The best example of a “Blind Tiger” is the following story...

Arkansas City Traveler, December 12, 1883.

A Temperance Lesson.

About a week or ten days ago a man came into the city and wanted to rent a room in which to open up a harness store. When he had very nearly completed arrangements for a lot with one of our businessmen, he learned that said businessman would under no consideration allow any building on his lots to be used for the dispensing of whiskey or for the harboring of lewd women, and straightway the virtuous newcomer lost all interest in the contemplated “harness shop” and failed to come around after the lease. He finally secured the shanty on the road to the south bridge, which attracts the passing gaze by its crescent-shaped roof, and opened up his “harness shop.” His shack consisted of a few kegs of beer and innumerable bottles of whiskey, which were kept behind a partition, and doled out to the ravenous multitude through a small aperture in which was a “blind tiger,” which took your money and turning around, presented the kind and quantity of beverage payed for. All this was accomplished without the innocent purchaser perceiving anything but his vanishing lucre replaced by the cup that inebriates and makes a man vote the Democratic ticket. This neat device for evading the law was too good to keep, however, and some of our most substantial businessmen getting wind of it, quietly bought the house and lot aforesaid, and on Saturday night last something like a hundred leading citizens marched to the spot, tore out the partitions, destroying the liquid contents, and overturned the house, taking the precaution in the meanwhile to arrest the “horse clothier.”

Generally speaking, we cannot—nor can any careful citizen—endorse mob law in any shape. The practice is pernicious and dangerous; but there is in this community a strong and determined feeling against the unlawful vending of intoxicating drinks, and it is of sufficient strength to demand recognition and an obedience to the prohibitory law of this state. Our citizens are heartily tired of seeing the laws openly defied or evaded—their wives and lady friends daily insulted on the street by drunken men—and they very suddenly came to the conclusion that the quickest way to put a stop to it was to teach the would-be liquor sellers a wholesome lesson. Our people as a community do not propose that a saloon shall be operated here if they know it—and this is the lesson they wish to impress upon the public at large.

Arkansas City Traveler, Supplement, December 12, 1883.

The whiskeyites feel a little as if they were sitting on one of their empty barrels on a down grade.


Arkansas City Traveler, February 13, 1884.

While the conscience stricken are nightly seeking forgiveness for their besetting sins, a demoralized whiskey vendor is instituting suit against seventeen of our businessmen to recover damages sustained in the exercise of their upsetting sins.

[Note: This refers to demolishing of shack running “Blind Tiger” located near South Summit Street Bridge. MAW]


Arkansas City Traveler, February 13, 1884.

Some time ago, as our citizens will remember, the temperance people of Arkansas City paid their respects to a piece of anatomy called Wilson, who was engaged in the highly respectable business of running a sightless felis tigris (commonly called a blind tiger), where the thirsty multitude could obtain the necessary moisture for their parched whistles without the embarrassing necessity of looking the vender in the face. This social call on our eminent friend Wilson was a revelation to him and a revolution to the building he occupied, resulting in the complete demolition of his stock of bug juice and a very pointed invitation for him to seek more congenial climes. He left by next train, and the next heard of him was through a summons served on seventeen of our principal citizens last week to appear before the district court of Cowley County and answer, in the sum of $13,000, to the charge of destroying personal property and a government license. Wilson’s attorney sails under the cognomen of Benson, is said to hail from Kansas City, and promises to completely paralyze the men who were engaged in the terrible work of destruction. The government license happened to be in our post office at the time, where it still remains, but of course that doesn’t make any difference where such a sum as $13,000 is in consideration. It is barely possible that these aggrieved gentlemen may find some obstacles in the way before they succeed in recovering the full $13,000, but we wish them all the fun possible out of the transaction.

Arkansas City Traveler, April 23, 1884.

R. B. Wilson, the famous blind-tiger man, came to the front again last week in the person of a hook-nosed, goggle-eyed attorney named Weston. It will be remembered that Wilson is suing several of our citizens for the trifle of $13,000, in payment for tipping over Frank J. Hess’ house and spilling $4.50 worth of whiskey and two kegs of beer for the weeping Wilson. His attorney, Weston, a recent importation from the land of hoop poles and pumpkins, now laying around Elk Falls, this state, formally notified the defendants last week that they must appear in person or by attorney in Marion and Shelbyville, Indiana, on the 28th and 29th of this month, to answer to depositions that will be taken in those towns at the time specified. W. P. Hackney, of Winfield, and A. J. Pyburn, of this city, are attorneys for the defendants, and will see to it that Mr. Wilson’s $13,000 is properly cared for. Just where Lawyer Weston is to get his money does not appear as Wilson only had $100 to start in with after being run out of Marion Center, or some other town north of us.

Arkansas City Republican, May 24, 1884.

The “blind tiger” trial was decided in favor of the defendants.

Arkansas City Republican, May 24, 1884.

Quite a number of our citizens were in Winfield Thursday and Friday in attendance on the “blind tiger” trial.

Winfield Courier, May 29, 1884.

Blind Tiger. The case against a number of leading citizens of Arkansas City for destroying a building and contents in which was kept a contrivance known as a “blind tiger” for dealing out whiskey, beer, and other noxious liquors secretly and clandestinely, was decided in favor of the defendants. The citizens made up their minds that the liquor business in that town had to stop, so they went down one evening, upset the “Blind Tiger” house, destroyed the liquor, and made it convenient for the owner to absent himself from their community. He then brought this suit against them for damages, but the jury seemed to think that a man who operates a “blind tiger” in Cowley County takes his own chances on being bitten.

