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Short, right, got the best of the shootout, seen in Bob Graham’s 2003 painting Coming Up Short, with Courtright soon dying in the doorway of the shooting gallery next door.

By all accounts, the wildest places in the Wild West were the saloons, and Texas had some of the wildest of the wild.

However, a ‘white elephant’ could also be a worthless investment.

The color white also has a certain racist subtext, too, because frontier saloons tended to be strictly segregated places.

By contrast, the dance house mixed the sexes, dispensing with any pretense of conventional decorum.It was memorable enough to merit respectful mention in the 1902 memoirs of outlaw-lawman James Mc Intire and the 1907 recollections of lawman-gambler Bat Masterson. The food was inferior to that at two nearby places — the Planter’s House and the Commercial Restaurant — and the owner’s profits remained anemic, so the place was seized by attachment.It also won a different type of fame as the site of the famous shootout between Luke Short and Timothy I. The Fort Worth establishment began as a simple eatery, opened by F. Within a year, the White Elephant reopened as a ‘Saloon and Billiard Parlor’ with a small restaurant attached.It was scarcely the kind of place calculated to appeal to the’sporting fraternity’ of professional gamblers, nor did it draw the deep-pocketed amateurs.It took less than a year for the Jewish partners to realize they possessed a white elephant in the pejorative sense of the term.

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