin man paying her fine, and she left for Aitkin at once. The city is ahead $30, and rid of an undesirable character. Mrs. Kirkpatrick was released the next day, her husband paying the fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Her Lover Quit Her.

Myrtle Madden, an inmate of a Third street resort, tried to shuffle off this mortal coil on Saturday evening last by taking 21 grains of corrosive sublimate. Her action was soon discovered and medical aid summoned, and by hard work she was rescued from the clutch of the grim reaper, and she is now fully recovered. The cause of her action is said to be due to the fact that a certain young man of the city, of whom she had become enamored, had passed her up and had not visited her for a couple of weeks. Hence she thought life was not worth living. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1900, p. 1, c. 1)

The DISPATCH was in error in stating that the husband of Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who was in jail for immoral conduct, paid her fine on her release recently. Mr. Kirkpatrick will have nothing more to do with her and consequently did not pay the fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)


Mrs. Ella Kirkpatrick was arrested on Wednesday morning charged with immoral conduct. She plead not guilty in court, and her case was continued until Monday, March 4th, her bail being fixed at $100. She was given a 30 days sentence some time ago on the same charge, but was released when half served by her fine being paid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

Mrs. Ella Kirkpatrick, whose arrest for immoral conduct was mentioned last week, had her trial in the municipal court on Monday, and was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of forty dollars or serve 40 days in jail. Her friends are making an effort to get the money to secure her release. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1901, p. 8, c. 2)

The Mayor has a Scheme to Get the

Disreputable Houses Off of

Laurel Street.


The location of the houses of ill-repute in the city on and adjacent to Laurel street near the bridge has long been considered a great disgrace and scandal by all who have given the matter any thought, as Laurel street is one of the most traveled thoroughfares of the city, and it seemed a shame that the inmates of these places should be allowed to flaunt their disreputable business in the faces of respectable people, whose business or pleasure required them to travel that street.

The mayor, in his message, recommended that as they seemed a necessary evil that could not be entirely abolished, they be compelled to move to some isolated place. It is with this end in view that he has devised a plan to move these people, and he has found a suitable place where they will be totally unobserved by the traveling public. He does not desire the place made public at present, as arrangements are not entirely completed, but will be in a short time and the removal made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1901, p. 4, c. 3)

Flora Wanted the Farm.

Very amusing incidents occur occasionally in the offices at the court house. On Saturday August Lukow [sic], a St. Mathias farmer, and Mrs. Flora Erickson, a buxom Brainerd widow, with four children, called at the office of the register of deeds to have a farm owned by Mr. Lukow [sic], in St. Mathias, transferred to the woman. It seems Mr. Lukow [sic] had agreed to transfer his farm to Mrs. Erickson on condition that she would marry him, and he wanted to get the license and get married and then transfer the farm to her, but she insisted on the transfer being made first. They argued the question for a time, but August finally yielded. “You know, August,” said the wily Flora, “I have gone with you four months, and I love you and will marry you,” and this appeal brought August to time. Miss Peabody made out the deed, and August to be safe, wanted it stated as a condition of the transfer, that she must marry him. Miss Peabody had had no experience in drawing deeds with such conditions, but A. G. Trommald, who was present, inserted the words “on consummation of marriage” in the deed, and the matter seemed settled. August then dug up a dollar to have the deed recorded, when a new idea occurred to Mrs. Erickson. Could she sell and transfer the property without August’s signature she queried. Mr. Trommald said not, and she and August left to find a lawyer who could arrange the matter. They called on Attorney E. W. Crane, who told them to leave it to him and he would fix it satisfactorily all around, and he got the deed from the register’s office and says he’ll arrange it so they’ll get married and live happy every afterward, as the story writers say. The episode caused the court house clerks quite a little amusement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1901, p. 8, c. 2)

She Got the Farm.

Mrs. Flora Erickson, whose efforts to get the farm of August Luckow [sic] some time since, furnished amusement for the court house clerks, and was published in these columns, has got the farm all right, but she had to take August with it, a license to marry having been issued to them on Wednesday. Flora is to be congratulated on her success, and August on getting such a hustler for a wife. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1901, p. 1, c. 4)

August Luckow married Flora Erickson on April 26, 1901 in Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota.

