Sheriff Charles Terrell and Deputy L. D. Forncrook behind the county jail in Jacksonville, circa 1922.
Jackson County Prohibition Convention.
MEDFORD, April 30.--Prohibition speaking throughout Jackson County last week resulted in a county convention here today. A full ticket was nominated. For representatives--D. H. Hawkins, of Ashland, E. F. Walker, of Medford, and W. W. Miller, of Eagle Point; county judge--Fred T. Downing, of Central Point; sheriff--W. W. Willits, of Flounce Rock; county clerk--David C. Herrin, of Medford; treasurer--C. B. Kingsbury, of Ashland; assessor--C. H. Gillette, of Ashland; school superintendent--Lake France, Sams Valley; commissioners--Charles Carney, of Eagle Point, and L. A. Rose, of Phoenix; surveyor--W. H. Newton, Gold Hill; coroner--Dr. George Kahler, Phoenix. There was a ratification meeting tonight.
Oregonian, Portland, May 1, 1888, page 2
The "passing of the drunkard" is noted in the industrial world. Complicated machinery, requiring steady hands and clear brains to work it; electricity, demanding in its handling that men shall have their wits about them; steam, to which railway coaches and cars transporting hundreds of thousands of sleeping passengers and millions of tons of valuable merchandise from place to place are attached, require strong nerves and a clear brain for their control, while the accounts of the transactions of business and commerce cannot be accurately rendered by men whose working forces of mind and body are strained and shattered by alcohol. The business world does not declare openly, perhaps, that it has no use for men who drink to excess, even periodically; but the fact that such men are seldom in these later years found in responsible vocations tells the story of the passing of the drunkard from business life in terms that cannot be mistaken.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 1, 1899, page 1
Ashland's council last week adopted three ordinances relating to the liquor traffic. One provides for a "restrictive list" of chronic drunks or indigents with their families, and after the council has declared them such there is a penalty of $10 to $50 for any licensed saloon selling liquors to these parties. The others relate to the issuance of liquor licenses and the regulating of saloons. Minors and women are prohibited from entering a saloon. The method of securing a license is radically changed. It provides that the applicant must first secure a majority of the real estate owning taxpayers and residents of Ashland. All licenses expire January 14 of each year. The saloon interests were not consulted in regard to the ordinance.--[Record.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 22, 1899, page 3
Ashland is having an interesting time with the saloon question. A remonstrance against granting any saloon licenses, signed by 214 legal voters and 241 women, was presented at the council meeting Monday evening. The highest number of votes polled at any city election was 407. Four applications for renewal of license were before the council, but each lacked the requisite number of legal signatures, according to an ordinance previously passed, and the licenses were not granted. The matter was held open for further examination, however. Two of the saloons which failed to obtain license have closed and the others keep open, but, it is said, do not sell liquor. If all saloon licenses shall be refused, an extra tax levy of 5½ mills on property will be necessary. There is a disposition to raise the license fee from $400 to $600 or $800.
Gold Hill News, January 27, 1900, page 4
Jackson County Prohibitionists.
MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 12.--The county prohibition convention held here Saturday afternoon declared for the single issue of the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquor as a beverage. The following county ticket was nominated: Representatives, C. H. Hoxie, Medford, and William Wydow, Central Point; county judge, A. S. Jacobs, Central Point; county commissioner, W. A. Cordell, Ashland; clerk, S. J. Day, Jacksonville; sheriff, J. W. Marksburg, Gold Hill; treasurer, Rev. E. Russ, Medford; recorder, J. S. Downy, Ashland; assessor, W. W. Estes, Talent; school superintendent, J. M. Horton, Jacksonville; surveyor, A. Andrews, Medford; coroner, J. W. Odgers, Medford. S. J. Day, Rev. E. Russ and J. M. Horton were elected as the county central committee. Active work will begin at once, and the assistance of J. G. Woolley, the noted temperance orator, is expected in May.Prohibition Ticket in Jackson.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 13, 1900, page 4
The licenses of the six saloons of Ashland expired at midnight on Tuesday, and the council which met Tuesday evening, following out the course which was expected of it in view of the advisory vote on the question at the recent city election against the further licensing of the sale of intoxicants, refused to even receive or consider the petitions presented by several saloon keepers for renewal of their licenses, one of which it is reported contained the names of more than a majority of the legal voters of the city, and ordered the license fees tendered, amounting to $1200, returned. No liquors are now being sold at the saloons, and the bars are all reported "dry," as far as intoxicants are concerned.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, January 17, 1901, page 3
Ashland will not be a dry town, according to reports received from there this week. The city council has granted a liquor license to the proprietors of the Hotel Oregon, and will undoubtedly grant similar licenses to the other saloons. The city voted to abolish the saloons at their last municipal election. The report is also circulated to the effect that over $4000 has been contributed by wholesale liquor dealers in San Francisco and Portland to contest the matter in the courts, should the city decline to issue the license when the applications were made.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, January 18, 1901, page 6
The Valley Record says that Ashland has had fifteen days of prohibition law, and though retail liquor-selling has been abolished, no one is suffering for the want of it. Several ex-saloon keepers have informed chief of police Brunk that they will sell liquors to him, the mayor or councilmen by the gallon. The authorities have not yet moved in the matter, presumably taking their time.
Ashland, according to the Portland Mercury, will not be a dry town, according to reports received from there this week. The city council has granted a liquor license to the proprietors of Hotel Oregon, and will probably grant similar licenses to the other saloons. The report is also circulated to the effect that over $4,000 has been contributed by wholesale liquor dealers in San Francisco and Portland to contest the matter in the courts, should the city decline to issue licenses.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 7, 1901, page 3
Fleming Bros., who are traveling overland through the country with the Edison Waragraph machine, gave an entertainment at the Medford opera house Monday evening. Owing to the fact that the entertainment was not well advertised they did not have a large house, but the exhibition was good throughout and thoroughly enjoyed. A feature in itself well worth the price of admission was the scenic production of Mrs. Carrie Nation on one of her celebrated joint-smashing crusades.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 24, 1901, page 7
The state president of the W.C.T.U. will deliver a lecture at the Presbyterian Church Saturday evening, June 1st, on the subject of "Mrs. Nation and Her Hatchet." You can't afford to miss this opportunity to hear this gifted lady.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, May 31, 1901, page 6
The supreme court on Monday handed down a decision sustaining the action of the circuit court, in what is known as the Ashland liquor cases. The defendants, Jesse Houck and Joseph Dame, were convicted before Justice Berry, of Ashland, for violating the ordinance against selling liquor in that city. They appealed to the circuit court and Judge Hanna sustained the justice. Appeal was then taken to the supreme court which has just decided as above. The effect of this decision will be to establish a precedent whereby municipal incorporations may vote the town "wet or dry" at will.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 29, 1901, page 7
Ashland had a city election on Tuesday, the issue being the same as it was last year, to wit: Whether saloons should or should not be licensed. The litigation resulting from the success last year of the anti-saloon party and the consequent refusal of the city council to grant license to saloons was finally disposed of a few weeks ago by the decision of the supreme court, upholding the action of the lower courts in finding for the city in the contention. Tuesday's election resulted in electing two prohibition and two license councilmen, together with a license mayor. The two councilmen which hold over are prohibitionists--hence the town will be "dry" for another year.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 20, 1901, page 7
MEDFORD, March. 6.--The Prohibition ticket for Jackson County was held here yesterday, and the following ticket put in the field. Senator, H. D. Hawkins, Ashland; Representatives, Rev. E. B. Lockhart, Central Point, and C. E. Hoskins, Gold Hill; Joint Representative, Rev. C. H. Hoxie, Medford County Clerk, E. C. Wolfer, Medford; Recorder, G. T. Richards, Medford; Sheriff, L. F. Lozier, Medford; Treasurer, H. J. Boosey, Jacksonville; Assessor, H. S. Brumble, Medford; Coroner, A. W. Jacobs, Ashland.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, March 7, 1902, page 4
The prohibition alliance of Medford will meet at Academy Hall next Monday evening at 8 o'clock.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 7
Mayor Grant, of Ashland, has appointed A. L. Kitchen, president of the Ashland Anti-Saloon League, a special officer to enforce the city ordinances against the selling of liquor, and gambling. It is a notorious fact that the granite city's prohibition laws do not prohibit, and strong effort will now be made to enforce them.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 21, 1902, page 7
It is the will of our people that we license no saloons, and the necessary resultant is, there are none; as for Ashland--well, I've heard that even the hydrants send forth a stream of "booze," if you turn the faucet with the right pressure.
"Talent News Items," Medford Mail, December 5, 1902, page 5
Ashland Will Have Saloons.
Ashland's council, in accordance with the result of the late municipal election, has decided to allow the opening of saloons in that city. The vote was a tie; but Mayor Provost cast the deciding vote in favor of license. The minimum rate is $800 a year, which is high enough to restrict the number of saloons to three or four. This is a sensible solution of the problem which has rent Ashland during the past two years. Nearly if not quite as much liquor was privately consumed there as when saloons were allowed to run wide open, and the city lost the revenue that would otherwise have been obtained by license, only to be raised by taxation. Prohibition has not prohibited any more in Ashland than elsewhere.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 14, 1903, page 2
A majority of 24 voters declared for a "dry town" [in Ashland] at the annual city election held today, the vote being 282 for license and 306 against.
"Ashland Goes Dry," Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 16, 1903, page 4
Medford Is Half and Half.MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 2.--J. C. Hall, a saloon man of this city, whose place of business is in the "wet" precinct, is applying for license to sell liquor for one year, and the Prohibitionists are working with a remonstrance trying to prohibit his obtaining it. When the Prohibitionists, who lost out in North Medford, and the saloon men, who lost out in South Medford, both went before County Judge Dunn, trying to have the recent election contested, the Judge decided that according to the statutes of Oregon he could make no decision, therefore would take no action. The election thus stands as the returns show, leaving one-half of the city "wet" and the other half "dry."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 3, 1904, page 4
Medford Saloon Men Win.
MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 7.--(Special.)--At the Medford City Council meeting last night Young & Hall, proprietors of the Medford saloon, won a decisive victory over the prohibition forces of this district, the occasion being a hearing on their application for a renewal of their license. It was a significant fact that their petition contained 327 names as against 134 names on the remonstrance, the majority of the business men and larger property owners of the community appearing on the petition for the license.
Although the prohibitionist leaders attended and addressed the meeting, the sentiment of the Council was clearly in favor of granting the license, and this was done by unanimous vote.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 8, 1904, page 6
Liquor Issue in Jackson.
ASHLAND, Or., Feb. 2.--(Special.)--One of the most potent political organizations in the forthcoming campaign in Jackson County promises to be the anti-saloon movement, the leaders of which are girding on their armor. They announce their intention of carrying the war against the saloon into every precinct of Jackson County. Ashland's "dry" vote at the recent city election has unquestionably given an impetus to the movement to put the whole county "dry," and many believe that the prohibitionists have a good chance of carrying the day. Medford, heretofore a strong saloon and license town, it is said, has seen a great change in sentiment, and the vote there under the local option law in June promises to be pretty evenly divided.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 3, 1908, page 14
ASSAILS MEDFORD MAYORThe liquor question and the fight for local option on the East Side was taken up by Dr. J. Whitcomb Brougher last night at the White Temple in his sermon on "Home Rule: Fighting for Home, Honor and Happiness." He said in part:
Dr. Brougher Says Official Is Tool of Liquor Interests.
