After Dr. Matthew Ricketts left Omaha in 1903, Jack Broomfield stepped into the position of the political leader of Omaha's African-American community. Broomfield was an ex-Pullman porter who owned and ran the Midway, a nationally known saloon and gambling hall. The hangout for men was at 1124 Capitol Avenue near the notorious Sporting District.Elizabeth Cady Stanton called the Midway the "most notorious dive in Omaha".
Critics complained that Broomfield was more interested in promoting his illicit interests with the political boss Tom Dennison than promoting the interests of his race. Broomfield had allowed blacks to lose political influence throughout the city, and particularly fell through on keeping the community safe. It was under his leadership that the lynching of Will Brown occurred, but it is difficult to say whether any African-American leader could have prevented such a mob outbreak.
He was unable to prevent subsequent redlining of the Near North Side and other forms of segregation throughout the city.