In the 1930s, two cousins, Jack Livingston and Isaiah Leebove, ended up in Clare as business partners. Livingston was a land leaser for oil and invited his cousin Leebove, an attorney for the mob, to join him. Leebove did a lot of criminal cases for the Purples and was tired of defending their petty crimes. On his way to Clare, Leebove was told to connect with a man by the name of Garfield from Detroit. He was the clean face of the mob. After the meeting, Garfield moved his operations to Clare.
Leebove started Mammoth Oil in the early 1930s and in 1933 Garfield joined the company. It was mob-run but, since they paid taxes, considered a legal business. This legal business also made it easy for them to run their gambling, prostitution and liquor operations without notice. The company did very well.
Courtesy The Cleveland PLAiN Dealer, 1938
Leebove, Garfield and Livingston regularly frequented the lavish Doherty Hotel. These men weren’t feared members of a violent gang but rather well known, respectable businessmen in the community. The hotel became their place to hold business meetings. According to A.J. Doherty, one reason meetings were held at the hotel was because it was one of the few places with a phone.
Things were going very well for these three gentlemen. Then a strange and tragic twist occurred on Saturday, May 14, 1938. There are numerous and conflicting articles about the events that evening, but some things are certain.