Note that these are chips from the prohibition era.
This is the story of Ida Carl Forbis, a resident of Aberdeen, WA for 62 years, who passed away in 2005. The information below is a combination of that taken from her obituary, and several emails and phone calls with surviving members of the family, some of which remain involved in the gaming industry. I’ve seen the name of Ida’s sister, Mae Culver, somewhere in the manufacturer’s records. She died in 2010 but her daughter Betty Miller is apparently still active in Hoquiam.
Ida was born in 1916 to Howard & Millie, on the family farm near Crystal Springs, ND.
A small quantity of some of the chips were sold at an early part of the estate sale back in 2005 which probably accounts for some of these already being known and referenced in the Gaming Table, albeit as ‘location unknown’. Ida was well known for her thriftiness, the family was extremely poor and both parents died when she was 17, and she assumed the responsibility of raising her younger siblings, the youngest only 2. A great believer in re-using anything that still worked, many of the chips she used in her games were inherited from previous owners or bought from other closing establishments. Fortunately her family kept her modest annotated collection of chips which represented not only where she worked, but also one chip from everywhere else she ever played.
While the reason for most of the monograms is unknown, it is quite likely one of our friends of the hobby has enough information now to research these a bit further when he has time. Ida never felt the security of chips was an issue, given that she only ran poker games, and anyone introducing chips would soon get caught by the other players!
In 1942, Mrs Forbis brought the family to Aberdeen, where she went to work, dealing and waitressing at the Seattle Café. She later worked at the Mint, Jake’s Place and the Forest Hills Dinner Club. In the early 1950’s she owned and operated the Owl Tavern and the Fashion Cigar Store before building the tavern at 401 W. Heron St. on the Bowling Alley block. She called it Ida’s Inn and family members say she was very successful because she loved her many loyal customers. Ida’s Inn became ‘legal’ shortly afterwards and she stayed operating it for 26 years. She also owned the Boys Club which sister Mae operated for her. She became well known for bringing go-go dancing to Aberdeen in the 1970’s and sponsored several pool and bowling teams that she also played for.
She enjoyed many trips to Reno to play blackjack and was so well known at Harrah’s Reno they once sent a private plane to pick her up at Hoquiam airport. She sold Ida’s Inn and retired in 1981.
Below are the 25 chips I got from the estate. I have extras of just the 12 chips marked with a red dot. I appreciate that 5 of these are generics so I am going to sell them as sets of the other 7 chips, for $37 shipped, and include the other 5 free of charge. You can do what you like with them then
If anyone needs single chips only they will each be $6 shipped.
Email me if interested.