Gallus Mag – The Savage Mobster

The 4th Ward waterfront was considered to be a haven for pirates, killers and robbers right from the 1700s. There were several mobsters like the Buckoos, Daybreak Boys, Slaughter Houses, Swamp Angels and Hookers, who ruled the streets. However, the most feared of them all during mid 19th century is regarded to be a woman called Gallus Mag.

About Gallus

She was around 6’ tall and worked as a bouncer at the Hone-In-The Wall, a Dover Street Bar, owned by Charlie Monell. By birth, she was English and had ruled the bar. Since her skirt was said to fall down with galluses or suspenders, she earned this nickname of Gallus’ from her boss. She always had a bludgeon wrist strapped and carried a pistol in her belt to take care of troublemakers, whose ear she bit and had it kept at a visible place in the bar as her trophy.  Hence, she was called by the New York police officials as a savage female mobster, ever countered by them. She also had defeated the challenger Sadie the Goat and had her beaten to pulp ear kept as a trophy. Sadie although sad to have one of her ear to be ripped off by the teeth of Gallus, was glad enough to see that her life had been spared. After this incident, Sadie had fled 4th Ward to move to West Side Piers to prowl once again, but far away from Gallus. This shows the kind of viciousness and influence that Gallus had among the mobsters in the region.

After accumulating a good amount of wealth on the West Side streets, Sadie went back to Mag to make peace with her. Touched by her gesture, Mag immediately had the severed ear of Sadie and returned it back to the rightful owner, which according to legend was worn in a locket by Sadie over her neck for the remaining part of her life.

After seven murders had been committed in the bar in 1855, within three months space, the Hole-In-The-Wall got permanently closed. Although Mag’s exact death is not known or found, the locals claim that her ghost still haunts this Bridge Café even today.