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Gamblers & Gangsters: Fort Worth's Jacksboro Highway in the 1940s & 1950s Paperback – December 1, 1998


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Gamblers & Gangsters: Fort Worth's Jacksboro Highway in the 1940s & 1950s + Hell's Half Acre: The Life and Legend of a Red-Light District (Chisholm Trail Series) + Lost Fort Worth
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Eakin Press; 1st edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571682503
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571682505
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hall MSSW on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr Arnold does an excellent job of taking hold of a sizable hunk of Fort Worth history and recording it in a very readable fashion. A number of pictures are also included to help visualize the antics of early Fort Worth residents (and visitors).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RHB on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hard to put down. I knew most of the streets and address mentioned. Born in '37, a lot of this took place during my formative years. There were big headlines when ever they found a gangster's body in an old water well. Front page when the gambler and his pregnant wife were blown up in their car early one morn.
Jacksboro Highway was rather notorious in my youth. My uncle had an auto repair shop on it. It got so bad, he sold out in the '40's and moved to Lubbock Texas. The west side of Fort Worth had numerous houses and buildings that were or had been gambling places.
In 1957, I rented a home on Washburn St. a few blocks from Will Roger's Colosseum. I asked the landlord why there were so many glass paned doors down both sides of the middle of the house. He said, during the 30's it had been used for gambling. The doors were to let many of them get away during a raid.
My late father had always suspected that the police and especially the sheriff were paid off in those days. He would have relished seeing it in print.
Mentioned the book to a friend that had once managed a private club on Jacksburo highway. He got so interested, he got out his old copy of the book and reread it :-)
BTW, A lot of the beer joints and vending companies in Fort Worth are still owned (under the table) by organized crime.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mary mcnett on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
this is a very interesting book especially for those of us who live in fort worth texas. all kinds of neat facts about one of our most popular highways. all about the gangsters and gamblers. ann arnold did a fantastic job on writing it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Davis on July 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating account of part of Fort Worth's history that is unknown to most people, even a lot of Fort Worthians. This book should be made into a movie about"Little Chicago".Fort Worth should be more famous!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Lee Barrett on September 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ann Arnold does a good job of preserving some of the rapidly disappearing history of the threshold that lies to the west of the "Gateway to the West." Gamblers and Gangsters presents a broad, topical history of the route known as the Jacksboro Highway which links downtown Ft Worth to the unique land and history that spans the western section of North Texas. With origins spanning back to the much storied, and much more celebrated, "Hell's Half Acre" Gamblers and Gangsters picks up the story of Fort Worth where the gamblers, gamers, shiners, sinners, hookers and hot-pillow joints were pushed out of view from down town Ft Worth and left to congregate around a strip of black top leading through the edges of what had been Comanche territory just over a century previous.

Just like the grand jury that turned the tide against corruption in City Hall and undercut the powerful forces that made the "wild, West side" stay so viable for so many years, time has done its own handiwork to eliminate any trace of the illegal card games, the car bombings and the other sundry crimes of vice that once ruled supreme here. With the exception of a few rusted signs, a few disguised buildings, and the fading memories of an aged population there is precious little left to mark this colorful chapter in Ft Worth's history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WmR on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book certainly paints a lively and provocative picture of Fort Worth's history. Who knew? I have been reading the book to my father, who has Alzheimer's. He was a young man, living in Fort Worth during that period of time. I've been amazed by the memories and recollections that this book has provoked from him. It has been a delight! I would highly recommend this book to every Fort Worthian and Dallasite, to readers who would be intrigued by a true (and relatively unknown) history of American gangsters and corruption, and to anyone else who has ever driven down Fort Worth's Jacksboro Hwy. It's a fun read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet Beam on May 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting, but it was hard to separate the gangsters at times...I think because there were so many of them. Overall I did enjoy reading about this big part of Ft. Worth history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurene G. McLaughlin on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had purchased this book from the author and lost it. Purchased this to replace my book. It was in great shape.
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