David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moonshiners Part Two - Whiskey Affects the Memory

Portsmouth Daily Times, Tuesday, January 25, 1921

Fines of $800 Each Given to Moonshiners
Squire Veasey Gives No Mercy To Still Operators

Stiff Fines of $800 and costs were imposed by Squire Olin - Veasey at Nile Township, against each of the five defendants, Thurman Thompson, Charles Odle, Luther Odle, Charles Clifford, and Harry Beckman, charged with unlawfully manufacturing liquor at a session of court held at the county jail office Tuesday forenoon. The men were ordered held in jail in default of payment of the fines assessed.

The men, except Luther Odle, aged 21 years, of 976 Gay Street, were taken in a raid on a huge moonshine still outfit at Turkey Creek, West Side, by officers early Monday morning, and Luther Odle surrendered to Sheriff Rickey this morning.

All the defendants, except Harry Beckman, young man of 1220 Tenth St., pleaded guilty, but young Beckman strenuously denied having any interest in the whiskey making outfit or of participating in the making of liquor, although he admitted being at the still Sunday night. He told the court that he accompanied Luther Odle to the country in the latter’s auto just for the ride, and asserted he did not know where he was going beforehand. He declared that it was the first time he had ever been down that way and claimed he never before saw a still. He stated he was a mere looker-on and that he did not even taste the liquor.

The testimony of the arresting officers was the only evidence introduced by the state and at the conclusion of the hearing the magistrate made a finding that Beckman was equally as guilty as the others.

Judge A.Z. Blair represented the state and he questioned the defendants at some length concerning their whiskey making operations.

It was established by the questioning that Luther Odle and Thurman Thompson, who lives at ---- Lindell Avenue, were the joint owners of the still and that they had secured it only a short time ago although confessing having another outfit last summer which they declared was stolen from them. Both men said a miner living in this city constructed the still confiscated Monday morning, for them but they had poor memories and were unable to tell the name of the man, declaring they never learned his name. They said they had made but one “run” of liquor from this still.

Charles Odle, who lives near where the still was found, said the others came by his home and invited him to go coon hunting and Clifford, whose home is at Dry Run, denied any connection with the still or of taking any part in making the liquor Sunday night, declaring it was the first time he had been there. He explained his presence at Turkey Creek by saying that he was there visiting his mother and went up to the still on invitation.

The Luther Odle Buick automobile, which was seized by the officers Monday, was turned over to R.S. Prichard by Sheriff Rickey today. Prichard holds a mortgage on the car.

It is understood that no charge will be pressed against Dallas Odle, 17 year old son of Charles Odle, who escaped at the time of the raid.


  1. Gotta love old time newspaper reporting --- what a fun read! Squire Veasey was tuff!

  2. LOL I had a "cousin" back in the early 1900's who decided that his cousins were making some easy money delivering moon shine. He went with them one night, was "busted" and after a week in jail, decided that the risk was not worth it.
    Those must have been interesting times.