Chicken Ranch anniversary: Sheriff Jim Flournoy's birthday (1902-1982)
On this date in 1902, Thomas James Flournoy was born to Tom and Etta Flournoy on a ranch near Rock Island. He would grow up to work as a ranch hand on the famous King Ranch, a Texas Ranger patrolling the Big Bend region during World War II and--most famously--as the long-serving sheriff of Fayette County. Sheriff Jim famously defied political and media pressure to close down the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel outside of La Grange in 1973 before acquiescing to a direct order from Governor Dolph Briscoe. A year later, Sheriff Flournoy confronted Marvin Zindler on the town square, ripping off the reporter's hairpiece and throwing it in the street. The resulting lawsuits and counter suits were eventually settled out of court with a large donation to the Shriner's Children's Hospital.
Sheriff Flournoy died on October 27, 1982, from heart problems. He would've been 113 years old today.
In other news, I'm still waiting to hear back from the latest publisher that's shown interest in my comprehensive history of the Chicken Ranch. My website traffic is way up in recent months, so something must be in the air. Fingers are crossed that this time isn't another false alarm. In the interim, I want to remind everyone that my photo book, Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch, is still available and makes a great Christmas/Chanukah/Kwaanza/Equinox/Solstice gift. Use the coupon code EARLYFALL5 to get $5 off on orders before the end of the month!