The liquor men oppose with all their power the making of any laws regulating their business. If they cannot defeat the enactment of such laws then they defiantly or surreptitiously break them. This insolent disregard for all law has been one of the potent agencies for arousing public opinion against the saloon and the liquor business. The liquor men have no regard either for the laws of God or of man. In harmony with this principle of action, the liquor forces of the state are once again endeavoring to destroy our local option law. The Mayor of Medford, a tool of the liquor dealers, has presented an amendment to the Constitution of our state whereby it is proposed that incorporated towns and cities may have what he terms "home rule." The real purpose of this amendment is to nullify all the criminal laws of the state as far at cities and towns are concerned. Now here are several reasons why I am opposed to this amendment.
A little town of 200 people could incorporate and run saloons and dens of vice in the midst of a county where the overwhelming majority of the people were opposed to the liquor business. A county might vote "dry" but 125 voters in a town of 200 citizens could vote to have the saloons in that town and thus force upon the people of the entire county to accept the presence of saloons and also make the people of that county, bear the entire expense of the poverty, crime and misery produced by the damnable business.
In the second place, this proposed amendment would permit the lawless element to control the whole question of regulating the saloon, the gambling den and all other places of vice. The people who are willing to make a living by debauching and destroying the boys and girls of our cities and towns would virtually be beyond the power of the state to control. They could run wide-open towns by colonizing enough votes to carry the town "wet" and by electing their own officers, absolutely ignore all public sentiment for moral decency and once again be in a place where they could defiantly ask the people, "What are you going to do about it?"
To pass this amendment would mean the nullification of our local option law and place the whole state in the hands of the gamblers, the dive keepers, liquor dealers and the entire horde of corrupt politicians who in the past have lived by graft and the exploitation of city vices.
1 am opposed to this amendment because it is proposed by those who have no regard for the moral welfare of the community. There is not a solitary moral argument in favor of this amendment. The whole purpose is to once again put the government of our towns and cities into the bands of the immoral forces. The people who believe in the progress of our state, commercially, morally, intellectually and politically will work and vote against this amendment. The friends of local option need to be aroused. The people need to understand that this proposed amendment is simply a deception both in its wording and in its purpose. In the wide sweep of temperance reform across the country, Oregon will have a foremost place. The people now have an opportunity to defeat this amendment with such an overwhelming majority that the liquor dealers will learn that it is a waste of time and money for them to attempt to destroy our local option law or dodge the enforcement of it when once the people in a district or county have decided that the saloon must go.
There is not a solitary moral argument in favor of the saloon. It is a lawless business and the center of lawlessness and crime. It pauperizes labor and destroys its efficiency. It injures business, for there are hundreds of towns that can testify to the large increase of business where the saloons have been abolished. It is the most deadly foe ever conceived of the American home. Shame, disgrace and degradation follow in its wake. No government can afford to take revenue from a traffic that causes ten times as much expense to take care of its results as it brings revenue to the government. What shall it profit a town, a county or a state to gain revenue and debauch its citizenship? I trust the people will vote "No" to the Reddy amendment and at the same time wipe out the saloons on the East Side by an overwhelming majority.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 4, 1908, page 2
Sunday School Pupils Parade.
MEDFORD, Or., May 30.--(Special.)--Headed by the band and carrying banners with inscriptions "Save Our Boys; Protect Our Girls," "A Dry Town Is a Live Town," etc., and wearing placards "Vote Out the Saloon," 250 Sunday school pupils, accompanied by their teachers, made demonstrations for prohibition this afternoon. The body was assembled at the park and marched down Seventh Street, halting at three of the business corners where they formed the letter "S" and sang songs in the cause.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, May 31, 1908, page 7
JACKSON VOTES OUT SALOONS
The Count Indicates 300 Lead for Chamberlain.
MEDFORD, Or., June 2.--(Special.)--Official count from 21 of Jackson County's 33 precincts, Medford not included, gives Cake 874, Chamberlain 1008, Hammersley 943, Kubli 879, Miller 889, Purdin 782. The two latter are Statement No. 1 men and the final count in Medford may place Purdin in the lead of Hammersley, in which case both Statement No. 1 men will be elected. Little local interest has centered in Hawley, and for that reason there are no figures to be had on his vote here.
Prohibition has 1154 and anti-prohibition 881. The Medford count cannot possibly change the result, though there will be a majority in favor of the saloons. Anti-prohibitionists gave up the fight at noon today. The election of county officers is conceded to Dunn, as County Judge; Jones, Sheriff, Democrat; Coleman, Clerk; Percy Wells, School Superintendent; James Cronemiller, Treasurer, and Burnett, Recorder. Medford and Ashland have not yet completed the counting.
Medford Oregon, Portland, June 3, 1908, page 5
TAKE CUE FROM MEDFORD
Other Jackson County Towns Try to Nullify Local Option Election.
JACKSONVILLE, Or., July 2.--(Special.)--J. M. Whipple and Ole Olson, of Woodville and Gold Hill, respectively, have begun injunction proceedings to restrain the County Court of Jackson County from declaring prohibition in force in those towns. Other injunctions will follow preventing the court from extending the order to any precinct in the county.
The temperance people carried the county for prohibition by an overwhelming majority, after a spirited campaign, only to find the condition of the county now worse than before the election. If these injunctions are sustained there will be no dry precincts in Jackson County. These complications all grow out of the fact that the Medford city charter contains a clause giving the city power to regulate saloons within the incorporation, irrespective of any state law that may exist on that subject.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, July 3, 1908, page 6
Attorney W. M. Colvig, who returned Sunday from Salem, where he went in the interests of the advancement of the anti-saloon appeal case, reports that he was unsuccessful in having the case advanced to a hearing in the supreme court before the usual summer vacation of the court, but he was successful, however, in having the case placed for the very first one on the docket of the opening of that court on October 7.ANTI-SALOON PEOPLE PARADE
This means that Jackson County will still be "wet," at least until the appeal has been heard. This is not just what Mr. Colvig had hoped for, but when Judge Bean gave him an idea of the amount of work that court had ahead of it, he considered himself fortunate in getting the date fixed as early as he did.
Medford Mail, August 7, 1908, page 5
Oregon Town Wins Fight
SALEM, Ore., Oct. 27.--The supreme court of Oregon decided in effect today that a city may elect to remain "wet" after the county in which it is located, or the whole state for that matter, had voted in favor of prohibition. The local option statute provides that the question of prohibition shall be submitted to a vote of the people. There is also an act which provides that amendments to the charter of a city may be made by popular vote. Jackson County, as a whole, elected to become a "dry" county. Medford, a city in that county, conferred upon its council subsequently the power to regulate the liquor traffic inside the municipal boundary.
Los Angeles Herald, October 27, 1908
CITY CONTROLS SALE OF LIQUORSALEM, Or., Oct. 27.--(Special.)--That the charter of the city of Medford, enacted by the Legislature in 1905, permits the city to license the sale of liquor notwithstanding the county of Jackson voted dry at the election of 1908, was declared by the Supreme Court today in the case of J. C. Hall against the County Court of Jackson County. Justice F. A. Moore wrote the opinion of the court, affirming the decision by Circuit Judge H. K. Hanna.
Medford Exempt From Local Option Law, So Supreme Court Decides.
SPECIAL CHARTER CLAUSE
Estacada and Condon Only Other Oregon Towns Enjoying Special Privilege Granted by Legislature in Session of 1905.
Special Charter for MedfordBriefly stated, the facts are that the local option law was adopted in 1904 permitting the people to vote by precincts or by counties on the liquor question. In 1905 the legislature amended the Medford charter authorizing that city, among other things, to license the sale of liquor irrespective of any general law of the state on this subject enacted by the Legislature or by the people at large. In 1908 the liquor question was submitted in Jackson County as a whole and the county went "dry" by a vote of 2138 to 1881. At that time J. C. Hall held a saloon license in Medford, and when the County Court was about to enter an order prohibiting the sale of liquor in Jackson County he brought an injunction suit to enjoin the County Court from so doing so far as the mandate might affect the City of Medford. A demurrer interposed by the defendants was overruled and the injunction made permanent; whereupon the County Court appealed. After stating the facts at some length, the opinion of the Court holds that this is a proper case for the exercise of jurisdiction by an equity court, and then says:
Exempt from Local Option Law.The Legislative Assembly, when not interdicted by amendments to the organic law of the state is a law-making body of co-ordinate authority with the people when the latter exercise the initiative power which they have reserved. The Legislature, evidently reaching this conclusion, at the next session after the enactment of the local option law, granted to several municipalities charters, in some of which it was provided that the power conferred to license the sale of intoxicating liquors should be subject to the provisions of the local option liquor law. A clause to that effect appears in the charter of Brownsville, of Halsey and of Junction City. Other charters were granted at the same time containing clauses which were evidently intended to exempt certain municipalities from the operation of the provisions of the local option enactment. Thus the charter of Condon stipulates:
Specific in Condon's Charter.No provisions of the law concerning the sale of . . . liquor in Gilliam County or any law of the state of Oregon now or hereafter enacted, shall apply to the sale of the same in the City of Condon.
The charters of Estacada and Medford contain similar provisions.
It is quite probable that the attempt thus to exempt the cities of Condon, Estacada and Medford from the provisions of the local option law, and to prevent any further encroachments thereon, impelled the amendment (in 1906) of section 2 of article 11 of the organic law of the state, so as to prohibit the Legislative Assembly from enacting, amending or repealing any municipal charter, and also induced the granting of such power to the legal voters of every city and town, but limiting their authority; in such enactments as might contravene the constitution or subvert the criminal laws of the state. The local option liquor enactment has been held to be a criminal law, the provisions of which cannot be violated by the electors of a municipality in legislating in respect to a city charter.
The opinion also holds that the amended Medford charter expressly repeals the local option law so far as it applies to Medford and that it would have such effect by implication if it did not expressly.
Decision Not of Wide Effect.The decision of the Supreme Court, in the Medford liquor case is not of very wide effect, since the decision can apply only to Medford, Condon and Estacada. These were the only cities that had charter bills passed in 1905 giving them control of the liquor traffic, and since that time it has been impossible for any other city to secure a charter of that kind. In 1906 the amendment was adopted giving cities exclusive power to adopt their charters, "subject to the Constitution and criminal laws of the state."
The Supreme Court had held that the local option law is a criminal law, and no city charter adopted since 1906 can evade the local option law. Even these three cities can be voted "dry" by an amendment to their charters.