Mrs. Minnie Sullivan and Mrs. Mary Bakke [sic], women who had Jack Burns arrested last week for disorderly conduct, were themselves arrested on Tuesday night for conducting a disorderly house. The police have suspicioned for some time that they were conducting a place of this character, but not until Tuesday night have they had sufficient evidence to warrant them in interfering. Both plead guilty in the municipal court on Wednesday morning, and were assessed the regulation amount of $26.75. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1901, p. 4, c. 3)

Nellie Johnson, familiarly known as “Irish Nell,” contributed $5.00 to the city exchequer in the municipal court on Tuesday on a charge of drunkeness, and $8.75 for frequenting a disreputable house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 May 1901, p. 8, c. 2)



Mrs. Minnie Sullivan was brought before the judge to answer to the charge of unwomanly conduct. She did not think that she had been guilty of any offense and her case was set for Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1901, p. 6, c. 2)

The demi-monde from the tenderloin district walked up to the rack this morning and swelled the city exchequer to the tune of $154. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1901, p. 8, c. 2)



A Girl Twenty-two Years of Age Dies in

A House of Ill-Fame in

This City.

A young girl, twenty-two years of age, who has been called since she came to this city not long ago, Ethel Williams, died at the house of ill-fame run by Myrtle Dale on the west side from the effects of a pelvic abscess.

The cause of this has not been investigated, but an autopsy will probably be held before the body is buried. The officials are trying to locate the girl’s parents. She would not tell the doctor what her right name was when he asked her about half an hour before she died. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1901, p. 2, c. 4)

Ethel Williams, who died Saturday night at Myrtle Dale’s house of ill-fame, was buried Wednesday. Every effort has been made to reach her parents. Her real name was Sanduska [sic], and her parents live in a small town in Wisconsin. They were notified shortly after the death, but no word came from them and it is thought that they either do not care or that they live in the country and have not received the message. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1901, p. 8, c. 5)

NOTE: Her name was Lilla Samlaska in the Death Record. Lillie O. Samlaskey [sic] [Samlaska/Samlofsky] was b. May 1883, in Wisconsin; father William Samlaska or Samlofsky, b. May 1855, Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany; mother Nellie Stratton Samlaska, b. December 20, 1868, Grant County, Wisconsin. In 1900 the family was living in Cumberland Township, Barron County, Wisconsin.



Her Hubby Appears on the Scene

While She is Entertaining





Both She and Her Husband Ap-

pear Before Judge Mantor.

There are spots on the moon, great big, round, greasy red spots at that, and the residents of the second ward heard a few echoes of domestic perturbation over on Eighth street Tuesday that would drive a denizen of a mad house to drink and would curl the bristles along the back of a wild boar.

Mrs. August Luco [sic], better known in this city perhaps as Flora Erickson, has been the chief actress in the dramatization of a three-act comedy that would put Sapho way in the clear, the presentation of which has been the subject of daily comment among a lot of jays around town with peaked craniums, who threw out the guffaw that they have a “standin” with the management. The final scene just before the curtain dropped on this great success was enacted last night when Flora was hiked off to the bug house in charge of Chief Nelson and officer Derocher, the cries emanating from her jugular passage being equal, if not surpassing the mumblings of a town crier in old colonial day. August Luco [sic], her hubby, was also in the march, for he had figured prominently a few minutes before as the rough-house artist, who was trying to supplant his own carcass in the place of a few members of a boo gang being entertained by Flora at her place of business.

Luco [sic] is the man whose affections had been dallied with by the evasive Flora several months ago and who was inveigled into deeding over his farm before she would give her hand in marriage, but who found a cool reception shortly after the wedding day. Since that time Luco [sic] has been industriously working at the shops and Flora has been equally as diligent in entertaining friends who happened that way.

Tuesday afternoon Luco [sic] happened that way and there were two friends being entertained by Flora and rightfully the former claimed a priority over the marks who were being bestowed with tender glances and seductive epigrams. Then there was a clinch and the rough-house act was on. Luco [sic] stove in a window or two, rammed a door down and was going to throw the whole cheese in the cellar but fortunately the police happened along. They had a great time persuading the twain that the bastille was the place for them to spend the night but they finally landed them in jail and Flora held sway in the northwest ward during the waning hours.

Wednesday Luco [sic] is claimed to have said that he would be willing to die if someone would just hand him a bunch of explosives, and on hearing this Flora said if she had anything that would do the business she would take pleasure in handing it to him.

