Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Alice Tubbs For Western Wednesday...!

So many times we forget just what a strong presence the women had in the Old West. From Listverse here is the story of one such woman.

Alice Tubbs

Photo credit: South Dakota Historical Society

In the 1800s, most people thought of poker as a man’s game, until they met Alice Tubbs.

Born in Sudbury, England as Alice Ivers, the woman moved to America with her family in 1865 and was sent to a boarding school for young ladies. She moved west and started cleaning out every cowboy dumb enough to deal a deck of cards. Some claim her dad taught her how to hold ’em, while others say she learned by watching her gambler husband, Frank Dunning. Either way, she quickly became the queen of the card table, picking up the nickname “Poker Alice” for her incredible skills and winning an estimated $250,000 over her lifetime.

After her first husband died, she traveled the country, playing in the biggest towns in the west. She even ran a table in a saloon owned by Bob Ford—the man who killed Jesse James—and was there when someone gunned him down.

Throughout her career, Alice was known for wearing the best dresses money could buy, probably to keep her male competitors distracted. She was an expert at counting cards, regularly smoked cigars, and was known for her catchphrase, “Praise the Lord and place your bets, and I’ll take your money with no regrets!” Still, she was regarded as a proper lady who often quoted Scripture and never played cards on Sunday.

Alice married Warren Tubbs and retired to a life of childbearing and chicken farming. But after Warren died in 1910, Alice went back to the card tables. Despite her age, she hadn’t lost any of her poker prowess. In fact, after pawning her wedding ring to pay for Warren’s funeral, she soon won enough cash to get the ring back.

After marrying for a third time, Alice opened a casino near Fort Meade, South Dakota. And before her death in 1930, she was arrested for running a brothel, murdered a man for bad behavior, openly defied Prohibition laws, and earned a gubernatorial pardon at the age of 75.

If nothing else, this ol' gal was certainly colorful. What an interesting person she must have been.

Coffee outside this morning. Warm on the patio.


Gorges Smythe said...

lol - You do find some interesting folks!

linda m said...

I would have loved to know her. What a colorful person.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
I do my best, sir.
Thanks for stopping by this morning!

Hey Linda...
I agree totally with that.
Thanks for coming over today!

JO said...

What a lady, yes would have loved to know also. Great post my friend.

We are having one heck of a thunder and lighting storm right now lots of rain. On my way to the patio.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Just imagine the stories she could tell!
Thanks, dear, for dropping by today!

Rob said...

That was a nice piece of unknown (to me) history!

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
I always enjoy sharing something new with ya'll.
Thanks for coming over today!