Celebrity Clipping from Oxnard Press Courier, Sun, Apr 30, 1967.

Clipped from US, California, Oxnard, Oxnard Press Courier, April 30, 1967

THE LEGENDOF LUCY HICKSB\ Ml KR W NORRISMORK THVN half a century ago, Lucy Hicks arrived in Oxnard to blaze a trail of good cooking, high living and brothel-keeping that had such a surprise ending it became national news and rated half a page in Time Magazine,The town was booming in those days before World War I. when the sugar beets were popping out of the ground by thousands of tons and the sugar beet refinery was belching smokeand big paychecks. For miles around, everyone headed to Oxnard during sugar beet season and Lucy Hicks was one of those.A raw hone Negress, almost six feet tall, the skinny Lucy promptly made a big hit with the town's top families because ofher wizardry in the kitchen She also doubled as a personal maid to many of the ladies throughout the Oxnard area who could afford such a luxury.? m • *THFN IN THE 1920's Lucy decided there was more money to be made in prostitution and she opened a house on B Street and Seventh(Hi March 15. 1931, Lucy was arrested at her establishment for violation of the prohibi-laws and fined $350. She promptly returned to her work and toMrher cookimApro-4 it u*s(! * H fml am**11935, ended lease whenbankersLucv's lt;t. this time for on November 11, n her prompt regie of the town's insisted he must havetalentsat adin-had pi annedfort party.Lucyde-that nightcided to expand her business,and in a short time she had ahalf-bloc k lung group of frame buildings, welt-furnished, neatly painted, with window boxes filled with geraniums. A local electrical contractor's son who helped keep up the wiring in these tiny bungalows was known to Lucy as the boy with the big eyes/'SUGAR FACTORY workers, who came to Oxnard in August for a few months’ work, left their families behind and gathered in large numbers at Lucy’s place. Old-timers can recall that at 5 to 6 a m. each morning, the area around Lucy's place was thick with police cars whose occupants came in for coffee and a bit of Lucy's cooking.To quote Time Magazine. “Lucy was accepted by easygoing Oxnard as commercially, not personally, involved in the operation of her bordellos. She not only kept on cooking in Oxnard's big homes, but tended children and helped dress many an Oxnard daughter for parties Cosmopolitan Magazine described Lucy as “a wise, Jovial Negress from Kentucky' who cooked for the best families in town. At the same time Lucy reigned as queen of Oxnard’s red-light district, where the sugar beet workers spent their money on Saturday nights. , . .“Lucy dressed wealthy Oxnard d aught or-; on their wedding* tdays, she gave going-away parties with champagne for Oxnard sons when they went into the service during the war (World War II). She prepared barbecues for church suppers.‘Her tall, bony figure, festive in a gay, low-cut silk gown, picture hat, and high-heeled slippers. was a familiar sight at all community gatherings. She contributed to local charities “Just don’t ask where the mon-ey came from,’ she would chuck-le.“When Franklin D. Roosevelt died, Oxnard newspapers published a comment from Lucy along with statements from other prominent citizens.It was soon after this event that Lucy had her revelation.ON OCT. 4, 1915. Police ChiefJack Ryan arrested several women at Lucy’s house. A sailor had charged he had been diseased after visiting one of Lucy's accommodating wenches.District Attorney M. Arthur Waite ordered both the women and Lucy to be examined.I)r. Hilary R Mangan of Ventura found that Lucy was a man, “normal in every way,’’ to quote the newspapers of that day.The news so shocked Oxnard that even the daily newspaper refused to print the story until Oct. 19. more than two w’eeks after the arrest and examination .The whole town chortled overthe discomforture of the womenof the town's big families whocould remember, in the words of one city official, “how Lucv had heljied them zip up theirdresses. * ’AFTER THE Oct 4 arrest. Lucy was released without charge. But on Oct, 19. she was arrested again. This time the charge was perjury.On June 14, 1944. Lucy hadobtained a marriage license towed a Negro soldier, Rueben Anderson. 32, and at that timeLucy made two false statements.First, Lucy said she was a woman, and second, she said she was 42. She was being prosecuted only for the statement about her sex.Records also showed that she was married to Anderson in the First Baptist Church in Oxnard by the Rev. Dr. E A. Main And during the trial that followed, Lucy received frequent letters from her husband, who was then stationed in New YorkAt the trial, five physicians testified that Lucy was a manBut the court records show the following statements;Question: “Are you a man or a woman?”Lucy; “I am a woman.”Question; “In what way are you a woman?”W .“Lucy: “I rim a woman internally/’• Wp''Again, when interviewed in jail on Nov. 24. 1945, Lucy told a reporter, “I will die as a woman.”Defense attorney John File of Los Angeles pleaded that the “masquerade has hurt no one,” but the jury convicted Lucy of perjury on Nov. 27.Throughout the trial, Lucywore a red suit, r*»d shoes andthree red roses in her hair.She was sentenced to one year in jail with 10 years’ probation. Shortly after this. Andersonwas arrested in New York and charged with conspiracy to defraud the government of $1,000 in dependency checks with whichhe and Lucv planned to open a bar and grill.H 1111,1 in I vil., Lucy wassubpoenaed to testify in the trialof one R \\ \gnew. who was charged with perjury. Agnewtried to get Lucy to admit there were payoffs to local police officials He also tried to get laiey to admit she operated a bawdy house.Lucy took the Fifth Amendment when the questions cameto her house, but she said sheonly knew of one kind of payoff —• when the judge fined you and you paid off to the clerk.Lucy later had to face charges of evading the draft. A hearing was held in the t’. S. Commissioner’s office in Ixs Angeles. The re-oilt w.is that Commissioner David B Head declared Lucy to be at least 59” instead of the 43 years she claim-Ti1?}!t ■ '•*’ ■'ed, and the motion to prosecuteher for draft evasion endtxL “Nobttdy in Oxnard mocked Lucy Her friends, both white and colored, offered their sympathy and -.till referred to Lucy as 'her ' And Lucy continued towear women's clothes, continued to call herself Lucy Hicks Anderson said the newspaper.\FTI It Sill GOT out of jail Lucy moved to Izs .Angeles, where he supiu-odly worked as a cook and housekeeper. But police officials in Oxnard insisted that Lucy continued to return to Oxnard where she still had a finger n the bawdy-housebusiness.Oxnard’s mayor brought inWilliam Clark. Sr., as police chief and charg«*d him to clean out the prostitution and other vice in the city. Clark moved in on China Mlev that notorious section between Sixth and Eighth streets between Oxnard Boulevard and \ Street. He also cleaned out a bigger problem on Meta Street arid chopped into Lucy's business.ty.After discussions with JudgeLouis Drapeau. Lucy's probation. which still had seven and a half years to run. was lifted on the provision that she stayout of Oxnard There are some who say thatshe continue to visit the townfor nefarious purjwses until shedied in 1954Lucv ha- remained one of themore colorful pages of Oxnardhistory\ lt;I MClMI it S\il»:rything I’ve gotten ce came from”minorSIIOIVentura County's Smartest Beauty Fashion Center” Z?+ So A St — OxnardroThese faded and blurred photographs are the only pictorial evidence in The ITess Courier files that the ( it\ of Oxnard was once home to a colorful and controversial character named l.uci Hicks. The\ were taken on Nov. 21, 1913.COmSOcn-•i-rac a4k V -4 m Lineal Foot 1 Post and 2 Split Rails Per 8 Foot SectionIiPer Lineal FootAs ShownAt Used LumberPncet.2x4x8’s$75 Thousand Econ. 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