Archive for Tuesday, December 18, 2012

100 years ago: Underground whiskey cache discovered in East Lawrence backyard

December 18, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 18, 1912:

  • "Storing Whiskey in the back yard under a pile of earth, much the same as country people are wont to keep potatoes in early fall, is quite an innovation, but it wasn't enough to frustrate the plans of the Lawrence police force, at least it wasn't just the sort to fool Dan Vaughn of said force. On Saturday night the Lawrence force was assembled and made a visit upon the home of Frank Fortson, 1221 New Jersey street. The officers were armed with the proper documents and made an extensive search of the house but with very little success. They adjourned to the barn and there came into the possession of a barrel, said barrel was found to contain 49 bottles of beer and a number of empties. With that evidence in hand the force was about to leave the premises when a shout of triumph was heard from another corner of the yard. It was Big Dan and he had made a choice capture. The remainder of the force arrived just in time to see Dan pull a box out from a seemingly harmless pile of earth. Raising the lid it was seen to be a whiskey case containing a total of 21 half-pints, and they were full ones at that. Evidently the owner thought that his goods would remain undisturbed in this unusual hiding place, but he reckoned not with the sharp nose of the north side policeman. The specimens of contraband merchandise thus obtained were confiscated by the officers and removed to the police station to be brought forth in evidence at the proper time."
  • "A CORRECTION -- A mistake was made [in an earlier edition] in regard to the ages of boys allowed to frequent pool halls of the city. The report should have read that all boys under the age of nineteen would not be allowed to play in the halls instead of eighteen as the paper stated. This makes only a difference of a year but it takes in a large number of High school students, who otherwise would be allowed to play. A list of all High school students under the stated age has been turned over to the marshal and the police will keep a close watch on the halls in the near future. The proprietors of the pool halls have complained that the boys don't always tell the truth about their ages and if this is the case the boys will be the ones who will suffer. According to the rolls of the High school there are only about fifty or sixty of the boys who would be allowed to play under this ordinance as the average age of the boys is much below this."
  • "The Post Office Department has sent out the Parcel Post Regulations, giving instructions to postmasters as to the handling of mail that comes under the new law. The Regulations are contained in a pamphlet of thirty-two pages, and there are sixty-four different sections of it, each referring to a different subject.... The law requires distinctive parcels post stamps on all fourth class matter mailed on or after January 1, 1913. Ordinary stamps will not pay postage on such matter.... The parcel must be prepared for mailing so that the contents may be examined easily.... Such words as 'Merry Christmas,' 'With Best Wishes,' 'Happy New Year,' and the like, may be written on the covering in such a way as not to interfere with the address.... All parcels will be refused mailing if not properly packed for safe shipment. Undeliverable perishable matter may be given by the postmaster to hospitals or charitable institutions, or to the mayor for distribution to the poor."


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