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Illegal Of The Day Illinois 17

“Illegal Of The Day” number 125.

OK, here is a good one, maybe the most documented “Illegal Of The Day” since the Jason Lee-Hawaiian Club, Chicago-Monte Carlo, research.

My guess is, only you die hard illegal collectors will take the time to read and appreciate this research.

If you only want to put names to your chips.

White House Club.
Highwood Recreation.
North Shore Recreation.
Highwood, IL

If you are die hard illegal chip collector, READ ON!

My note: Mike Vuolo found the 2 fonts of the HR, WHC, and the DL chips in what was advertised as an estate sale. I have seen them sold in the same lots several times over the years. No doubt in my mind they are all connected to the Highwood, IL area.

The following documents over 50 years of gambling, bootlegging, and catering to the US Army in Highwood, IL. As always in the Chicago area everything illegal comes back to Al Capone. vbg

Enough of that:


I have had this ID for years, came thru Allan Meyers from Howard Hertz.
No card for the HR on the left.
The orange one is
Mitchell Beaudin
400 Waukegan Ave
Highwood, IL
900 orange, 400 red, 200 yellow, 9/30/37 100 green, 200 white - 11/23/37
There is a good chance the white HR font was used on 2nd order, per Howard Hertz.

Hertz could not find the 2nd HR order in the Mason records. The new owners of the Mason records spent some time looking for it. Still not found. To be fair there are over 22,000 Mason records and very hard to search, per them, due to Special Fonts category. IMO, Hertz is right on his assumption of the 2nd HR font.
I need the orange HR font in the scan. Cough it up if you have a trader. vbg

My note: No doubt on the WHC.

The DL and the White House Club chips have also been found together for years. I am crediting the DL to Highwood, IL. This is the notation I make on a chip ID like this, “IFFY. vbg

Enter our “Friend Of The Hobby.”

Got some stuff on the HR and WHC but couldn’t come up with anything that could hold water on the DL.

For most of the first half of the 20th century Highwood, Illinois had a reputation as a tavern town. Highwood got this reputation primarily because it was a favorite recreation spot for soldiers from neighboring Fort Sheridan. In 1907 Highwood, population around 300, had 2 grocery stores, 1 drugstore, 2 churches and 13 saloons—the US Army estimated that soldiers from Ft. Sheridan spent between $300,000-$400,000 in Highwood during that year. By WWII the population was around 3,700 with around 50 taverns.

Here’s a couple of snips from the Chicago Tribune describing Highwood:
My note: 50 minute ride on EL from Chicago to reach Highwood.

from 1989:

Here’s a current aerial showing the borders of Highwood, Highland Park and Ft. Sheridan and the locations of the chip deliveries at 25 Clay, 400 Waukegan and 317 Waukegan. Waukegan Ave. and Sheridan Rd. are the same street. 346 Waukegan will be mentioned below. The White House Club was on Route 22, also known as Half Day Road—the road begins just to the left of the edge of the photo.

About 8 months after Mitchell Beaudin’s Nov.1937 HR chip order, his place is raided. The chip delivery address was 400 Waukegan but the raid took place at 346 Waukegan—the locations were next door to each other. Beaudin was a native of Highland Park and died there in 1959 at age 65 (his father a native of France). The article spells his French surname like it sounds: Bowden.

Chicago Tribune—10july1938:
My note: 100 private citizens raid the joints and make citizens arrests.

Not surprisingly, the actions of the leader of these raids, Claude Warner, were not appreciated
by everybody—including Mitchell Beaudin’s younger brother Ambrose.

Chicago Tribune—23July1938:
My note: Casino operators strike back at the reform raiders. vbg

11 days after the raid at Beaudin’s place the White House is raided by the sheriff.

Chicago Tribune—21july1938:
My note: The sheriff thinks he better get in on the raids. Too bad he didn’t move first. vbg

The WHC chips were delivered to 25 Clay St. in Highwood c/o Tom Economos. 25 Clay is a residential address. The 2400 sq. ft. 2 story structure was only 8 years old when the chips were delivered and sits
directly across the street from Ft. Sheridan. Supposedly many private homes were used as blind pigs during prohibition and it wouldn’t surprise me if the address had more than residential living going on there, although I saw no evidence that there was.

There were several Tom Economos’ in the Chicagoland area in the 1930’s and I was unable to pin down which one was the guy getting the chips. He may be the same Tom Economos who described himself in the early 1940’s as being employed at the Como Inn on Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The Como Inn was a legendary Italian restaurant which was patronized by members of Chicago’s underworld from Al Capone to the current day Duff family. According to the FBI and the Chicago Tribune, the last known initiations of “made men” into the Chicago outfit took place in the 1980’s at the Como Inn.

In 1939 a newspaper did an expose on crooked gambling and one of the places mentioned as receiving
some from Mason & Co. was the White House (I’m sending the entire article as a separate attachment):

My notes: This article is too big to upload. Link provided.
It documents the Mason Company making crooked dice, wheels. and other crooked gambling equipment for the White House and other customers.

Description of dice. Most illegal operators wanted more than their fair share of the gambling odds. They called it gambling with an “EDGE.” vbg

In the article you sent from April 1944, it was said that the White House closed in October 1942 and as a consequence the North Shore Recreation had been operating in Highwood. Here’s a 1944 order card from the Taylor records:

I need these chips. Cough them up if you have traders.

Article from 16nov1943:

A week and a half after the date of the article you sent, North Shore still being raided, Highwood still collecting $200.

Chicago Tribune--9may1944

After WWII an ex-GI sends a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune.
Apparently the White House didn’t stay closed.


In 1948 Rocco Fischetti was indicted for his involvement with gambling operations at both the White House and the Vernon Country Club mentioned above. Fischetti was Al Capone’s 1st cousin and a major figure in the Chicago underworld.

Chicago Tribune—8jan1948:

Lastly, here’s an article from 1950—White House still going.

Chicago Tribune—1july1950

That ends the research from our “Friend Of The Hobby.”

Following is an article sent to me from Riverboat Rick. This article started me on my quest for “The Rest Of The Story.” vbg

Messages In This Thread

Illegal Of The Day Illinois 17
Thanks Gene! Is it really a wonder why we love
Re: Illegal Of The Day Notice
Re: Illegal Of The Day Notice
DL chip
Re: DL chip
Thanks Gene. Most excellent!!
Man-O-Man-O-Man,Great stuff again,Thanks to all
Excellent Job putting it all together Gene! grin

Copyright 2017 David Spragg