Stella And Her GirlsOn August 22, 1896, in Quigley, the Rock Creek Record headlines were about the arrest of Stella Gray, “…one of the bedecked and bedizened blondes whose palace was on Paradise Alley, on the northern limits of the city.” The article contained the story of Stella and four young girls: Gail Bound, Laura Kreba, Mary Knox and Frances Svaboda, who were apparently the victims of Stella, the procurer. This article was from a Spokane paper as detective Bringeld and Sheriff Waller, both of Spokane returned by train with the five females who had set up a “house of ill repute” in Quigley after Stella had removed the girls from Spokane. Mary Knox, sixteen and the oldest of the girls was released from the reform school only to be spirited away by Stella via the railroad to Bonita and then they traveled the 9 miles up the road to Quigley. Gail showed the deputies a picture she had of a young man in Quigley that she was quite enamored with and the paper commented they were sure he was not pleased with her showing his picture around, as he was a prominent business man of the city.
Interviewed in their jail cell in Spokane the writer stated “The girls are of tender age, but it is evident they are ‘old in vice.’” As soon as they were used as witnesses against Stella and set free they were returning to Quigley, according to the reporter.
The Rock Creek Record (September 26, 1896) stated Ole Anderson, arrested for aiding and abetting Stella Gray was tried in Spokane and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary. Stella was out on bail and had returned to Quigley. When interviewed Stella stated she had no idea why Ole had pleaded guilty to such a charge and felt certain she would be found innocent when her trial was called some time in the next month, at Spokane.
When Stella was called to trial she failed to appear and forfeited her bond of $750 cash and $250 surety. Washington state paid the young girls, (for their time and restraint in jail as witnesses) the following: Laura Kreba $50.00, Francis Svaboda $30.00, Gail Bound $11.00 and Mary Knox $60.00. Mary received the most as she was held in jail the entire time due to her inability to post bond.
The Philipsburg Mail on December 31, 1896 carried the following Summons: John Yank, Plaintiff versus Stella Gray, Defendant The State of Montana sends greetings to the above named defendant. You are hereby summoned to answer the complaint in this action which is filed in the office of the clerk of this court, a copy of which is herewith served upon you, and to file your answer and serve a copy thereof upon the plaintiffs attorney within twenty days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the date of service… The said action is brought to recover of you, the said defendant, the sum of three hundred dollars, alleged to be due and owing by you to plaintiff upon a promissory note, dated August 26, A.D. 1896 and payable on or before November 26, A.D. 1896, and to obtain a decree of foreclosure of the mortgage given to secure the said note upon Lot No. twenty-five  in Block No. six , Town-site of Quigley, county of Granite, state of Montana, and also, the following described personal property: four  sofas, two  rocking chairs, four  upholstered chairs, one  piano, one  parlor stove, one  center table, six  lamps, four  bedsteads, four  bureaus, four  wash stands, four  chamber sets, four  rocking chairs, four  cane seated chairs, four  mattresses, four  bedsprings, six  carpets, also all bedding, bed clothes, chamber and cooking utensils and other furniture whatsoever contained in the house described in said mortgage; and also to recover of you the further sum of one hundred [$100] dollars, alleged to be a reasonable attorney fee for foreclosing the said mortgage and costs; and also to recover of you the further sum of one hundred and two and 87-100 [$102.87] dollars, alleged to be due and owing by you to plaintiff upon a promissory note, dated September 22, A.D. 1896, payable one  day after this date, with interest in the rate of one  percent, and for cost of suit, which said last above mentioned promissory note is set out in plaintiffs second cause of action in the complaint filed herein. witnessed with the seal of Court this 21st day of December, A.D. 1896, Josiah Shull, Clerk; John W. Cotter, Attorney for Plaintiff.
Research fails to reveal any collection of Stella’s debt or of her continued business in Quigley.