[NOTE: Have a file on M. David, which reveals that he was in trouble with the law for years for running a saloon in Geuda Springs. He later got in trouble in Sumner County and then moved to Arkansas City, where he set up a “blind tiger.” MAW]

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

This morning Ed. Davids [David] and Jim Cherry were arrested for running a “blind tiger” in the basement beneath the Oklahoma Meat Market. For some time past suspicion rested upon these parties and at last culminated in their arrest. In the cellar four barrels of beer were found. The prisoners were taken before Judge Kreamer, who bound them over to appear for trial next Thursday week in the sum of $1,000. They gave the necessary bond for their appearance.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

Some of the four barrels of beer captured Tuesday in David’s “blind tiger” was stored in the basement beneath the post office. It is wonderful to note how Democratic the occupants of the building have become all at a moment. Postmaster Sinnott, Kingsbury, Ridenour, and others each carry a bran new corkscrew. The REPUBLICAN advises the sanitary committee of Arkansas City to investigate the matter or else in another 24 hours there will be nothing left but empty bottles and busted corks.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 19, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

M. Davids [David] and Jim Cherry were arrested this morning for violation of the prohibitory law. They were released on a bond of $700 each to appear for trial before Judge Kreamer next Wednesday.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 26, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

David’s and Cherry’s trial for selling intoxicants will come up Wednesday.


Arkansas City Republican, June 26, 1886.

The trial of M. Davids [David], Jim Cherry, and Ed. Davids [David], arrested for running a “blind tiger,” came off Thursday. The jury returned a verdict dismissing Cherry and Ed. Davids [David], and M. Davids [David] was held for a new trial to come off next Tuesday. The jury stood four for conviction and seven for acquittal of M. Davids [David]. The jury was composed of Gardner Mott, L. N. Coburn, C. H. Frick, S. B. Rickle, H. O. Meigs, F. Bryant, J. A. Arnold, W. F. Hubbard, Hugh Ford, Will McKee, D. J. Buckley, and E. W. Compton.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 3, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

The whiskey case of M. David came up before Judge Kreamer again this afternoon. Upon the motion of the county attorney, it was dismissed. Just what will become of the beer that was found in the basement of his meat market, we are not informed.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 3, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.

But a few moments after M. David had his attachment papers served upon the “remains” of the “blind tiger,” County Attorney Swarts had him placed under arrest again for assisting and abetting in the carrying on of the “blind tiger” in the basement under his meat market. He was taken before Judge Kreamer and bound over in the sum of $500 to appear for trial next Wednesday. He gave the required bond.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 3, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.

Yesterday afternoon, M. David, the man arrested some time ago for running a “blind tiger,” entered suit against one Wm. Jackson for the recovery of $25 for rent. He claims that Jackson rented the basement under his meat market and owed him the above sum for rent. All the empty beer bottles and three full barrels were attached to secure himself. The case will come up before Judge Kreamer Saturday. Wm. Jackson, at present, is supposed to be a non-resident.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 10, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

The trial of M. David occurs tomorrow afternoon before Judge Kreamer.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 10, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

The whiskey case of David is occupying the attention of Judge Kreamer’s court this afternoon.

Arkansas City Republican, July 17, 1886.

The jury in the whiskey case of David agreed to disagree and Judge Kreamer discharged the prisoner.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 15, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

This afternoon at about 4 o’clock two men, E. S. Lumpkins, of Sedgwick County, and a railroader became involved in a dispute in front of M. David’s place of business. Lumpkins threw his opponent down and was holding him when Miller McAfee ran up to the combatants, pulled Lumpkins over on the curb-stone, and kicked him in the eye with the heel of his boot. Just then Mead, Johnson, and Johnnie Breene came up and made the arrest of McAfee, who tried to get away. Lumpkins was taken to Dr. Wright’s office where he received treatment. It was feared the eye-ball was injured but on examination the wound proved no more serious than a severe cut in the face beneath the eye. His face was terribly swollen. The railroader and McAfee were taken before Judge Bryant and are having their trial as we go to press. McAfee’s act was very cowardly and uncalled for.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 5, 1887. From Tuesday’s Daily.

In the David’s case, which began trial today, the attorneys for the defendant subpoenaed 230 witnesses of the best citizens of the city. The majority of them are men who never drink anything and know not even where David’s stand is.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 5, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

It is called “vinegar” up at David’s ranche.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 5, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

Jerome Steele was brought down from Winfield yesterday for trial. He was taken before Judge Lindsay and bound over in the sum of $500. County Attorney Swarts was employed prosecuting the David’s case; consequently, he was unable to attend to it.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 12, 1887. From Monday’s Daily.

The jury in the case of State vs. David returned a verdict of guilty on five counts after 30 minutes Saturday evening. Judge Kreamer sentenced him to five months’ imprisonment and $500. This afternoon David filed his appeal bond and will take it to the district court.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 26, 1887. From Thursday’s Daily.

Bauly Sowers, who was arrested yesterday for running a joint, has gone to Oklahoma. George Ford was deputized to look after him. Sowers wanted to go to Mr. David’s home for something and Mr. Ford took him. While sitting in the room he was engaged in conversation and Bauly stepped into another room and from there into the Territory. George waited for his return, but he came not. After searching for his prisoner, Ford came uptown and reported he had gone.

[Note: Coverage of M. David ceased with the last issue of Republican noted above. It is hard to ascertain what happened in district court, as above items do not cover events any further. MAW]