Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Texas Guinan's "Salon Royal"

Today the 19th century building on 8th Avenue at West 58th is the sedate West Park Hotel. During the 1920s, celebrities who wanted to make whoopee and sip champagne filled the place, attracted by the famous hostess of this "speak" - Texas Guinan.

Denying in court room testimony that she referred to this profitable nightspot as the "Saloon Royal," Texas Guinan situated her club in the Acropolis Hotel [310 West 58th Street, near Eighth Avenue] in 1928. The Greek owners, her partners, got dragged into every trial, however, Texas was acquitted by the jury. If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that Texas often established her speakeasies inside a HOTEL. Reason: By virtue of its being in a 50-room hotel, the premises could stay open all night. :-D