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|New York|  Gang - The Gopher Gang

Birth: 1890's

Death: 1920












The Gopher Gang was an early 20th century New York street gang known for its members including Goo Goo Knox, Biff Ellison, and Owney Madden.

Based out of the Irish neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen (a neighborhood of Manhattan), the Gopher Gang grew to control most of Manhattan from Forth and Forty-Second Street to Seventh and Eleventh Avenue. Formed from various local street gangs in the 1890s numbering around 500 members into what later became a committee including Marty Brennan, Stumpy Malarkey, and Newburg Gallegher. The committee met semi-regularly at their headquarters known as Battle Row, a saloon owned by Mallet Murphy, to discuss robberies and divide profits from Manhattan bordellos and illegal gambling operations.

In the early 1910s the Gophers were led by One Lung Curran who was notorious for his attacks on lone patrolmen. Although most police rarely patrolled Hell's Kitchen, and only then in large groups, Curran often stole officers' uniforms and, after taking them back to his girlfriend for alterations, would wear the stolen clothes around the neighborhood. This encouraged other gang members to steal uniforms for themselves, becoming a sort of trend among the prominent gang members.

The gang began employing younger apprentice gang members such as the Baby Gophers and other gangs subordinate to the Gophers. These included the Parlor Mob, the Gorillas, and the Rhodes Gang as well as a female gang known as the Lady Gophers. Led by Battle Annie the Battle Row Ladies Social and Athletic Club, as they were officially called, acted as reserve members of several hundred women for the Gophers in territorial disputes against rival gangs and as strikebreakers during the next decade. With the death of One Lung Curran in 1917, the gang declined in power, breaking up after most of the gang leaders were arrested by the end of the year.


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