Wednesday both were brought before Judge Mantor and Luco [sic] plead guilty to keeping a disorderly house and was fined $20 in default of which he must serve 20 days in jail.

Asked in court whether she was guilty or not guilty Flora said she was not and her hearing was set for tomorrow morning. She said she had all kinds of witnesses and it is generally conceded that she has, for she is never without company.

Just to get mean she instructed her attorney to bring suit against Luco [sic] for a divorce and the papers were served on him at the jail this morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1901, p. 1, c. 3)





Mrs. Sam Nash, Until a Short Time

Ago a Resident of This City,

Commits Suicide




Remains Brought to This City and

Interred This Morning in

Evergreen Cemetery.

The remains of Mrs. Sam Nash were brought down from Tenstrike yesterday afternoon by her husband and it was the first intimation of some of those in the city who were acquainted with the family that the woman was dead. Some of the relatives of the woman had been informed of her death, which occurred on the evening of November 21, last Saturday, and it was afterward learned that she had committed suicide by taking a large dose of carbolic acid at 8:30 o'clock in the evening.

The Nashs lived in this city up to about a year ago when they went north. They are well known to many in the city, the wife especially, as she had been quite a notorious character and was a frequent caller at the police court on various charges. She was indicted at a term of the district court last year on the charge of robbery, but was acquitted. She was commonly known as "Topsy" Tifft in this city.

Brief services were held at the undertaking parlors of Losey & Dean this morning at 10 o'clock and interment was made in Evergreen cemetery. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 November 1903, p. 4, c. 3)

NOTE: Alice “Topsy” Tifft Nash was also known as Mary Tifft.


Mrs. Mary Sylvester drew 70 days in jail in default of $75 in municipal court yesterday for conducting an immoral resort. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 June 1907, p. 2, c. 2)


05 October 1909. A petition, signed by Alderman Gardner and 25 citizens, most from the First and Fifth Wards, called on the mayor and police to enforce state laws as a house of ill-fame on Water Street was selling liquor without a license and to minors. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 05 October 2009)




First Ward Alderman Demands That

Mayor Enforce Law Regarding

Houses of Ill-Fame



A petition was presented asking the mayor and city council to rid the city of houses of ill-fame and then the fun began. Ald. Gardner, who was one of the signers of the petition spoke in favor of enforcing the law and declared it was up to the mayor and police force to do their sworn duty.

Mayor Ousdahl declared that he did not know that any such place existed. That if the petitioners should furnish evidence that there was such a place he would see that the charges were prosecuted. Alderman Gardner insisted that not only the mayor but everyone in Brainerd knew that such a place existed and that it was up to the mayor to do his duty.

Alderman Paine defended the course of the mayor and thought that the parties kicking should take the initiative to enforce the laws.

Alderman Drexler here asked the city clerk if it was not a fact that the proprietor of the house, or someone came up voluntarily the first day of each month and plead guilty to the charge of keeping a house of ill-fame. The clerk replied that such was the case and asked Mayor Ousdahl if that was not good evidence that the place existed.

Mayor Ousdahl insisted that he wanted to have the law enforced as badly as anyone, but that he was powerless unless the complainants furnished the evidence.

Alderman Drexler said the whole sum and substance of the matter was that some of the aldermen were afraid of the loss of that $1,200 a year from the monthly fines. For his part he did not want to be in partnership with joints of that kind and that the city was in partnership as long as it let them run under the tacit understanding now existing.

A motion was made that the petition be referred to the mayor. The president was unable to determine the result of a viva voce vote and ordered a roll call, which resulted in the motion being carried, by the following vote: Ayes—Robertson, Zakariasen, Gardner, Kjellquist and Drexler. Nays—Henning, Cardle, Paine and Dieckhaus. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 May 1910, p. 3, c. 2)

28 May 1910. We the grand jury, now in session, beg leave to report the lax manner in which the laws of the state and city ordinances have been enforced in regard to houses of ill-fame. After being informed of their existence the mayor and his officers have not closed them down. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 28 May 2010)


After he was elected mayor, Henry P. Dunn decided to clean out all the dens of iniquity and force them into the outskirts of Brainerd along the river bank. Among the proprietors thus compelled to establish new quarters was one, fat and shrewd old Cora Carey, who retaliated by issuing engraved invitations to the reopening of her “House of Pleasure,” and sent them to the wives of every prominent citizen in the town. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 60)

NOTE: Henry P. Dunn was mayor from May 1911 to May 1913.



