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The parlor house, or bordello, though, could be worse.
A well-stocked bar was usually among its amenities, but not the main attraction.
By all accounts, the wildest places in the Wild West were the saloons, and Texas had some of the wildest of the wild.
Fort Worth’s White Elephant, site of more than a few gunfights, shady deals and high-stakes games in its day, was plenty wild at times, yet it was also a business model for successful saloon entrepreneurship.
On the south end of town, below Eighth Street, the notorious vice district known as ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ still held sway, with its cowboy bars and cribs, wide-open gambling joints and raunchy dance halls.
On the north end of town, closer to the public square, legitimate businesses operated alongside gentlemen’s saloons and private clubs.
The White Elephant name was such a familiar one to Texans in its day that it could have been a franchise.
Fort Worth’s White Elephant staked its claim to fame on offering the highest quality gambling and food service anywhere in the Southwest for three decades.