The Anti-Saloon people have taken great interest in the Medford case, assuming that the decision that would be rendered by the Supreme Court would be of sweeping effect. It is said that the Anti-Saloon people spent considerable money fighting the case and that they are considerably wrought up over the decision. As a matter of fact, the decision is of consequence and can be of consequence in only the three cities mentioned. To illustrate the situation under the law and the decisions that have been rendered:
Special Privilege Limited.Albany is a city in a "dry" county. If the city should attempt to amend its charter so as to authorize the sale of liquor, the charter would be invalid in that respect, because in contravention of that section of the Constitution which provides that city charters must be "subject to the constitution and criminal laws of the state." In the case of Fouts vs. Hood River, the Supreme Court held that the local option law is a criminal law. If a large number of cities had obtained charters in 1905 granting them the power to license the sale of liquor, regardless of the local option law, the decision would have had a wide effect, but a search of the records shows that only these three cities, whose charters were enacted in that year, contained the clause granting this power. There were several cities whose charters of that year authorized the licensing of saloons, but they did not expressly annul the effect of the local option law, and the Supreme Court holds in the case of Renshaw vs. the City of Eugene that these charters were merely reenactments of existing charters and did not take the cities out from under the limitations of the local option law.
All charters enacted prior to 1905 were superseded by the local option law, so far as control of the liquor trade is concerned in a town in "dry" territory. All charters enacted since 1905 are controlled by the provision that all charters must be "subject to the criminal laws of the state." Only those charters enacted in 1905 which expressly exempted the cities from the provisions of the state liquor laws had the effect of evading the local option law [and], as shown above, there were three of these, Medford, Condon and Estacada. The people of these three cities can make them dry by amending their charters, so as to make them subject to the criminal laws of the state.
Oregonian, Portland, October 28, 1908, page 7
MEDFORD STILL WET.
The Supreme Court Handed Down Decision Tuesday.
Word was received in Medford yesterday to the effect that the [state] supreme court had upheld the decision of circuit judge Hanna enjoining the county court of Jackson County from declaring the result of the majority of votes at the last June election in the county in favor of prohibition, insofar as it affected the city of Medford.
The injunction case was brought by J. C. Hall, a saloonkeeper in this city. His attorneys were Robert G. Smith, E. E. Kelly and Snow & McCamant of Portland, while attorney W. M. Colvig represented the prohibitionists. The decision was based on the fact that the city charter was passed by the legislature since the referendum law, and where two laws conflict, as the court claims, the last one passed is the one to be taken.
There are now two courses open to those who are determined to continue the fight for a dry town. One is to get a bill through the legislature at the next session reaffirming the referendum law and the other is to elect the majority of the councilmen in the city at the next election. The latter course will probably be the one taken. The next city election will be held in January.
Medford Mail, October 29, 1908, page 1
Made Basis of Decision in Liquor Case.
SALEM, Or., Oct. 28.--That the charter of the city of Medford, enacted by the legislature in 1905, permits the city to license the sale of liquor notwithstanding the county of Jackson voted "dry" at the election of 1908, was declared by the Supreme Court yesterday in the case of J. C. Hall against the county court of Jackson County. Justice F. A. Moore wrote the opinion of the court, affirming the decision by Circuit Judge H. K. Hanna.
Special Charter for Medford.
Briefly stated, the facts are that the local option law was adopted in 1904 permitting the people to vote by precincts or by counties on the liquor question. In 1905 the legislature amended the Medford charter authorizing that city, among other things, to license the sale of liquor "irrespective of any general law of the state on this subject enacted by the legislature or by the people at large." In 1908 the liquor question was submitted in Jackson County as a whole, and the county went "dry" by a vote of 2138 to 1881. At that time J. C. Hall held a saloon license in Medford, and when the county court was about to enter an order prohibiting the sale of liquor in Jackson County he brought an injunction suit to enjoin the county court from so doing so far as the mandate might affect the city of Medford. A demurrer interposed by the defendants was overruled and the injunction made permanent, whereupon the county court appealed. After stating the facts at some length, the opinion of the court holds that this is a proper case for the exercise of jurisdiction by an equity court and then says:
Exempt from Local Option Law.
"The legislative assembly, when not interdicted by amendments to the organic law of the state, is a lawmaking body of coordinate authority with the people when the latter exercise the initiative power which they have reserved. The legislature, evidently reaching this conclusion at the next session after the enactment of the local option law, granted to several municipalities charters, in some of which it was provided that the power conferred, to license the sale of intoxicating liquors, should be subject to the provisions of the local option liquor law. A clause to that effect appears in the charter of Brownsville, of Halsey and of Junction City. Other charters were granted at the same time, containing clauses which were evidently intended to exempt certain municipalities from the operation of the provisions of the local option enactment. Thus the charter of Condon stipulates:
Specific in Condon's Charter.
"'No provisions of the law concerning the sale of . . . liquor in Gilliam County or any law of the state of Oregon now or hereafter enacted shall apply to the sale of the same in the city of Condon.'
"The charters of Estacada and Medford contain similar provisions.
"It is quite probable that the attempt thus to exempt the cities of Condon, Estacada and Medford from the provisions of the local option law, and to prevent any further encroachments thereon impelled the amendment (in 1906) of section 2 of article 11 of the organic law of the state, so as to prohibit the legislative assembly from enacting, amending or repealing any municipal charter, and also induced the granting of such power to the legal voters of every city and town, but limiting their authority in such enactments as might contravene the constitution or subvert the criminal laws of the state. The local option liquor enactment has been held to be a criminal law, the provisions of which cannot be violated by the electors of a municipality in legislating in respect to a city charter."
The opinion also holds that the amended Medford charter expressly repeals the local option law so far as it applies to Medford, and that it would have such effect by implication if it did not expressly.
Decision Not of Wide Effect.
The decision of the Supreme Court in the Medford liquor case is not of a very wide effect, since the decision can apply only to Medford, Condon and Estacada. These were the only cities that had charter bills passed in 1905 giving them control of the liquor traffic, and since that time it has been impossible for any other city to secure a charter of that kind. In 1906 the amendment was adopted giving cities exclusive power to adopt their charters, "subject to the constitution and criminal laws of the state."
The Supreme Court had held that the local option law is a criminal law, and no city charter adopted since 1906 can evade the local option law. Even these three cities can be voted "dry" by an amendment to their charters.
The anti-saloon people have taken great interest in the Medford case, assuming that the decision that would be rendered by the Supreme Court would be of sweeping effect. It is said that the anti-saloon people spent considerable money fighting the case and that they are considerably wrought up over the decision. As a matter of fact, the decision is of consequence and can be of consequence in only the three cities mentioned. To illustrate the situation under the law and the decisions that have been rendered:
Special Privilege Limited.
Albany is a city in a "dry" county. If the city should attempt to amend its charter so as to authorize the sale of liquor, the charter would be invalid in that respect, because [it would be] in contravention of that section of the constitution which provides that city charters must be "subject to the constitution and criminal laws of the state." In the case of Fouts vs. Hood River, the Supreme Court held that the local option law is a criminal law. If a large number of cities had obtained charters in 1905 granting them the power to license the sale of liquor, regardless of the local option law, the decision would have had a wide effect, but a search of the records shows that only these three cities whose charters were enacted in that year contained the clause granting this power. There were several cities whose charters of that year authorized the licensing of saloons, but they did not expressly annul the effect of the local option law, and the Supreme Court holds in the case of Renshaw vs. the City of Eugene that these charters were merely reenactments of existing charters and did not take the cities out from under the limitations of the local option law.
All charters enacted prior to 1905 were superseded by the local option law, so far as control of the liquor traffic is concerned in a town in "dry" territory. All charters enacted since 1905 are controlled by the provision that all charters must be "subject to the criminal laws of the state." Only those charters enacted in 1905 which expressly exempted the cities from the provisions of the state liquor laws had the effect of evading the local option law; as shown above, there were three of these, Medford, Condon and Estacada. The people of these three cities can make them dry by amending their charters, so as to make them subject to the criminal laws of the state.
Medford Mail, November 5, 1908, page 4
MEDFORD PROHIS ACTIVE
Propose to Amend City Charter So as to Make Town "Dry."
MEDFORD, Or., Dec. 14.--(Special.)--On account of the decision of the Supreme Court, in which it was decided that because of a clause in the Medford city charter, territory within its corporate limits was exempt from any law that might be passed by the people at large regarding the sale of liquor, prohibitionists have made efforts toward having the city charter changed at the coming session of the Legislature. They are circulating a petition among the legal voters of the city, and already 200 names have been secured.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, December 15, 1908, page 20
MEDFORD STILL AN OASISMEDFORD, Or., Jan. 12.--(Special.)--In the liveliest election ever held in this city prohibition was defeated. Both sides have worked hard during the campaign, but so quietly was the matter carried on that neither side would venture this morning to make a guess as to the outcome.
Prohibition Defeated in Southern Oregon Town by Decisive Vote.
Medford, by its remarkable charter giving it the right to govern its political affairs, which charter was sustained by the Supreme Court of the state, had remained the only "oasis" in the south part of the state. The prohibitionists firmly believed that a vote of the people would decide the matter for some time, and fully confident of the outcome in their favor, they entered the campaign.
The vote was the largest in the history of the city on a city question, 925 votes being cast.
W. H. Canon was elected Mayor, John Demmer, V. J. Emerick and E. A. Welch were elected Councilmen. Prohibition was defeated by 127 majority, and the attempt to amend the charter to make it comply with the local option law was defeated by a majority of 170.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 13, 1909, page 1
Medford stays wet, the charter amendment is beaten by a decisive majority, W. H. Canon is elected mayor by a small majority, all three candidates on the business men's and taxpayers' ticket for councilmen are elected and the library tax carries by a good majority. Such is the result of the city election held yesterday after one of the most strenuous and bitter campaigns waged in the city of Medford.
The majority against prohibition was a surprise to everyone, the "wets" having the best of the balloting by a majority of 127. Contrary to all expectations the wets carried every ward, the result being the closest in the second ward, where the vote stood 163 for and 179 against.
On the amendment to the charter to make the local option law of the state apply to Medford a hot fight was waged, and the result shows that some of the believers in prohibition were affected by the argument of "home rule," urged by those who opposed the amendment. The amendment was defeated by a majority of 167. In the third [ward] the vote was almost two to one against the amendment, standing 356 for and 523 against.
Excerpt, "Prohibition and Charter Amendment Are Defeated," Medford Mail, January 15, 1909, page 1
The complete article is here.
March 23, 1909 Oregonian
Ashland and Medford
A Dry Town and a Wet Town Compared.
The Medford Tribune made a hasty conclusion that the 14-mill tax levied by the city council of Ashland for the ensuing year was due to the no license policy for which Ashland is noted and immediately announced in big, black headlines that "Prohibition comes high."
The liquor money has very little to do with the big levy made for city purposes for the ensuing year, unless it would be that the increased majority against the liquor business in Ashland at the city election on the 15th inst. may have inspired the city administration to inaugurate a forward movement and introduce municipal advantages on a broader scale and secure to the inhabitants of the city a more rapid introduction of public benefits than it had ever thought of undertaking under a liquor license administration.
There is no particular necessity of getting an intoxicated idea of how much revenue the saloon license regime will bring to a city, and Ashland voters take a cool and collected estimate of its value and not a bloated one. It means about 1½ mills. On a valuation of $2,594,265, one and one-half mills will bring $3,891.40. One and two-thirds mills will yield $4,323.77.
