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Mobsters, Madams & Murder in Steubenville, Ohio: The Story of Little Chicago
by Susan M. Guy
Gambling, prostitution and bootlegging have been going on in Steubenville for well over one hundred years. Its Water Street red-light district drew men from hundreds of miles away, as well as underage runaways. The white slave trade was rampant, and along with all the vice crimes, murders became a weekly occurrence. Law enforcement seemed to turn a blind eye, and cries of ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by History Press (SC)
(first published June 1st 2014)
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Steubenville, OH has never been known as a rosy place. It's history of gambling, prostitution, and organized crime is very well known to residents of the entire Ohio Valley. I've never known about a book that talks about Steubenville's sordid history until now, and I must say, I'm pretty disappointed. I give credit to Guy for attempting to tell the story of "Little Chicago", but there are so many holes and so many years missing. The book primarily focuses on the time period between 1875-1930. ...more
The overall literary style is somewhat lacking. I gave the book 4 stars instead of 3 because I'm a Steubenville resident and enjoyed the local history. It was insightful to see family names that are still in the area and to read of locations, buildings, and businesses that are still in operation. The book's ending leads me to believe the author is planning a follow up book. Given the criminal nature that still exists in Jefferson County, she should have no difficulty in finding sufficient ...more
I enjoyed this book. It was a very interesting read for me as I am familiar with the area. The book is a nice collection of true-crime short stories that give the reader a window into Steubenville during the early 20th Century. It is not by any means a scholarly dissertation, but rather a light read in local history. I think the author has done a very nice job researching and presenting her topic and should be proud of the end result. I read the book with Google Maps open next to me to see the ...more
This book gave us a concise history of incredible crimes during the early 1900's and the Prohibition Era. Having grown up and worked in the area, I was not aware at the number of murders and related crimes in familiar streets and towns. The author related many true stories that read like newspaper reports. It took me three months to finish this book about Steubenville, aka "Little Chicago." Doing the research for this book must have been a daunting task for the author. Recommended for those ...more
I found the stories interesting because I'm from Steubenville, however, the writing was a bit disjointed and had an unorganized feel. There were some grammatical errors and typos. The writer narrates from an objective, factual third person, but then adds subjective personal commentary and cliches, which I didn't prefer. This author is new and I hope she continues in her craft, particularly in historical regional pieces.
While this book did give a fascinating look at the world of crime in Steubenville in the 1920's and 1930's, it was poorly written and often hard to follow. The author is to be commended for her research and for sharing the stories of mobsters, madams and policemen in the city. The stories generally start out well but too often meander into sidetracks that make it hard to stay focused on the story at hand. Thankfully it was a short, quick read and a nice history lesson.
I read this to work on my family tree, but it was really incredible to read about Stuebenville in the 1920s and 1930s. A town that isn't well known today was really a magnet for crime. The author states that this is a compilation of sorts, recapping what was found newspaper articles from the time, but it was interesting. There isn't much holding the chapters together, but there are other sources for a more comprehensive history.