Yonkers home of Dutch Schultz is for sale (Photo photo by Phil Reisman)
Phil Reisman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Psst… Flegenheimer slept here.
You are no doubt asking, what is a Flegenheimer?
Crime buffs know that Flegenheimer — Arthur S. Flegenheimer to be exact — was the real name of Dutch Schultz, a cold-blooded bootlegging kingpin of the Prohibition era who may have been responsible for as many as 136 gangland murders over a 10-year span.
Schultz was a sociopathic killer, but he evidently had a domestic side to his nature. For a brief time lived in a prim, four-bedroom, center hall colonial home at 65 Hudson Terrace in Yonkers.
The house is still there — and it is for sale. The asking price is $549,000.
Built in 1923, the house has a commanding backyard view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. That’s a selling point all by itself, but Better Homes Realty of New York is betting that the Schultz connection gives the property a certain je ne sais quoi.
“Own a piece of history,” the online listing says.
Cathy Clavel, the listing agent, said, “I think the story is going to sell the house. It’s an amazing house.”
In his heyday, Schultz controlled the illegal booze market in the Bronx and Harlem, a status he ruthlessly enforced with an army of goons. His other lucrative enterprises included running numbers and providing “protection” for restaurants.
When one of his henchmen was caught skimming $20,000 from the extortion racket, Schultz personally shot him in the head. A witness said later, “Dutch Schultz did that number just as casually is if he were picking his teeth.”
Legend has it that Schultz owned the Yonkers Brewery, which was located about a block from City Hall and was put out of the beer business in 1919 when the 18th Amendment banned the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages. The brewery was reduced to making ice cream and non-alcoholic near beer.
Prohibition, of course, created a huge market for illegal booze — and Schultz and other mobsters gladly met the demand.
The story goes that Schultz, using dummy corporations as a cover
took ownership of Yonkers Brewery and began producing real beer that was pumped to underground to Speakeasy bars through an elaborate underground hose system.
Lawmen cracked down on the saloons and put the brewery under a heavy watch. Anticipating a raid, Schultz on the night of Sept. 17, 1932, supposedly ordered his men to dump $50,000 worth of suds into the Nepperhan River. It was said that part of Yonkers reeked of beer.
There are all kinds of stories about Dutch Schultz. Some of them are undoubtedly true.
Bob Walters, a longtime Yonkers resident and the director of the Science Barge on the Hudson, told me recently that Schultz owned a pet monkey, which accompanied him on his rounds. He’d take the little ape into one local establishment and let him walk on the bar.
“In those days, monkeys didn’t wear diapers!” Walters said.
No one had the courage to object to the whims of the Dutch man.
Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, R-Eastchester, said Schultz is part of the lore of Tuckahoe as well.
It was rumored that the mobster lived with his wife and two children at 225 White Plains Road at the top of Winter Hill Road in the village, a property now owned by Concordia College.
Marcotte said there is no proof that Schultz ever resided at that address — nor is it likely that an old well located across the street was the entrance to a secret tunnel used by Schultz. However, she did find a newspaper story from the 1930s, which reported that Tuckahoe cops were tipped off that Schultz was hiding out with friends who owned the house.
The tip proved to be false.
“I give many historical trolley tours each year and 225 White Plains Road is a favorite stop,” Marcotte said in an email. “The tour goers are fascinated by the folklore and legend — and yes — we still tell people that Dutch Schultz once lived there.”
On Oct. 23, 1935, Schultz was fatally shot in the men’s room at the Chop House Palace in Newark, N.J. He was 34 years old and was worth about $7 million — a least that’s what he said on his deathbed. Where that money wound up is anybody’s guess.
Anybody interested in buying the house on Hudson Terrace should know there’s no hidden stash of cash on the property. Clavel, the real estate agent, said the man who owns the house only found some liquor bottles when a retaining wall was rebuilt, and all but one of the bottles was broken. Yonkers home of Dutch Schultz is for sale (Photo: photo by Phil Reisman)
Jewish by birth, Schultz converted to Roman Catholicism. A priest gave him last rites.
Today he has a permanent residence that no one may dispute. It is the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla.
The headstone says, “Flegenheimer.”