Ashland is not a heavy drinking community, and from the experience of past years by those engaged in the liquor business here, it is known that the business cannot stand any more than five saloons at the minimum license fee named in the charter, which is $800 per annum. As a practical demonstrated illustration that was the number of saloons and $4000 the amount of revenue raised the last saloon license year in Ashland and is the most reliable estimate for a basis of figuring.
For a number of years it has been estimated that the saloon license revenue was equivalent to about 1½ mills or $1.50 on every $1000. Of course this leaves out of the question the respective benefits to be derived by the inhabitants of towns under an administration that gets its money from the taxable property of its people or levies on a certain institution for a specific amount in the nature of an annual bribe in return for its existence as a public institution.
The prevailing idea at Medford has been that this institution has been its mainstay and not only the inspiration of its prosperity, but prosperity itself. The prevailing idea in Ashland has been that as an institution it is baneful, is destructive of the most substantial elements of a true and permanent prosperity, has forfeited its right to exist as a public institution, and therefore its money offering has no better standing than the $200,000 that Pat Calhoun gave Abe Ruef to scatter among the San Francisco supervisors to secure the overhead trolley franchise.
An examination of the respective tax levies of the cities of Ashland and Medford and the purposes for which the taxpayers' money goes in the respective towns docs not disclose anything to the disadvantage of the judgment shown by the city of Ashland.
An examination of the general finances of the two towns shows a history of bad management and bad blunders for Medford that has simply amazed its own thoughtful citizens, while the achievements of municipal enterprise in Ashland has been a history of unusual and extraordinary successes and its blunders have been few, scattered along in several years and amounting to such small sums that nobody but those who take a conservative interest in the history and records could recall them.
We do not wish to seem to be out with a "hammer" after our neighboring town, because the prevailing judgment there seems to be an anxiety to get something for nothing--for that seems to be the license money motive, from the Ashland point of view, yet it is a known matter of record that our down the valley neighborhood was paying interest the first of this year on a bonded indebtedness of $100,000, and for the sum of $80,000 thereof it had not a thing to show, and that sum at least is rated as its monument to experiment and failure.
The city tax levy (17½ mills) for the city of Medford for the coming year is distributed as follows: General fund for city purposes, 4 mills; interest fund 7½ mills; park fund, ½ mill; general sewer fund, 1 mill; street and road fund, 4½ mills; the total assessed valuation of property within the corporation is $2,481,135. An idea of the amount of Medford's 7½ mills for interest can be had from the fact that Ashland's total levy last year was six mills.--Ashland Valley Record.
* * *The city records show 192 arrests from the first of January last, to the present time, December 30. Of these 117 were for drunkenness and 62 were for fighting and using obscene and profane language in the places of business and on the streets of our city. Nine-tenths, at least, of these 62 arrests were due to the drunken conditions of the men. This makes, therefore, 173 arrests in Medford directly chargeable to the saloon from the first of January last to the present time. There were only 19 other arrests during the year and these for comparatively minor offenses, such as jumping on or off cars in motion, riding fast on the streets, begging, etc. Here, then, we have 90 percent of Medford's crime produced by the saloons. And, still more, 173 of our fellow-citizens made so drunk and so criminal by our 11 saloons that the police authorities of our city arrested them, dragged them through our streets and threw them into the city jail to sober up and appear before the city court. This is dishonoring to the manhood of our citizens, and no amount of money can compensate for the evil done to society. The number of arrests is only a small percentage of all the drunkenness during the year. If one was arrested for every ten drunk, then on that basis we have had 1730 drunken men in Medford during the year. To verify these facts go to the recorder's office and see the records; they are open to the public.--Medford Mail.
Oregon Teachers Monthly, March 1909, page 382
PROHIBITION IN JOSEPHINE.
How the System "Works Wet" in a Dry" County.
Grants Pass Observer.It is a little over a year since Josephine became "dry," and in that time there has been more whisky drinking in the county than ever before. The prohibition leaders here know that, because they obtained a list of all shipments from the station agent, who was afterwards brought to task by his superior officers for giving the information. Anybody, man or boy, can send $3 to Portland and receive by express prepaid four quarts of whisky. This is very much cheaper than whisky could be bought in Grants Pass when the saloons were in operation, and it is probably safe to say that thousands of packages of intoxicants have been shipped to this city from other counties and states. That is not prohibition. Apart from the obtaining of liquors lawfully, there has never been a time during the "dry" period when intoxicants could not be bought in Grants Pass by those who knew the ropes. New "blind pigs" were opened to share in the traffic, and for a time liquor was sold practically openly. The large profits induced the risk. The seller has no license to pay of consequence, and he gets double the price for drinks. Beer at 10 cents for a reduced glass pans out money quickly when trade is good, and it pretty regularly is in Grants Pass. There are, too, blind pigs doing business in the rural districts at the same profitable rates, and no licenses to pay.
Prohibition in Josephine County has failed dismally. The sum of it is that drinking goes on just the same and the city loses $6000 license fees and the county $3000. In the saloon days minors had difficulty in getting liquor, and few succeeded. Under prohibition many minors obtain intoxicants with out any difficulty. Half the people of the county hold the prohibition law in contempt, and it tends to breed contempt for all law. Men of average good character have engaged in the illegal traffic and criminalized themselves. A few have been punished, but the sale of liquor goes on and cannot be stopped. Prohibition makes criminals, and does no good, for those who want stimulants can easily get them, and those who do not want stimulants have no need of prohibition. Many people voted last year to bar other people from drinking while they fully intended to keep supplies for themselves. That is contemptible and hypocritical. There is nothing good in prohibition, and very many people who favored it last year do not favor it now.
The road from here to Woodville, in Jackson County, is hedged with empty bottles. Thousands of dollars go to Medford for liquors. Gold Hill gets a share. People in the southern part of Josephine County now trade in Medford who never traded there before. The sawmills are closing down and the workmen scattering with full purses. Many of them will go to Medford for a good time. Grants Pass loses revenue, loses trade and gains nothing but new evils. The Observer's forecast has been abundantly verified. Prohibition could not be enforced in Canada, where laws are strict, and it cannot be enforced in this country where laws are loose. Under it the old evil continues in worse form and other evils are induced.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 28, 1909, page 8
The platform adopted by the Prohibition Party at its recent state convention, held in Portland, contends that the better the saloon the more pernicious it becomes. Such an argument is wholly unsound and can only result in disfavor among thinking men who are doing all in their power to promote the cause of temperance. One may believe that all saloons are bad, but it is hard to conceive that the orderly, well-kept places can, by any process of reasoning, be deemed of greater detriment to the community than the dive.
Medford Saturday Review, June 25, 1910, page 2
A little girl who attended the temperance lecture at the tabernacle Monday evening was much interested in the song:
"Oregon's going dry,
Pass along the watchword
Oregon's going dry."
However she didn't catch the exact sentiment and was heard the next day lustily singing:
"Pass along the washrag
Oregon's going dry."
A case of "wash and be made clean," possibly.
"The Inner Side," The Saturday Review, Medford, August 6, 1910, page 1
September 24, 1910 Medford Saturday Review
"PROHIBITION" IN A SMALL TOWNLet us review the prohibition of intoxicants in Josephine County since that system was inaugurated by popular vote in 1908. The law was put in force on July 1 of that year, and the licensed saloons were thence out of business. But there were a great many people, nearly half the population, who indulged more or less in alcoholic beverages, and these people were not willing to accept the prohibition order of their fellow-citizens. The near beer saloons immediately following the licensed saloons were well patronized, but many persons preferred to obtain their supplies reputably. For some of these Portland and San Francisco were the main sources of supply. Numerous others preferred the social glass over the saloon bar, and found the conditions favorable at Woodville, in "wet" Jackson County, just across the county line from "dry" Josephine, eight miles from Grants Pass.
At Grants Pass, Or., More Liquor and Taxes, and "Stuff" Bought Elsewhere.
Oregon (Grants Pass) Observer.
Woodville did not count much on the map two years ago. It was little known, and yet there was a fine fruit and agricultural district surrounding it waiting to be discovered. Grants Pass visitors did the business. They inaugurated a steady flow of money from Grants Pass to Woodville, and a steady flow of empty bottles back to Grants Pass. Incidentally, the valuable resources of Woodville became known. Grants Pass money, however, had prompt influence. The little Woodville hamlet of two years ago is now an incorporated city. The little burg needed only a start, and the "dry" conditions of Josephine County supplied it.
* * *Without going into the unfailing experience of all communities that have endeavored to prohibit the use of intoxicants by law, let us have a look at Grants Pass since it became "dry." The year 1909 was the deadest year ever known in this city. There was a well-intentioned "dry" administration, but nothing could balance the collapse of trade. There was 100 percent increase in city taxes, and at the end of that "dry" year an increased debt of $7000, with absolutely nothing to show for the large expenditure. The taxpayers revolted at the end of 1909, and elected a progressive administration. The retiring city council left to the new council an additional 50 percent of city taxation. Two years of prohibition increased the direct city taxes of Grants Pass exactly 150 percent and other taxes were pushed.
* * *The 1910 city council constitutes a business administration, backed by the leading business men of Grants Pass not passively, but actively. Much has been done. Grants Pass has assumed city airs with pavement and generous lights. There have been large payrolls but dull business. Too much money goes to Woodville and Medford. There is no prohibition that can prevent a class of working people in a "dry" town from spending their savings in a "wet" town. Not all for "wet" goods, but with the freedom to purchase "wet" goods a first consideration. So it was with a bunch of Josephine miners who came to Grants Pass a while ago for supplies. They didn't buy them here. Medford got the trade. Medford has grown big and fat by reason of the mistaken policies of Grants Pass and Ashland.
* * *What about the moral effect of prohibition on .the youth of the community? There is no need to philosophize on this question, but facts are always valuable. Under the city ordinances of Grants Pass, a heavy penalty was imposed for the selling of liquor to minors. It was a righteous law, and a few convictions under it speedily ended that abuse up to the passing of county option, which overruled the city ordinances. Under the county option law, any boy or girl, or woman or man, has a legal right to purchase intoxicants. Otherwise the informers who were here last year dare not report. It is the sellers who are liable to penalty. The youth of Grants Pass perfectly understand this. There was a little company of them about a year ago who indulged in spiritous liquors on Saturday nights, all minors. The same thing is reported from all the dry counties of the state. The liquor of Grants Pass boys was obtained presumably from Portland dealers, and required only a signed order and $3 enclosed for a gallon of whisky. Under the saloon system this traffic in gallon was not previously known here, probably because of wholesale and retail restraints. Anyhow, boys of Grants Pass, as in other dry towns, obtained liquor supplies, and there was a little Saturday night jollification inaugurated. It developed, and presently the night policeman took a hand. He sought to capture one of the boys, but failed, probably willingly. There were in this bunch of boys the sons of some of the best families in Grants Pass. The city ordinances, enforced by the police, put a bar on this wrong. County option lifted the ban and the boys continue to pass under. But, after all, when a Grants Pass youth hits the train for the Oregon University or any other higher training school, and is piled up on his own resources, is it better that he should know something about the evils that threaten him, or be perfectly ignorant of his danger?
