“Assorted Sin” – Mary Costello

A end gabled folk house on the 300 block of Nebraska Avenue. (John Curgil home, 350 Nebraska).

Mary Costello, born c1881 in Madison, Indiana, moved to Toledo in 1905 after being shot in the face in Louisville, Kentucky by her third and final husband. In 1930 Mary lived in “the slums” in the 300 block of Nebraska Avenue in Toledo and ran a “vice resort.” Anna Brierley was one of her “roomers.”

1930 Census

At 1:30am on Sunday October 12th in 1930 Mary was slapped in the face by a “visitor,” who then fled out the front door. Mary grabbed her 38 revolver, ran to her front porch, took aim and fired. The fleeing man was hit in the head and later died at the hospital. Here are more details from the long-time-gone Toledo News Bee.

372 Nebraska
384 Nebraska

Mary was convicted and sent to Marysville Reformatory.

Mary was paroled in 1933.


After being paroled Mary’s whereabouts becomes a mystery. Did Mary get back in the resort business? Did she go straight? Regardless, the vice squad continued its “cleanup” of the Nebraska slums.


The 300 block of Nebraska was eventually demolished to make way for the I-75 freeway and public housing projects.

Old Toledo map showing the 300 block of Nebraska. (Nebraska is running east/west on the south side of City Park.)