Top O' Hill Terrace

By Vickie Bryant and Camille Hess


If the saga of Top O' Hill Casino becoming Arlington Baptist College were written as fiction, readers would dismiss t as improbable and impossible.  The story of a tea room evolving into the gambling hot spot of Texas that was then fought by a fiery gospel preacher, who foretold its transformation into a Baptist seminary and ultimately an accredited Bible college, is stranger than fiction yet absolutely true.  The rich and famous enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the mysterious and notoriously infamous, and if large amounts of money were involved, so much the better. Stir in fabulous racehorses, flashy stage and screen stars, singers, dancers, well-known bandleaders and bands, and the tale becomes enthralling.

When prohibition, gambling and old time religion were on a collision course.
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Gangster Tour of Texas

By T. Lindsay Baker



Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, the Newton Boys, the Santa Claus Bank Robbers. During the era of gangsters and organized crime, Texas hosted its fair share of guns and gambling, moonshine and morphine, ransom and robbery. The state’s crime wave hit such a level that in 1927 the Texas Bankers Association offered a reward of $5,000 for a dead bank robber; no reward was given for one captured alive.
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J. Frank Norris  Top O' Hill Casino  Lew Jenkins

By Jim Gatewood


Top O' Hill Casino was taking in over a half a million dollars on weekends in the depth of the Great Depression while Las Vegas was but a duty crossroad in Nevada.


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Arlington Baptist College • 3001 West Division • Arlington, Texas 76012