Regarding the rural districts of Josephine County, the gallon parcel has been in open evidence these past two years. People who formerly drank 3 or 4 percent beers are now drinking 40 to 50 percent whiskies, and it isn't good for them.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, October 29, 1910, page 10
A great parade Monday, at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 7. The parade forms on 3rd and N. Oakdale and W. Main, and will start at 7 p.m. The parade will terminate at the Natatorium for a great mass meeting. The greatest parade ever pulled off in Medford. One cornet band, two martial bands of music. Automobiles, bicycles, floats, horseback riders and a great multitude marching in line. Everybody come, whole county is invited. Oregon dry in 1910. --(Paid advertisement)
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1910, page 4
HAVE PARADE IN SPITE OF HEAVY RAIN
The anti-saloon parade Monday night was of considerable length, in spite of the rain, which caused it to become one of the wettest dry demonstrations ever made in Southern Oregon.
A program was held in the auditorium at the "Nat," consisting of short addresses by local and foreign prohibition orators. The Central Point band furnished music for the occasion.
Medford Sun, November 8, 1910, page 4
"DRYS" THANK BREWERY
Medford Temperance Union Expresses Gratitude for Donation.
MEDFORD, Or., Aug. 17.--(Special.)--The singular situation of members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union officially giving thanks to a brewery was brought about today when the Medford branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union thanked local concerns for donations to an ice cream social recently given in the city park, and among them was Weinhard's Brewery.
This brewery not only deals in beer and spirituous liquors, but manufactures ice, of which it donated a quantity for the ice cream social. Whether the members of the organization were not aware of the character of a brewery or believed it proper to encourage any concern of whatever character in helping along the temperance cause, has not as yet been learned, but the notice appeared giving thanks to the electric company, newspapers and the local brewery.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, August 18, 1912, page 10
BLIND PIGS ARE RAIDED
Women of Butte Falls Win Victory by Complaint Filed.
MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 21.--(Special.)--In answer to a petition of complaint from the women of Butte Falls, prosecuting attorney Mulkey and Sheriff Jones raided the blind pigs in that place today, arresting J. F. Brooks and seizing several bottles and one barrel of beer. Armed with a search warrant the officers descended upon the Pacific & Eastern depot, where they appropriated the barrel of beer, which was billed to Brooks.
Several weeks ago the women of that place complained to Governor West of the non-enforcement of the laws regarding liquor sales, and it was at his request that the raid was made. According to current report the Governor is contemplating asking the resignation of the town officials for their delinquency in office. It is also said that the wet forces of the city put through the incorporation of the town about a year ago for the purpose of evading the liquor laws governing the county, but according to Mr. Mulkey there is no escape on the grounds of incorporation.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, September 22, 1912, page 5
October 10, 1914 Medford Mail Tribune
Brewery Depot to Be Creamery.
MEDFORD, Or., May 22.--(Special.)--Butter will replace beer in Medford when the state goes dry. Announcement was made today that the Jackson County Creamery has leased the Weinhard beer and ice depot and will install a modern creamery. L. P. Holgerson, an expert butter maker, has been employed to take charge of the creamery and an effort will be made to develop the dairy industry throughout the Rogue River Valley. Medford has one dairy now, there is a large one on the Applegate but, according to well-informed agriculturists, the valley has developed but a small percentage of its resources in this line.
Sunday Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 23, 1915, page 9
Druggists Told How To Get Liquor for Use
Salem, Or., Dec. 16--Attorney General Brown has rendered an opinion to the effect that the one means by which druggists can obtain rum, whiskey, gin or wine for medicinal preparations under the prohibition law is under the section making it permissible for any person or head of a family to receive from a common carrier two quarts of liquor or 24 quarts of beer every four successive weeks. The law makes no other provision for them to obtain any of these liquors, he held.
Jacksonville Post, December 18, 1915, page 2
The Rogue River Canal Company is pushing its work on the Willow Springs extension as rapidly as possible, but is short of men. There is no excuse for the presence of an idler in this valley at this time. There is work for every man who desires it. Even the farmers are heard to complain of the scarcity of help this year. Usually the reverse is true. No one has offered a generally satisfactory reason for the existence of that condition at this time, unless it be that the prohibition law has driven the loafers out of the state, as well as workmen of good repute who prefer larger privilege socially and, being footloose, have gone where they can enjoy it.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1916, page 2
WOEFUL WASTE OF GOOD WINE IN CITY GUTTERS
With Chief of Police Hittson as master of ceremonies and Judge Kelly as toastmaster, sixty gallons of wine, representing many days of painstaking labor and patience on the part of Paul Demmer, were today ruthlessly turned into the plebeian gutter that carries the dregs of everyday accumulations past the municipal bastille.ESTES ARRESTED; EIGHTY GALLONS
Five barrels were rolled out of the metropolis prison. With a huge hammer Chief Hittson became a knocker for a few minutes, while he cleared the bungholes of the oaken casks and turned the crimson liquor into the street. A crowd had gathered to witness this drastic application of a provision of the prohibition law.
Paul Demmer wasn't there. He had been fined $25 and costs for having sold claret from those barrels. All he asked was that the officials save for him the casks. They will do for vinegar, hereafter. So he spared himself the grief of witnessing the confiscation and destruction of his property in liquid form.
The odor was rich, racy and rare. It soon suffused the atmosphere of bastille alley. Men bemoaned the pity of the waste. Others fervently thanked the officials who thus grimly enforced a righteous law. Flies and bees soon began to sip the wine from the gutter and to flutter about in their gleeful intoxication as if it were better than honey.
Slowly the crimson flood rippled away until only the odor was left to suggest the utter waste of myriad headaches and the commonest cause of nervous disorder.
Medford Sun, March 29, 1916, page 6
Sixty gallons of wine belonging to Paul Demmer were poured into the sewers at Medford Wednesday by Chief Hittson.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, April 1, 1916, page 3
BARREL A DAY OF BOOZE SLIPPED OVER SISKIYOUSProhibition and the consequent aridity, which, like the German warships, is of a "low visibility," has brought to Medford and Jackson County an unincorporated organization, working as silently as the engine of $9000 auto, and with the deadly accuracy of a machine gun. The organization constitutes the main line of communication between Hornbrook and the hip pocket, and is three times as fast in delivery as the ordinary common carrier. They are the boys who bring across the deadline tabooed liquids to friends, thus throwing out a lifeline.
It is becoming quite a custom in Medford among those who have not the time or the gasoline to go to northern California, to have some of those who are on the jump most of the time between the desert and the oasis to bring back a bottle of this or that or the other thing. No friend would deny a friend so small a favor. Thus the stay-at-home gets his potations without the task of writing and waiting and calling at the express office, and also evolutes with considerable grace around that portion of the dry law restricting him to a stated number of quarts of snakebite per month. The gadder receives the exhilaration of his own imbibing and the satisfaction of helping out a thirsty native. It is estimated that in the neighborhood of a barrel of booze oozes into Jackson County between every sunup and sunset upon the wheels of friendship.
There is no way to stop the practice which is assuming heft daily, except to declare a state of war and invoke "the right of search" along the border. Prohibition has sent the bartender back to the plow and the forge and counter, and in his place flourishes the life-saver.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 6, 1916, page 6
The Law We Have Is Good.
The dry law, now operative in Oregon, is a good and logical law. Despite urging to the contrary, the thing to do is to stand pat upon the enforcement and efficacy of the law we have. On the one hand it is unthinkable and would be unwise and distinctly retrogressive to restore the breweries to legal status in this state, and on the other hand public sentiment does not demand nor will it approve a measure that proposes air-tight prohibition.
The present dry law is not sumptuary in the offensive sense. It was not aimed at the personal right or liberty of any citizen, nor does it deny them. Its purpose was to be rid of the liquor trade as an economic evil, to banish the saloon and forbid the manufacture of intoxicants in Oregon, which mean the maintenance of the saloon in one form or another. This purpose it has achieved effectually. We are not going to undo the work, and we should not attempt to overdo it.
Under the operation of the law we have, drinking is not one-tenth of what it was before that law went into effect, and the evil effects of the drink traffic, as they might be summarized, are not one-hundredth part of what they were. The law has served its purpose better than even its friends expected it would. It is in appreciable measure responsible for depressed commerce or other business conditions. If it were to be resubmitted to a vote today it would command thousands of votes that were cast against it when it was made part of Oregon's constitution.
All this is simple statement of fact that attests to the logic, the service and the general approval of the law. If we are wise, we will not embarrass the operation of the law we have by re-establishing the breweries. That would be backtracking--and an about face toward the conditions we have abandoned. Neither do we need to seek the passage of a stricter law, in the mistaken assumption that it would be better. Either course would be a serious if not a disastrous blunder. The safe course and the wise course is to stand pat, keep the law we have and see that it is well enforced.--Portland Telegram.
Jacksonville Post, August 12, 1916, page 3
It is said that a line of jitneys, four in number, are making regular trips from Hornbrook, Cal., to Portland, carrying booze for the thirsty at the Oregon metropolis.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, December 16, 1916, page 3
Medford druggists have decided not to renew their government license to sell alcohol.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, June 30, 1917, page 3
OF BOOZE CONFISCATED
The most important bootlegging arrests of the summer were made by three special liquor officers of the county on the Pacific Highway up in the Siskiyous late Wednesday night. In the car of Rankin Estes, well-known Medford man and proprietor of the Oaks pool and card hall on Front Street, was found 14 cases of whisky, and in another car driven by a Portland man, who refuses to give his name, was found 13½ cases of whisky. Altogether about 80 gallons of whisky.
The arrests were followed by a raid this morning on Estes' pool hall by Sheriff Jennings and deputies, who arrested two men connected with the place and after a thorough search carried away as evidence a small quantity of liquor.
There is a mystery about the so-called Portland prisoner. He refuses to give his name or other information about himself. The car he was driving is a Chalmers Six, and bears the state license number 29118. The owner of this number is registered to Z. L. Dimmick of Grants Pass.
County Prosecutor Roberts and the officers are still investigating the alleged bootlegging operations this afternoon. Mr. Roberts says that other arrests will probably follow. It is claimed by the county authorities and police that Estes has been in the bootlegging business ever since the prohibition law went into effect, but that they were never able to find sufficient evidence heretofore to cause his arrest.
It is further claimed that Estes has made numerous bootlegging trips to Hornbrook, one of which was last Monday night.
Made by Special Officers.The arrests of Estes and the Portland man were made about midnight last night by Special Officers John B. Wimer, W. J. Carpenter and R. C. Porter, all of Ashland, and who formerly constituted the police force of that city. Sheriff Jennings and Paul Anderson, his deputy, were also on the mountain, but were some distance away watching for another suspected case.
Estes and the Portland man came along in their cars together, but claim that they were not working in partnership. The Portland man is said to be a stranger here. The prisoners and confiscated liquor were brought to this city. The charge against each was that of illegally bringing liquor into the state.
The Portland man said that he would be unable to furnish bail in any amount, and when the bail for Estes was set at $2,500 the latter declared that he would rather be imprisoned than furnish it.
Objects to City Jail.The officers were about to lock the men in the city prison, but Estes objected so strenuously to being locked in such a filthy place and demanded that he and the other prisoner be taken to the county jail, that the officers, especially as the men were state prisoners, had to accommodate them.
