On March 7, 1920 investigators made an astonishing handwritten notation about Helen Graves, former reporter for The Journal. No details are given to indicate the source of this explosive information, however, on April 7, 1920 this same information was echoed in a typewritten memorandum made by special agent Green. Loye W. Miller was a reporter […]
Van Pickerill turned out to be integral to the prosecution’s case, and as much as he apparently told federal investigators, I was surprised to find that there were no statements made by him within the investigative notes. There was one document that I originally dismissed as insignificant but which does confirm that he made at […]
Investigators learned that both city and county employees were involved in the whiskey conspiracy. Department of Justice agents began focusing on county officials, chauffeurs, and Vendome Hotel employees, causing the scope of the investigation to broaden. This March 11, 1920 notation shows that investigators had statements from several people who claimed they delivered booze to […]
Investigators noted (top) that, as president of The New Vendome Hotel, Mayor Bosse signed the company’s checks, including those for whiskey purchases.
The hand-written paragraph details how Mrs. Jim Boner sought money from Chief Schmitt and Mayor Bosse to pay her husband’s car note while he was in jail, to avoid having it repossessed (he was convicted of violating the liquor law). She even saw Mayor Bosse at his office on January 5th to inquire about it. […]
According to investigators, Mayor Bosse and “others of the city crowd” frequented Jack Mann’s club on 2nd Avenue, where whiskey flowed freely.
When Benjamin Bosse took office at the start of 1914, he built his administration by appointing Carl L. Dreisch as his Secretary. However, after the State of Indiana pointed out that the city charter made no provision for an employee to serve as Mayor Bosse’s secretary, Dreisch became the city food inspector beginning in 1918, […]
The whiskey ring conspiracy trial lasted five days, and the jury began deliberating on June 18, 1920, at 6:30 p.m. It only took a little more than two hours to reach a verdict. Chief Schmitt sat nervously chewing gum, but did not show any emotion when Judge Anderson pronounced him guilty. Fred Ossenberg sunk back […]
It’s notable how Henry C. Murphy, owner of The Courier Newspaper, worked with federal investigators to expose the conspiracy. In this undated letter he informed U.S. Attorney L. Ert Slack, the lead prosecutor of the whiskey conspiracy case, that a cover-up had begun and that Police Chief Edgar Schmitt and Mayor Benjamin Bosse had called […]
In 1913, the republican Ossenberg “machine” backed Bosse’s campaign for mayor of Evansville. They did the same thing in 1916, when they helped Bosse win re-election. However, when prohibition came to Indiana in April 1918, the Ossenbergs abruptly severed their ties with Mayor Bosse, with the elder Ossenberg brother eventually resigning from his position in […]