The Caddo Herald
February 28, 1919
Must Stop Gambling in Bryan County
One of the strongest editorials we have read in a long while on “gambling in Bryan County” was written by the editor of the Bennington Tribune. We heartily concur in every word of the well-written article. There is no question but what gambling is becoming one of the greatest menaces to young men of this section. We have even heard that school children, young boys in their teens, are taking up the awful habit and it is becoming alarming and some stringent regulations should be promulgated, and at once. Following is the editorial in the Bennington Tribune; and we present it to our officers with a suggestion that it be heeded:
Gambling is the one thing that is keeping more good people from becoming citizens of our county than any other one thing. And the trouble is gambling and gamblers are on the increase.
And the evil influence is reaching out and many of our young men- boys from 16 to 20 years of age- have no other occupation and expect to live from what they can get from their “bones” (dice).
Teachers tell us that the High School pupils are being persuaded off to gamble after school hours.
Dave Wright made the race and defeated good men for sheriff on the plea that he would stop crime- and Dave is making good on his part. He has made more arrests the past month (and the condition of the roads were such that it was almost impossible to travel) than any record of one month for any sheriff will show. The amount of fines paid last month are record breakers.
The record shows that Wright has arrested 118 people since taking the oath of office for gambling alone, and yet gambling goes on as if nothing has happened.
What is wrong?
The fine system is a failure. What is $15 or on up to $50 to the man who can get out and in one day make from $500 to $1,000 per sitting? What does he care for the small fine assessed him when he can pay and make several hundred to the good?
When the turfs of grass would not bring the truant boy down from the apple tree the owner tried stones, and the boy maketh haste to come down. The law provides a few stones for this occasion in the shape of a jail sentence and herein lies the remedy we must try if we ar to ever stop the habit of gambling.
If those who administer the law had heard the murmurings that we have heard and it comes from all sections of the county, they would be wise to the fact that the fine system, which has proven a perfect failure, does not satisfy. Let us try the jail sentence. It can’t be any worse and the chances are conditions will improve rapidly.
The clang of the iron door on some expert at least puts him temporarily out of commission and it shows the youth the path is not a rosy one.
The disease (?) in its present state is very serious and is proving contagious and is calling for heroic treatment. Now, Mr. Doctor-Judge, please prescribe the course of prison food with liberty cut off and we believe the patient (?) will improve- and one or two applications of this treatment will cure him sound and well.
We must change the medicine and the sooner we start about it the quicker the cure.
Note: This photo was “posed”, perhaps as a joke, and it shows the men drinking and smoking cigars, not gambling. One of them is supposedly Peter Hamer.