Chicago Tribune

Prohibition Apostle Attacks Chief of Police Steward in Open Letter.
Levee Resorts Meanwhile Face Ruin Because of the Rigid Restrictions

Chief of Police Steward was assailed for his regulation of the social evil in Chicago yesterday by William A. Brubaker, chairman of the Prohibition central committee of Cook county, in "an open letter to the general superintendent of police."

Mr. Brubaker used strong language in his letter, quoting form the statute providing that keepers and inmates of disorderly resorts shall be arrested and fined instead of regulated.

Chief Steward met the assault of Mr. Brubaker with calmness.

"I sent my orders to the police, not to Mr. Brubaker," he said. "I have not seen the letter and I am not interested in what he may have to say."

Parts of Mr. Brubaker’s letter follow:

"My dear sir: I called at your office this morning to procure a list of the rules which you have made for the regulation of resorts in the so-called ‘red light district’ of this city. Your secretary declined to furnish me a copy and referred me to the daily papers of last Monday. I assume, therefore, that the regulations as published are authorized copies of those promulgated by you."

Mr. Brubaker then quotes several of the chief’s published rules and also the Illinois statutes and city ordinances providing penalities for maintaining disorderly houses.

Is Opposed to Regulation

"Is it not evident to you, therefore," the letter goes on, "that it is the intention of the law of the state of Illinois and the ordinances of the city of Chicago that all such houses shall be suppressed, that the owners, occupants, and frequenters shall be arrested and fined — in a word, that all the laws and ordinances upon this vice are prohibitory, not regulative? You, however, as an officer charged with the enforcement of said laws and ordinances, propose that such houses shall be allowed to exist within certain districts and subject to such conditions and regulations as you think wise t make.

"Permit me to ask: Who clothed you with legislative powers and authorized you to nullify laws of the state of Illinois? When and by who was the chief of police of Chicago made superior to the governor, the legislature, and the Supreme court of Illinois?

Calls it Official Anarchy

"Is not your action in setting aside laws and ordinances and substituting rules and regulations of you own the head and front of anarchy? Not the anarchy of the puny, despised street corner orator, but worse, official anarchy on the part of those selected, paid and sworn to enforce the laws as they stand upon the statute book.

"If you may set aside laws and ordinances enacted for the suppression of vice and grant criminal protection, why may not Inspector McCann? True, his regulations were a little more repugnant to our moral sense than are yours, but your offense is greater than his by so much as your office is more exalted than his, and more influential.

"You, as an official charged with the enforcement of the laws of Illinois and the ordinances of the city of Chicago, know, or should know, only what said laws and ordinances prescribe upon the question. Then, if their enforcement is followed by disastrous consequences, the fault is not yours but the legislators, who placed them upon the statute book. It is for you to see it that there shall be no perjury or anarchy in the office of the general superintendent of police of the city of Chicago."

"One Thing at a Time."

In speaking of the method he has made for the control of vice Chief Steward made the remark at the beginning of the present crusade that he intended taking one thing at a time and then holding the ground he had gained. He said that to follow the advice of those who advocate the total abolition of vice meant only to scatter it, and that it would take a police force of ten times the size of the Chicago department to control it as well as it is being controlled now.

In less than a week the four vice centers of Chicago have been put under closer restraint than every before in their history. Last Sunday the most drastic orders ever issued for the control of the "red light" districts were put into effect, and Chief of Police Steward said yesterday that he was more than pleased with the result.

The effect, in so far as the denizens of the tenderloin districts are concerned, has been disastrous. Chicago’s underworld is now facing a financial crisis that threatens to close half of the vice resorts in the city. These places are the most vicious and have always been the hardest to control, according to the police.

North Side Saloons Raided

The order to clean up the saloons in the north side levee which are frequented by women of the underworld without escorts resulted last night in the arrest of twenty women. The alarm spread quickly and women fled from many of the saloons. All the arrested women were held until 1 o’clock this morning and then released on bonds signed by professional bondsmen. The saloons visited and the number of unescorted women found in each follow:

George Lauterbach, 314 North Clark street . . . .3
    H. J. Witte, 501 Wells street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
    Max Schrieber, 549 Wells street . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
    S. Miller, 601 Wells street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
    Harrington & Parker, Michigan and Clark st. . . . 2
    Paul Schoop, 504 Wells street . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
    Ernest Peake
   La Salle avenue and Illinois street . . . . .2

Inspector O’Brien told Capt. Rehm and Lieut. Doherty to make a thorough inspection of the district and see that the orders of Chief Steward were strictly obeyed. The district was well policed and only on woman was arrested for soliciting in the street, and she said she lived on the west side.

Clark and Wells streets and La Salle avenue and cross streets from the river to Chicago avenue were singularly clear of women. For several nights past the number has decreased nightly, and those who did appear in public did not attempt to disobey the instructions of the police.

South Side Vice Subdued.

No attempt was made on the part of owners of saloons to unfasten the doors between their saloons and adjoining resorts. Girls in no instance attempted to communicate with or solicit saloon patrons.

Freiberg’s place on Twenty-second street was as lively as ever, but the girls in the place refrained from soliciting. There were many unescorted women there, however, Chief Steward has promised to turn his attention to this place and others of the same ilk. At 194 and 196 Twenty-second street, were there are saloons with concert halls in connection, there was surreptitious soliciting by unescorted women, but it was less open and bold than ever before.

Inspector Healy and Capt. Haines of the Desplaines street station conducted a number of raids on resorts in the levee district. Fifteen women and a number of men were arrested.


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