Main Menu | Hudson County Facts | Jersey City Stories | Jersey City Politics | New Jersey Mafia | E-mail This Page

The Boss
THE BOY IN THE HORSESHOE

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

The environment of Frank Hague's youth was as rough, noisy, and lawless as was the Lower East Side where Alfred E. Smith was growing up. The Horseshoe is today just an- other dismal slum in a city of slums, populated chiefly by Italian immigrants; but in the decades after the Civil War it was filled with Irish, who spent as much time out-of-doors as in, who engaged in innumerable brawls, kept pigs and chickens in their houses, and supported forty saloons, all but two of which were owned by Irishmen. The men worked for the railroads, the Colgate Soap Company, or the Lorillard Tobacco Company. Unskilled men earned a dollar a day and skilled men a dollar and seventy-five cents. The railroad tracks crossed the Horseshoe at street grade, and the coal cars of the Erie on their way to New York were cheerfully regarded as communal property, so that the families of Cork Row and other Irish patches heated their houses or tenements without cost to themselves.

For the smaller boys, it was a world of constant fighting, one group against another, the boys from Cork Row against the 'lace-curtain Irish' of Hamilton Square. Since the fierce fights allowed for no rules, the boys became tough and – proud of it. Stolen brass sold for thirty cents a pound to the unquestioning junk-dealers of the Horseshoe, and the tenpound brass journals from the trucks of freight cars provided for many of the boys a ready source of pocket money. The wagons of the Eagle Brewing Company, rumbling daily over the cobblestoned streets, provided another tempting source of revenue. With agility a team of three could in a few seconds roll a half-barrel of beer from the rear of a moving wagon to the street. The noise of the iron-shod wheels on the stones overcame the noise of the rolling barrel, soon marketable at half-price at any of the back doors of the saloons.

Next

Main Menu

More About Frank Hague

Hudson County Facts by Anthony Olszewski
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
First issue in a series by Anthony Olszewski
Click HERE to find out more.

Advertiser and Distributor
Inquiries Welcome

Second Thief, Best Thief - The Tunnel Bar by Anthony Olszewski  Stories from a Jersey City Tavern

GRAVE ROBBER Jersey City Computer Repair
297 Griffith Street, Jersey City, NJ - In the Heights just off of Kennedy Blvd. - Very close to Journal Square and Union City, just five minutes away from Hoboken, Downtown Jersey City, Newport, and the Waterfront - 201-798-2292 - Tech support for The Jersey City Mayor's Office during the administration of Bret Schundler - PC repair - upgrade, hardware install, software install, data recovery, spyware removal, virus removal, replace hard drive

Jersey City Garden Post Card (196 Ogden Ave., original, not mailed) – $5.00
Mail your check to Anthony Olszewski, 297 Griffith Steet, Jersey City, N.J., 07307
To pay by PayPal, e-mail aolsz@bellatlantic.net

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

Questions? Need more information?

About the images at the Jersey City History Web Site