They were locked up in the county jail and will be arraigned, by order of County Prosecutor Roberts, before Justice of the Peace Taylor this afternoon. The prisoners for reasons best known to themselves did not want to be arraigned today, although each claims he does not want to be represented by an attorney.
After County Prosecutor Roberts had conferred this morning with Sheriff Jennings and the arresting officers the sheriff went before Justice Taylor and swore out a search warrant for Estes' pool hall. Then he and deputies Anderson and Leslie Stansell searched the place and found a small quantity of whisky.
"Guess they were just about out of stock," remarked Sheriff Jennings later, "and lots of the boys had to go thirsty this forenoon."
Employee Arrested.Following the raid Prosecutor Roberts swore out warrants for the arrest of Estes, W. J. George, a clerk in the pool hall, and Harvey E. Wilcox, who runs a barber shop in the hall. Later the prosecutor and sheriff became convinced that Wilcox had nothing to do with the alleged bootlegging operations, and he was released. George, when arraigned before Justice Taylor, pleaded not guilty, and his bond was set at $500 and his hearing for 2 o'clock Friday afternoon. The arresting warrant charged Estes and George with maintaining on August 30 a common nuisance known as the Oaks pool hall and in violation of the law by keeping whisky for sale therein. Estes will also be arraigned on this charge this afternoon.
Efforts will be made by the county to have the place suppressed. Mayor Gates several weeks ago at a council meeting also threatened to have the place suppressed on account of gambling complaints, but nothing ever came of his declaration.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 30, 1917, page 6
Rankin Estes of Medford and C. H. Smith of Portland pleaded guilty to the charge of illegally importing liquor into the state and were fined $500, and given a sentence of six months in the county jail by Justice Taylor at Medford Thursday afternoon. The men were brought back and placed in the county jail in this city. Thursday night Sheriff Jennings went to Estes' residence and secured about 35 gallons of whisky which had been cached away. Friday morning the sheriff and deputies emptied about 112 gallons of booze into the creek, it being the whisky found in the cars when Smith and Estes were arrested plus the 35 gallons secured in the raid on Estes' house Thursday evening.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, September 1, 1917, page 3
CROSSING THE DEAD LINE.The Ashland Tidings gives the painful details of a humiliating episode near the state line the other night, when four young Medford men who had been making a foraging sortie into California drove into a net stretched by the officers of the law.
The car in which the Medford men were speeding north was intercepted about three miles south of Ashland. A search revealed no liquor, and the deputies were greatly nonplussed, for they have a strong sense of smell. Then the idea seized one officer to search an automobilist for concealed contraband, and the victim, aware of his rights, demanded a warrant. The deputy, who was also City Recorder of Ashland, calmly reached in his pocket, brought forth several blank documents, filled them out and handed them to another official, who served them.
Then, alas! there was a fearful exposure. Bottles were everywhere. "They had filled their pockets," avers the Tidings, "with quarts and pints. In the tops of their shoes and cuffs of their pants half-pint and tenth-pint bottles were found. In their hats, vest pockets, shirt fronts and every conceivable part of their clothing could be found small bottles of the wet stuff. About three gallons of liquor were taken from the men."
The bootlegging industry, it would appear, will languish under the persistent investigations of obtrusive officials. Not even the insides of tires or extra gasoline tanks are now safe. Ingenuity will have to tax its resources and find some new scheme; and that, too, will in turn be discovered, provided the vigilance of the law equals the determination of the importers.
Some day, perhaps, our thirsty citizens may reach the belated conclusion that the game is not worth the candle.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 20, 1917, page 10
Rankin Estes, serving a six months sentence in the county jail for bootlegging, paid his $500 fine and costs and was released, the balance of his jail sentence being suspended. He had been in jail about two months.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, October 27, 1917, page 3
Dr. F. G. Swedenburg of Ashland, who was arrested Saturday night in the Siskiyous for illegally transporting liquor into dry territory, pled guilty to the charge, claiming that the liquor was for use at his hospital. He was fined $25, and the sentence suspended.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, November 24, 1917, page 3
EX-BEAVER MAKES BUTTERMEDFORD, Or., Jan. 10.--(Special.)--S. A. Kroschel, manager of the Jackson County Creamery, will build a new establishment at a cost of $25,000, with a capacity of 2000 pounds of butter a day.
S. A. Kroschel Has Largest Creamery Plant in Jackson County.
Mr. Kroschel was formerly the Weinhard Brewery agent in Medford, and when the state went dry he transformed his plant into a creamery. He now has the largest establishment of the kind in Jackson County. The old brewery building will be continued as an ice manufacturing plant. In addition to the new building, Mr. Kroschel has taken over the Medford Poultry and Egg Company and will conduct this business in connection with the creamery.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 11, 1918, page 7
MEDFORD, Or., Jan. 28.--(Special.)--A year's banishment from Medford was the punishment meted out to Collins Reed, a middle-aged bootlegger, when he pleaded guilty to his second offense before Justice Glenn Taylor Saturday. Reed was arrested Friday night with Rankin Estes, a former Jackson County constable, and J. D. Buckley, of Applegate, while the trio were enjoying a party at the Reed home in this city.
BOOTLEGGER IS BANISHED
Medford Judge Sends Offender from City for One Year.
Buckley pleaded guilty, and as he was guilty of consuming liquor rather than selling it, was fined $25 and costs, which he paid. The trial of Estes comes up Monday, and as this is his second offense, it is probable that he will be severely dealt with.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 29, 1918, page 17
Rankin Estes of Medford, arrested last week for bootlegging, was given a hearing at Medford Monday afternoon. He pled not guilty, but upon trial was convicted, fined $100, and sentenced to one year in jail. In consideration of his wife and children, who are dependent upon him for support, the fine was suspended for six weeks. His attorney, Porter J. Neff, gave notice that an appeal would be taken, but it is doubtful whether the appeal will be perfected.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, February 2, 1918, page 3
Huston Cox, the colored porter of the Hotel Medford, recently convicted in the justice court on a bootlegging charge and who appealed the case to the circuit court, was found guilty by a jury in the circuit court Friday afternoon.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, March 9, 1918, page 3
Huston Cox, the colored porter at the Hotel Medford, recently convicted on a bootlegging charge, was sentenced Tuesday to pay a fine of $100 and undergo imprisonment in the county jail for thirty days. It is reported that an appeal has been taken..
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, March 16, 1918, page 3
Harrison Riggs, an orchard foreman, was shot in the right shoulder by speed cop McDonald Monday evening, and is now in a hospital in a dangerous condition. The story, as published in the Mail Tribune, is to the effect that McDonald, who suspected Riggs of bootlegging, had boarded the car in which he was riding and demanded that it be stopped: failing in this, he jumped to the ground, pulled his revolver and fired six shots at the car, claiming that he aimed to puncture the rear tires. Four of the bullets fired entered the tonneau of the car, and one lodged in Riggs' shoulder. The wounded man is 30 years old, has a wife and four children, and it is said that he bears an excellent reputation among the orchard men of the valley.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, March 15, 1919, page 3
In a recent article I spoke of the growth of the bootlegging industry since Oregon has become bone dry. I am writing this article from Medford. The issue here is a very live one. I sat down last evening in the lobby of the hotel next to a pleasant-looking chap who opened his heart to me on the matter.
"Never again," he said. "If you want to sweat blood, just slip a few bottles of booze into your bag and bring them across the border."
"If there is any type of man I despise," he said bitterly, "it is the practical joker. A few days ago one of the passengers, just after we had crossed the state line and entered Oregon, opened the door of the car I was in and whispered hoarsely, 'An inspector is in the next car. He will be here within five minutes. Any of you fellows that are smuggling booze into the state had better hide it. It means a jail sentence and a fine if you are caught.' Two minutes later that car was absolutely bone dry. One ministerial-looking man opened the car window and threw out his expensive-looking leather suitcase so as not to be caught with the goods. The practical joker was stunned by the results of his practical joke. He left the train at Ashland so the men who had thrown their booze overboard wouldn't do him physical violence.
"For quite a while a bootlegger boarded every train at Ashland and rode to Medford. He would go through the train, pick up a suitcase, shake it, hear a gurgle and say fiercely, 'Whose suitcase is this?' The owner, of course, would be afraid to claim it, for he thought the bootlegger was an officer. The bootlegger would say, 'I have reason to believe this contains liquor, illegally brought into the state. I will have to hold it as evidence. If the owner wants to make any explanation he can take the matter up with me at my office in Medford.' Naturally, no one wanted to take the matter up, and he got all the stock for his bootlegging industry without cost, to say nothing of a choice assortment of suitcases."
Fred Lockley, "Journal Man at Home," Oregon Journal, Portland, March 16, 1919, page 8
Speed cop McDonald has resigned his position as deputy sheriff and has gone to Portland, where he expects to locate.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, March 29, 1919, page 3
MEDFORD POLICEMAN DRANK UP EVIDENCE IN CASE
By United Press
MEDFORD, Ore., April 10.--Mayor Gates has compelled Sam Garrett, night policeman, to resign because it is alleged by the mayor and other city officials that Garrett drank up the evidence against a Chinaman who was charged with bootlegging.
Evening News, San Jose, April 10, 1919, page 1
MEDFORD A MODEL CITY SINCE THE BOOZE EMBARGO
Since the wartime prohibition act went into force, which shut off the keeping and sale of booze in California, Medford has become a model city as far as sobriety is concerned. Things have been very quiet with the police and sheriff's office, and only two or three booze arrests have been made, and those were made only a week after the act went into effect.
The city is also very quiet late at night, the police having little to do, whereas formerly many drunks and half-drunks used to come back from Hornbrook and Hilt and raise more or less disturbance. Then the police and sheriff's force used to spend most of the time night and day looking for bootleggers and watching for drunks.
Last Saturday night several well-known orchard employees who had gotten hold of whiskey someplace--probably had it in store for an exceptionally dry day--were in the city late and created more or less disturbance for a short time but left town before the night police heard of their presence. This was the first semblance of disorder for weeks.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 6, 1919, page 6
HOME BREW IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GUN PLAY
Tom Murphy of Medford Shoots George Douglas When Latter Insists on
Sampling Domestic Stock--Wounds Not Serious-Offender is Held Under $2000 Bonds.
Tom Murphy, the local junk dealer, was cooking home brew yesterday evening about seven o'clock, at his residence on South Front Street. The seductive aroma of the mixture of hops and corn assailed the nostrils of George Douglas, the upholsterer, who was passing. George, who once imbibed of a Jacksonville mixture which raised boils on his neck, announced that he wanted a drink. Mr. Murphy left his kettle long enough to announce that the pilgrim of thirst was not welcome.
"You blankety blank bum," proclaimed the upholsterer, "if you don't give me a drink I'll come and get it."
"You enter this house and I"ll fill you full of daylight," was the reported rejoinder.
Whereupon Douglas, who knows no fear when a drink is concerned, entered the sacred precincts of home brew and was met by a horse pistol about the size of Herr Krupp's Big Bertha. A wrestling match ensued during which Murphy fired two shots, one grazing the intruder's temple and the other inflicting a slight flesh wound in the chest. Murphy had the wounded man down and was endeavoring to rap him on the head with the heavy end of his firearm when Jack Plymale heard the rumpus and, sailing in, separated the two men.
