"The Stetsons" from Schurz High School, was a cousin gang to the original
Gaylords, and is the link to the northern expansion of sections like Kilbourn Park and Palmer Street.
Police Squad Break Up Gang Fight; Arrest 8 Eight police squads break up a gang fight between 60 men last night near the Shedd Park gymnasium 2300 South Lawndale Avenue,
and arrested eight persons and confiscated an unloaded shotgun, knives, lead pipe clubs, and tire wrenches. continued
2 Chicago Daily Tribune(1872-1963); March 3, 1954:ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune(1890-1985) pg. 3
Senior Gaylords: members were on Huron & Throop Street.
Junior Gaylords: Grand & Ogden, Grand & Racine, LaRocs drive-in and at the pool hall on Grand between Racine & May Street.
Pee-Wee Gaylords: mainly hung on Ohio & Noble and at the Erie House which was a youth recreational center.
Original Gaylords Emblem
The Gaylord emblem had three versions but pretty much stayed true to form. It wasn't until after the satellite Gaylords ( from Foreman High School and Palmer & California , Kilbourn Park etc), that the emblem & sweater strayed from the more simple original design. The original design was a black sweater with three blue stripes on the sleeve , one cross emblem and trimmed pockets. Some of the older sweaters did not have the blue trimmed pockets. Occasionally someone had their nickname on an embroidered label near one of the pockets.
Guys Candy Store: Guys is actually a woman. Her place is a candy store across from Carpenter School. The owner liked the Gaylords and doesn’t seem to mind their hanging around. She complains when too many of the guys come inside, but doesn’t seem to care about their using the benches in front of her place as much and as long as they like.
Eckhart Park: During the cold weather, the Gaylords use Eckhart Park more than Guys. They stay for the most part in the lobby, the game room, and the gym.
Old School Gang
The Gaylords were mainly a fist fighting type of gang. It wasn't until the Latin gang confrontations that guns came into play.
Allies, Rivals, and Original Gaylord Demographics
Most of the time The Gaylords were allies with the Lazy Gents from Erie & Wood Street and with the C-Notes from Ohio & Leavitt. Most of the time they banned together and usually had fights with PVP's. Pulaski Park, Ventures & Playboys and other Latino Gangs like Jr. Ambrose, Latin Kings and Mighty Grand.. Occasionally the Gaylords would have beefs with the C-Notes (usually because someone’s girlfriend was cheating on them with one) Most of the time if the Gaylords had a beef with the C-Notes the Lazy Gents would take the C-Notes side against the Gaylords. This was an occasional thing but it did happen. Those fights always consisted of fist fights between the members and no guns, bats etc. The fights with the Latino Gangs and the PVP's were more serious and violent than the in-fighting that at times existed between the Gaylords Lazy Gents & C-Notes. Yes most of the Gaylords were Italian, some Irish and some Polish Americans. There were a few Spanish members as well, usually because they lived in the neighborhood.
Ex-Gaylord's wife Said this: They hung out at La Rocs Hot Dog Stand, Carpenter School, Otis School, Erie Chapel Recreation Center, Otis School Stella's Bar (across from their club) and in their own club on Ohio and Noble, where they drank a lot and would party and make a lot of ruckus, sing a lot of Doo Wops. Nothing like the "Gangs" of today who just shoot at anyone who they thought were Gang Members. Yes, they protected their Turf. If there was any violence it was just between themselves & other Gangs. They did not cause any trouble with the other people in the neighborhood.
Yes, they protected their Turf.
Jack and Danny were regulars at the Original Clubhouse. Picture taken in 1971
The clubhouse had nice couches and chairs, a jukebox, private rooms, and was open 24/7 to hangout. It had a dance floor, separate rooms for meetings, or crash for the night after some heavy drinking. The Gaylords paid membership dues to pay rent, and keep the full time bar stocked full.
History of the Original clubhouse
I grew up on Huron and Willard Court where the older Gaylords hung out during the 50's and had their clubhouse on Willard Court.
As a member of the Gaylords in the early and mid sixty's the following sites were club houses:
1st clubhouse was on Ohio Street in a rear one story building around 1961.
The 2nd clubhouse was across from Eckert Park next to the church convent, it was a store front. I never knew why someone would rent to a club at that location. On the next street over on Walton Street, there was a 3 story with 3 clubs renting space there. We had a lot of parties between the two buildings, say 1962 to 64. I know the good sisters where very glad we shut down.
We played sports and games at the park and had our dances at Erie Chapel.
If anyone still remembers Gene and Olson, two detectives who would rough up some of the boys just to show everyone that the police were around. And they would tell you one thing that worked in the 60's and that was the police would be on your side if you stay in your own neighborhood and other clubs came at you. If you went to another clubs areas and fights started then you were fair game to be busted. It worked out pretty well when you had a clubhouse.
The only area for us was Huron and Troop, Angie’s Tavern was right across the street.
This clubhouse, with around 30 members, lasted from 1965 to 1970. We had all us young guys but also many of the older guys from Angie’s were members too. Many a party started at Angie’s and continued at the club and would end the next morning when Angie’s would open; nothing but great times, parties and many great memories from those days. During the early 60's, Baba a Gaylord member helped found the Popes club from Schultz HS, who where good friends with the Gaylords. We had many parties together. Their clubhouse was on Diversey Avenue around California Avenue. Some of us have stayed friends to this day. Jack and Danny were members of both clubs and died early in life.
Thanks BABA a GAYLORD FROM THE 60'S
A cousin gang to the Gaylords, "The Stetsons" from Schurz High School, would hang out with the Gaylords, and they would watch each other's backs.
By the mid 70's, a lot of Puerto Rican were families moving in the neighborhood and that was creating problems about "Turf" grounds. Little by little, they disbursed and went their own ways, getting married and moving on with their lives. At the same time, the
Lazy Gents were recruiting and taking control of the neighborhood. By 1974, the only part of the neighborhood that wasn't controlled by the Lazy Gents was the Gaylord Club. With most of the Gaylords moving on, and not living in the Ohio and Noble area, the
clubhouse was dispersed in the mid 1970s.
A Former Resident had this to say:
I grew up around Grand & Noble from '64-'81. My uncle was a Gaylord from Ohio St. We lived in the big bldg just east of the clubhouse. I can remember them all hanging out in the late '60's & early '70's on the corners drinking & partying. They never really bothered anyone from the neighborhood & kept out the undesirables. My uncle's name was Bob, he hung out with guys named Tricky, skunk, Jim, Rocky. Those were some good times you could sit outside till all hours of the night & sleep with your windows open in the summertime. Now the neighborhood has changed to a Yuppie neighborhood were no one knows each other or cares about each other...
I thought it might be interesting to tell you that I'm Mexican American (4th generation) & don't feel the Gaylord’s were racist. Many of my uncle’s friends & members were part Mexican. They use to say "If you’re white you're right, if your brown you can stick around, but if you're black get back!”
March 3, 1954:
The Gaylords Defeat the Outlaws in a basketball game 58 to 56, which caused a gang fight between the two teams.
The gang fight started when 50 Outlaw supporters appeared for the fight. Eight persons were arrested.