It was the Great Depression and Council Bluffs was broke. In what has to be one of the bolder civic fundraising moves ever devised, the city contracted with the alleged boss of the New York mob to come to town and operate an illegal dog track on city property, the city coffers to get a share of the proceeds. As improbable a story as it is, and ethics aside it, worked like a charm. The city was out of debt in no time. The story was written by Historical Society member Kathy Butler Kuenzer for the Society’s Member Journal.
Comments and questions are always welcome. Contact the Historical Society at information@TheHistoricalSociety.org. If you are interested in Council Bluffs history be sure to check our our local history videos. Search for Council Bluffs Revealed in the YouTube search bar. The Society also hosts a Facebook page called Council Bluffs Revealed.