Photo of the Week, 102: West Washington Street Toughs
Boys and young men gather outside Paul Scholz cigar and tobacco shop, 1018 W. Washington St., in this undated photograph. Note the white-haired dog in front of the group, the Bloomington policeman to their right, and the city streetcar tracks in the foreground.
The fact that the boys are dressed alike is a likely sign of gang affiliation. Although the name of this particular gang is unknown, around the same time there was the Sewer Street gang with a gambling den in "Pone Hollow," an old name for what later becomes the Warehouse District south of downtown Bloomington. The Sewer Street gang wore white shirts, red topped boots, and straw hats.
Scholz operated this storefront (which later doubled as a confectionary) from the late 1800s through the 1910s. He later relocated up the block to the Schloeffel building where he remained in business into the 1920s. Paul A. Scholz passed away in 1959 at the age of 84.