Chief Ridley and Officer Barney Stop

Convivial Celebration of Two

Men and a Woman




Joe and Charles Harmon and Georgia

Ball Plead Guilty to Being

Drunk and Disorderly

Unable to endure the noise and drunken hilarity any longer, residents of the south side summoned the police last night and Chief Ridley and Officer Barney arrested Charles Harmon, Joe Harmon and Georgia Ball, who were carrying on a sort of bacchanalian orgy and disporting themselves about a house on South Third street in a very abbreviated state of deshabille.

The police promptly stopped the night shirt parade and took the celebrants into custody.

This morning they were arraigned on a charge of being drunk and disorderly and each in turn plead guilty and was given a $10 fine and costs or 10 days in the city jail. None of the trio had any money and so they will spend a quiet period of repentance in the city’s bastille or cooler.

The Ball woman is said to be a sister of the woman who recently shot her husband, E. G. Williams and the drinking bout may have been in honor of her release. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 July 1911, p. 3, c. 1)




Girls Arrested on a Charge of Keep-

ing House of Ill-Fame are

Late in Court

The cases against two girls and three men, set for hearing in the municipal court this morning, were continued to this afternoon. The girls are charged with keeping a house of ill-fame and the men with frequenting the place. Officers Squires, Peterson and Miller accompanied by a citizen of the third ward, made the arrests. When no girls appeared, Judge G. S. Swanson ordered bench warrants for their arrest, but before they could be served the women appeared and pleaded that oversleeping was the cause of their tardiness in appearing in court.

Judge Swanson raised their bail to $200 each. The scene of the alleged orgy of the men and women is said to have been a house in the so-called Nine Row in Northeast Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 November 1912, p. 3, c. 3)


03 October 1913. Spurred on by the complaints of south side residents, Chief Quinn and Officers Nordstrom, Setula and Scott raided a shack near the Rodman home at S. 10th and Norwood Streets. Rodman, two men and two women were charged with running a disorderly house. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 2013)




Female Prisoner Breaks Windows,

Turns on Water Taps and Does

$40 Damage

Arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge, Elma Shupe was lodged in the corridors of the jail and given considerable freedom. She took off her shoes and smashed six windows, cut her hands on the glass, spattered the walls with marks, turned on all the water taps, froze up two radiators near the windows and evidently intended to work her way out of the place until the night policeman, J. P. Nordstrom, put a stop to her wreckage of $40 or more.

She is cited to appear in court Friday morning at 10 o’clock. Officer Nordstrom, who arrested her while creating a disturbance in a restaurant, required assistance to place her in restraint. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 February 1917, p. 5, c. 2)




Miss Katherine Olinger, State Board

of Health Marshal, Filed Com-

plaints in Brainerd

Led by a woman, Catherine Olinger, state board of health marshal, officials of Brainerd and Crosby raided an alleged disorderly house near the Hillerest location, just outside of Ironton village limits and made four arrests, all of the prisoners being taken to Brainerd, where three were fined $40 each and the fourth, charged with operating the place was held for the grand jury on bail of $1,000.

Assisting the woman marshal were John Byrne, deputy sheriff of Brainerd, and Police Chief, C. A. Lewis of Crosby.

The four arrested described themselves as Florence Corey, Ada Laset, Anna Moore and Anna Wesberg. The last named was charged with being the operator of the place.

The raid is the result of the state board of health co-operating with the federal authorities in an effort to stamp out social diseases. Miss Olinger herself obtained the evidence which caused the raid.

She was here last July, ordering several resorts to close, among them being the alleged Wesberg place. The Wesberg woman is said to have ignored the order and then Miss Olinger came back to the range to lead the raid. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 October 1919, p. 4, c. 2)

NOTE: While this raid did not occur in Brainerd, it is notable for the fact that it was led by a woman.



Thanks to the following individuals and organizations who made this website possible:

Crow Wing County Historical Society

Pam Nelson

John Van Essen

Brainerd Dispatch

Mike O’Rourke

Researched and Compiled by Ann M. Nelson. Last Update: 20 January 2018