Night policeman Adams arrived at this point and placed Murphy under arrest, also corralling a copper boiler filled with what appeared to be sour mash and two dozen bottles, properly corked, filled with liquefied rough-on-rats.
At a hearing before Justice Taylor this morning Murphy was held under $2000 bonds to the grand jury, charged with assault with intent to kill. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock Murphy will be given a hearing on having a homemade still in his possession.
Douglas was able to be about as usual today, his wounds being of a very innocuous character. The affair aroused considerable excitement on South Front Street during the vesper hour. The trial promises to involve a hot legal battle over how far the proprietor of a home-brew castle may go in protecting his home and firewater.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1920, page 1
Tom Murphy, principal in the Front Street shooting affray last Monday evening, was found guilty of infringement of the bone dry law in Justice Taylor's court yesterday afternoon, and was given 30 days in jail and $100 fine. Two dozen bottles of hooch, a wash boiler half-filled with sour mash and several gallon jugs containing home brew were offered in evidence. Murphy's only defense was that he cooked the combination of corn and hops for the benefit of his stomach. Judge Taylor decided any stomach that could stand the evidence offered was not in a very serious condition. As Murphy was in jail anyway on the "attempt to kill" charge, now awaiting the October term of court, the sentence does not materially affect his future plans. Night Officer Adams, Sheriff Terrill and Deputy Sheriff Schrader were witnesses for the state. Murphy had no witnesses and refused the services of a lawyer.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, August 5, 1920, page 2
Illicit Still Discovered at Medford
What is described as the largest illicit distillery and bootlegging headquarters ever located in Jackson County was discovered the beginning of the week in a house situated on S. Peach Street in Medford. The discovery of the plant came through W. T. Van Voris, who owns the property and rented it last July to a man giving the name of C. C. Russell, having occasionally to call on his tenant. Failing to gain admittance to the house, after repeated summons Mr. Van Voris used his pass key, and upon entering the kitchen discovered a complete still, including a gasoline stove, copper boiler with the lid fastened down with dough to make it airtight, a copper tank and coils of lead pipe which served as a worm, not to mention an old coffee mill in which barley used in the manufacture of the homemade decoction was ground. Elsewhere in the house was found quantities of corn, barley and wheat used in making "hooch," and 100 gallons of prune mash in barrels. Russell, who evidently suffered an attack of nerves, is reported to have departed from Medford about the middle of August, giving his destination as Portland, and there is no clue as to his whereabouts.
The apparatus was left on the premises under guard of the Medford police force until Wednesday, when Sheriff Terrill removed it to the county jail.
Sheriff Terrill now has in his keeping a supply of "hooch" that would bring tears to the eyes of a prohi or moisture to the mouth of a tippler, the entire floor space of a large cell at the county jail being filled with booze in flasks, bottles, demijohns and kegs.
Jacksonville Post, September 11, 1920, page 1
A keg of cider in the office of former Prosecuting Attorney Roberts of Medford, Oregon, exploded and the fermented liquor flooded the Medford National Bank beneath, keeping the office force, from clerks to President W. H. Gore, busy with mops and pails. The affair was reported to Prosecuting Attorney Rawles Moore, who defeated Roberts in the last election. Moore said the keg had been seized some time ago and in the confusion of office moving had been overlooked.
"World News Tersely Told," Sausalito News, February 26, 1921, page 1
Twelve quarts of a perfectly reliable brand of the Demon Rum was consigned to the yawning maw of an old well in the NW ¼ of the NW ¼ of the courthouse grounds, by representatives of the sheriff's office Wednesday morning. A few wistful-eyed spectators attended the obsequies.
"Behind the Bars," Jacksonville Post, July 2, 1921, page 1
Moonshiners, here's your chance of a lifetime--two 500-gallon and two 250-gallon redwood tanks will be sold at the courthouse tomorrow at ten o'clock by the sheriff at auction sale--the remains of the notorious Sams Valley distillery.
Jacksonville Post, June 6, 1924, page 1
THEN AND NOW
It is actually amusing to see how hard some folks take their prohibition. If a person speaks what most people think, they are said to be "wet"--whatever that is.
In the "old days," folks who were thirsty and didn't care walked into the front door of the saloon and took their "setting up" exercises.
The more timid ones used the back door. The thirsty, who had not the courage of their convictions, suffered their thirst at home, and "jined up" with the prohibitionists--as long as they had to deny themselves, they desired that others, less hypocritical than themselves, should be denied.
The "result"--the country was voted dry.
Now we have never favored liquor for any purpose, so we did not patronize the saloon before prohibition set in, nor the drugstore since. Neither do we experiment with raisins, etc. But the serious part of it all is that so many folks do.
Of course, it is contrary to law, the same as we understand profanity to be--a fine comes along in the wake of the finding of booze, so a lot of folks profess to favor prohibition for the simple reason that they fear getting caught with the "goods."
Children who would never have entered a saloon now open "Dad's" refrigerator and take a "shot" of poison. High school boys and girls, who never would have tasted the dirty poison dispensed by the saloon, now pour the drugstore brand of Jamaica Ginger into the "near beer" of the "soft drink" joint, and drink to their own damnation.
Friends, you may call us "wet" if you wish. You may stop the paper if you do not like to read the truth. You may blind yourselves to the facts, but that does not change them materially.
You may drink anything you wish, that is your business. If it kills you, you'll be dead a long time, but we cannot see any sense in "kidding" ourselves into thinking that the present brand of "prohibition" is a moral success.
The Devil never had a better tool to work with than that "Jew-made" farce.
Never before in the history of the United States was official corruption more rampant; never before was moral delinquency so prevalent, and yet this is the Utopia which prohibition promised.
Social lists are now confined to "those who can be trusted," and the farce is kept up by the putrid efforts of paid lobbyists.
Many folks who were ashamed to be seen in a saloon now get their daily dose of "rotgut" at home. Thus is American prohibition made a success.
Now "curse" us if you want to, and break another "sacred law."
Pacific Record Herald, Medford, June 26, 1924, page 3
GASOLINE SETTLES IT
A writer in a metropolitan newspaper takes the position that gasoline has forever settled the prohibition amendment, including the Volstead Act.
His logic is good in the light of the facts. There are more than fifteen million registered automobiles and motor trucks in the United States, one for every seven persons.
Is there any sensible person who will admit that any one of these fifteen million drivers should be permitted to drink? We scarcely think so.
The locomotive engineer, who under railroad rules and discipline of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers is not allowed to drink intoxicating liquor, was never under any greater strain than the man driving an automobile in city traffic or on [a] crowded country highway.
He needs a cool head, a clear eye and a steady hand to protect not alone his own life, but the lives of those who ride with him.
The power of the influence of public opinion is beginning to have its effect, because at least half of the people ride in automobiles, and they are demanding that drivers of machines shall abstain from strong drink.
The influence for sobriety will grow with the development of the automobile, and it is already expressing itself in more stringent laws to punish drunken drivers. More and more judges are sending to jail men who are caught driving automobiles while intoxicated.
Gasoline is undoubtedly going to settle the prohibition question for all time.
Ashland Daily Tidings, November 18, 1924, page 2
80 GALLONS OF LOCAL MOONSHINE ARE DUMPED OUT
Approximately 80 gallons of moonshine were destroyed this afternoon at the city dump with representatives of the district attorney's and sheriff's offices and federal and state officers present. The liquor was seized during the past summer and fall months and included one seizure of 50 gallons.
The liquor destroyed is itemized as follows, with the names of the former owners: 60 gallons, Walter Dyreborg and John Bughner of Sacramento, Calif.; ten gallons moonshine and five gallons wine, O. Cataline and A. Vantura of Klamath Falls; 12 gallons, W. L. Blakeley, Sams Valley; one gallon, C. L. Spencer, Klamath Falls; three bottles moonshine, Claude McCormack, Seattle; one pint gin, F. L. Green, local; three quarts moonshine, D. P. Buckley, local; one quart, James Bell, local; one quart, Heath Childers, local; and one gallon, W. C. Barker, local.
Each of the above violators have been disposed of through the district attorney's office. Prison and jail sentences were imposed and fines assessed, ranging from 30 days to five years and from $100 to $500. Three cars, as the result of the arrests, were confiscated by the state. Walter Dyreborg lost a large Studebaker, O. Cataline a Chalmers roadster, and W. C. Barker a Ford touring.
Staff Special Officer T. A. Talent and Federal Officer Cletus McCredie, who took part in a majority of the arrests, were present at the liquor-destroying party, together with District Attorney Newton, C. Chaney, State Traffic Officer C. P. Talent, Sheriff Jennings and others.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 31, 1925, page 3
BOOTLEGGERS IN COUNTY PAY WAY
Cost of Enforcement and Profit to County Made by Fines
That bootlegging in Jackson County not only paid its own costs of enforcement, but made the county a neat profit was revealed last night when District Attorney Newtown C. Chaney, who administers prohibition affairs in Jackson County, turned over $1,837.30 to the county general fund.
Still left in the county prohibition fund was $2,000, and the state had claimed a goodly portion of bootleg fines.
Under the Oregon law, the state gets half the county fines until $50,000 is reached. The county then gets all its fines. Two thousand dollars is kept in the county dry law war chest, while all over that amount goes into the general fund, helping reduce taxes.
Steadily decreasing cost of enforcement was given by Mr. Chaney as the reason for the amount turned over to the general fund. Enforcing the dry law cost the county a huge amount during the days of County Administrator Sandifer. In 1925, $51.61 profit was turned over to the general fund. Last year it was $71.61.
Medford Daily News, January 1, 1928, page 1
Wilkie Issues Statement
To the Editor:
Replying to your editorial last night, abusing me and congratulating Chaney, I want to say that Chaney and I were over at Lakeview, Ore., at the same time in 1922 or 1923. And he was an applicant there for an "undercover" job, which I was informed--and I know he has done undercover work elsewhere. I am a cripple and unable to do hard manual labor and was compelled to do this work at times to support my wife and family. Chaney has no such excuse.
I was brought to this trial against my will and was threatened nearly every day before the trial by officers, attorneys and other friends of Chaney weeks before the trial, and in Medford my wife and self were insulted and bullied by officer friends of Chaney and finally arrested and jailed on a fake charge which was advertised to the jury to help Chaney.
My past record of way back may be had, but I supposed it was Chaney who was on trial and not me.
Two stool pigeons testified. One had no interest and was under all sorts of threats; the other had every interest and motive. The jury apparently believed the man with the greatest reason to lie. Remus was also acquitted.
Do you have any idea that Chaney, wise as he is about stool pigeons and their work, paid me over $500 for twelve days' work?
God knows, I hate a stool pigeon now, and always have, but did do it in my past--but never again. I can truthfully say that I never planted on no one, but was asked to do so in Medford in 1926. It is a low, rotten job. With a lot of local stools in Medford, why pick on a cripple and leave these healthy crooks out of it?
During the time I worked in Medford I had my both eyes open and can say prohibition here is aimed at the poor and those without pull.
Think it over and recall, if you can, any prosecution against prominent citizens under Chaney that was not whitewashed.
