The Deers & Collins

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The Deers & Collins

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:43 pm

The Deers were well known in Arkansas City as bootleggers. They had a well in their kitchen where they hid their liquor. Lee Dee owned a house northeast of Arkansas City where he ran a tavern. There was only one entrance and it was guarded. The house was packed on the weekends. Patrons had access to a bar, dance floor and gaming tables. The Deer "joint" was raided on October 29, 1930 and Lee was arrested.

The Deer brothers' sister, Blanche owned and opperated the Esquire Club in Arkansas City. She was married to Charles "Choc" Collins who was also a bootleggar AND an armed robber. Choc was also the proprietor of the St. Charles hotel. He had several run ins with the law in the 1920s. Once, he was arrested for a shoot-out, several times for bootlegging and once for trying to break his brother-in-law, Elmer Deer, out of the Cowley County Jail.
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