Legend has it, in the days when Prohibition was the law of the land, that members of a certain Chicago based underground business would frequently come to Ottumwa. Perhaps they needed to “get out of town” for a while, or came to meet “business associates” from other parts of the mid-west. In any case, we do know that Ottumwa was on the train route to Chicago, and other cities, and that we boasted a number of fine hotels. Gangsters of that era may well have visited, but due to the nature of their business, they remained low key, out of sight, off the record and on the QT. The nickname “Little Chicago” comes from those heady days of hot jazz, gangsters, G-men, and speakeasy’s.