W. M. WILKIE.Medford, May 19.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 19, 1928, page 4
A moonshine still somewhere in Appalachia circa 1930.
BOOZE TRAFFIC STILL ACTIVE IN CITY
Number of Dealers Greater Than in "Wet" Days
VOLUME OF SALES SMALLER, HOWEVER
Hootch Much Rarer Here Than in Days of Saloons
Legal Red Tape Is Bar to Rigid Dry Law Enforcement
On the last day of legalized selling of liquor in Medford--away back in 1916 [the last day was December 31, 1915], when manufacture, sale or importation of liquor into Oregon was prohibited by state law--witnessed the closing of 14 places where liquor had been legally sold. In the county there were no distilleries and two breweries.
Now, according to those who are charged with seeing that no alcoholic drinks are sold, there are many more places where alcoholic drinks can be obtained than there were prior to the enactment of the Oregon dry amendment. There are many times more distilleries and many more breweries--to say nothing of the homemade apparatus for making beer and wine for family consumption.
The only trouble is to prove it.
In this city--long known as a home-loving community, exemplifying the law-abiding calmness of Oregon--the local resident who can't chase up at least a pint of liquor in an hour is an inexperienced about-towner indeed. Even a novice can purchase the wherewithal of becoming drunk by walking into any drug store and almost any pool hall--and do it in a legal manner. All he has to do is ask for one of many "tonics" manufactured and sold under government permit. Some consist of alcoholic bitters and some of high-powered wine with a taste slightly spoiled by beer extract.
Traffic Is SteadyIt is with the illegal liquor business, however, that county and city officers are most concerned. Although public drunkenness is rare in Medford, officials are quite aware that selling--of liquor ranging all the way from beer to grain alcohol--is going on steadily, and that there are more people engaged in the business than when it was a legal occupation.
They can even estimate fairly accurately how many people are engaged in the booze traffic in Medford.
Counting the hip pocket pikers, there are from 24 to 30 bootleggers in Medford. The estimate of illicit distilleries in Jackson County is about eight.
In addition, it is common sense to believe that more than one person is running in liquor--meaning grain alcohol, "bonded" goods and moonshine--into the county for wholesale delivery or delivery to a local list of consumers.
Volume Is LessOf course, Medford is much bigger than it was in 1916, and your liquor dealer of today probably sells less in a week than a bartender did in a day, but the fact remains that, state and national laws to the contrary, booze is still being made and sold.
There is no "wild night life" here.
There are no "gilded dens of vice and pleasure."
There are no institutions that encourage flaming youth to strut itself and flame the limit.
A home-loving, industrious, progressive city of 100 percent Americans is Medford. The average citizen is pictured as the type that sits at home evenings and reads comfortably of the sins of New York and Chicago before going to bed at the locally conventional hour of 10:00 p.m.
There must be, however, a small population that imbibes steadily, or else a rather large population that drinks occasionally, for booze sales are not uncommon.
Before 1916, breweries made beer, wineries made wine and distilleries made stronger drinks, on the same standardized basis that Henry Ford makes cars.
Methods Trifle CrudeToday, some of the methods need to produce alcoholic drinks would startle the old-time manufacturers, to say the least.
The conventional outfit captured in Jackson County is a copper vat and worm, heated by a gasoline plate set under the "can" and connected with a pressure tank. Corn meal forms the basis for mash. Some of the "cans" are big and clean. Some are made of wash boilers [omission] and green with filth. One still captured was made of an iron gasoline barrel and a couple of joints of iron pipe--hardy people, local inebriates, to drink the product of that still and not go blind, at least.
Hardy DrunkardsOnce in a while the police pick up an insane drunk who melted a tin of "canned heat," strained it through a handkerchief and drank everything that strained through. There are still a few odd souls alive who believe that if you swallow some mentholatum, wood alcohol won't kill you.
And then there are the brewers and the wine makers whose product is the work of nature, insofar as it is made perilous by filthy equipment or amateur attempts to generate more "kick."
"Bonded Stuff" Is FakedClever fellows are the producers of "bonded" liquor. Given some labels, some grain alcohol, some glycerine and some flavoring, they can--and do--produce liquor for the "high class" trade.
The alcohol, the queerly shaped bottles, the labels, the flavoring and the coloring is all shipped into Medford, but the "bonded stuff" is a home product. That is, it was a home product. Recently a "Gordon's Bonded Dry Gin" plant was seized, and as far as officers know, there are no more of them in Medford.
Way to WealthWith about $10 worth of alcohol--at wholesale prices--a plentiful supply of water and another $10 worth of bottles, labels and other furnishings, a gin maker can turn out two gallons of synthetic product. In short-quart bottles with four-colored labels, wrapped in fancy tissue paper and with a "chemist's analysis" printed on a slip of paper thrown in, along with a fairy tale about each and every bottle crossing the briny deep from England into Canada and then through divers perils into the United States and your private stock, the stuff sells for around $3.50 per quart, or $36 profit for the $20 invested in labels and alcohol. Considering the story that goes with "bonded stuff," the price is reasonable.
Was VersatileFrom the starting point of alcohol, water and glycerine, one manufacturer arrested near Medford some time ago was able to produce either gin or Bacardi rum. To make rum he put in coloring and flavor extract instead of juniper extract, and poured it into a different bottle.
At that, the two local makers of "bonded stuff" who have been captured haven't shown much originality. One Italian rum runner caught two years ago had 12 different varieties of "bonded stuff," eight of them made with the same flavoring. But he was a city slicker from San Francisco, and that doesn't count.
Northern California supplies a not inconsiderable part of Jackson County's liquor. In addition to varieties made here, they turn out "grappa," a drink made from grape mash and reputedly containing more alcohol than straight alcohol itself.
Hard to CatchPolice and the sheriff's office can estimate fairly closely how many house manufacturers and salesmen there are working, but catching them is a different matter.
It's hard for an officer to know all the bootleggers, but in a place of this size it's no trouble at all for all the bootleggers to know the cops. In spite of this, however, local and county officers have an enviable record throughout Oregon for their efficiency in enforcing the prohibition law, indicating that Jackson County isn't the only county with its liquor troubles.
Fundamental laws of our government designed to protect private citizens from official tyranny clash with other fundamental laws concerning an arid nation where attempts to enforce the prohibition law are concerned, with the result that enforcing the law is a sort of game of hide-and-seek in a mass of red tape.
For instance, if an officer is certain the resident of a house is selling liquor there, he must get a search warrant before he can enter the house and hunt the liquor. To get a search warrant all he has to do is get someone to swear that they bought liquor there from the suspect.
No CooperationThe prohibition law is outstanding for the failure of the public--both drinking and non-drinking--to aid officials. The public attitude seems to be: "We passed the law and hired you to enforce it. Tag, you're it, now try and do it. If you don't we'll cuss you, and if you do we'll cuss you anyway."
Aside from neighbors irate at being kept awake by parties in the booze joint next door, few people report a suspected house. Even fewer will either volunteer or be forced to aid in getting out a search warrant by swearing they got liquor there.
In the first frenzy to enforce its brand-new law, the state used stool pigeons to make the purchases and swear to the warrants. In many cases the stool pigeons were worse to have around than were the bootleggers. Using them was largely a matter of desperation, and officials who hired them were usually rewarded by defeat at the next election. The public added another rule to the ones the officers had to follow in the hide-and-seek game.
State SleuthsWith all local officers known by sight to the law-dodgers, and with stool pigeons taboo, the method was evolved of using salaried state and federal officers for the undercover work. They are shifted from one place to another, are thus kept unknown to the alky boys, and because they are of a decent type have been able to function so far without a public uprising at the polls.
All the troubles of catching a bootlegger who works in a residence and more are involved in arresting one who serves from the hip pocket or makes deliveries. They must either be caught with the goods on them, making a sale, or at their cache. In this case, also, officers are under the handicap of being known by sight to the men they seek to arrest. In liquor cases, circumstantial evidence doesn't seem to mean a thing to juries--and try to catch them with the goods.
In spite of all these troubles, however, added to the fact that an officer has several hundred other laws to enforce, Medford has the reputation of being dry and getting drier all the time.
Homebrewers Busy"Every man his own brewer" is no idle slogan. Beer, as a general rule, doesn't run very high in alcoholic content, in spite of the fact that the law makes no distinction between it and grain alcohol. Homemade wine, however, can be--and frequently is--far from light.
Both federal and state amendments forbid the manufacturing of intoxicating beverages and class both beer and wine as such, but again the job is to prove it. If a citizen had the facilities, kept his wine at home and didn't sell any of it, he could make a thousand gallons and drink himself to death with no greater legal danger than being suspected. Without evidence of a sale an officer couldn't come in his house to see if wine was being manufactured. Of course, if the citizen went downtown drunk he might be arrested for violating a city ordinance, or if he lent his neighborhood a bad reputation they might close the house as a nuisance, but he'd be safe from prosecution on liquor charges.
Medford Daily News, December 25, 1928, page 1
Old Jail at Jacksonville Serves as Morgue for Confiscated Booze
Thousands of gallons of "evidence" are stored in the old county jail at Jacksonville--an accumulation of many months--some of the stuff dating back to "Sailor Jack," one of the most widely known bootleggers who ever operated in Jackson County, according to Federal Prohibition Officer Terry Talent, who transferred the 135-gallon haul made early this morning to the "morgue" at Jacksonville.
Alcohol predominates, but there is moonshine of every variety, in every stage of fermentation, included in the big stock.
Then there are stills--several of them confiscated during the last year, all stored in the old jail, which housed many famous prisoners, but now is used solely for storage purposes.
Ashland Daily Tidings, September 17, 1929, page 1
BEAR CREEK FISH TASTE MOONSHINEEvery so often, Bear Creek flows rich with alcohol and liquor inspired by the destruction of intoxicating beverages, seized by officers from bootleggers and rum runners. Yesterday afternoon the sheriff's office poured quite a quantity of liquor out at McAndrews ford in the creek in the presence of witnesses.
Some of the beverage may have been good and the rest of poor quality, but it all came to the same end. The liquor had been used as evidence in cases tried in court the past several months and included all the county had, with the exception of 10 cases of whiskey seized Wednesday in Medford from two Italian rum runners.
The liquor included the following: Eight quarts of wine, 83 pints of moonshine, three quarts of moonshine, three gallons of wine, 20 gallons of alcohol and 28 gallons of moonshine.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 22, 1931, page 8
CONVICT FLORES OF MAINTAINING MOONSHINE STILL
Joe Flores, former Front Street lunch counter operator, was found guilty yesterday afternoon in circuit court of the possession of a moonshine still, found by officers in an abandoned mine tunnel on Blackwell Hill last September. Flores' case went to the jury late in the day, and a verdict was returned in less than 30 minutes.
Flores claimed he knew nothing of the presence of the still and hardly ever visited the tunnel, but officers claimed there was mash brewing and saw a fairly well defined path between the tunnel and a cabin, where the defendant is said to have spent a portion of his time. He was arrested shortly after the attempted holdup of the Central Point State Bank during activities of the sheriff's office to locate a green sedan that had been used by the bandit in making his escape from Central Point.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 6, 1940, page 4
Last revised November 3, 2016